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Arbitrage is defined as "the simultaneous buying and selling of securities, currency, or commodities in different markets or in derivative forms in order to take advantage of differing prices for the same asset".  Not all markets are created equal and many merchants doing business internationally need to prevent arbitrage and  enforce complex business rules around market based pricing. 

Sometimes prices are different because of distribution costs and other times they are simply different because of supply allowing merchants to charge a higher price.  In other cases certain products are not available to be sold to other territories because of supply arrangements or legislation.

CommerceCM helps merchants eliminate complexity when managing complex international e-commerce.

Price Differences

Savvy shoppers will figure out if your product are available for a lower cost in other territories and if they have the ability they will use your site to compare.  CommerceCM uses GEOIP to set a shoppers price and does not allow them to change their currency. 

If a shopper needs to ship to a country other than the one they are in, or we have misidentified their location, then we confirm the currency at the shipping step.  For example, if I am in Seattle shipping a gift to my niece in Toronto, Canada, then I start my shopping in US dollars and in the checkout the price will be adjusted to reflect the Canadian price.  If your business has multiple warehouses, then it will also check inventory for the correct warehouse serving Canada.  This final check on the shipping step is crucial for catching users using VPN's to change their IP addresses.


We first came across this working with a Canadian manufacturer using textiles that were subject to quotas and duties in the US, however we have continued to run across this with such things as leather quotas in Japan, FDA rules for supplements, or voltage differences on electronic goods.

CommerceCM has several lines of defence.

Currency: If you have a single warehouse serving multiple currency regions (Canada/US, or UK/Eurozone) and the availability aligns with currency, you can prevent a product from showing simply by not configuring a price for it in the currency.  A shopper who attempts to shop and ship across borders will have the product removed when we do our arbitrage check in the checkout.

Inventory:  For larger organizations with regional warehouses, our inventory check will prevent users from placing orders for items not held in local inventory.

Custom Business Rules:  Sometimes your needs are more complex or you have alternate products available in other regions.  With a little planning, CommerceCM can be configured to handle substitutions or or enforce same currency blocks for specific products.  That is the value of experience.

Do you have unique needs or are running into limitations with your current eCommerce platform?  Drop us a note in the comments or contact us.

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