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Thread started 22 Feb 2013 (Friday) 08:12
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need advice on lower 48 to Canada shipping

 
ThomasOwenM
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Feb 22, 2013 08:12 |  #1

I see most of us in the lower 48 do our sales of gear within the Continental US. It's obviously simpler that way. I have heard horror stories of losing the ability to track a package once it gets across the Canadian border. I'm going to check with my local shipping company today to find out about that. I would not dream of selling any expensive camera gear to anyone unless I were certain I can track the package all the way there. The insurance also has to be good regardless of which country it's in.

Are there any other precautions I should take if I sell to someone in Canada? Specifically, I'm wondering if the Canadian person has to pay any kind of import tax and if the gear gets held up in customs until they do so.

Anything else I need to consider?


===============
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2ndviolinman
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Feb 22, 2013 08:19 |  #2

The customs involved in selling to Canada is a big deal, and some shippers charge brokerage fees on top that are highway robbery. Others will fill you in more completely, but I have had trouble even just returning a defective item I purchased from Canada.


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imageswest
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Feb 22, 2013 08:32 as a reply to  @ 2ndviolinman's post |  #3

The best shipping options to Canada are USPS Priority or Express Mail - avoid UPS or FedEx at all costs. Whichever mail service you choose, make sure you get a tracking number - you can track US parcels on the Canada Post web site and vice-versa.

The recipient in Canada has to pay federal and/or provincial sales tax on the declared value of the goods, plus a handling fee of $8-$10 to the post office when they pick up the parcel. There are no duties on most photo gear.


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Jorge ­ Ledesma
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Feb 22, 2013 08:38 |  #4

I shipped a flash to a fellow member via USPS but with no tracking number and no expectations either, the buyer knew how difficult things are over there (Canada) and luckily the item arrived and no problems.

Would I do it again, I suppose so, but again clarifying the expectations. If I would be buyer, I wouldn't do it.


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bwpmedia
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Feb 22, 2013 08:40 |  #5

you pay 13 percent tax more or less on all items, handling fees and brokerage fees where applicable. in addition to your shipping charges. those with tracking #s are always higher




  
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harv3589
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Feb 22, 2013 09:41 |  #6

I am not sure what the big deal is to ship to Canada...its easy. Ship via USPS with tracking, signature required and insured for the replacement value. Declare on your customs form what it is and value then off it goes. I have never had a problem getting stuff from the states. I buy most of my camera gear from the US because it usually cheaper.

The only thing to avoid is Fedex, UPS etc they are stupid with fees and come knocking at the door with their hand out for money.

In Alberta the tax is only 5%....

I bought my Z100 lens & BH-40 not too long ago from the US (both bought from forums) and they came, no issues at all....smooth transaction.




  
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easypz
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Feb 22, 2013 10:14 |  #7

I'd like to back Rob up here. Shipping to Canada is no hassle whatsoever if you use USPS Priority or Express mail. Once you get an account on the USPS website you can do everything from it, including customs forms and it's easy. I've sold at least a dozen pieces of gear to my friends up north, no problem.




  
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dad3*3
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Feb 22, 2013 10:55 |  #8

I've also shipped lots of gear to Canada over the years the most expensive being a 1D MKIV with no problems. USPS is the way to go and depending on the items value either Priority Mail or Express Mail. The insurance is the deciding factor. With Priority Mail they limit the amount of insurance to $675 if my memory works. With Express Mail you can insure up to $5000. Express Mail is a little expensive but worth every penny for peace of mind.

The only problem I've found is sometimes the buyer feels shipping costs are too high and ask to have the item shipped regular mail. I wouldn't do that since no one has any protection against loss, damage or theft.

Customs forms are easy, less than a minute and can be printed on line now.

As long as the buyer is reasonable and understands the time frame and cost involved don't hesitate to ship to our friends up north.




  
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BigLobowski
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Feb 22, 2013 10:58 |  #9

imageswest wrote in post #15639569 (external link)
The best shipping options to Canada are USPS Priority or Express Mail - avoid UPS or FedEx at all costs. Whichever mail service you choose, make sure you get a tracking number - you can track US parcels on the Canada Post web site and vice-versa.

The recipient in Canada has to pay federal and/or provincial sales tax on the declared value of the goods, plus a handling fee of $8-$10 to the post office when they pick up the parcel. There are no duties on most photo gear.

harv3589 wrote in post #15639761 (external link)
I am not sure what the big deal is to ship to Canada...its easy. Ship via USPS with tracking, signature required and insured for the replacement value. Declare on your customs form what it is and value then off it goes. I have never had a problem getting stuff from the states. I buy most of my camera gear from the US because it usually cheaper.

The only thing to avoid is Fedex, UPS etc they are stupid with fees and come knocking at the door with their hand out for money.

In Alberta the tax is only 5%....

I bought my Z100 lens & BH-40 not too long ago from the US (both bought from forums) and they came, no issues at all....smooth transaction.

easypz wrote in post #15639874 (external link)
I'd like to back Rob up here. Shipping to Canada is no hassle whatsoever if you use USPS Priority or Express mail. Once you get an account on the USPS website you can do everything from it, including customs forms and it's easy. I've sold at least a dozen pieces of gear to my friends up north, no problem.

^^^All this. I've purchased several items from US sellers on POTN and also on FM and have had absolutely no issues whatsoever. Ditto for yes to USPS - no to UPS. The only other alternative which is great if it's convenient is to use a US shipping/receiving company and have items shipped there for customer pick up. We're just over an hour from the border and use a company in the US that provides this service and it's great.
Sellers/buyers: don't be afraid of us Canadians!


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13inches
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Feb 22, 2013 11:09 |  #10

Regarding tracking, any USPS package that has tracking available will receive a handshake with Canada Post at the border and can continue to be tracked on the Canada Post website using the same tracking number. The inverse also works when shipping to the US via Canada Post.

Taxes, duties and brokerage fees are a PITA for us Canadians to deal with when receiving foreign packages, but as a seller all you can do is warn the buyer of these fees and that they are responsible for them. Sites like TheFinalCost (external link) come in handy for estimating what the fees might look like, but they are only estimates.

I have been very grateful for the sellers I have dealt with who are willing to ship to Canada, even if I have been dinged with these extra costs at times. Otherwise, any saavy buyer will make arrangements to have stuff shipped to the US instead and pick it up or have a friend bring it back. Many of us are fortunate to have these options.


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bobbyz
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Feb 22, 2013 11:17 |  #11

Simple USPS.


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ceegee
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Feb 22, 2013 11:20 |  #12

I've bought several items from US buyers. As others have said, USPS is the best shipping method (with tracking number). I can track the parcel on both sides of the border, no problem. I usually have to pay Canadian taxes (but not always), and Canada Post charges a $5 brokerage fee. I've never had to pay duties on camera equipment bought in the US.

It's important to avoid UPS and Fedex, which charge high brokerage fees and are extremely bureaucratic to deal with.


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Yetihenry
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Feb 22, 2013 12:25 as a reply to  @ ceegee's post |  #13

Tax depends on the province. BC is dropping HST in just over a month, and will revert to GST and PST (thank god!).

I have been super lucky, most of the horror story's seem to be from the net, and like all things, people write about bad experiences but won't always take the effort if it was fine as that's what they expect.

For certain parcels I have a PO box in Washington, as luckily I'm only 100miles from the border. But I wouldn't do the 200mile trip plus border crossing for small items.


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MJones
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Feb 22, 2013 12:43 as a reply to  @ Yetihenry's post |  #14

Yup, as stated above shipping to canada is as easy as sending it via USPS. I only get hit with outlandish fees when stuff is sent via UPS or FEDEX.


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13inches
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Feb 22, 2013 14:22 |  #15

FWIW, the only package I've ever deal with that was lost/misplaced/untrace​able was sent to me via USPS. It eventually showed up 3 months after the seller refunded me. I've never had a UPS or Fedex package that didn't arrive on time. Food for thought, but sometimes it's worth it to pay extra.

And a quick google search will show you how you can avoid the brokerage charges from Fedex and UPS by clearing customs yourself. It takes a bit of time on a business day to do, but it can be worth it.


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need advice on lower 48 to Canada shipping
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