Shipping to Canada
/forum/topic/1153274/0



joshua2012
Registered: Aug 28, 2012
Total Posts: 10
Country: United States

I'm a new seller on the buy\sell boards. I've never shipped out of CONUS. I have an offer out but the buyer is in Canada (I'm in the states). I have no problem per say with selling to Canada (it's not Nigeria heh) but I had a couple concerns.

1) First I wanted a delivery confirmation. I had a good friend who shipped a lens to a buyer and he claimed he never got it and after disputing with paypal he had no recourse because he didn't do delivery confirmation and he was out several hundred dollars (not through fred miranda).

2) Second I was concerned with additional shipping costs and import\export fees and such.

I don't have a bad feeling about the buyer per say (looks to have a decent history on the forums) but I'm concerned I'm going to get screwed in shipping costs\fees and increase my risk without delivery confirmation. Any advice?

Thanks!

Josh



anthonysemone
Registered: Mar 08, 2008
Total Posts: 4230
Country: United States

Hi Josh,

while not directly on your point, you may want to review this:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1101217/0?keyword=shipping,to,canada#10506978

i have sold to Canada twice in the years that I've been on here: both guys excellent buyers and straight-up. In one case, PayPal screwed up the eCheck delivery he was paying me with (I don't remember how, old age and such); in the second case, FedEx sent the shipment to northern california instead of British Colombia, as I recall. Beyond that, I've never had any further issue because I just didn't want the potential hassle. Presumably some agreement exists between Canada Post and USPS that allows for smooth travel, but I don't really know.

Perhaps others, especially from Canada, will show up here to give your their take on it.

tony



jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 19055
Country: Canada

Hi Josh,

I get lots of stuff shipped from sellers in the US to me in Canada.

1) Tracking depends on the shipper and/or service selected. I think you can get delivery confirmation (which is what really counts) for both USPS International Priority and USPS Express Mail. As a recipient, I prefer International Priority. Courier services offer delivery confirmation and usually very accurate in-transit tracking.

When offered, USPS tracking sometimes has a long-enough time lag that the package can arrive at the destination before the tracking app shows that it's even left the US (same for Canada Post - CPC). No worries about delivery confirmation though.

One thing to avoid is having the package left on somebody's doorstep. The delivery service will confirm delivery, but the buyer might not actually get it, if somebody swipes it. This can be avoided by requiring a signature for accepting delivery. This increases the cost by a few bucks, which I think should be paid by the buyer.

For cross-border items with value over $1000, I always require the buyer to pay for shipping by a courier service. This is because CPC has a maximum of $1000 for cross-border insurance coverage. USPS may have a higher limit for US > CA, but it's something you should check, if the item is expensive.

2) As above, "additional costs" vary with the shipper and/or service selected. In all cases (unless the buyer refuses to accept the delivery), these costs are IMO the responsibility of the buyer. Make sure they understand this. These costs can typically include a handling fee, a brokerage fee, and local sales tax. There should never be any duty payable on used cameras and lenses, although there could be for accessories like tripods, lighting, and etc. The size of the handling fee/brokerage fee varies incredibly.

For USPS, the handling/brokerage fee and local sales tax are collected by Canada Post (CPC), unless they're not collected at all, that is. USPS/CPC is especially attractive for the buyer, as virtually all packages with declared value less than $100 just get delivered - no extra fees (it's not worth the cost to USPS/CPC to complete the paperwork). I've had items up to $700 declared value delivered to my mailbox, with no extra fees. I've also had many items with values from $200 to $500 for which I paid the fee and sales tax. No worries, that's the way it should be. No extra fees is a bonus that you can only get for postal shipping.

The USPS/CPC postal service handling/brokerage fee is modest, usually $5 to $10. Shipping by courier (UPS/FedEx) can be a very different matter. Shipping by Ground is least expensive for the initial cost, but the brokerage fee can be ridiculous, especially for UPS Ground. Shipping by courier always invokes at least some brokerage fee (average probably $30), plus local sales tax.

I sent a Canon 300/2.8L IS by courier to the US late last year (to an FMer), and it was refused because of the additional $200+ in 'extra' fees. I explicitly warned the buyer to expect this, and I even told him the estimated the cost quite accurately, but if he won't pay, then back it comes. I think he got cold feet and did this as a 'painless' way to get out of the deal. I wasn't home when the shipper returned it, and they actually left it on my doorstep (value $4000), but that's a different story (suitable FM whiner thread was posted).

As the shipper, you have to fill out a customs form that identifies the package contents and value. In order to get appropriate insurance coverage, the declared value must match the insured value. Don't skimp on insurance. IMO, the cost for insurance should be paid by the buyer.

For the first few times, you're probably best off to take the packed item to the post office, and get an all-inclusive cost estimate. Then clear this with the buyer. Note that this will not include any handling/brokerage and sales tax fees that might be imposed later. Don't forget to mention this to the buyer. I've done this a lot (CA to US), and I'm confident with using the CPC online cost estimating apps.

Cheers, Jim

P.S. it's a lot easier to ship from the US to Canada, than the other way around, especially for DSLR cameras over $1000 value - you have to complete commercial import and FCC electronic interference forms, for goodness sakes!



joshua2012
Registered: Aug 28, 2012
Total Posts: 10
Country: United States

Jim,

Wow that was very thorough and exactly what I needed. I had found so much conflicting information about things and if you goto the UPS website to ship to canada, after you fill out all the questions it gives you a nice $125 shipping estimate for a small box to canada lol.

Very much appreciated!

Cheers,

Josh



Wahoowa
Registered: Feb 13, 2011
Total Posts: 1524
Country: United States

Per my understanding, if the value of the item is over $250 (which is more likely for our expensive photo gear), a delivery confirmation is not enough. You got to have a signature confirmation that Paypal can verify online. And the only cheapest and feasible option is USPS Express Mail International.

Most buyers don't want to go with that shipping option because it's rather expensive. So, I either avoid Paypal or have to really really trust the buyer.

On the other hand, USPS Express Mail has a really really cheap insurance rate. For expensive items, it's really worth it to just go with the express mail. (I find it's cheaper than priority mail for high insurance coverage.)



CVickery
Registered: May 14, 2004
Total Posts: 2511
Country: Canada

Just a small addition for you Jim...apparently the $1000 maximum for insurance only applies if you purchase the label from CanadaPost online. If you take the package to a post office the limit is much higher (for certain classes of shipping). Haven't tried it out, but this is what I was told by the local PO.
Cal

jcolwell wrote:
Hi Josh,

I get lots of stuff shipped from sellers in the US to me in Canada.

1) Tracking depends on the shipper and/or service selected. I think you can get delivery confirmation (which is what really counts) for both USPS International Priority and USPS Express Mail. As a recipient, I prefer International Priority. Courier services offer delivery confirmation and usually very accurate in-transit tracking.

When offered, USPS tracking sometimes has a long-enough time lag that the package can arrive at the destination before the tracking app shows that it's even left the US (same for Canada Post - CPC). No worries about delivery confirmation though.

One thing to avoid is having the package left on somebody's doorstep. The delivery service will confirm delivery, but the buyer might not actually get it, if somebody swipes it. This can be avoided by requiring a signature for accepting delivery. This increases the cost by a few bucks, which I think should be paid by the buyer.

For cross-border items with value over $1000, I always require the buyer to pay for shipping by a courier service. This is because CPC has a maximum of $1000 for cross-border insurance coverage. USPS may have a higher limit for US > CA, but it's something you should check, if the item is expensive.

2) As above, "additional costs" vary with the shipper and/or service selected. In all cases (unless the buyer refuses to accept the delivery), these costs are IMO the responsibility of the buyer. Make sure they understand this. These costs can typically include a handling fee, a brokerage fee, and local sales tax. There should never be any duty payable on used cameras and lenses, although there could be for accessories like tripods, lighting, and etc. The size of the handling fee/brokerage fee varies incredibly.

For USPS, the handling/brokerage fee and local sales tax are collected by Canada Post (CPC), unless they're not collected at all, that is. USPS/CPC is especially attractive for the buyer, as virtually all packages with declared value less than $100 just get delivered - no extra fees (it's not worth the cost to USPS/CPC to complete the paperwork). I've had items up to $700 declared value delivered to my mailbox, with no extra fees. I've also had many items with values from $200 to $500 for which I paid the fee and sales tax. No worries, that's the way it should be. No extra fees is a bonus that you can only get for postal shipping.

The USPS/CPC postal service handling/brokerage fee is modest, usually $5 to $10. Shipping by courier (UPS/FedEx) can be a very different matter. Shipping by Ground is least expensive for the initial cost, but the brokerage fee can be ridiculous, especially for UPS Ground. Shipping by courier always invokes at least some brokerage fee (average probably $30), plus local sales tax.

I sent a Canon 300/2.8L IS by courier to the US late last year (to an FMer), and it was refused because of the additional $200+ in 'extra' fees. I explicitly warned the buyer to expect this, and I even told him the estimated the cost quite accurately, but if he won't pay, then back it comes. I think he got cold feet and did this as a 'painless' way to get out of the deal. I wasn't home when the shipper returned it, and they actually left it on my doorstep (value $4000), but that's a different story (suitable FM whiner thread was posted).

As the shipper, you have to fill out a customs form that identifies the package contents and value. In order to get appropriate insurance coverage, the declared value must match the insured value. Don't skimp on insurance. IMO, the cost for insurance should be paid by the buyer.

For the first few times, you're probably best off to take the packed item to the post office, and get an all-inclusive cost estimate. Then clear this with the buyer. Note that this will not include any handling/brokerage and sales tax fees that might be imposed later. Don't forget to mention this to the buyer. I've done this a lot (CA to US), and I'm confident with using the CPC online cost estimating apps.

Cheers, Jim

P.S. it's a lot easier to ship from the US to Canada, than the other way around, especially for DSLR cameras over $1000 value - you have to complete commercial import and FCC electronic interference forms, for goodness sakes!



jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 19055
Country: Canada

Hi Cal,

Thanks for the info. I use the online service to price stuff, and then I take it in to get the final price, pay for it, and send it. This is partly because my selling cost for shipping is based on my estimate of weight before it's packed, and partly because there often seems to be slight differences. I'll be selling some expensive stuff over the next few weeks, and it will certainly be great to offer insured CPC for the US customers.

Thanks, Jim

P.S. I have a small business Venture One account that provides access to "Expedited" shipping for Canada and the US. It's a real bonus, although slightly offset by the spam I get in my mailbox (real mailbox, that is).