I'm in Canada, too. If you're going to buy from RS, I suggest buying a few more things since you're already paying a steep shipping charge and wait for them to have a 15% - 20% off sale. They usually a do a few times each year.
I had the same question when I was living in Toronto. I asked RSGuitarworks and they refused to put it in a bubblewrap envelope. It was 1 potentiometer, they said it would get damaged. Pot was $8, shipping was like $20. Needless to say I didn't buy it. lol.
Haha - You should try the cost of getting a guitar shipped to Australia... $300 up to $500 !!
But seriously - I've bought LOTS of smaller stuff from the US where the shipping cost was equivalent, if not MORE than the price of the item. For instance, I recently purchased some Virtuoso Polish. I think the bottles were $19, but shipping was something like $25 ! Same with strings.
But the silly part is....it's STILL cheaper than buying it in a store here.... Go figure!
Kmaz, I just remember something - the only shipping option RS offers for us Canucks now is air shipping. That's why it seems so expensive but it's really not. I remember I bought some loose parts off them years ago when they did ship via ground and I had to pay a $25 brokerage fee on top of the shipping costs. No brokerage fee with air shipments and you get it within a few days.