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Any Canadians shop from the big US retailers online?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gribbs, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Gribbs


    Feb 17, 2008
    Niagara Falls, ON
    Do you have any tips for shipping, beating brokerage fees, what carriers to request, etc?
  2. NEVER use UPS or Fedex
    Except for the odd case where I think bhphoto ships UPS and you pay a $5 fee up front to have them process the shipment without the brokerage fees. Though thats website specific. AVOID UPS and Fedex at ALL costs otherwise!

    If you send it USPS express mail, you can get a tracking number (which also provides a canadapost tracking number when it hits the border) and the brokerage fee is simply $5 + the tax rate. (Most of the time, sometimes you aren't charged tax for some reason I haven't figured out yet)

    Before you order from the states I would check a few other camera places online in Canada
  3. Gribbs


    Feb 17, 2008
    Niagara Falls, ON
    GREAT!!!! thanks!! now do you know which sites will ship USPS? I talked to adorama today and they only ship UPS or FEDex to Canada ....
  4. I order from B&H all the time (to Calgary) via UPS.

    In general, to avoid big time hassles, make sure that the package is being shipped via air across the border. UPS and FedEx are both fine, as long as it is air. All of B&H's UPS shipping options are via air, so no problems there.

    In general, what you pay should be a brokerage fee (about $5) + GST / PST + duties (which, for camera equipment, is 0% ... other things vary, depending on the country of manufacture).
  5. You live in Niagara falls...find a post office on the US site and have your package sent there for holding and pickup..Then declare the item at the border and pay your duty and taxes. Save on brokerage fees etc.
    I've gone the other way and had an item delivered via ups to my home address --for a 35 dollar item I ended up paying almost $60 in fees!!
  6. Gribbs


    Feb 17, 2008
    Niagara Falls, ON
    Bohdan: tried that the woman on the phone said she didnt know if that was an option. My dad does this so I know what your saying.

    If and when I make a move to the states, I'll be buying everything online, you Americans have it made, u have no idea!

    I'll check out B&H, thanks alot guys :) 
  7. Also try www.thecamerastore.com in Calgary.

    I've used B&H, great service, good prices. However for a recent lens purchase, the difference between B&H and The Camera Store after exchange, shipping and duties (you have to pay GST and PST if applicable) it was a few dollars more to buy in Canada and get the Canadian warranty. And if it needs warranty service, I don't have to ship it to New York.

    Sometimes it works the other the way. A year or so ago, B&H was cheaper.

    I agree about using the USPS. IIRC, high brokerage fees were usually if shipping was via ground, as opposed to air.
  8. Man, I'm so glad I live in the same city as The Camera Store. :D 
  9. Montec


    Jul 26, 2007
    British Columbia
    Vistek.ca is also reasonable.
  10. ya its definately easier to buy within Canada, but the availability for some things is soo limited. I can echo alot of the other guys. B&H and KEH are both decent. You'll pay a bit more for the shipping and may get charged a little bit at the border, but it shouldn't ruin the deal.
  11. Gray Fox

    Gray Fox

    Jan 12, 2007
    London Ontario
    With several purchases from KEH, I have tried both courier and parcel post. Courier is very fast end efficient, usually. Parcel post does work........................eventually, sometimes 6 weeks later.

    The only U.S. retailer I will use for photographic equipment is KEH.

    Delivery depends on how quickly the item is needed. For low dollar items couriers can easily double your cost, based on personal experience.

    I had some books shipped up from the U.S. via air freight (I hit the wrong button). The books were at the border within 18 hours, and they sat in customs storage for 5 weeks before they bothered to process the package. Maybe they stopped to read the books, using a dictionary for large words (greater than 6 or maybe 5 letters). I couldn't resist, sorry.

    Our American friends do not know how truly great they have it.
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