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January 31, 2008 @ 10:05 PM
Potsnu

Post: 1236

Join Date: Nov 2007

Location: Toronto, Canada

*Disclaimer: By no means am I an expert in this field. I find myself repeating a lot of what is said here and upon request I decided to make a thread for Canadians so they know the types of charges they will have to pay when buying online. As well, tips and ways of avoiding most of these fees.

Before I begin, it’s important to understand the types of fee you will have to pay and what they all mean. For more information, you can look at the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA):

www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/rc4051-eng.html

Duties: This is what you will have to pay most of the time. It is the fee that our government charges to preserve our domestic economy. That means any product that the origin manufacturer is outside of North America, you will have to pay duties. It is typically 20% of the declared value. This fee is a fixed percentage and the CBSA has an entire index for every type of good imported into the country. So basically they just look in the index, find out what type of good it is and slap a flat rate % on the value.

Brokerage fee: This is the fee that couriers such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL will charge for declaring customs on your behalf. Basically this is their personal service charge for signing papers that takes 5 minutes of their time and the money to front for you. If you live close to the border which is Fort Erie in my case, then you can call the courier and tell them you will declare customs yourself. This must be done prior to your package entering our borders.

Taxes: I’m sure we all know what this is by now. You will have to pay taxes if the declared value is more than $20. If it is declared as a gift, it is more than $60. So to avoid paying taxes, the package must be less than $60 CAD and marked as gift. If it is over $60 and they believe that it is a gift, you will only be taxed the difference.

Couriers:

USPS: The best shipping option for Canadians. They charge a flat rate of $5.00 for every parcel that requires the payment of taxes. So that means if it is a gift valued less than $60 CAD you won’t have to pay a single thing! From all my experiences, I have not lost a single package which seems to be one of the reasons why online retailers will not use them. They claim it’s unreliable and they have lost packages from experience. I have never had to pay duties for products made outside of NAFTA.

The most economical method of shipping is First Class International. It typically takes 15 business days to arrive at your local post office. The most popular is Priority Mail which takes around 12 business days. Depends if you really want to save every penny or want it to arrive at a decent rate.

FedEx: In terms of cost, they are practically the same as DHL. They charge a processing/brokerage fee of $7.00 per package. You’ll also have to pay duties and taxes on top. From experience, I’ve had to pay around 30% on the declared value of the package.

My closest pick up location is on Nugget, near Scarborough Town Center. I find it inconvenient since I’m never home when they deliver. FedEx will deliver before 2pm. After that, they do pick ups.

UPS: In terms of fees, UPS is the highest out of all the couriers. I used to think they were terrible and avoided all orders that used them. However, after doing more research I find a method that would make them very ideal. When you use UPS Standard (Ground), expect to pay a ton. Their fees can be found here:

www.ups.com/content/ca/en/shipping/cost/zones/customs_clearance.html?srch_pos=3&srch_phr=brokerage+canada

If you use UPS Expedited, you pay more up front of the shipping cost. However, you will save more all together assuming your order is at least $200 declared. You won’t have to pay brokerage fee of $40.30 + advancement fee 2.7% or $5.85 min whichever is higher + $4.25 C.O.D. fee. You only have to pay duties and taxes.

DHL:
They charge a $7.00 flat rate fee for processing your package past customs. This is the courier that Karmaloop uses. I’m not very fond of DHL, despite the same fees they charge as FedEx. My local DHL facility while it’s closer than FedEx, it looked very ghetto. No signs, a small room with a kiosk. The person working there had to go to the back to get me change for $2.42. It took her 10 minutes. What kind of business has no float or cash worth $2.42? This was the beginning of the day too.

Their pickup facility was at 14th and Warden which is really close if you live in Markham or Richmond Hill.

Summary: Buy from retailers that will use USPS and are willing to mark down the value for you. Second option would be to use UPS Expedited, recommended for orders over $200. The last option would be FedEx/DHL, this is personal preference and will depend on how close the pick up facility is to your house.

Online Stores: This is a list I have compiled which I found uses USPS and will mark down the value. Very often they do this automatically, but it is always nice to e-mail them ahead of time or make note of it at PayPal. You also need to understand that it has to be believable. If you’re ordering a quantity of 6 items, it’s hard to believe that it is worth $60.00 combined.

www.eastwestworldwide.com – They have a toll free number. I like the fact that I can place my order with a human being and even get discounts at times.

www.boundlessny.com

www.ftkonline.com

www.digitalgravel.com/

shop.80spurple.com/

www.oneanthem.com/store/pc/home.asp

www.turntablelab.com/ - They use UPS ground, but they pay for all the brokerage fees for you. So the price you pay is the final price.

www.karmaloop.com - DHL

*Will update as needed.
January 31, 2008 @ 10:14 PM
FreshAddict

Post: 3030

Join Date: Nov 2006

Location: TORONTO!

finally made the thread...good looks...
February 1, 2008 @ 08:11 AM
n0cturnal

Post: 691

Join Date: Jul 2006

very well done, this answered everything i was looking for.

rep+
February 1, 2008 @ 02:06 PM
24 Carrots

Post: 202

Join Date: Apr 2007

propped...
February 1, 2008 @ 06:55 PM
a_L13

Post: 43

Join Date: Nov 2007

Thought I'd add this, DHL can be good if the shipper marks a low value. I've had 2 packages declared at $5.00 and not been charged by DHL and it only took 2 days from LA.
February 1, 2008 @ 07:22 PM
Rimbauldi

Post: 275

Join Date: Oct 2007

This is a really helpful guide, thanks.
February 2, 2008 @ 01:18 AM
kaita

Post: 60

Join Date: Feb 2007

Location: Richmond B.C.

Great FAQ.
I live in Vancouver which is reasonably close to the US Border, is there any way I can have US-based retailers ship to the border for me to pick up?

For example stussydirect.com does a 30% surcharge, or many retailers don't even ship to Canada, so if that can be it would be a lifesaver.
February 2, 2008 @ 10:20 AM
Gmas

Post: 707

Join Date: Nov 2006

Great FAQ.
I live in Vancouver which is reasonably close to the US Border, is there any way I can have US-based retailers ship to the border for me to pick up?

For example stussydirect.com does a 30% surcharge, or many retailers don't even ship to Canada, so if that can be it would be a lifesaver.

You'd have to ship it somewhere close to the border, like a PO Box or something. I don't believe you can ship items "to" the border or customs for pick-up. I know living in Toronto, there are places just over the NY border near Buffalo that you can have things shipped to and then pick up, or have them forwarded.

Just think of the headaches with people not picking stuff up on time, items stockpiling, having to ship items back. Problems they don't want to deal with.
February 2, 2008 @ 01:16 PM
Potsnu

Post: 1236

Join Date: Nov 2007

Location: Toronto, Canada

Great FAQ.
I live in Vancouver which is reasonably close to the US Border, is there any way I can have US-based retailers ship to the border for me to pick up?

For example stussydirect.com does a 30% surcharge, or many retailers don't even ship to Canada, so if that can be it would be a lifesaver.


I know for me, there is a FedEx and UPS holding facility really close to the Buffalo border. If you contact the store, you can request to have the package shipped to the holding facility since it is a confirmed address. They will be able to hold it for you for 7 days I believe. Your best bet is to call either UPS or FedEx and ask them the closest facility near your postal code that's south of the border. Their should be one within 15-20 mins driving distance from the border.

Also as Gmas suggested, you can consider opening a P.O. box. That way you don't have to make frequent trips and just stock pile items. It would save you a lot of money in the long run since most places will ship free in the US.
February 4, 2008 @ 02:34 AM
Penofski

Post: 17

Join Date: Jan 2008

very very useful thnksssssss
February 4, 2008 @ 10:47 PM
Rimbauldi

Post: 275

Join Date: Oct 2007

Okay, I need help. I'm having something shipped by FedEx International Priority from Singapore. How much will I have to pay in duties and taxes, and broker fee? If I pick up the package will I pay less?
February 4, 2008 @ 11:16 PM
Potsnu

Post: 1236

Join Date: Nov 2007

Location: Toronto, Canada

Okay, I need help. I'm having something shipped by FedEx International Priority from Singapore. How much will I have to pay in duties and taxes, and broker fee? If I pick up the package will I pay less?


How much did the sender declare on the package?

You're going to pay:

$7.00
GST + PST of declare value
20% of declare value

For FedEx it's not worth declaring customs yourself, you only save $7.00. It's worth it for UPS ground though. And I'm not talking about picking up the package, I'm talking about going to the border and declaring customs to enter the package into our country.
February 5, 2008 @ 12:19 AM
chinst09

Post: 263

Join Date: Feb 2007

great info. thanked!
February 5, 2008 @ 11:06 AM
goatfacekillah

Post: 3453

Join Date: Feb 2007

Location: Sauga

sticky??
February 12, 2008 @ 04:08 PM
gio

Post: 155

Join Date: Mar 2006

Alright im planning on ordering something from Stussy Direct and noticed when i got to checkout 6 items at $237.00 the shipping options are

UPS Worldwide Express : $134.78
UPS Worldwide Expedited : $119.45
UPS : $129.87
UPS Standard : $29.88

I'm from Quebec so im kinda confused as to which option to take or is the best. Also was wondering whichever shipping option you recommend, could you please provide a total break down of fees and taxes if that isnt too much to ask? Thanks preciate all help!
February 12, 2008 @ 05:03 PM
Gmas

Post: 707

Join Date: Nov 2006

Alright im planning on ordering something from Stussy Direct and noticed when i got to checkout 6 items at $237.00 the shipping options are

UPS Worldwide Express : $134.78
UPS Worldwide Expedited : $119.45
UPS : $129.87
UPS Standard : $29.88

I'm from Quebec so im kinda confused as to which option to take or is the best. Also was wondering whichever shipping option you recommend, could you please provide a total break down of fees and taxes if that isnt too much to ask? Thanks preciate all help!

For starters, go back and read the first post of this thread. You're asking questions that this post was specifically made to answer.

The different UPS options will vary in how long it takes to get to you. Again, UPS is the LEAST desirable option. Even with the cheapest shipping option, my guess is you'll be well over $300 after all is said and done. Do you relly want this stuff bad? Can you not get it anywhere else? Call and ask if they can use USPS at least.
February 12, 2008 @ 08:04 PM
gio

Post: 155

Join Date: Mar 2006

I dont think you understood what i didnt understand. I didnt get why 2 options had Worldwide and 2 didnt, thinking that 2 were for US orders and 2 were international but making sure. Also, the stuff i put in my carriage was just to get an idea, as im waiting for the spring line to popup. I dont really care about getting it anywhere else i just wanted the info for this specific site. Thanks
February 12, 2008 @ 08:11 PM
Gmas

Post: 707

Join Date: Nov 2006

I dont think you understood what i didnt understand. I didnt get why 2 options had Worldwide and 2 didnt, thinking that 2 were for US orders and 2 were international but making sure. Also, the stuff i put in my carriage was just to get an idea, as im waiting for the spring line to popup. I dont really care about getting it anywhere else i just wanted the info for this specific site. Thanks

I wouldn't worry about the names, they're just arbitrary names UPS names different services. It's the length of time for delivery and any features like tracking and insurance that should matter. The fact that they have amounts down to the cent, and they came up after you checked out, I'd guess means they're all options for getting your stuff to you in Quebec. You probably had to put your address in or at least Quebec, Canada in first right?
February 12, 2008 @ 11:01 PM
gio

Post: 155

Join Date: Mar 2006

Yeah yeah address, postal code, the works. So the UPS worldwide expedited option is the best bet?
February 13, 2008 @ 12:38 AM
Gmas

Post: 707

Join Date: Nov 2006

Yeah yeah address, postal code, the works. So the UPS worldwide expedited option is the best bet?

Well not from what I'm looking at. UPS Standard seems cheapest by far to me, unless you needed it super quick or there's something I'm missing.
February 13, 2008 @ 01:23 AM
noob_face

Post: 187

Join Date: Jun 2007

Nice post man, very informative will definately rep you.

For every online order i do i guess i will tell you how they were and see if its good for us canadians...
February 13, 2008 @ 06:40 PM
Potsnu

Post: 1236

Join Date: Nov 2007

Location: Toronto, Canada

Alright im planning on ordering something from Stussy Direct and noticed when i got to checkout 6 items at $237.00 the shipping options are

UPS Worldwide Express : $134.78
UPS Worldwide Expedited : $119.45
UPS : $129.87
UPS Standard : $29.88

I'm from Quebec so im kinda confused as to which option to take or is the best. Also was wondering whichever shipping option you recommend, could you please provide a total break down of fees and taxes if that isnt too much to ask? Thanks preciate all help!


Ok let me help you out. Anything that is expedited you won't have to pay brokerage fees! It's going to come close, but the fees you'll pay will be over $100 easily if you use UPS Standard.

UPS Standard is ground which means you will have to pay the following fees for a $237 package:

$40.30
$4.25
$6.40

Taxes
Duties (20-25%)

In this case, you are better off using UPS Ground. You're paying roughly $50.00 from brokerage and processing fees. To not have to pay the fees in red, you will need an expedited service from UPS.

Usually when I'm making bigger orders with UPS and the shipping cost doesn't scale as much, I go for expedited. Faster shipping and you don't pay brokerage.
July 12, 2008 @ 05:41 PM
vinhhhh

Post: 391

Join Date: Jan 2008

Thought I should bump this.
July 12, 2008 @ 11:14 PM
jdmkickfiend

Post: 78

Join Date: Apr 2008

Location: Manila x Vancouver

nice very informative! we should update this more often!
July 12, 2008 @ 11:57 PM
adrian

Post: 531

Join Date: Jan 2007

Location: vancouver, bc

Alright, this question isn't about buying online but I didn't want to make a new thread lol.

When I receive a moneyorder from someone, do I cash it in at the post office or at the bank? Also, will I be charged any fees for cashing it in?
July 29, 2008 @ 01:42 AM
jdmkickfiend

Post: 78

Join Date: Apr 2008

Location: Manila x Vancouver

anyone tried ordering from flightclubny? im thinking of buying some kicks over there so? any inputs would help! smile
July 31, 2008 @ 09:47 AM
Fridgerator

Post: 48

Join Date: Mar 2008

Location: Vancouver/Toronto

So say if you bought a pair of APCs then you'd have to pay duties AND taxes? That would come up to around 34% for taxes and duties right? That's absolutely ridiculous.
August 1, 2008 @ 02:24 PM
Mflo

Post: 6

Join Date: Aug 2008

new to the buy online game...
What does UrbanOutfitters mean when they say they will prepay all taxes and duties?

Will I only have to pay the brokerage fee?
August 4, 2008 @ 07:36 PM
Mflo

Post: 6

Join Date: Aug 2008

bump, does anyone know the answer to my above question?
August 27, 2008 @ 06:37 PM

Inactive

What does UrbanOutfitters mean when they say they will prepay all taxes and duties?

Will I only have to pay the brokerage fee?


is the brokerage fee usually paid before or after ur package arrives.
but usually when they say they'll prepay taxes and duties that should mean u don't have to pay anything when receiving your package

if u have bought anything from Eastbay, that should be exactly the same process

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