Anyone know a practical way to get packages forwarded from the US to Canada?
July 6, 2009 11:13 AM   Subscribe

How can I get a package forwarded to me from the US?

This has been a perennial problem for me and I'm sure a lot of other Canadians. Right now I'm looking at a pro hair curler that's $17 on, and $80 in my local store. I want to buy a bunch of them, too (I work for a hair salon.)

I have also searched the previous questions here on Mefi, but they all fall short of finding an answer and are out of date.

I have checked out "Mailboxes etc." They only sell US mailboxes to US citizens. The other companies mentioned are for residents of vancouver or something equally ridiculous.... is useless - there's just a handful of approved retailers.

Customs and "duty" are not a problem for 99% of consumer stuff - there's a lot of confusion on the topic, but all customs charges is the amount you would have otherwise paid in taxes had you bought the stuff locally. Fact, peoples. I can clarify if anyone wants me to.

I mean it's not exactly complicated. All I need is a company that puts a new address on the parcel and ships it to me, fer cripes sake. It's dead easy money. There's got to be somebody that does it.
posted by Nish ton to Shopping (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There's an international forwarding company that receives packages for people in the US and then ships the package to the buyer's country. I can't for the life of me remember what it's called, but I think I read about it here in an answer to someone's question. So, while mine is a useless answer, I'm adding it in the hope that it will jog someone else's memory and they'll be able to provide a link.
posted by necessitas at 11:15 AM on July 6, 2009

Here's a company I found via google. It's not the one I'm thinking of, but it looks like it'll do what you need.
posted by necessitas at 11:17 AM on July 6, 2009

necessitas, maybe you're thinking of Aramex? I have used them a couple times lately to send packages to a family member who's living in the Middle East and who otherwise could not receive packages. It's been painless. They give you a NYC address, which then forwards on to wherever. Great for ordering stuff off if you live in the middle of nowhere.
posted by wastelands at 11:50 AM on July 6, 2009

BTW, the cost for the service, I've been told, is a flat $10 for packages under a certain weight. So it's really not a bad deal.
posted by wastelands at 11:52 AM on July 6, 2009

all customs charges is the amount you would have otherwise paid in taxes had you bought the stuff locally

This is definitely not true. You could be on the hook for import duty if you're bringing in items of high enough value. The company that reships to you will have to be truthful on the customs forms.
posted by oaf at 2:29 PM on July 6, 2009

I just checked out that Aramex website, and it looks like they don't actually forward mail to Canada, only to countries like Egypt, Greece and Sri Lanka. Unless I'm missing an option somewhere. A shame, as I've been looking for a decent mail forwarding service myself.
posted by fearthehat at 3:43 PM on July 6, 2009

Response by poster: Certainly that last one is interesting, hopefully one of those linked to might work. If anyone has personal experience with companies or pertinent knowledge on the subject, that would be awesome.

As for the duty, that's what the official agent at customs specifically told me, and I clarified things on the phone for about half an hour. But there's definitely lots of consumer stuff in that document. Maybe it only applies to very large quantities or something. Still, no wonder there's confusion. Shame on canada customs for not making their policies readily available to the public! Anyway, back to the specific topic at hand...
posted by Nish ton at 4:24 AM on July 7, 2009

Don't know how far you are from a US border, but if you're close, you could drive over and rent a US mailbox (phone first and ask what they charge to hold packages and for the mailbox rental of course), and then just drive back and get them when they arrive.
posted by Penelope at 11:15 AM on July 7, 2009

No, you won't be paying much in customs charges, but they may hold the packages for an annoyingly long time. I've had issues with this in the past.
posted by goingonit at 7:09 AM on July 9, 2009

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