Shipping to Canada?
Here's a question for fellow Canucks... how has your shipping experience been? How consistent is getting dinged for taxes when shipping UPS? I've only had items shipped from the US via USPS before and getting dinged at the border has between sporadic at best. Just wondering if this is the same with UPS.
Thanks for any input you can share.
Worked great. No duty but taxes were collected.
In my experience, it's sporadic. I've paid taxes on some shipments but not others. On my last order, though, UPS also insisted that I owed the brokerage fee, even though that's included in Tom Bihn's shipping fee. I paid it ($10) just so they wouldn't hold up my package till who knows when, but I contacted TB to ask and they refunded the fee to me while they looked into it with UPS. Not sure what went wrong, but great customer service!
I looked up Tom Binh shipping rates and they note that shipments to Canada will be charged a $10.00 brokerage fee plus duties and taxes. So the brokerage fee (for clearing customs) is not included in the shipping fee.
That would be new since my last shipment, then, because at the time it clearly stated that brokerage fees were included in the shipping price.
ETA: Looks like there actually is a way around that particular fee.
UPS International Expedited Flat Rate to Canada is $30: Customers are responsible for payment of duties and taxes. These can be paid upon delivery, though a $10 brokerage fee may be assessed unless prior arrangements for the payment of duties and taxes are made. This can be done by calling 1-800-PICKUPS once you receive your tracking notification (Canada only).
Definitely new, all of my UPS shipments from TB have been unbelievably painless, faster than expected, no duty fees and dropped off at a convenient location for pickup after a single delivery attempt. All of the USPS/Canada post ones have been typical, very fast to the border, sits in customs and simmers for however long they deem necessary then quickly moves on.
Ok, so that means I would call UPS and arrange a method for paying the tax and they won't charge me the $10? I'm new to the whole brokerage thing, only ever dealt with USPS/Canada Post and sometimes had to pay GST but never brokerage.
Thanks for the input. I think I'll be ordering a Smart Alec this week.
Depending on the shipment, I've had good or bad luck. Last year, I ordered a Synapse 19 and paid nothing at the door. I just ordered an Aeronaut and a bunch of packing cubes and other extras, andI just got a notification on my door that I have to cough up an extra $50 COD! Really hit or miss. I don't know if has anything to do with the size of the order (the Aeronaut and extras was a much larger order than my Synapse 19)
Based on my TB order and eBay shipping experiences, randomness plays a large role. But there are some ways to help this be a bit less random and have a better chance to avoid extra cost. From my experiential understanding (at least what I think I am experiencing ;)):
< or equal to $50 CDN - no customs and no taxes
> $50 CDN - hit and miss, depends on how busy customs is. Before Xmas time, probably will not get any duties / customs (other possible busy times for customs / shippers - slightly "before" March break, back to school time, Mother's day - curiously, not father's day as trending shows not nearly as many purchases for this day compared to Mother's Day).
Also, larger amounts will get flagged more often (more duties / customs amounts for set amount of paperwork) - too much work for small return on smaller amounts - say under $100 CDN. I find that if it is more than $150-$200 USD, I have a high likelihood of getting duties and taxes put on. Also, if the item is randomly picked to be opened and checked + it is a higher value - < $150 USD, it probably will have customs / duties put on it (I think the reasoning for this is that they took the time to open it, not much extra to do the customs paperwork and if the custom amount will be high, it is worth it).
So, I generally try to order in amounts < $200 USD, $50 USD or less if possible unless penalized by excessive individual shipping fees.
Also, occasionally, UPS or other companies mix things up and your package travels a less than optimal route. I find that they charge you extra for that (their mistake IMO).
These are just my anecdotal observations - who really knows what goes on in the minds of those customs and shipping individuals! However, if I were a customs or shipping individual, this is how I would do it to get the most benefit of collecting customs with minimal overall paperwork :).
Hope this helps
I've ordered from TB three times so far to Vancouver, and all three were excellent experiences delivered straight to my building.
Originally Posted by Eric_in_BC
Technically items ordered from TB should be free of any additional taxes/duties due to NAFTA.
As Canada and USA have a taxes agreement, not sure what the exact is for that agreement, sorry... When a customer has proof he has paid for taxes in either country, they will not be charged in the other... Anyone can back me up on this one?
And as far as I am concerned, I have never been charged any brokerage fees and I have bought a lot from across the border... Also looked on the canadian border's website and what they had stated there was just to confirm, they themselves aren't quite sure of the procedure!!! I'd say it is kind of a bet as to which package gets charged and which doesn't... That would never stop me from getting a TB!!!
I think what you are thinking about is what I mentioned above, NAFTA, which is the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is supposed to say that any item made in North America and sold in North America can't be charged additional customs and duties. It is supposed to promote the free trade of goods between Mexico, United States, and Canada.
Originally Posted by MarikaBe
Since TB bags are made in the US then they should not be eligible for taxation by law! The problem is NAFTA often puts the burden on the consumer to prove it is a valid item covered under NAFTA, and they love to assume it ISN'T unless challenged. My understanding is that a company like TB can aid in this by including certain forms that prove it is an eligible NAFTA item, but I don't know the details of that.
So apparently either TB has started doing things differently or UPS has, because like I said I had 3 previous orders with no issues. But I just ordered a Brain Bag and i'm getting stuck with tons of fees by UPS :(
Shipments to Canada from TB should really use USPS. I know as an American, using the USPS sounds horrid, but ironically its actually the best way to ship things to Canada. Its slower, but it results in significantly less fees on the receiving end -- and often no fees at all.
I'll take good note for USPS and NAFTA... Thanks for this thread!
I was just about to pull the trigger on a new Pilot....and I have ordered from TB before without no issues (i.e. additional UPS fees).
Now, I'm a little hesitant.
Can someone from the TB crew let us loyal Canadian customers know if additional charges can be expected?