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Old 9th December 2011, 10:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fandersen View Post
Their web site does indicate they will ship USPS to Canada, but that takes at least 2 weeks.
I didn't notice that. If that is the case, they should list it as an option in the checkout. Either way, I'll be taking my business elsewhere.

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When I order parts from the US I tend to use DigiKey as they only charge $8 for 1 day international via FedEx, with no extra billing from FedEx.
This is good to know, based on what I just said above

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if you're looking for speaker parts don't forget Creative Sound Solutions and of course Planet10.
Indeed, for higher quality stuff these guys would always be my first choice (I got my dual EL70 microTower kit from Bob (CSS), but they unfortunately do not offer $10 driver "buyouts", etc. and they do not have the vast selection of the "big boys". (On the other hand, I could have purchased much higher quality Mark Audio drivers from Bob for not much more than I paid for two cheap TBs from PE, when all was said and done.)

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Over the years I have found a couple of good sources for parts in Canada including Parts ConneXion - The authority on hi-fi DIY parts and components (watch for their 20% off sales) and A1 Electronic Parts - Serving the Toronto area for 30 years! for Hammond stuff. There are others depending what you're looking for.

I'm not affiliated with any of the above companies.
Thanks for the links. I have found Solen, as well, and they offer a huge selection and very good prices, but their website is almost unusable. If they had an interface even remotely as usable as PE, I'd be all over it. I'll check out those links though!

Last edited by cogitech; 9th December 2011 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 9th December 2011, 10:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
It's not PE fault , take it up with Fed-ex. I have used PE for years , no issues..
According to your flag, there's no reason for you to have had any issues, so I believe you.

I am talking about cross-border shipping, and the fact that PE misleads Canadians into thinking (a) FedEx is the only shipping option and (b) the extra FedEx charges are covered. Neither is true. FedEx has no control over either of these issues.

PE should (a) provide USPS as an option at checkout and (b) if FedEx is selected as the shipping option, specifically state that FedEx will be sending an extra bill which includes tax charges and a $10 "advancement fee".

If I had known this, I would not have placed the order. Perhaps this is why they don't provide the info. Either way, they have failed to provide me with the information I needed in order to avoid paying ridiculous shipping fees. FAIL.

Last edited by cogitech; 9th December 2011 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 9th December 2011, 11:04 PM   #13
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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cogi;

I couldn't agree more in regards to the user-friendly interface at Solen's website (even after a recent upgrade). To be honest Parts Connexion is not much quicker to navigate. Keep in mind that Solen is in Quebec - if your timing is right they can be pleasant enough to talk to on the phone (think Karine Vanasse) , but not always knowledgeable.
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Old 9th December 2011, 11:07 PM   #14
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If you need anything from PE, and don't mind waiting until Bob (Creative Sound Solutions) gets a minimum order togther, he gets very cheap shipping from PE to his wharehouse in Sumas. He then drives (something like 4 miles) across the border, clears the order himself, and then drives them up to Abbotsford. You then py Canada Post to get the items.

If there is duty you'll still need to pay that, there will be the same GST/HST you'd pay anyway (part of that FedEx would be 12% HST -- $2.88 USD) and if an item has no dealer discount (some sale items), he should add some profit (my feeling), but most of the time he'll get his profit from his PE discount.

If it is an item he commonly stocks he may already have what you are looking for.

I'll ping him, so that he can add any comments and correct any erroneous comments i may have made.

dave
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Old 9th December 2011, 11:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
cogi;

I couldn't agree more in regards to the user-friendly interface at Solen's website (even after a recent upgrade). To be honest Parts Connexion is not much quicker to navigate. Keep in mind that Solen is in Quebec - if your timing is right they can be pleasant enough to talk to on the phone (think Karine Vanasse) , but not always knowledgeable.
I've spent enough time there to figure it out for the most part, and I was even able to bungle my way through getting what I wanted into my cart. I found the biggest hurdle is actually finding what you want. The search function is nearly useless and even when you browse by category and vendor, everything is just listed randomly. Check out the Tang Band section, for instance. Holy crap!

Alas, they will be my goto place from now on, for anything Bob doesn't carry.
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Old 9th December 2011, 11:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
If you need anything from PE, and don't mind waiting until Bob (Creative Sound Solutions) gets a minimum order togther, he gets very cheap shipping from PE to his wharehouse in Sumas. He then drives (something like 4 miles) across the border, clears the order himself, and then drives them up to Abbotsford. You then py Canada Post to get the items.

If there is duty you'll still need to pay that, there will be the same GST/HST you'd pay anyway (part of that FedEx would be 12% HST -- $2.88 USD) and if an item has no dealer discount (some sale items), he should add some profit (my feeling), but most of the time he'll get his profit from his PE discount.

If it is an item he commonly stocks he may already have what you are looking for.

I'll ping him, so that he can add any comments and correct any erroneous comments i may have made.

dave
This is excellent info. Thanks!
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Old 9th December 2011, 11:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
cogi;

I couldn't agree more in regards to the user-friendly interface at Solen's website (even after a recent upgrade). To be honest Parts Connexion is not much quicker to navigate. Keep in mind that Solen is in Quebec - if your timing is right they can be pleasant enough to talk to on the phone (think Karine Vanasse) , but not always knowledgeable.
I have found Solen to be much better by phone, emails often just go into the vapor. Prices can also be out of line, but some stuff (Visaton for instance) is only available there. Service is good (as long as you phone)

McBride (Q-Components) is also good for some things (another place to use the phone).

Most of the stuff i get from the US is from Madisound (comes by FedEx and this works well, is fast, and quite cheap (i do pay duty *where applicable -- ie most stuff from China) & HST)). I am thou usually ordering 1/2 to a couple thousand dollars worth at a time, from Steve at ApexJr, and an occasional PE iten thru Bob.

Whatever you do, never, ever get anything sent UPS.

Ever since USPS quit doing surface mail outside of the US, post has generally become quite expensive unless it will fit into a flat-rate box.

dave
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Old 9th December 2011, 11:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
The brokerage fees are a must , you need to take it up with your guv, they are the reason for the fees. always best to use Post ..
Brokerage fees have nothing to do with the government; importing into Canada is not difficult and by that I mean brokering shipments.

All the shippers have a preferred broker ... if you import to the US, it also goes through a broker. It's not nation-specific or specific to Canada.

What is specific to Canada is the broker the shippers use, and how they go about clearing customs. UPS, Canada Post (who handle anything shipped by mail, whether USPS or a package shipped from Burkina Faso, deepest Africa) amd FedEx all have brokers they use.

Canada Post : $5 or $8, depending on certain conditions, such as package weight and carrier ... some couriers will go through Canada Post from the US.

UPS ... varies, depending on the value, but less than $25 is essentially unheard of. FedEx ... slightly less, but hardly Canada Post levels.

Now, here's where it gets stupid. UPS and FedEx have wholly-owned subsidiaries that handle brokerage. They separate the two firms ... shipper and broker ... for "plausible deniability". This way if you inquire, they will say the fees are from the broker, and they have no control over them. Yet, every dime goes into the UPS or FedEx kitty.

You can broker the shipment yourself. It costs nothing but about five minutes of your time and any duties or taxes due ... however everything sold at retail from the US Is duty free, as are most items imported from elsewhere that DIY audio members will deal with ... for example all electronics and software are always duty free into Canada, regardless of country of origin.

In order to broker the shipment yourself, you need an invoice from the shipper (eg in this case Parts Express) indicating quantity, item cost, and total. The invoice can be in any form ... an eMail is perfectly fine, for example. Then you need a copy of the shipping document the shipper creates; this is available locally (ie where-ever you are in Canada) from the shipper office.

However, UPS and FedEx prevent you from brokering the shipment yourself, because they use bonded warehouses where the second it is delivered to the UPS or FedEx facility, the company-owned broker is given the documents and instigates clearing procedure.

Generally this takes place at night, perhaps 9 pm to 2 am of the day the shipment was picked up. In many cases, it takes place as soon as the shipment is picked up by the driver; ie before it's even arrived at the sorting facility. UPS is very keen to have this step take place as soon as they can possibly do so, since it's a profit centre for them and prevents importers from brokering the shipment themselves, at much reduced costs.

So, by the time you receive confirmation the item has shipped, the brokerage has already taken place before you can get the shipper's documentation the next morning at 9am when the office opens. Once sent to the broker, the shipment can sit in the warehouse for however long UPS takes to consolidate the shipment ... hours to days. So, you're stuck with the bill, which consists of:

A fee for brokerage;
The sales tax due (5% of invoice);
A fee for "loaning" you the 5%;
A fee for collecting the fees.

Were you to broker it yourself, your cost on a $100 shipment would be $5.

If you choose UPS, for example, the cost is:
Brokerage fee for value $100: $19.45
Sales tax "paid" on your behalf $5
Fee for "loaning" you the $5: 2.7%; minimum $10
Fee for collecting the fees: $4.25
Total $38.70

Note that the $100 value includes whatever UPS charged you for shipping, so the retail value of the goods imported will be less than $100. I put "paid" and "loaning" in brackets, because UPS's broker does not actually put out any money for these items; you will have paid the driver upon delivery before the account is settled between the broker and the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Resellers who wish to increase their share of Canadian buyers can get an account with Canada Revenue Agency, and collect the sales tax upon sale, remitting it monthly (or less, for low-volume resellers). The procedure is essentially similar to collecting state sales taxes, although having worked for a company that deals with both CCRA and the State of Minnesota, at least, I can tell you the Canadian system is far less painless. One remittance sheet half a page long, with about 5 entries required. CCRA allows the retailer to keep a portion of the amount due to offset administration costs, so you don't actually even remit the full 5% you collect.

If they do so, there is no brokerage fee or any other fee payable ... saving the customer, in the above example, $33.70, or almost 34% of your sale. Most companies that do this set up a Canadian website for orders, which is simply the US site priced in $C a field for GST/HST, and Canada-specific shipping fields. However, it's hardly the only way to do it.

It's becoming somewhat more common for US firms to clue into this with the electronics industry ... DigiKey has been doing it for a decade, for example. Other industries are more advanced ... Land's End has been doing it for 20 years, and they report 1/5th of sales come from Canada.

Now, for US resellers, the question you should be asking is why your local bank holds funds for 10+ days, and charges you a fee ($10, $15, even $20) to deposit a check from a Canadian bank.

All Canadian banks have Federal Reserve Accounts and all checks from Canadian banks "clear directly" ... in other words your bank has the money the night you deposit the check (when it resolves it's Fed account, which it does every night for all the day's transactions). it's been the case for more than a decade.

They charge the fee because they can get away with it ... it costs them nothing more to clear a Canadian check than one drawn on a US bank, but US bank customers expect such a fee, and it's easy to make up some story that people will buy. There is more money changing hands between US and Canadian banks every day than any other two nations on earth ... roughly $500 million dollars a day.

This is no different from how UPS or FedEx charges for brokerage to Canadians. They do it because they can get away with it, by blaming someone else.

Canadians can also hire their own broker to handle all shipments into Canada. The cost ... for the lowest volume retail customer... is roughly 1/3 what UPS charges for the same service, and involves far more effort on the part of the broker. You must get the retailer to mark the broker's name on the documentation, which is not always easy, but an eMail order rather than online checkout is usually all that's required.

So, there is no reasonable explanation why UPS's own wholly-owned broker's fees are so high. It's a profit centre, plain and simple.

It also might be worth mentioning, just as an FYI, that UPS sued Canada Post ... not once, but twice ... in an attempt to make it illegal for Canada Post to accept parcel shipments. They lost both times.

Also, Canada Post is a corporation, which operates independently from, and does not receive any money from, the Federal Government, and has turned a profit every year despite charging "only" $5~8 to broker imports.

** Some provinces use the Federal Government to collect provincial sales taxes as well as GST via an agreement, reffered to as Harmonized Sales Tax (HST); in this case the amount will be different than 5%. However, to the reseller, the procedure is unchanged and you only deal with one agency. **
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 10th December 2011 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 9th December 2011, 11:53 PM   #19
Minion is offline Minion  Canada
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I Will not under any circumstances use UPS or FedX as a matter of principal , They are scam artists plain and simple ......

I get some of my stuff from a parts outfit in Thailand which is rediculously cheap and the shipping is rediculously cheap and faster from thailand to canada than from canada to canada .......

Tayda Electronics Home Page


While they don"t have a huge selection their prices are unbeatable .....
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Old 10th December 2011, 12:10 AM   #20
CSS/XBL is offline CSS/XBL  Canada
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Hi,

In general the couriers charge what they can and even if some of the charges might be technically "illegal" they count on people not taking them on.

I offer anyone in Canada the service of providing PE product, though the margins are getting thin to non existent. I get free shipping on orders of $500 or more and have a place in Sumas that receives orders for me. I do my own customs clearance and pay the duty, etc. Customers pay for the product including shipping from here. Obviously the lowest shipping is in BC and many people come and pick up in order to save shipping or plan ahead and get/collect more stuff over a period of time. I also have a fairly good shipping rate in Canada with UPS. The largest benefit comes with multiple packages as I pay by total weight not the number of packages.

There are many things about the way PE does their pricing and monthly specials which neither I nor my sales rep there understand but it is what it is.

Thanks to all who support me in this way.

Bob
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