Is There a Cost Effective Way to Ship to Canada?
/forum/topic/1167716/0



cohenfive
Registered: Sep 13, 2004
Total Posts: 2891
Country: United States

in this day and age of globalization, i find it really frustrating that there doesn't seem to be an efficient way to send stuff to canada. sorry for the rant...

i'm selling a little nikon 1 10mm lens and had a buyer all lined up..but he's in canada. i went to usps and have two options--parcel post which is reasonably cheap, but no tracking, no nothing, and it takes at least a week. the buyer doesn't like that option, especially this time of year. option 2 is express mail, which also takes several days but at least i can track it...but it costs $35 for an item with not much value and no weight. then i went to fedex/ups, and ground for this teeny package would cost about $50....plus the customs paperwork with usps which could mean all sorts of delays, etc...

anyone have any ideas on how to get a small package to canada without spending a stupid amount of money?



Hammy
Registered: May 21, 2002
Total Posts: 2844
Country: temp

Unfortunately, I've run into the same issues when trying to ship things internationally.

I've had to get gear and preprinted discs (3000 DVDs) to New Zealand for the past three years. Shipping one box of DVDs (600 of them @24lbs) costs $200-$300 via FedEx/UPS/DHL - about the same cost of the discs!

And I have looked into having them printed in country, but that cost for small runs cost nearly 3 times what I can have them done locally for (and much better 5-color offset than screen printing)

This year, I've taken advantage of Delta's Media Bag policy: where bags 3-25, up to 100lbs each - if classified as media - only cost $50 per bag!

Not that this helps your issue anyway, but I think the main dilemma is dealing with international tariffs, customs, etc... Even with my transportation costs diminished, once I collect my bags at the airport, they get flagged by customs of having commercial value and therefore subject to 15% GST. Luckily, I don't sell the discs, but then they go off my costs of the discs, which still comes out to another few hundred dollars!

However, this year, I took that issue through a customs broker in country. They were able to arrange customs clearance at a fraction of the expense, and even after their charges, I paid less overall than I would have expected to pay directly.

I don't know if this would be worth while in your case, as their fees were more than the $50 you're looking at, but those are the things to consider - as soon as you add value to your shipment, then the border agents are going to want a piece of that action.

I'd say bite it, split the shipping costs, finalize the sale, make some money on the lens and make the receiving party happy about his new lens.



colinm
Registered: Nov 21, 2005
Total Posts: 1971
Country: United States

Option 2 is International Priority Mail. I don't know why they skipped you straight to International Express Mail.

Heck, the flat rate boxes have an international rate generally not much higher than the domestic rate.



howardm4
Registered: Feb 08, 2008
Total Posts: 2956
Country: United States

+1 Priority Mail



cohenfive
Registered: Sep 13, 2004
Total Posts: 2891
Country: United States

do you have an idea of how much intl priority to canada might be for a little box (nikon 1 lens) that weighs at most a pound with padding, etc?



JameelH
Registered: Apr 23, 2005
Total Posts: 1796
Country: United States

http://www.usps.com can give you this information.



cohenfive
Registered: Sep 13, 2004
Total Posts: 2891
Country: United States

it still looks like $33 to me...thanks though.



Garry Pederson
Registered: Jan 06, 2008
Total Posts: 116
Country: Canada

I get stuff much heavier and larger shipped for less to me in Canada.33 seems very high for something that size and weight.



cohenfive
Registered: Sep 13, 2004
Total Posts: 2891
Country: United States

as i see it there is nothing between parcel post with no tracking for $7 and priority for $33...so i'm out one buyer for my little lens. oh well, hopefully there are some buyers in the usa as well!



lara_ckl
Registered: Jan 07, 2010
Total Posts: 441
Country: Canada

I would avoid UPS or FedEx. If you use one of their cheaper shipping options, the recipient will have to pay a "customs brokerage fee" of around $50/package upon receipt. That's in addition to the original shipping cost and Canadian taxes. Which shipping options to avoid? I don't know. They keep changing the names. And customer service in US won't know either. It's the Canadian subsidiary that tags on the brokerage fees.

I would also suggest USPS Priority Mail.



colinm
Registered: Nov 21, 2005
Total Posts: 1971
Country: United States

Small Flat Rate Box to Canada is $12.95 plus any additional services (e.g. insurance). A 1 Nikkor 10mm might fit with padding.



ben egbert
Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Total Posts: 6553
Country: United States

Good to know, I shipped a package to Australia via USPS and it cost $36 for a tracked package and it was just DVD. The custom paperwork was also a pain. I imagine this is still required.

So simply ship as priority mail? I will try that next time.



cohenfive
Registered: Sep 13, 2004
Total Posts: 2891
Country: United States

colinm wrote:
Small Flat Rate Box to Canada is $12.95 plus any additional services (e.g. insurance). A 1 Nikkor 10mm might fit with padding.


unfortunately it doesn't, just a bit too tall. that was the best option if it fit, but that is not made for camera gear, even small stuff.



RKH
Registered: Mar 21, 2008
Total Posts: 590
Country: United States

USPS your packaging, 1 pound package, 79" max length, 108" length + girth is $23.25 at the post office. 2 ponds is $25.80. But be advised that there is no tracking once it crosses the border. AFAIK the only USPS Intl tracking is with is with Express..



Cicopo
Registered: Apr 15, 2006
Total Posts: 1799
Country: Canada

I've had several things shipped USPS Global Priority without paying fees like those mentioned, but not recently. The last one was in May & it was $48 US for a package that was about 24 inches by 8 + inches & maybe 3 inches thick & about to 6 pounds.