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Yes, good advice Rad. If you use Fedex or UPS and they air ship it, you avoid all the normal brokerage charges that get incurred on ground shipping.
 

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USADDRESSINC - Niagra Falls, Ontario

If you live in the GTA/Golden Horseshoe and are willing to hop across the border to pick up parts, check out www.usaddressinc.com

For a small fee $5/package, they will receive packages of any size and hold them for you for 1 week. Additional weeks are $2/package. Simple pre-register by email. It's free, and they're literally 2 miles from the border.

Although you still have to pay your taxes when you cross the border, it's a great way to save on shipping fees and outrageous brokerage fees.

Example:

I recently bought 4 wheels/tires from tirerack.com.
Shipping to the GTA (via UPS) would have been $282USD + $150USD Brokerage = $582CDN (ouch!)

Shipping to USADDRESS (domestically) cost $109USD = 141CDN , no brokerage. Even with $50 gas allowance, the savings were awesome!.

Domestic USA vs "International" shipping rates are staggeringly different.

I typically order a bunch of stuff, have it all shipped to USAddressInc, and pick it up in one shot.

Good luck, hope this helps.

Andrew
94TT

Toronto
 

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I use to use Kinek.com

Once you join you can have stuff sent there and then pick it up if you live close to the border.
 

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I know this is an old thread, but having done this about a trillion times, I thought I could add some insight.

First, you can have the seller declare a lower value, but the problem with that is if it goes missing, they won't insure it for its full value. (You're claiming a $500 loss, but customs says it was a $15 gift, no dice.)

Second, declaring it a gift only works up to $60 CAD after exchange (based on bank of Canada's exchange), and technically shouldn't qualify if the return address is a business. (They'll often let you go if you're close, and if it comes from a business, but it's something to be aware of.)

Third, shipping FedEx express or UPS express will avoid brokerage fees, but be careful, they also have insane 'line item' fees. For example, you can ship UPS overnight and not pay brokerage, but they'll charge you $4.50 per item on the waybill for every item beyond 5. So if you put in a massive order for parts and the seller puts every item on your invoice on the waybill, you could get dinged 4.50 per item. I've had this happen to me where the last 10 items were bolts that were all less than $1 in value, and they tried to charge me $4.50 per item.

Finally, you can easily get around UPS/FedEx' brokerage fees. I've done it myself. It works. You can self-clear your items.

Here's what you do:
1. Wait for the UPS/FedEx guy to try to deliver to your house and collect money.
2. Either don't answer the door and let them leave the notice, or tell the delivery guy you want to self-clear.
3. Call UPS/FedEx and tell them you want to self-clear your package. They'll put you in touch with someone who can provide you with the waybill Canada Customs needs.
4. They'll email you the form. Print it out and take it to your local Canada Customs office. I live in Cambridge. The nearest office to me is at YKF (the airport in Breslau). Hand the paper to the guard, and tell him you want to self-clear some items. He will go over the list, charge you standard HST (13%) on the items, and give you a blue piece of paper.
5. Scan and email or fax that letter to the person who sent you the original form. She will email you back to tell you everything is in order.
6. At the end of that day, go to your local UPS/FedEx office and pick up your stuff.

Lucky for me, my UPS guy is fantastic. When I self-clear, he comes to my house later in the day and hands me the box himself.

I learned all of this the hard way when I bought a bunch of random little geeky toys that were worth 3-15 dollars for the most part (but I'd ordered ~20 of them). I had them shipped UPS Express, and the UPS guy showed up at my door and insisted I give him almost $200 for $300 worth of stuff.

Turns out UPS had gone through the way bill, and charged 'duty' on all of these nearly worthless toys that were made in China/Taiwan/whatever.

The border guard at the customs office looked at UPS's paperwork, rolled his eyes at them, wrote "Novelty toys, $300" on one line on the tax form, and I paid my 13% and was on my way.
 

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Sorry to revive this thread but I thought I share what I do with my items.
I ship them to this storage company in Buffalo called CBI USA (cbiusa.com) and then when I have a bunch of items stored there, I drive there and pick them up all at once. They're are about 5min from the border. They don't charge storage fees like most storage companies out there. They charge $5.95US per package. You can also sign up as a yearly member and pay a one time fee and all pickups are discounted ($108 USD with unlimited $1.80 USD per package). You can keep your package there forever.

You can ship pretty much anything there (tires, body panels, cars, motorcycles, boats, etc.). They're in the process of expanding too because business has gotten so busy for them (there's a line up every time I go, even during the week). I go there about 4-6 times a year and I recommend them to everyone who wants to save on shipping charges, etc.
 

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That's actually what I usually do too. But I use kinek.com (http://www.kinek.com/). They have locations all over the US, but I use the one on Ellicott St in Buffalo. $5/box up to 50lbs and they'll hold it for 30 days. I go down to get stuff probably 8-10 times a year. I have parts waiting there for me right now! :)
 

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Honestly this is the only way i deal with us sellers. IT has never failed me.

UPS is the absolute worst!

Fedex is inconsistent, sometimes i pay, sometimes not... IE. i got coilovers, they came in two boxes, first box nothing, second box i had to pay duties on declared value.

Seriously just tell them to ship usps and mark as a gift w/ full insurance.

Ang
Same here. Unless I really need it, I will only buy things if they are going to be shipped USPS.
 

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I stick with USPS as well. Been burned too many times with UPS. I also used a broker for a while to clear packages instead of the market up UPS charge.

On Vancouver Island (Victoria) I now use Seawings. Especially if it is free shipping within the US. For a small fee they accept the package in Blaine WA then fly it over to the Victoria Airport (YYJ). I think go and clear it through customs myself (takes 10 mins) and I am on my way. Bit of extra effort but well worth it for free shipping and to avoid UPS fees!
 
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