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Calling all Canadian lens-lust sufferers....

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by TOLady, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. If you're gonna buy some lenses this year, now is the time. Apparently, according to another cdn member here, there is no duty on camera equipment. I've just ordered two new lenses from B&H (12-24 and 50/1.4), but you MUST have them shipped United States Postal Service to avoid horrendous customs brokerage charges like UPS slaps on. (B&H includes insurance in their USPS shipping charge). The Cdn $ is rocking right now so I'd highly suggest a purchase or two :wink: ...... Look at 'er go!!
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  2. Agreed on all fronts Sandi, particularly NOT to ship UPS! I have shipped tons of stuff via regular USPS without a hitch ever.
  3. Thanks, Fritz...please tell me they won't be adding Cdn sales taxes when I go to pick them up!!???? If I'd known this last year, I would had my lenses shipped via this method rather than waiting for someone to deliver them.

    BTW, you're partially to blame for the 50/1.4 purchase - saw your pic of your christmas ornaments and loved it!! *LOL*
  4. Sorry Sandi, They DO add GST and PST.

    You will have to pay it when you go and pick up the
    package at the Canada Post Outlet.

    Some say that if one has a delivery address to a US friend then one can go and pcik it up there and......

    Others have a delivery address to Quebec I think where there are less (?) taxes.
  5. Andreas, only charge GST here, no PST :smile: And that only true based on description and valued amount :biggrin:

    For high ticket items I always ship UPS. For UPS expedited or UPS express, there is NO brokerage fees. Only brokerage fees if shipped UPS standard.
    Otherwise i always ship USPS Global Express so one has tracking, and they only charge a flat fee of $5 for handling fees plus sales tax.

    Our exchange is VERY favourable, hence all my shopping the past couple of months south of the border, is this a great country or what!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just have to remember, we still need to pay for it :Smart: LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. Awww, crappage! Oh well, $100 in taxes is still cheaper than a quick trip over the border, and still a LOT cheaper than buying in the stores here. I'm a GST registrant anyway so I'll just have to eat the $55 PST.
    Keith, every April 30th, I'm paying for this 'great country' *LOL*
  7. LMAO Sandy and we Canucks appreciate that Sandy!!! ............. :biggrin:

  8. Hi, Sandy! Agree with you heartily re buying out of the US right now... have been following this trend since the start of Gulf War II in March 2003, when the Canadian dollar was (roughly) 64 cents US. It regularly flirts with the low 87s now, and is almost always in the 86's. I see that trend continuing, and a 90 cent canadian dollar seems likely by spring or summer.

    In Alberta, there's no PST; we pay GST only. If you can find someone who lives in Alberta and have it shipped there, and then have them ship it to you, I believe you could avoid the PST. I'm not certain that this is legal, and am not counselling you to do it; I'm just making the observation.

    It's also my belief that if you purchase a product from a Canadian mailorder store that is not located in your province, you are not required to pay the PST. For example, were you to purchase product mailorder from Vistek in Calgary, I think they'd charge you the GST only. It might be worth checking on their 1-800 line, as I'm not 100% sure on this. If it is true, it certainly could provide a healthy savings on some big ticket items. I wonder if you can buy a new car mailorder?:smile:

    I am advised that when you purchase products from the US, you must return the products to the US should they require warranty service; for example, Nikon Canada will not provide warranty service on a nikon lens purchased out of the US. Sometimes, this is an issue (complex electronics) and sometimes not (film and paper sales).

    Also, some vendors (notably Canon USA) are pricing their products high, and offering significant rebates to US citizens only. For example, the 20D and lens will qualify you for a $100 US rebate, directly from Canon US; but the fine print states that you must be a legal resident of the US, and that they will only ship a rebate cheque to a US address. In this way, Canadian citizens wind up finding it cheaper to purchase a Canon product through a Canadian retailer, as the rebate is effectively unavailable to them (unless you have a friend in the US, and that friend is willing to buy the camera and act as a channel for any warranty work... it can get complex).

    Some retailers (Paul C Buff) insist on shipping via UPS only; if you want something other than UPS, they don't want your business. However, Paul C Buff has apparently hammered out some sort of agreement with UPS whereby expedited brokerage fees are included in the shipping, and the product just shows up at your door. Shipping a White Lightning flash unit to Alberta costs about $15 US including customs charges, which seems reasonable enough.

    (I got caught on that UPS brokerage fees nonsense years ago; they wanted $25 brokerage fees to ship a $10 software disk. I told them to stick it and refused shipment, then contacted the vendor. He couldn't believe it either, and reshipped the product via USPS. I am no fan of UPS; I'd go out of my way to give them a huge kick right in the tender profit center. I consider them jerks.)

    I wound up ordering my Nikon D200 from a Canadian retailer, as there weren't any real deals to be had anywhere - I saved $50 through Vistek - and I wanted to preserve the Canadian warranty. But I do believe that on some products, it can make a LOT of sense to buy out of the US right now, and that trend is probably going to continue and get even better. So thanks for bringing this issue into the limelight!

    Best wishes, Charlie
  9. Hi Sandi,

    Unfortuately you probably will get tagged with our good old Canadian taxes. I bought a lens last year from Steve S and he shipped to on me. I received it at my office and about a week later got a bill for the taxes. I'm not sure if it was UPS or USPS but none the less the invoice was there and it had to be paid.
    Don't you just love our system LOL

    Take Care
  10. I dunno, Charlie. That second paragraph sounds like a blatant attempt at getting yer mitts on my new lenses!!! *LMAO* Just teasin' ya! Something like that could prove costly. Last year, I had the Canon 500D shipped to Jarrell and a buddy of mine picked it up from him on his way thru Jawja. Jarrell played with it, and in the end, he got one for himself.
    The cost differential between lens pricing in the stores here, and bringing them in from the States has made me go that route. I am aware that I'll have to ship them back to the US should something go wrong, but hey, I've gambled in the stock market as well! I'm not crazy about paying taxes, but only have to swallow the PST as the GST is reimbursed for me (self employed). I've heard so many horror stories about "Brown" shipping... yes, they charge whopping fees for clearing customs, whereas Canada Post apparently only charges a $5 hit.

    Thanks Dave. Didn't think about the taxes until after I said "GO!" to the B&H order desk but it's still a better deal than buying them here. Also, you can't get the Tokina 12-24 for love nor money in Canada - no dealers carry it, and I specifically wanted that lens. Ordered the 50/1.4 on a whim at the same time. At least with Ms. Clarkson gone from Ottawa, more of that tax money might actually make it down to my level!! *snicker*
  11. Hi, Sandi! Allowing $50 for shipping and customs, I would have saved about $100 by purchasing through the US. On a $3,000 purchase, it wasn't worth it to me - but sometimes gambling pays off, and a hundred bucks is a hundred bucks.

    What do you think about buying mailorder through a Canadian firm? That would save you the PST, I think - and in my case, 8% on a $3,000 purchase would be $240. If you could save 8% by buying through Vistek in Alberta, that would be cheaper than buying a cheaper product through the US, but then being stuck with paying PST at the border.

    Of course, if the lens just aint available in Canada, you don't really have a choice...

    I guess the real question is, can you legally avoid PST by purchasing from a Alberta based Canadian mailorder shop that doesn't charge PST? If so, the 8% you save would often result in a lower net price than buying at a lower price through the US, but then having to pay 8% PST. No shipping charges either with Vistek on orders over $100. If you can then claim the GST back through your business, you're home free!

    Maybe I'll check into it myself - would be good info to have.

    Hope I'm not sounding like a 'buy canadian' evangelist - that's certainly not my intention. Really, I'm just hunting around for 'lowest net price' strategies.

    Take care, and enjoy your new Tokina!

    Best wishes, charlie
  12. Thanks Charlie, Just checked with Vistek Calgary and all online/phone orders are actually handled thru their Toronto store unless it's an order going to Alberta. All taxes are charged :( 

    My Cdn price coming from B&H was $315, versus $419 here on the 50/1.4, a 25% savings. Not much on this lens, but on my last B&H order in March, I saved almost $1,400 versus buying the stuff in Cda. Well worth any shipping costs for needed repairs. If I were only buying the 50/1.4, I probably wouldn't have bothered, but not being able to get the Tokina here made all the difference. Cheers, and happy shooting!
  13. Glad to have helped you spend some $$$ Sandi :biggrin: :biggrin: .
    I look forward to see some results and predict that you will like this gem a lot!
  14. Grrrrr......

    Awww, crumb...

    In the US, mail order marketers don't have to charge state sales tax. I was hoping that Canadian mail order marketers would enjoy the same benefit. Rats.

    Oh, well. Thanks for checking it out, Sandi. I think, next time I'm looking to buy something, I'll ask your advice.

    Take care, and thanks for doing the legwork! (Earwork? Mouthwork? Probably more specific than we need to get...!)

    Best wishes, Charlie
  15. Charlie,

    Not a tax expert, but the Vistek situation may have to do with the fact that they have a store in Onatario.

    I sometimes order memory cards from Memory Express in Calgary, which does not have a store in Toronto, and I have yet to pay the PST for shipment to Ontario.

  16. I just checked with McBain Camera, another pro camera store that does not have stores outside of Alberta. They do NOT charge PST on anything, anywhere, any time.

    So it looks like ordering from a store that does NOT have a branch in the Province in which you reside, enables you to avoid the PST.

    Good find, Mike!

    Best, Charlie
  17. imageswest

    imageswest Guest

    UPS has never charged me Customs clearance fees - not even the $5 the post office charges.

    The only UPS service that incurs extra fees is UPS Ground (now called UPS Standard); B&H does not use UPS Ground for shipments to Canada.

    I've compiled some helpful hints on cross-border shopping, on my web site:

  18. I'm new to the forum and I'm learning a lot from my fellow Canadians. Thanks to Sandi and all for the good advice.
  19. Cliff , that you buddy? talk about a small world!!! hope you decide to stick around!

  20. Cliff, that's a very informative article you've written on your site. Just to let you know, my parcel left B&H on the Friday, and I received it at my door delivered by Canada Post eleven days later. If I'd only known that UPS Express delivers a lot faster for a few dollars more.... but at least the box arrived! Another little gem that my local route postie gave me: the Canada Post parcel delivery guy will give a very gentle knock at the door and then be back in his truck in the wink of an eye. He told me that once I hear that knock, RUN to the door before the guy gets away and sure enough, that's exactly what happened! I raced out to the street, slippers on feet and arms waving in the air "I'm HERE, I'm HERE!" and the look on his face was priceless! *LOL* He brought the box in, I inspected the lenses, he took VISA for the taxes and we were both happy. Yes, B&H are experts in filling out the proper forms to get it cleared at the border.

    BTW, great pics on your site too! Welcome to the Cafe!
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