Upload & Sell: On
I ship lots of stuff to the US.
I prefer sending by Canada Post (CPC) Expedited Parcel, for which you need to be a member of the VentureOne small business programme. It's free, and saves you about 10% on most transactions, plus it gives you access to "Expedited" shipping for Canada and the US. I've been in it for a long time, and so I don't recall if I had to submit my business number and/or registry of joint stocks number (to prove I actually have a business), but you can probably find out online.
I always send with full insurance coverage, which requires that you specify the correct full value on the customs declaration form (which is integrated into most CPC shipping forms). Here's the generic shipping and customs info that I attach to all of my eBay auctions.
"Shipping conditions: All shipping costs are paid by the buyer. Shipping is by Canada Post. Contact me before bidding if you want a different carrier."
"Customs: The customs declaration form will have an accurate description of all items and will show the actual price as the declared value. Any import duties, fees, or taxes must be paid by the buyer, and are not part of this auction."
You can usually get a handful of Expedited, XpressPost, International Parcel, and/or Small Packet Air shipping forms from your local CPC outlet, for free (if you ask nicely).
Here's the CPC web site for estimating shipping costs. It actually works very well, and shows you all available shipping options, which vary an amazing amount for specific countries outside of CA/US.
If you do ship outside of CA/US, be careful to not use International Parcel or Small Packet by "surface". It can take 6 to 10 weeks, because it`s shipped by ship. The parcel and packet "air" options are pretty good. In the past month, I've sent stuff to Croatia, Russia, and Finland, and they all arrived within about 14 days (5 days for Croatia). You're asking for big trouble if you ship international by surface. Any eBay buyer in his right mind will file a claim if it doesn't arrive before the 45 day claim period is up; you'll be dinged for a refund, and then he'll get the parcel - not good for the seller.
The max. CPC insurance coverage for US shipping is $1000 ($5000 for Canada), and so I ship more expensive things via FedEx.
Use the "Get Detailed Quote" option to specify your own packing size & weight.
If you're shipping a $1,000+ digital camera via FedEx (or any courier), you have to fill out US FCC and "Commercial Import" forms, which is a real PITA. OTOH, it does work, but if you make an error or omission, it will be held in US customs until it's corrected. If your phone number is on the shipping label, they'll generally call you to let you know; otherwise, you won't find out about it until you contact them to see why it`s been in customs for so long.
For both CPC and FedEx, you'll need a Zip code in order to get a shipping estimate. I use 10001 (central NYC) and/or 93401 (SLO, Calif.) for my estimates (which are almost always identical). I also use 96796 (Hawaii), and/or 99513 (Anchorage AK) if the circumstances warrant.
As far as tracking goes, I agree with Anthony that it's slow to update, both for sending to the US and for receiving from the US. Here's the shipping info text that I send to US customers, after I've shipped the goods.
"Your lens was sent this afternoon. The tracking number is: xxx...xxx
Use the "Tracking Number" dialogue box at http://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/default.jsf?LOCALE=en to check progress. Canada Post is about the same as USPS for updating tracking info, so don't be surprised if it comes to your door before the tracking system says it's left Canada.
Please let me know when it arrives, by leaving positive feedback.
Thanks again, Jim"
Feel free to ask about anything specific that comes to mind.