Thule and price gouging

David Gluzman May 27th, 2009


Having just bought a new mountain bike I’ve decided that I should finally invest in the bike rack for my vehicle. Since I already have the ski attachments and base bar for my VW (which are made by Thule), I figured it would be a pretty painless purchase to move forward.

Well kinda.. But wow it’s expensive.

Here are some Canadian prices:

– Thule 516 Prologue Fork Mounted Bike Roof Rack = $120ea
– Thule XAdapt9 (so I can mount on my ‘aero’ base rack) = $25ea

I’d need two, thus a total of $290. Problem is finding the XAdapter9 in town is close to impossible. They’ll order it in, but will take a few weeks.

So having come home I figured well if they gotta order the adapter anyways, I’ll just shop online and get it delivered to me directly. That’s when my agitation began.

Price in the USA:

– Thule Fork Mount rack = $71.95
– Thule XAdapt9 = $11.95

Total = $167.80 USD (roughly $185 CDN)

So as you can see in Canada we’re being gouged roughly $100. I’m sick of it. And to make matters even worse Thule has a policy where US dealers are not allowed to ship outside their country, thus us Canadians are shafted. YAY!

Looking for an explanation why Thule would do such a thing, I figured I’d ask Thule directly. I expressed my extreme dissatisfaction to their policies and how Canadian’s are having to pay so much more for the same product. Here’s is their un-altered and complete response to the matter:

Good Day David,

1) Any Thule dealer that does not what you need in stock will put an order in for you.

2) We understand your concern, this price differential does not only apply solely to car racks and accessories bit to all industries in general.

Unfortunately, the Canadian market is 10 time smaller than the US and speak over relatively the same territorial dimension and therefore distribution cost will always be a contributing factor in the price difference.


..uuuh.. Okay, so fine you’re most likely Swedish (where Thule is from), and maybe English isn’t your first language, but you can’t even sign off after saying regards?


Good job Thule.. Good freaking job.

  • Ducati AGB

    Stunning levels of mediocrity.

    When will companies realize that consumers aren’t as dumb as they think they are. Distribution costs? Are you kidding me? What a joke. Hopefully you’ll choose a different company as supporting these jokers in any way enables the problem further.

  • I too have been on the hunt for bike mounts for my 2008 Tacoma. Shopping online has only proved that prices in the US are much lower than Canada right now.

    For example, check out this bed liner tie down cleat

    $17.25 USD, which converts to roughly $19 CDN.

    How much did I just pay at my local Toyota dealer? $35 EACH (and I bought 4). Almost double the price.

    I feel a little sick for doing that now. :S

    Oh and, the fork mount bike attachment for my Tacoma that is manufactured by Toyota USA? Is just that… a USA product, and is not available in Canada.

    I just ordered 3 online from a US supplier.

  • I just ordered 3 online from a US supplier.

    … aaaaaaaand FAIL! Just got an email with this response to my order.

    “Hello Ian Harding,

    Sorry this was not noticed earlier by Autopartspeople, but we do not ship to Canada. We have cancelled this order.”

    Seriously? *sigh* Back to square one.

    Btw, on a side note, I have yet to call around to local accessory dealers in search of a similar aftermarket product as I’m now determined to see if I can get my hands on the Toyota manufactured part specifically.

  • R Jay

    Yakima is no different

    Locking Bedhead ordered by local canadian dealer $150 each.

    Oredered on line from US bike store. Delivered to Canada including shipping handling etc. $80 each.

    Who is making the 100% markup profit? It isnt the local store. They are quoting the Canadian distributor price (plus O/P of course) but not double.