If you want to compare, here's what has to be looked at:
1) initial cost - if ordering from a manufacturer, the same basic price. Discounts get applied to volume obviously, and to give you an idea of the volume difference, more airsoft equipment was sold in California (1 of 50 states) than ALL of Canada in 2010. A large US-based airsoft importation company will be bringing gear in for the entire country, not just 1 state.. getting an idea of the discounts they would get yet?
2) upgrading cost - the US doesn't have this, so we have to pay an additional fee to have airsoft guns able to be properly imported
3)Shipping cost - it costs more to have less-than-container shipments sent than full-container shipments to start. Want to fly it over? Triple your shipping costs to get it here faster.
4) duty fees - our national agreements with pacific rim countries are vastly different than the USA's national agreements. Bottom line is that we pay more to import than they do (goes back to the quantity question in a way)
5) Brokerage - about the same IF you have a good brokerage company
6) Cost of business - As Brian stated, it costs more to do business in Canada than it does in the USA. That is reflected in the price
7) Approval paperwork - we have reams and reams of paperwork that needs to be filled out, along with processes that need to happen in order for companies to be approved to import airsoft. Then there's the cost of this paperwork process... did you think that was free? it's not, it's massive actually
8) The 'no guarantee' issue - even after (or if) you get through all of the above, there is still no guarantee that you will get your order. The CBSA could randomly decide to hold it, deny it, destroy it, anything. Even though you have done everything right, they still have the power to over-rule. Do YOU want to take that chance with tens of thousands of your own money?
Starting to get it? Oh, and don't use the car analogy, or the TV analogy. Want to know why? Those are BILLION dollar a year industries that move tons of product into Canada. Companies selling those products order hundreds if not thousands of a single item. Not one of the airsoft importers in this country has anywhere near that ability.
The Tier One Tactical Operator
Tippmann Arms M4A1
KWA USP .45, KJW P226, KJW hi-cappa