To Canadians buying online US

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Charles89, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Charles89

    Charles89 TPF Noob!

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    How much taxes do you pay on average for a lens from an american website lets say BH.
     
  2. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    First of all, be sure to have it shipped UPS Expedited or USPS. Normal UPS charges a brokerage fee...

    The lens/shipment may slip through without charges but expect to pay normal provincial taxes plus a $5 post office fee.

    Cheers, Don
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Taxes are charged by your government...so 5% GST plus an applicable PST.

    There is no 'duty' on photo gear but you will have to pay for shipping costs, which may include brokerage. With many ground shipments, it's hard to estimate the brokerage cost and it can be a nasty surprise when your item comes. I agree with Don, choose UPS Expedited as your shipping option, because brokerage is included.
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    DON'T ship UPS to Canada, they will charge you brokerage rates equal to about 50-100% of the value of the package!

    Some photography equipment has no duty (most of it, matter of fact), but you do have your GST and PST to pay, unless you are like Mike and live in Alberta that has no PST.

    If you live a reasonable distance to the US border, you could have it delivered there and save on shipping costs to Canada. At the borders, I tell them about 75% of the time that I am bringing new equipment across, and about 90% of the time, they just look at it and tell me to move on and I do not even pay the GST/PST, so I save a lot.

    Now, with the Canadian dollar at record suckage rates, one has to do their homework and see if you save over buying in Canada, often it is cheaper to just get it here vs in the US.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've found that it's ground shipments that can stick you with big brokerage fees. Anything I've had shipped via Air...didn't have extra brokerage fees (or nothing worth remembering). Of course, air shipments cost more...but because you can save on brokerage, it can even out...plus you get your stuff a lot faster. I've had several UPS Expedited shipments show up in 24 hours...especially those from a good retailer like Alienbee.
     
  6. smyth

    smyth TPF Noob!

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    Do you not remember when the dollar was only worth 60 cents U.S.? ;) That was record suckage.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok, well now I feel a little sheepish. I *did* get something shipped expedited by air via UPS and the brokerage fees were terrible, I mean over 40% terrible. Now I feel almost violated. Maybe I need to go over there and make a huge fuss... not that it will help anyways.

    LOL... True. And it *has* been slowly improving lately. It wasn't a few weeks ago it was 35%. I checked today and it was 25%.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's ridiculous...sorry to hear that. I guess it's like every other border crossing issue...it fully depends on the mood of the person in charge. :roll:
     
  9. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Jerry, I'm sure you misremember, there are No brokerage fees for UPS Expedited. At least not from B&H and Alien Bees.

    I ordered a B1600 Sunday on line on and received it in Saskatoon on Tuesday. Fees due were PST and GST....

    Big Mike, brokerage fees have nothing to do with the person in charge of border crossings :)

    Those fees come from the shipper.

    Cheers, Don
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I guess I know that...but it seems that brokerage fees (for land shipments) are still a complete mystery...and thus a surprise when you receive your package. If there is some sort of formula for them, then why isn't the fee included with the shipping cost? Or why can't they give you an accurate prediction for the brokerage fees? And why does it cost so much more (or so much less) when shipping by different methods and carriers? The postal service charges much less than the couriers do...even if the actual shipping costs are similar.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, not from B&H nor AB... the charge came from UPS. Clearly marked as brokerage fees. There is no doubt it was expedited air either. Doesn't matter, what is done is done... but not next time.
     
  12. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    Brokerage fees are charged by the shipper and you have every right to refuse the package if it arrives at your door with outrageous brokerage fees attached. Refuse the package, it will be returned and you then contact the seller with instructions to reship via USPS so you do not get dinged. This is always cheapter than paying the brokerage fees. And it sticks it to them.
    And never shop with a vendor that refuses to ship via a method that won't charge you brokerage fees.
     

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