Advice needed on shipping an amp to Canada

fry

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I have an amp head listed that doesn’t seem to be getting any attention. I have a guy in Calgary that expressed interest, wanted to know if I would be willing to ship. I’ve only shipped one thing to Canada in my history of buying and selling, and it was pretty small. I don’t remember any of the details. It’s a standard size head, 40 something pounds, just about average. I’m in Northeast Ohio, he is in Calgary, what are my realistic options? Any tips or advice would be helpful. I am hoping somebody closer will buy it, but I am going to consider this, because he’s the only person that seems interested at the moment.
 

Tim Plains

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Only use USPS. The others charge brokerage fees when it crosses the border unless you use an air service. He will also pay sales tax on whatever value you claim (5% in Alberta) and customs fees if the amp wasn't made in North America unless you specifically write something like "Made in USA" on the form.

Shipping within Canada is expensive. If you driving to the border is an option, I would do that.
 
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fry

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Only use UPS. The others charge brokerage fees when it crosses the border unless you use an air service. He will also pay sales tax on whatever value you claim (5% in Alberta) and customs fees if the amp wasn't made in North America unless you specifically write something like "Made in USA" on the form.

Shipping within Canada is expensive. If you driving to the border is an option, I would do that.
Thanks for the tips. It is an American made amp. I poked around a little bit last night online, and I was seeing some pretty high dollar amounts. All I can do is get the quote and send it to him, he’ll either take it or not. I think I can get to the border in a somewhat reasonable amount of time, it will take him a little bit longer.
 

Skeletor

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Only use UPS. The others charge brokerage fees when it crosses the border unless you use an air service. He will also pay sales tax on whatever value you claim (5% in Alberta) and customs fees if the amp wasn't made in North America unless you specifically write something like "Made in USA" on the form.

Shipping within Canada is expensive. If you driving to the border is an option, I would do that.
Not sure if that was a typo? I would say avoid UPS (for the buyer's sake) and use USPS.
Also - the shipping within Canada :) it is expensive - probably cheaper to ship from US.

I would say - get a quote on whatever works best for you but ensure that the buyer understands that he is likely to be hit with unreasonable brokerage charges if you use UPS or FedEx. (I'm in Calgary - I seem to recall FedEx charging me over $100 fees on an ebay purchased amp about 10 years ago - actual tax/duty was something like $35 and the rest was the FedEx processing fees).
 

fry

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Nothing against Canadians, but I typically just flat refuse to ship outside the continental US. I don’t want to deal with any additional stuff that comes along with that. I’m only considering this because he’s the only one that has really reached out to me, and he might actually mind if I do this. He might not, too. I am almost hoping he doesn’t.
 

2manyGuitars

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Nothing against Canadians, but I typically just flat refuse to ship outside the continental US. I don’t want to deal with any additional stuff that comes along with that. I’m only considering this because he’s the only one that has really reached out to me, and he might actually mind if I do this. He might not, too. I am almost hoping he doesn’t.
Technically, there is no "additional stuff" for you. Box it up, send it USPS, and you're done. Anything that happens once it hits the border is his responsibility (unless the amp is made of rosewood).

In fact, driving over the border would be far worse because now, getting it over the border is your problem and you might be on the hook for the taxes which you'd then need to recoup from him. Not to mention that shipping costs waaaaay more in Canada.

Bottom line, get a quote and if he agrees to it, send it and forget it.
 

fry

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Technically, there is no "additional stuff" for you. Box it up, send it USPS, and you're done. Anything that happens once it hits the border is his responsibility (unless the amp is made of rosewood).

In fact, driving over the border would be far worse because now, getting it over the border is your problem and you might be on the hook for the taxes which you'd then need to recoup from him. Not to mention that shipping costs waaaaay more in Canada.

Bottom line, get a quote and if he agrees to it, send it and forget it.
Do people who live in Canada just expect higher shipping rates? I’ve only shipped one thing there, and it was a little pricey, though it was a small item. My only other experience outside the US is I sent a pickup to a guy in Israel. It was pretty expensive, but he knew that was the deal, In some parts of the world it’s just the way it is.
 

northernguitarguy

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Do people who live in Canada just expect higher shipping rates? I’ve only shipped one thing there, and it was a little pricey, though it was a small item. My only other experience outside the US is I sent a pickup to a guy in Israel. It was pretty expensive, but he knew that was the deal, In some parts of the world it’s just the way it is.
A lotta distance to cover in a big country with a relatively small population. Don’t even ask about flying domestic. I once had a round-trip to San Francisco that cost less than a one-way to Vancouver.
 

morrisman77

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I do it all the time it can be pricey I ship overnight for higher priced items but it’s worth it they tend to fly through customs without any hiccups. Just depends on how you want to ship USPS to Canada is good just do not use UPS they will charge brokerage fees and they aren’t cheap.
 

fry

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I think I’m going to get it all set, go to my local post office with the weight and the dimensions, get them to give me a quote. My local office has the best people running the counter, they are awesome. The complete opposite of the usual reputation these people have.
 

northernguitarguy

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I think I’m going to get it all set, go to my local post office with the weight and the dimensions, get them to give me a quote. My local office has the best people running the counter, they are awesome. The complete opposite of the usual reputation these people have.
No online quoting?
 

fry

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No online quoting?
I guess I could do that. Is it my imagination, or are there discounts when you do it online? One more question. I’ve seen listings for other people make it clear that they will not falsify the value of the item to help out the buyer. What’s the general consensus on that? Is it something that people do, or not?
 

2manyGuitars

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+1 on using USPS only.
I agree, but the reason everyone says that is because of the brokerage fees with FedEx or UPS. There is a way around that though...

For those unfamiliar with cross-border shipping, when an item hits Customs, someone has to determine if there are duties and taxes on it. Some dude has to look at what the item is, find the code in a big giant book and see if that code has any duties or taxes applied, then calculate the amount owed. This guy is a broker and depending on the carrier, we get nailed for anywhere from $30 to $100 for his 5 minutes of work.

If you google "self broker (carrier name)", you can find detailed info but essentially, once you get your tracking number, call the shipper and let them know that you're going to self-broker. When your item hits Customs, it'll be held. You have go to a Customs office (my nearest one is at the airport) where you fill out a form and the dude at the counter will do what the broker above did. You pay any duties and taxes, send the confirmation to the shipper and your package is released.

Now, another reason I recommend using USPS/Canada Post is that out of 20 or 30 shipments, I've been charged duties/taxes exactly ONCE. They say it's random so I anticipate it everytime, but so far... :dunno:
 

2manyGuitars

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I’ve seen listings for other people make it clear that they will not falsify the value of the item to help out the buyer. What’s the general consensus on that? Is it something that people do, or not?
Don't do it.
First of all, it's stupid for the seller to ask. If you pay 3 grand for a guitar and ask the guy to declare it at 500 bucks, it plays out one of 2 ways. If the paperwork shows it insured for $3000 but declared at $500, you may as well paint a red flag on it. Or, you pay $3000 but declare AND insure it for $500. Sorry, but that's an idiotic risk to take just to save a few bucks in taxes.

If you get caught, you'll both be flagged in the system from then on.

In case you missed it at the beginning...

DON'T DO IT.
 

Skeletor

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Don't do it.
First of all, it's stupid for the seller to ask. If you pay 3 grand for a guitar and ask the guy to declare it at 500 bucks, it plays out one of 2 ways. If the paperwork shows it insured for $3000 but declared at $500, you may as well paint a red flag on it. Or, you pay $3000 but declare AND insure it for $500. Sorry, but that's an idiotic risk to take just to save a few bucks in taxes.

If you get caught, you'll both be flagged in the system from then on.

In case you missed it at the beginning...

DON'T DO IT.
Entirely agree... As much as I hate forking over excess fees for duties/taxes/brokerage - I still would never want to put a seller in a bad position. As the seller - you have everything to lose and nothing to gain (other than perhaps a sale) by falsifying the paperwork.
As the buyer - buyer just needs to anticipate, understand and accept all of the additional costs of sale
 

Subterfuge

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Do people who live in Canada just expect higher shipping rates? I’ve only shipped one thing there, and it was a little pricey, though it was a small item. My only other experience outside the US is I sent a pickup to a guy in Israel. It was pretty expensive, but he knew that was the deal, In some parts of the world it’s just the way it is.
shipping to Canada is no more expensive than shipping to anywhere else, shipping within Canada is horribly expensive to put it mildly, you've heard about Canadian free health care ??? it's not really free .. and Gov't related expense ie: Post Office, is brutally expensive compared to America ...
 




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