Canadian Orders


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Mar 26, 2003
Alberta CANADA
The Framing Nook
Any Canadians order small amounts of wall buddies or stuff like that thru a US distributor? I am wondering what it takes regarding the border crossing ie going thru brokers etc. Is it still worth it?
I don't know about going from the US to Canada, but I have been burnt a couple of times buying stuff from Canada. UPS is good about waiting 2 weeks after you receive your package, then they send you a very large bill for 'customs'. I will never again buy anything from Canada to be shipped in. I don't know if it is our government or UPS that has ripped me several times. It will not happen again.
Jerry, as far as I know, it's UPS that has such an outragous customs clearing charge. I only use them for oversize, overweight items.

I have found the Canadian and US Postal Services to be the best for normally sized/weighted items. They are reasonably speedy, and you can get tracking numbers. Great customer service.

HB - From US to Canada, they charge $5.00 for clearing customs. They also collect the GST. What with Free Trade and all, I've never had to pay any duty.

Originally posted by HB:
... going thru brokers etc. Is it still worth it?
We used to order a lot more from the US. In recent years, between the relative strengthening of the Canuck buck, along with better pricing from local distributors, we order far less.

As Jerry and Rebecca have touched upon, any courier service must clear your parcel(s) through customs; this is true whether going south to north, or visa versa. Typically, this cost is around $25.

For small parcels, mail is definitely better, faster and cheaper. If you can have your parcel shipped as "samples", it works out even better and simpler.

We ship both framed and unframed artwork via post whenever possible, especially to the US or overseas. I feel (rightly or wrongly) that, shipping via post requires an extra modicum of care in packaging but, for us, it's worth it.

The bottom line is, if your parcel cannot be mailed, figure on an extra brokerage fee ($25 or so), plus shipping. Duty is usually not an issue these days.

In any event, the package will arrive; it's simply a matter of whether or not, when all the charges are calculated, it will work out beneficially for you...

For "small amounts of wall buddies", I suspect it won't be worth the effort. However, if in doubt, try it and find out for yourself; the costs, regardless of the outcome, won't make a major impact on your bottom line.

Best of luck.

p.s. Our rule of thumb is, assuming it's a product we can purchase locally, if it's not priced at close to 50% off our local prices, it's probably not worth while (for us!) ordering from across the border. And that 50% off is a lot harder to find these days!