Shipping Gear To Canada--declared Value?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by stratotastic, May 18, 2015.

  1. stratotastic

    stratotastic Supporting Member

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    I might have the opportunity to sell a decent piece of gear (~$2k) to someone in Canada, so I'd be shipping from the US. Can someone please give me the "for dummies" run-through of the customs process, and any pro/con shipping experiences to Canada in general?

    Key issue: The buyer is asking me what my stance is on declared value. If I claimed a lower declared value than the sale price, is this 1) illegal, and 2) putting me in a bad position should anything happen or get damaged during shipping?

    Thanks.
     
  2. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    The buyer will have to pay duties on the declared value, which is why he's trying to get you to lie on the forms.

    Declaring a lower value is fraud to customs. If you'd like to deal with a government who'd angry about that sort of thing, have at it.

    I won't do it, which is why I rarely ship outside the US since everyone seems to ask. That said, I have shipped to other countries so long as the buyer understands that I will not lie on government forms.
     
  3. marktweedy

    marktweedy In Transit® Silver Supporting Member

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    What GAD said.

    The only thing I would add is that it is totally offside of the buyer to even ask.
     
  4. RhytmEarl

    RhytmEarl Member

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    I am in Canada. When I have had anything shipped to me I insist on the full value being declared. It's safer for both of us and the extra few dollars don't make a difference.

    If someone asks you to send it at a lower declared value, don't.

    EDIT: Only ship using USPS. FedEx and UPS will charge a broker's fee in the range of $40. I got caught that way on a $100 pedal. Ouch.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
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  5. vadsy

    vadsy Supporting Member

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    I buy and sell with folks in the US all the time while being in Canada myself. I'd prefer for everything to be upfront and legit, no need to lie.

    +1 on USPS, nothing else.
     
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  6. DieHon

    DieHon Member

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    Here in Brazil we pay 80% in taxes for guitar gear when importing directly. When not, if you buy, let's say, a $1500 Gibson Traditional directly in a store like "Brazilian Guitar Center", the final price would be something like $5000 (all taxes added). I don't know how things works in Canada, but a friend of mine who buys from US said that he takes the responsibility if the gear disappear in the shipping process or something like that. This way, the seller usually accepts ship. Considering that the average income here is $500, you get a picture why people usually ask to declare a lower value.

    Just showing the fact, not that I agree with it.
     
  7. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Apologies if someone mentioned this but, aside from being illegal, you can't insure an item for more than the value you declare...the carrier will not pay the claim. NEVER ship an item of value without full insurance no matter what the buyer says UNLESS you have CASH (Western Union, Paypal Gift option, or CASH) in hand. If the gear is damaged the buyer can reverse payment and you will be out of luck.
     
  8. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    USPS only. Full sale value declared and fully insured. No exceptions.
     
  9. stratotastic

    stratotastic Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Good info by all. If the transaction goes through it'll all be legit, and via USPS!
     
  10. Jim DaddyO

    Jim DaddyO Member

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    I had a neck shipped to me here in Canada and the supplier marked it "warrantee replacement parts" and there was no duty. Insured for full value, though I didn't have to make a claim.
     
  11. Stu Cats

    Stu Cats Member

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    As a pirate once said to me, "Arrgh, if you don't pay the full duty, don't expect the booty".
     
  12. scotth

    scotth Member

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    Does the declared value include the cost of shipping?

    I've always asked American sellers to subtract the cost of shipping from the declared value.
     
  13. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Ummm...no.
     
  14. Jay K

    Jay K Member

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    How significant are the customs duties (or taxes) on musical instruments shipped to Canada from the U.S., and vice versa? I would have thought they were rather minimal given NAFTA and all, but the tone of this thread seems to suggest otherwise.
     
  15. Johnny Moondog

    Johnny Moondog Member

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    I have purchased many things from the US.
    Some from online retailers and some from regular folks on ebay.

    I have never had any duty/customs/taxes added to small purchases (pedals, cables, etc).

    I have had customs/taxes added to the declared value of guitars.
    That happened about 50% of the time.
    Sometimes the guitar just arrived and they said "here you go".
    Sometimes, I had to get it at the post office, and pay some fees to get the guitar.

    Most ebay sellers put the declared value at slightly lower than the actual value - I never asked them too, they just did it.

    The only real hassles I had was when the seller used UPS,FedEX (or other such shippers).
    That was often the case when buying a guitar from places like Musicians Friend.

    The declared value was often higher than what I paid (?), and on top of the inflated customs/taxes - UPS would add more brokerage/handling fees.

    So in summary - you likely won't pay any fees on a little box that contains a pedal with a low declared value.
    You may have to pay customs / taxes on the declared value of larger item (guitar, amp, etc).

    USPS hands it off to Canada Post - and things are straight forward.

    If UPS, Fed EX, etc is used - well...good luck with that.
     

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