AARRGGHHH!! How do you accurately figure out the cost to buy/import into Canada from USA?!?!?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by HubbardsFate, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
    It drives me nuts...:rage:

    The best, most hassle-free, no-surprise transaction I've ever had was last spring, when I bought a used USA Peavey TL-Five out of, I believe, Rhode Island.

    If I recall correctly, the seller was using the Global Shipping Program. In the end, I paid out exactly what the transaction was at the end of my bid. The bass got delivered to my door (via courier because as far as I know, Canada Post does not deliver packages, at least not bass-sized ones), no signing involved, no extra charges...done deal.

    Contrast that with another purchase (this one via TB classifieds) late last summer. I bought from a guy in Florida, but made the mistake of NOT insisting on getting it shipped via the postal service. Instead, it was handled via UPS. The bass ended up stuck in customs for DAYS down in Richmond, BC (roughly 700 kms south of here) - when it finally got to my door, as if I hadn't already been murdered on the exchange rate and shipping, I had to pay the frickin' UPS brokerage fee...:vomit:

    Now, in celebration of recently landing a new job, I am tempted to treat myself to a bass, and as usual, I am not seeing much that I like here in Canada, either on eBay or TB (nor the local brick n' mortars.) But I am so confused as to what I will ultimately end up paying that I am hesitant to pull the trigger. I can figure out the exchange rate easily enough, and the seller has given me a shipping quote; it's what, if anything, I'm gonna be hit with at the border (or when I go to pick it up at the post office) that has me totally bamboozled. :meh::banghead:

    Little help? :help:
  2. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    haha...No help for you...It is now ridiculous and I am almost at the point of not even bothering anymore

    My Magellan 800 was a reasonable price...but I believe close to $1100 Can when all was done and paid

    a Preamp for $400 US ended up total about $750 Can

    USPS / Canada post kept sticking me with import fees

    Fed Ex sent me an extra bill in the mail

    I refuse to ever use UPS as they always double dip their fees

    It is always frustrating
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
  3. Yep...when you buy something that big that comes from the States to your door by courier....they'll hammer you.
    murphy likes this.
  4. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Whatever you think it will cost, double that!
    I used to import stuff to Thailand from all over the world & the way Customs sticks it you is ridiculous
    They don't just charge you tax on the item's price, they tax the total cost, including the shipping & handling

    Oh, and if something goes awry & it's stuck in Customs, be prepared to pay storage for it
    I think they actually look for reasons to hold things up
    I've spent a lot of time chasing up specification documents to get an item cleared from Customs, because they pretend like they don't know what the item is used for, so don't know how to tax it
    murphy likes this.
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    If you think it's bad now, wait until the trade war with Canada starts.
    murphy and Killed_by_Death like this.
  6. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
    I'm getting less and less enthused RE: the notion of doing any more cross border shopping...:dead: :cautious: :facepalm:
    murphy and Killed_by_Death like this.
  7. The ebay global shipping program just adds all the fees in ahead so you feel less reamed. For us Downunder it's a comical rort. We only pay tax over a threshold and when paying taxes ourselves there's only the tax, no double dip for the courier. Use the post.
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  8. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    I get so frustrated that just when I think I have it all figured out

    The next thing I buy has extra charges when delivered
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Make sure you have the item shipped USPS and expect about an additional 10% in taxes on any box that is large or more than $50. It really isn't that crazy unless you ship with a courier, they love to add additional charges for importing items. It is even worse with Fedex because they give you the item and then they send a bill a week or two later. I think they got tired of people returning imports based on their added charges.
    murphy and Killed_by_Death like this.
  10. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
    I absolutely will be going postal (service - ha ha) in the future, assuming I ever do buy anything out of the USA again; that much I'm certain of. If a seller refuses to ship via the postal service, they won't be getting my business.
    murphy and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I ship FedEx ground, insured, and to reduce the size of the box I will remove the neck if approved by the buyer. I have shipped internationally with the neck removed and it made a significant difference.

    USPS is always an absolute last resort for me. My motto for them is "When you absolutely don't care whether it gets there or not."
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  12. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    I was just fooled by Fed EX last week
    they actually delivered to my building and left
    Woo Hoo...FedEx rocks...so much better than UPS , Purolater and even Canada post/ USPS...Yay!!!

    Then I got the Fed Ex bill in the mail....DOH!!!!
  13. It is worth using Canada Post (i.e. have the sender use their national postal service).

    All importers charge for customs brokerage (presenting CBSA with a manifest of who is importing, what is being imported, value, etc.). CBSA assesses if the item can be imported and demands payment of PST/GST/HST/other taxes & duties. The broker pays these on your behalf and charges a fee for that service in addition to collecting the debt that was paid on your behalf. CBSA does not charge PST/GST/HST on items less than $20 (although many have experienced that the threshold seems to be about $50).

    Canada Post has the lowest customs brokerage fees - they charge $9.95 per item. For comparison, UPS does not charge a fee for items under $20 (nor does Canada Post) and only $7 on items up to $40, but fees quickly escalate after that. And then there is the menu of add on fees...

    So, if you have something delivered by Canada Post, your fees will be $9.95 + sales taxes + duties (if applicable) per box/package. I don't think there are import duties on musical instruments and associated supplies regardless of country of origin IANAL and I have not definitively checked this.
    HubbardsFate and murphy like this.
  14. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
    I appreciate the info, yes, I've always suspected using the postal service(s) is the way to go, and will be doing so when and if I shop across the border again. Thanks!