How do I send these perfumes?
December 30, 2012 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Can I ship bottles of perfume from Canada to the US? Can I ship them within Canada?

I can't stand perfume, but I received three expensive fragrance box sets as Christmas gifts. I'd like to list them on ebay, but Google tells me that perfumes are considered flammable, hazardous materials and are often refused by postal services, or only shipped via ground service. I know this applies to USPS and am almost 100% sure that it also applies to Canada Post.

So I'm pretty sure that shipping to the US would be a real problem because I don't think any Canada to US shipments are ground shipments, but I just read on the Canada Post website that perfume is a non-mailable item... period? I think? So... how do fragrance vendors do it? Can I actually sell this stuff on ebay and mail it out - even if it's only within Canada? Or will I have to rely on the unreliable and hostile crazies on Craigslist to offload this stuff? (I listed these items on Craigslist and have only received ridiculous offers and responses from random anonymous aggressive trolls)

Do any of you guys have experience with this? I'm especially interested in hearing from Canadians.
posted by ohmy to Law & Government (2 answers total)
Check your MeMail.
posted by matildaben at 12:51 PM on December 30, 2012

Best answer: I don't think any Canada to US shipments are ground shipments

No, not at all. You want Canada Post's Small Packet USA and International–Surface.

Note that there's no tracking and the coverage is only for up to $100 -- that said, I (Canadian) have been eBaying away for years and never lost anything sent via Canada Post; I consider it a very good risk-to-reward ratio given how happy people are to get a cheap(ish) shipping option. That said, make very clear in your listing that you are offering ground shipping and that US buyers should anticipate a wait of up to two weeks (and two months overseas) -- "Delivery in as few as 6 days to the U.S.A. and in 4 up to 6 weeks worldwide" usually works, but if you are in Halifax and it goes off to Los Angeles? Up to two weeks. Otherwise you get a lot of e-mail from people without globes asking where their @#*! parcel is because they bought it four days ago and it's still not there?! (People in the USA are spoilt by the relatively quicker and cheaper USPS; Canada's population and size mean a different postal system, but that's not what people are thinking about when they bid on your stuff.)

Tape the lid on to the bottle with a tape that won't leave a sticky mess on the bottle, double-bag, pad the bottle well in the box...

But this assumes your assumptions are correct; I can't quite tell. Canada Post says here that perfume = "dangerous goods," however (emphasis mine): "Dangerous Goods, as defined by the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (Clear Language) Regulations (TDGR), are non-mailable matter, except, if permitted by the TDGR, the mailer of the dangerous goods offers them to Canada Post for transport in Limited Quantity as defined by the TDGR, and if the Corporation is capable of handling them." Hmm. Here is a dot-ca perfume shop using Canada Post. Personally, I would label it "cosmetics" and go on with the rest of my day...

Very-local-to-you Facebook Yourtown-"Marketplace"/"For sale"/"Swap"/"Yard sale" groups can do a surprisingly brisk trade in surprisingly obscure items; there seems to be a lot of impulse purchasing -- might be worth a try if you're willing to discount them a good whack.
posted by kmennie at 4:39 PM on December 30, 2012

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