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Subject: Best way to ship to Canada from the US? rss

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Steven Heinrich
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UPS, USPS or Fedex?

The package is going to be around 5-6 lbs (board games and minis).
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K K
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USPS.
UPS and Fedex will charge your recipient ridiculous brokerage fees.
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Jason Miller
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kkrieger wrote:
USPS.
UPS and Fedex will charge your recipient ridiculous brokerage fees.


Seconded. Canada Post/USPS should only bill you 5 bucks for customs fees and the GST.
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Gregory Amstutz
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USPS may not be so great. The following is a brief history of what happened to me when I tried to send a Secret Santa Package to Canada, as told by the recipient:

genesteeler wrote:
Yes indeed, my Secret Santa finally arrived on Feb 5, 2009!!!

It all began a long time ago, on a continent far far away...

My fantastic Secret Santa, seeing I was isolated in this land down under, picked up some wonderful presents for me and shipped them near the end of November 2008.

Now the plan was simple. The USPS elves would deliver the presents to my parent's home in Vancouver, Canada. From there, my folks would bring the presents along when they visited me on Jan 2nd. Perfect plan, eh? Cheaper postage, quick delivery, personally delivered by two of my favourite people on earth.

This also meant that my Secret Santa could find a rare "gem" which is next to impossible to find for sale in Australia (I've been keeping my eye open for a few years now to get this game!)

But it was not meant to be.

First, USPS tracking number for about 2 weeks claimed that the parcel did not exist.

Then, just before Christmas they said that it was "stuck at the border", as the Canadian grinches on border patrol refused to let the American Civil War game into the country.

My parents eagerly awaited the arrival of the package, to the extent of staying home during the day on New Year's Eve to ensure they didn't miss the parcel delivery.

It never arrived Jan 2nd. But my parents did.

A week later, my sister-in-law mentioned that a postal notification arrived!

My package was finally in Vancouver! Or was it?

USPS still claimed the package did not exist.

The Vancouver post office would not release the package as it was registered to my dad. So, my brother got a hold extension placed until my parents would return to Vancouver.

I exitedly informed Santa that we were almost there.

As the end of January loomed closer, my Secret Santa informed me that the package was back on his doorstep! Apparently turned away by the Grouchy Canadian Customs Scrooges.

My parents confrimed the "mix-up" as the waiting "package" was actually a letter and not a parcel! *sigh*

So, on Jan 29th my Super Secret Santa sent the presents via FedEx directly to my workplace.


Granted, it was the busy holiday season. But, what we were finally told was that UPS and FedEx packages are given priority over USPS shipments for Customs processing.

Added: Yes, I have shipped/received other things to Canada via USPOS, and had no problems, but this was definitely a biggie.

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Robert Taylor-Smith
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Yup, USPS is really slow. I mean really, really slow. So if speed isn't a factor it might be worth it, but sending packages by USPS is really slow. Hmm, did I mention that USPS is really slow.
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jay white
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USPS for sure. Sometimes it can be slow, but not always.

With UPS, however, you're guaranteed to be hit with a border processing fee that often exceeds the price of shipping.
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Steve Duff
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Documentation is very important for USPS packages from the US to Canada. Was there stuff inside and out that stated exactly what was inside? Did it state a value, and that it was a secret santa gift? Was it wrapped in christmas paper? (that would make it harder to investigate).

Customs will open almost every package, and try and determine if they need to charge taxes on it. Thus, if the value is missing, or seems out of whack because it's way too low, they'll spend weeks trying to determine what the proper market value is. If it's marked gift and appears to actually be from a company, they'll again investigate why it's marked gift and if tax avoidance is going on.

Arriving back to the sender is very weird, that should only happen if the package was somehow undeliverable. Maybe the address got obscured? This is one reason I always put clear packing tape over the labels, so even if they get drowned in water, the address will still be readable. Another option would be a missed/lost parcel pickup notice. If the parcel waited uncollected in the post office for a couple of weeks, I believe eventually they'll send it back.

Also, as far as I know, USPS tracking numbers for plain parcels don't work for international shipping. I believe that's a US only thing.
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robin goblin
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USPS. Do not *EVER* ship via courier to Canada -- they charge $25-35 if it has to go through customs for tax collection.

USPS has good rates under 4 lbs to Canada via First Class Mail International....(sadly not the 5-6 lbs you are shipping)....

Robin
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Gregory Amstutz
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:

1) Arriving back to the sender is very weird, that should only happen if the package was somehow undeliverable. Maybe the address got obscured? This is one reason I always put clear packing tape over the labels, so even if they get drowned in water, the address will still be readable. Another option would be a missed/lost parcel pickup notice. If the parcel waited uncollected in the post office for a couple of weeks, I believe eventually they'll send it back.

2) Also, as far as I know, USPS tracking numbers for plain parcels don't work for international shipping. I believe that's a US only thing.


1) It wasn't deliverable because the addressee wasn't there to pick it up, and they wouldn't let a relative claim it. It was returned because they only hold packages for 2-3 days. (even though they had promised to make an exception due to the unusual circumstances)

2) That might be true, but it would still indicate that the package was in the system. It turns out the package was never scanned, at any location.

The good news was that I received a full refund from USPS.


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Steve Duff
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dogzard wrote:
1) It wasn't deliverable because the addressee wasn't there to pick it up, and they wouldn't let a relative claim it. It was returned because they only hold packages for 2-3 days. (even though they had promised to make an exception due to the unusual circumstances)


Ah, I see.

To be fair, this is a good policy. Otherwise anyone could steal your parcel pickup message out of your mailbox, go to the post office and get your package.

I guess that's a good warning to folks, if you're mailing to a 3rd party, make sure their name is on the package.
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Dennis Parsons
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kkrieger wrote:
USPS.
UPS and Fedex will charge your recipient ridiculous brokerage fees.


Or...your recipient will totally ignore said bills from customs and they then come after the shipper. Of course none of these extra charges will be evident in your invoice from FedEx or UPS, but rest assured it's in the fine print. So a month after the shipment has reached it's destination and you've both left feedback you then get the bill. Mine was an extra $6 US, but could vary based on value.
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Rick Weckermann
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Powell River
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USPS, the others charge to much. Many used items get through without even the $5.00 duty charge and taxes when under $100 and used. Again yes please label value of item.
UPS for me is a 1hr and 20 min ferry ride, then an 2 hour drive to station. So if i miss the UPS person i can not go pick item up later in the day. Would take me a day trip, and costs exceeding $150 to go pick item up, then charges by them range $30 to $35. They are unfamiliar with my town as the deliver from another, so far if i get lucky and receive item it is costly, if i do not, seems item gets broken when returned to seller.
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