Good news for Canadians

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John Loftis

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I typically ship all international orders via USPS Priority Mail International, which has been the most cost-effective of the major carriers for our butcher block. But I've just negotiated better international rates through UPS, and it looks like Canadian shipping is super low now. Just got a quote for a 16 X 22 walnut block, shipping to Ottawa, for $41 via UPS Standard.

So, if you are Canadian and interested in a board, feel free to email me and I can put run a quote for you.

Out of curiosity, anyone have good/bad experiences with UPS on packages coming from the States to Canada?
 

dmccurtis

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In my experience, UPS is fast to deliver cross-border, but charges outrageous brokerage fees on anything coming into Canada. Worse still, those fees are not included in the shipping quote, but are charged on delivery, so the recipient (and sender) has no idea what those fees might be until (or after) their package arrives. So, while their shipping seems reasonable, the actual cost can be far, far higher than shipping via USPS. I've avoided UPS for international shipping for years after being burned multiple times with brokerage fees of $100 or more. I've always been very pleased with UPS for domestic shipping (except that their drivers around here don't even bother attempting delivery to an apartment), but I can't recommend it for cross-border shipping.
 

BlueSteel

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In my experience, UPS is fast to deliver cross-border, but charges outrageous brokerage fees on anything coming into Canada. Worse still, those fees are not included in the shipping quote, but are charged on delivery, so the recipient (and sender) has no idea what those fees might be until (or after) their package arrives. So, while their shipping seems reasonable, the actual cost can be far, far higher than shipping via USPS. I've avoided UPS for international shipping for years after being burned multiple times with brokerage fees of $100 or more. I've always been very pleased with UPS for domestic shipping (except that their drivers around here don't even bother attempting delivery to an apartment), but I can't recommend it for cross-border shipping.
This is exactly right.

On packages coming from the US to Canada, I only want USPS (which gets delivered by Canada Post) because of these ridiculous/outrageous "fees" UPS adds for cross-border deliveries. And FedEx also has these unknown fees, which can similarly run the package recipient quite a bit of unbudgeted extra money.
 

valgard

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I don’t know UPS but FedEx’s fees are $12CAD. DHL $15CAD. Every courier charges a fee for processing customs, the rest is the actual customs and import fees.
 

aboynamedsuita

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John, I am pleased to hear there are less expensive shipping options (I think my 16x22 was over $100 with USPS at the time). If I didn't have so many cutting boards right now, I'd order one just to prove my point about the shipping/brokerage...

UPS and other couriers (FedEx, DHL, etc.) are licensed as customs brokers and play by CBSA rules.

Anything over $20 CAD will get charged tax and duty if applicable (gift is $60), so it's not "anything coming into Canada". With USPS / Canada Post you are just getting lucky if you aren't charged (seems to happen more with lower value shipments). Our deminimus is pathetically low as I think USA is $800 USD for comparison, but that's a different battle.

USPS / Canada Post charge a flat processing fee around $9.95. Most others charge a flat fee (amount depends on the courier... some are higher/lower, but some also add percentage of the value). After this you pay duty (if applicable) and provincial/federal tax (on duty too... like a tax on tax). A knife could have about 20% additional tax/duty (7% duty and then 13% tax), and brokerage fees come after. I once had FedEx try and charge me $155 CAD (about $95 duty/tax and $60 fees) for a $550 USD shipment. I politely told them to fk off.

USPS / Canada Post aren't perfect because there are only 3 ports of entry and you have no control over it... they can hold your shipment for a long time and there's nothing you can do.

The solution is to do your own customs clearance. Couriers will transport the shipment "in bond" to the port of entry (lucky me that YWG has all the players except USPS / Canada Post). You request your paperwork from the courier and go to the CBSA office with the papers and clear the shipment (declare according to HS tariff code, pay duty/tax, etc.). Then you take their form back to the courier and get your shipment. I can do this entire process on a lunch break. You only pay the fees you'd pay anyways, but save the brokerage.
 

Badgertooth

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Surely there’s scope for inventing some kind of knife cannon that can just shoot architects tubes filled with knives from New York to Toronto.
 

John Loftis

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Thanks so much for all the feedback! Since thoughts are, at best, ambivalent, I'll leave my default as USPS Priority Mail International but give anyone who wants it the option of shipping by UPS. Shipping for me is a 'hope to break even' endeavor, so I'm fine with using whichever carrier the customer prefers.

Since I was born in Canada, I'm seriously irked at how much it costs to get my stuff there.
 

ptolemy

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Great news John. I just had interest in my board and quote from usa to UK for 10lbs was $84. I am glad you got a good contract so others, around the world, can enjoy your works of art
 

John Loftis

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Hi folks, reactions to the initial UPS thread were negative, so I mention this tentatively at best...

I had a long conversation with my new UPS salesman today. He said that he can structure international shipments so that you pay the 'landed cost' (eg inclusive of brokerage fees etc) up front at point of purchase rather than after the fact. Canadians, if you could save $20 or so on shipping by going with UPS, would you prefer to do that, or would you prefer to stick with USPS because that is a known entity and because UPS track record is bad? I'm trying to decide if it's worth my time to run this to ground and do the website work so that international customers could choose between USPS and a 'landed cost' UPS price.

BTW, I don't know if VAT is included in a 'landed cost'... I would guess it isn't. But those who pay a VAT have to do so on USPS packages too, I think... right? I'm not even sure if Canadians pay extra taxes or VAT, or if that's mostly a European/Asian thing.
 

podzap

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In Europe, VAT is calculated on top of value, which consists of purchase price + shipping and handling costs.

Ebay has some sort of deal with the EU, it would seem, because they charge the VAT and customs up front and it seems to be a whole lot cheaper than if you pay it after the fact.
 

John Loftis

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In Europe, VAT is calculated on top of value, which consists of purchase price + shipping and handling costs.

Ebay has some sort of deal with the EU, it would seem, because they charge the VAT and customs up front and it seems to be a whole lot cheaper than if you pay it after the fact.
Interesting... I could certainly sell on Ebay. I don't know what their fees are, but I can't imagine it would be prohibitive if that would open up a European market.
 

podzap

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Ebay also relies heavily on both UPS (inside the US) and DHL (once it hits Europe) for shipping. But yeah, the problem with eBay is that they don't let you know your customers and they don't let your customers know you. They are highly protective of their middleman status and actively parse messages between buyer-seller to identify anything that looks like direct contact info and then they send those messages into hyperspace and print a warning on your screen or something. Do it twice and they probably ban you.
 

Brian Weekley

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I have a very very strong preference to not shipping by USPS/Canada Post. Shipping times to delivery to me through USPS/Canada Post can exceed three weeks. Tracking is sparse to non-existent and delivery dates are not provided. Worse yet Canada Post has lost expedited shipments ... in my case a large certified bank draft. Shipping costs seem virtually identical to FedEx and DHL. FedEx regularly ships from CKTG to my door in Victoria in under 48 hours and tracking is first class. I would rather pay a few dollars more and not have to worry constantly about where my shipment is stalled or lost.
 

podzap

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When the feeling is so strong one way or the other, it indicates judgement driven by emotion. As soon as I believe that your judgement is driven by emotion, I stop taking you seriously because you have basically entered into Trumpian territory.
 

454Casull

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Any news on this? The website quoted me about $110 (I assume also in USD) to get a Carolina Slab up to the GTA, which definitely makes this a no-go for me.
 

John Loftis

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Any news on this? The website quoted me about $110 (I assume also in USD) to get a Carolina Slab up to the GTA, which definitely makes this a no-go for me.
I've gotten numerous different reports from my fellow Canadians. I had one customer ship by UPS using expedited shipping, and she told me there were no extra customs added or delays AND it was significantly less expensive than USPS. But most others just ship by USPS Priority Mail because they've had bad experiences with UPS. If you shoot me a quick email at theboardsmith1@gmail.com with your shipping address and what you want to order, I can run the numbers through the different carriers for you.

Once again, it drives me nuts that shipping to Canada is so expensive. Cross an arbitrary line by 100 yards and the shipping price goes up by$80. Sigh.
 
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