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Old 3rd April 2003, 02:46 AM   #1
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Default Shipping US to Canada

About a month ago I got a rude awakening when I recieved a shipment from the States. UPS charged me $70 for numerous fees, not including duty or taxes. I was aware of the duty and the taxes, but $70 just for UPS fees, thats crazy! It cost $20USD to get the package shipped in the first place, that totals about $100 just for UPS.

It has come time to order from the States again and I need to reduce those fees. Declaring a smaller value is a good idea, but don't you have to ask the shipper to declare the value? Will they lie for you?

I was thinking about sending the package through USPS (air), but I don't know what happens at the border. Do they clear customs for you and deliver it to you or do you have to go to customs and pick it up?

This must be a problem for many DIYer's, any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 3rd April 2003, 03:04 AM   #2
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Default It really depends on the package

Global Priority Mail = standardized package size = ok for ICs and transistors etc. It's only $9. Registered mail is also good but slow.

If you can spare the time, parcel post is slow but rarely do you have to pay duty.

I can't recommend fudging a customs document.

FedX, UPS, DHL -- they are fast and you can track, but they still lose packages -- but you also wind up paying brokerage charges.
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Old 3rd April 2003, 05:30 AM   #3
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I always ask for my parcels to be sent by either surface post or air, whatever is cheaper. The delivery time is usually the same. Ask the sender to declare lower value if he can. The postman collects the duties when he delivers the parcel to your door. You can even pay by a credit card. It is on average 15% of declared value, plus $5 for processing. Below certain declared value, you don't have to pay, if I remember correctly it's $15 or $20.

I had some cases of outrageously high fees for processing by UPS or some other carriers. I simply refused to pay, that's all, and nothing happened.
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Old 3rd April 2003, 03:42 PM   #4
zardoz is offline zardoz  Canada
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I agree with Peter, I got burned prety badly on my first LCD purchase (brokerage fees) thru UPS. Since then I have asked my sellers to declare "no comercial value" and to send by surface mail (extra care MUST be used in packing surface shipped items tho)

zardoz...just had a 10 pound lens dellivered by surface mail...shipping from the southern states to Nova Scotia was only $16.00 US...total cost for this HUGE lens? $30.00 US dollars dellivered.
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Old 3rd April 2003, 05:26 PM   #5
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"Gifts" and "warranty replacement" are the best one.
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Old 3rd April 2003, 05:46 PM   #6
Apex Jr is offline Apex Jr  United States
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Default Shipping to Canada

I've sent a lot of packages to Canada and do not
recomend UPS. Minimum brokerage fee is 25.00
and depending on value, up from there. I use the
US Mail it is less expensive than UPS in the long run.
Only problem is TRACKING. I've lost 3 packages and
2 Damage claims. I'm still waiting for an answer on a
claim from April of 2001. There's also a bonus if the
package weigh's less than 4 pounds you can ship
either Air or Surface Small Packet without insurance
at a real savings. I use that for low cost and less than
4# items...
Steve @ Apex Jr
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Old 3rd April 2003, 07:54 PM   #7
paulb is offline paulb  Canada
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Yes, Steve, your last package to me arrived in my mailbox, no charges. I think you declared it as "Replacement parts" (which they were) and shipped it USPS Air.
Big shipments from ApexJr (4 transformers!) took about 4 weeks when shipped USPS surface.
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Old 3rd April 2003, 08:16 PM   #8
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Currently everything shipped from States takes much longer, because of the war, I was told.
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Do something really well. See how much time it takes. It might be a product, a work of art, who knows? Then give it away cheaply, just because you feel that it should not cost so much, even if it took a lot of time and expensive materials to make it. - JC
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Old 3rd April 2003, 08:57 PM   #9
JBL is offline JBL  Canada
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For myself I always try to use purolator. Found it to be much cheaper than other alternative.
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