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  1. #1
    **Coupon Queen** sweetnlow30's Avatar
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    Can we possibly have a thread discussing Canada customs charges when we order from the USA and other countries? I see such good deals online with reasonable shipping rates BUT then there is always that fine print about how customs and duty charges may be incurred. I remember once, years ago, I ordered some cute baby clothes for the little ones and there was a $60 duty fee against my parcel. It was held for ransom until I paid . Now I only order small things that are less than $20, usually from eBay and I always ask the seller to mark the value of the item as the final selling price when they ship it.

    My understanding is that customs charges are placed against items over $20 or over $60 if they are marked as a gift. I think customs charges are charged as a base fee plus a percentage. Does anyone know what the specifics are and if any items are exempt from this rule? Are there better ways to order so high charges are less likely or is it better to avoid across the border shipping? I am worried to order something big and have my great deal end up costing me more in the long run than if I bought it within Canada.
    This thread is currently associated with: Ebay
    I am looking for quick trades for my pre-surgery stock up!

    Updated TL/WL HERE




  2. #2
    Junior Canuck Gazpache's Avatar
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    When you order online, make sure your seller sends USPS, not UPS. If they send items UPS don't plan on getting away cheaply.

    UPS charges brokerage fees, which basically is a fee you end up having to pay because UPS brokers fill out the customs paperwork for you and your seller. It's a bit of a racket with UPS. Brokerage fees can be extremely expensive. USPS doesn't charge brokerage fees so the price you pay when you make your order is the price you pay period. Whereas with UPS the price you pay when you order may not be the price you pay once they add their brokerage fees in and you're stuck paying them. Brokerage fees are mandatory, you have to pay them. They catch a lot of people off guard.

    I work for a brokerage company and it astounds me sometimes what companies charge their clients for our services. I can't say much more than that due to a confidentiality agreement I signed but brokerage fees can be absolutely insane.

  3. #3
    Frosh Canuck
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpache View Post
    When you order online, make sure your seller sends USPS, not UPS. If they send items UPS don't plan on getting away cheaply.

    UPS charges brokerage fees, which basically is a fee you end up having to pay because UPS brokers fill out the customs paperwork for you and your seller. It's a bit of a racket with UPS. Brokerage fees can be extremely expensive. USPS doesn't charge brokerage fees so the price you pay when you make your order is the price you pay period. Whereas with UPS the price you pay when you order may not be the price you pay once they add their brokerage fees in and you're stuck paying them. Brokerage fees are mandatory, you have to pay them. They catch a lot of people off guard.

    I work for a brokerage company and it astounds me sometimes what companies charge their clients for our services. I can't say much more than that due to a confidentiality agreement I signed but brokerage fees can be absolutely insane.

    I can't agree more. I avoid UPS like the plague because of their extremely high brokerage fees. I find Fedex to be not as bad but I always try to get things sent with USPS then I may have to pay HST and some duty but that is it. And there is rarely duty on anything anymore but the gov't does always take their taxes.

  4. #4
    Senior Canuck
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    I agree with previous posters. In the past I maintained a US post office box as I used to order stuff frequently, and would make a trip out of it. Now I just get stuff shipped USPS and find it to be reasonably priced.

  5. #5
    Smart Canuck
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    Brokerage fees are a definite racket. My brother-in-law lives in Michigan and he sent a Christmas package of coffee and teas to my mother-in-law...it was sent directly from the company...imagine my mil's surprise when she had to pay over $80 for her "gift"?

    I only buy from companies that include it in their prices, ie. Abercrombie & Fitch. I also buy used books that come via the States from Amazon.ca and I've never had to pay extra. You would need to get a really good deal on a product to justify paying some of these brokerage fees!

  6. #6
    **Coupon Queen** sweetnlow30's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up on brokerage
    I am looking for quick trades for my pre-surgery stock up!

    Updated TL/WL HERE



  7. #7
    Canadian Genius cheekysaver's Avatar
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    That is great advice! Thank you so much for it.

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