May I encourage more gear deals w/ Canadian buyers?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Kiwi, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Since all of us US-based sellers are looking for more good customers in this tough gear market, I'd like to encourage sellers to consider gear deals with Canadian buyers. I recently had a great trade with a guy in Winnipeg and I learned a lot - the good way.

    Look, I've heard the complaints. I know the problems. I've read the 16-page threads on the topic. I've been selling here at TGP for years and even I have been really reluctant to ship to Canada.

    But my last gear sale here with "WordsOnYou" was so painless that he and I have agreed to share some details of costs and shipping. Really, this cross-border trade went as well as a domestic deal.

    I sold my Vox AC30 head and got paid via PayPal as usual at my asking price, which had some shipping and insurance expense built in. I boxed up the amp and went to a UPS storefront here in Texas. They did all the ship/insurance and also did the one Customs form.

    It was delivered by ground from Texas to Manitoba in 6 days, and that was across a weekend, too. UPS tracking also includes updates on the Customs clearance status.

    Buyer "WOY" paid about 20% customs duties and fees (of the declared value) on delivery on top of what he paid me.

    Now, from a UPS storefront, shipping and insurance was not cheap, because it's a 50-lb box insured and declared at full value. I knew that going in and I paid for convenience.

    Summary:

    - UPS store was painless one-stop dropoff for me, including customs form. Six days total ship time, tracked it all the way.
    - UPS was pretty expensive for the convenience, so factor that in.
    - I declared full value for insurance and customs. (No exceptions, don't even ask).
    - Buyer then paid 20% in duties at his end.
    - Happy buyer, happy seller. (Happy UPS and Customs too, I guess.)

    Last year I sold a Les Paul to a guy in Australia. US Postal Service sent it there in 5 days by air for $176 including insurance. Buyer paid duties on his end. I was kinda sweating that one, but it went fine and I'd do it again.

    My point here? We're all looking for new customers for our gear, and those Canadians just across the border are lusting for it. If you know the costs going in, it can be done. And I'd do it again. My only cautions are: Full declared value, full insurance, and cover your (high) costs.

    =K
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  2. Badfrog

    Badfrog Member

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    I've tried to sell to Canadians but every time I tell them what shipping is going to cost............. they flake out/never get back to me.
     
  3. thornie

    thornie Supporting Member

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    In my experience, shipping to Canada is a nightmare. I would love to do more business but it's not worth the hassle. Canadian customs are notorious ball busters.
     
  4. wordsonyou

    wordsonyou Member

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    I buy virtually all my stuff from the US of A, and also ship down there fairly often. Canada customs is the tough part of the deal but we Canadians know that and believe me if we are asking you to sell we are expecting to pay the customs. We don't get access to the same volume of cool gear as you guys do. Kiwi was awesome to deal with and the time in transit was quicker than between some states!

    Shipping from us to you is even easier. US customs is quite cheap in comparison and lets stuff through (excepting endangered woods, now).

    Weirdly, this whole global financial slowdown has made guys less willing to sell to Canada - more fear of us crazy northerners and our crazy loonie currency I guess. But the Canadian economy hasn't slowed nearly as much and we are more eager than ever to try out the gear you are selling.

    As long as you follow Kiwi's advice it will be a painless affair, and Canadians will have better tone!
     
  5. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    Shipping to Canada is pretty much identical to shipping to most European countries. Just because it's next door doesn't make it one bit easier. It requires the same sort of paper work. The cost of shipping is about the same. And the issues of customs duties and VAT (in this case harmonized GST and PST) are the same.
     
  6. jbd3

    jbd3 Please Don't Sell Me Any More Gear Silver Supporting Member

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    I've done a few deals with our neighbors to the north here on TGP; all went just fine. Well that one guy did send bacon as payment. It was tasty tho, so no worries. Anyway USPS makes it all pretty easy.
     
  7. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    Same here. It seems that everytime I ship to Canada, there is some sort of problem. I won't do it anymore. Like thornie said, "it's not worth the hassle."
     
  8. wordsonyou

    wordsonyou Member

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    I guess NAFTA didn't work...
     
  9. Outlier

    Outlier Member

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    I have bought lots of gear in the US and have been happy doing that. Use USPS for cheaper shipping and far less hassles. I usually have to pay 5% tax on receipt of the goods- same as I pay at home. Waiting on a Skreddy pedal to ship this week. I don't mind contributing to the US economy as you guys can clearly use the cash and we need good deals on gear we can't get here in Canada. Sounds like a good neighbourly arrangement.
     
  10. azwhofan

    azwhofan Supporting Member

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    The last time I shipped something (an Epifany 3x10 bass cab) to the Great White North was about 3 years ago, via a nearby UPS Store outlet.

    All in all it was a painless transaction. I shipped from AZ to the Niagra Falls area and it took 8 days for the fellow to pick up his cab. This included a 2 day loss for a long weekend.

    I say go for it!
     
  11. robare99

    robare99 Senior Member

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    Ship via USPS.

    UPS and all the couriers butt rape us with BS brokerage fees over and above any shipping already paid.

    USPS has no such fees.

    The brokerage fees are minimum $37.

    I bought a mixer ATA case for $550.

    It was $175 to ship, and then another $125 in fees once it arrived.


    All that USPS might charge is GST/PST.
     
  12. Bezzy

    Bezzy Member

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    Yep, only for huge corporations does it work. The average person gets screwed its the Canadian way. Taxes and more taxes, then add more. Even for a small company its tough. There is nothing free about free trade.
     
  13. nmcbain

    nmcbain Member

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    FWIW - for UPS and the other couriers - you don't need to let them do the brokerage. You can head down to customs, clear it yourself and save the brokerage fee. Still pay 5% GST plus duty based on country of origin, but you save a good chunk. Certainly shouldn't have to pay 20%, that's just gouging from the courier companies.

    Or just go USPS and good things happen. I just brought two items in from the US - one from a TGP'er and one from ebay. Total fees on delivery were 9% on one and 6% on the other. Both shipped USPS.
     
  14. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    I have no problem selling to Canadians. I always tell them that shipping will be slightly higher. No big deal. I will not ship to Italy, the Middle East, or Eastern Europe.
     
  15. marktweedy

    marktweedy In Transit® Silver Supporting Member

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    What makes it "nightmare"? I am not arguing; I am genuinely curious as to problems that have arisen for you because the sale was to Canada, as opposed to the sorts of problems you might encounter selling to someone on the other coast of the USA

    I ask because I have hundreds of eBay transactions, at least as many internet transactions and a good number of good deals here with American sellers. I am not aware of one issue that has arisen for the seller in any of them. Occasionally I will get zinged brokerage fees by courier companies or the stuff will take forever to arrive, but that is my problem.
     
  16. starjag

    starjag Member

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    We're not talking about import duty. We're talking about standard Canadian taxes, plus brokerage fee if you don't use USPS.
     
  17. wordsonyou

    wordsonyou Member

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    True enough, ups and fedex charge brokerage on top of duties and taxes. Usps does not but is significantly longer in transit.
     
  18. monty

    monty Member

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    I've done a ton of buying from the states, on the bay and on here.
    All went smooth as far as me being Canadian goes.
    Thanks OP and to my other American buds who ship here.
     
  19. Cottage

    Cottage Member

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    I've done all kinds of deals with my GP brothers in the States and never had a problem either importing or exporting. Amps, guitars, speakers, pedals...you name it. Yeah the UPS "brokerage fees" piss me off, but I expect it. In fact, some folks will not ship to Canuckistan unless it is via UPS or FEDEX.....so I'll eat the fees to keep the peace!!!
     
  20. wordsonyou

    wordsonyou Member

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    sometimes it feels like we are being punished for Celine Dion...
     

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