Cross-border shopping the lazy way
October 10, 2007 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone living in Canada bought cameras from B&H?

If so, did you choose the cheapest shipping (UPS Expedited) and get slapped with a heft customs brokerage fee from UPS? With the dollar at parity, it is much cheaper buying from the US and having it shipped up, but I don't want to burn all the savings with a steep fee from UPS.
posted by reformedjerk to Shopping (10 answers total)
I've bought (expensive) lenses and microphones from them - I haven't had to pay anything but duty (GST and PST) on them.
I used the cheapest shipping methods.

According to this page on the UPS site, there is no brokerage charge for items shipped using UPS Expedited.
posted by davey_darling at 7:35 AM on October 10, 2007

I haven't purchased anything yet, but I have found this to be a great resource for planning a cross-border purchase.
posted by nobodyyouknow at 7:48 AM on October 10, 2007

I don't know B&H, or about UPS Expedited specifically, but I do know for a fact that UPS rips you off over brokerage charges more often than FedEx or, better yet, USPS. My boyfriend and I are now to the point where we won't buy from a company if they don't offer an alternative to UPS.

Things might have changed in the last couple of years we've been doing our own little boycott, so as always, YMMV. I'm still not shipping across the border using UPS ever again though.
posted by cgg at 8:24 AM on October 10, 2007

What I do is ask the seller to declare the item a gift, that should free the taxes.
As for brokerage, just call UPS and say you'll fill the papers yourself, that saves you 40$.
posted by PowerCat at 8:25 AM on October 10, 2007

UPS always rips you off with the brokerage charge. Have it sent by USPS.

I have bought from them before and had no problems.
posted by dripdripdrop at 9:00 AM on October 10, 2007

I've also been ripped for brokerage from UPS. I prefer shipping cross-border by the US Post. Canada Post usually charges $5 tops for a fee, plus the GST and duty. Usually I just have to pay the GST. Plus the post office is alot more convenient if you have to pick up.

With rising Canadian dollar, canadian retailers will be dropping their prices soon. They have to. So you may find that you can apply some pressure to Videotek or Henry's to get a better price, and a Cdn warranty, and no duty.

Most reputable sellers won't declare the shipment as a gift (it's fraud), so don't bother asking.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:47 AM on October 10, 2007

They only hit you with brokerage fees if you have it shipped UPS Standard (aka UPS ground).

I still really hate the fuckers. Everyone in Canada does. There are a couple class-action lawsuits going on up here regarding UPS's "brokerage fees".
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:15 PM on October 10, 2007

Ahh, how convenient. I just got hit with a $40 'brokerage fee' last night, on top of the usual GST/PST/Duty.

The package was shipped via UPS ground/standard from California.

sebastienbailard, do you have any info on those class action lawsuits? I found a few news articles from October '06 introducing the claim, but that's it.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 11:34 AM on November 10, 2007

Oops. What month is it again?
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 3:18 PM on November 10, 2007

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