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Shipping to Canada: USPS, UPS, or FedEx?

Discussion in 'Non-Diving Related Stuff' started by jeraldjcook, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. jeraldjcook

    jeraldjcook Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Lawrence, KS
    What's the best way to ship something to Canada?

    I just got back from shipping an item I sold and it was a bit of a hassle. First I went to UPS, but was turned away since I didn't have the recipient's phone number. Shipping was going to be around $15 I was told. I went home to email the buyer and while I was waiting for him to respond, I read on another scuba forum about problems people had with shipping UPS and being charged "broker fees." So I talked to the buyer and decided to send it USPS Priority Mail. I put the item in a priority box and went to ship it but it was going to cost me $40 to send it Priority. So I put the item in a different(non-priority) box and ended up sending it just first class international for $10, but no tracking features. The box only weighed 2.3 pounds and wasn't very big.

    Does anyone have any advice for me if I ever have to ship to Canada again?
  2. wardric

    wardric Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Eastern Townships, Qc, Canada
    I think broker fees are charged upon delivery and that they can really kill a good deal


    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Jeffersonville, Indiana
    I've sent lots of things USPS priority to Canada and never had a problem, and NEVER paid $40. I like it because the Canadian post uses the customs number as a tracking number. So you can track it online as soon as it reaches Canada. In fact I just sent a wetsuit back to Divetank and it wasn't that much...maybe $20???
  4. hunter991

    hunter991 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Gastonia, NC
    USPS is always the cheapest, but if they loose something it is just lost. I generally ship fedex to Canada. I used to only use USPS until they lost a couple of high dollar, undervalued packages.

  5. johnny_bravo

    johnny_bravo Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SW Broward
    Never use UPS their customs broker is outrageous...USPS (it will be a little slower), Fedex and DHL in that order.

    I got burnt a few times by UPS when i lived in Ontario and bought stuff ebay or online dive stores...


  6. jeraldjcook

    jeraldjcook Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Lawrence, KS
    Maybe I'll try FedEx next time. I don't might spending a bit more for shipping if I don't have any hassles. For future reference, does anyone know if they require the phone number of the recipient as well?

    Are there ever broker fees for either the USPS or FedEx? Import tariffs?
  7. scratchmyback

    scratchmyback Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: GTA (Toronto) East
  8. DavidPT40

    DavidPT40 Manta Ray

    UPS is much more expensive than USPS. I usually ship USPS unless I need an item shipped overnight, at which UPS is the way to go.
  9. C8X

    C8X Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NSW, Australia
    I'm the Canadian buyer on the other end, and just wanted to say I really appreciate the effort Jerald has gone to for this sale. The item thread was closed before I could add that.

    All express mail (fedex, ups, dhl) requires a phone number in my experience. I forgot to give you mine right away. I think USPS and Canada post usually want phone numbers for express mail, or at least the highest priority options, but I don't htink it's manadatory.

    I recently bought a Canon lens from a US online dealer. They shipped USPS express for about USD$40 and when it got to the post office here, I had a nice note for Canadian customs telling me that the box wasn't opened or even checked, but I owed them $109 for speeding the box through customs as it was an express mail item.

    UPS, I guess being the premium brand, provides a brokerage service -- you pay them and they pay customs, making the buyer's experience a little better if somewhat more expensive. All this usually means a lot of US ebay sellers don't like to ship to Canada for these reasons.

    I finally took a look into the rules and here's pretty much how it works, where UPS lets a shipper pay all upfront, the receiver will still end up paying tariffs one way or another, under the following schedule:

  10. mike_s

    mike_s Solo Diver

    UPS sucks to canada. lots of paperwork and hassle, plus they cost more.

    much easier to do USPS.

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