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11th hour Ebay Canada/US customs question

Discussion in '[OLD FORUM] Bass Guitars, Amps, and Accessories: F' started by Funkateer, May 1, 2003.

  1. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Anybody in the US have experience with Ebay auctions where the seller is Canadian. I would like to bid on a US-made head that he has, but as far as I can tell from reading US customs stuff on the web, I would pay 4.9% duty on the thing, plus some flat 'customs inspection fee', plus potentially have the thing delayed at the border, plus some fee from an agent to handle the transaction. YIKES!

    Am I paranoid, or what?
  2. Yeah man, customs are awful!! I've gone the other way, purchasing basses from the US, and the rates are way to high. I think I paid like $80 US on a bass that cost $500 US minus shipping. Just make sure you are gettin an AWESOME deal. Some shipping services allow you to say it is an unsolicitated gift on customs forms, but that's kind of shifty. Anyways, good luck with your purchase!
  3. Most duty rates have come down significantly over the last 10 years. If the head was manufactured in the USA you will most likely not have much hassle. Where you really get dinged is when the item is from a non-FTA country like my Warwick was. I paid outrageous duty on that deal...Most of the time though the charges are never more than what I would pay for local tax. That creepy "brokerage" fee has only been a hassle when I dealt with UPS. It's a total rip-off. regular post won't give you half the headaches as dealing with UPS will. Avoid them...
    Most of my US >Canada deals have been smooth and great?
  4. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    At the risk of being bounced to off-topic, what happened to NAFTA and 'free trade'. You should look at the jerrymandered schedule of duties. You can just smell the lobbiers (sp?) at work!
  5. Yggdrasil


    Aug 16, 2001
    I don't think importing into Canada can be compared to exporting from Canada to the US.
    The US doesn't have sales taxes assessed at the border; these taxes account for most of the "import duties" in Canada.

    From posts I've read online, for used basses,it seems that the only fee (Canada-> USA)you are likely to be hit with is the "brokerage " fee, for which UPS is the worst culprit . It's really a fee for preparing a couple of pieces of paper. There may be duty on an amp (as opposed to a bass), going into the US - this I don't know; I always fill in the "country of manufacture box" (on the "commercial invoice" form,IIRC). I've found this results in no duty going either way, although technically this is supposed to be filled in by the original manufacturer.

  6. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I've gone the other way too - didn't have to pay customs fees but did have to pay federal sales taxes (GST).

    As mentioned, don't do it unless it's a great deal or a unique item.
  7. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I asked the helpful folks at Aguilar themselves. They couldn't say for sure how it would go, but they said it can be a hassle.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Duty is much more harsh coming into Canada.....I have always been hit with GST PST and Brokerage fee. Because the amp was made in the US, there isn't a problem with duty. You would only need to pay brokerage. I have never had a problem with waits at the boarder on incoming equipment, or things I have sold.
  9. I have had the best of luck importing into Canada. the duty is always comparable to what I'd be paying anyway in sales tax if purchased locally so I am always happy. It's that evil brokerage fee that really flips me out. I always try to ship USPS insured avoiding UPS and all their B.S. Hate 'em.
  10. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I bought a warwick at a geat price on ebay that came from calgary to seattle. I got spanked with $60 import brokerage fee about a week after I got the bass, I was sure it was because it was german manufactured.
    I'm thinking it would be far less for a US manufactured product coming back.