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  • Oct 20th, 2010 2:56 pm
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Sr. Member
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Aug 30, 2006
729 posts
4 upvotes
Toronto

AliBaba Shipping And Customs

I plan on buying some stuff off of Alibab.com and wanted to know if people had any experience with the duties and custom fees they had to pay.

For example, I plan on buying stuff for $200, shipping is $150. How much would I be looking to pay in terms of duties and customs if the product comes from China and is shipped via DHL/UPS or is it better to ship via China's Postal Service?
10 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 13, 2004
7475 posts
601 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
Mac10 wrote:
Oct 15th, 2010 1:09 am
I plan on buying some stuff off of Alibab.com and wanted to know if people had any experience with the duties and custom fees they had to pay.

For example, I plan on buying stuff for $200, shipping is $150. How much would I be looking to pay in terms of duties and customs if the product comes from China and is shipped via DHL/UPS or is it better to ship via China's Postal Service?

Be very very careful with that site. you are buying from sellers on the site and not from alibab.com actually. I lost around $200 from that site after the seller sent me fake electronics. I complained at Alibab.com also filed a complaint with paypal & also Visa nobody could do anything for me unfortunately.
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Deal Fanatic
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Feb 25, 2004
5653 posts
147 upvotes
New Westminster
As sickcar mentioned, alibaba is not a "dealer" ... it is simply a "connections" site between sellers and buyers.

UPS brokerage fees are listed here: http://www.ups.com/content/ca/en/shippi ... rance.html

If China Post connects with Canada Post then brokerage will be less ... but it will probably take longer and won't have as good tracking.

Duties depends on where the item was made (most likely China) but also on what the item is. You can (good luck) search the pages here: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/trade-commerce/tariff-tarif/ or just phone Canada Customs and they can tell you.
Deal Addict
Dec 13, 2007
1488 posts
37 upvotes
Toronto
I've dealt with suppliers from globalsources.com. At some point they printed a catalog of suppliers (which I somehow received) and those seem to be serious companies. Did not have any problems
Newbie
User avatar
Sep 27, 2010
75 posts
3 upvotes
Parkhill, ON
I order a lot from Alibaba as it is the best way to find wholesale suppliers. Ship only EMS or China Post, there will be no duty or taxes upon arrival as long as your total package is under $1600.00 CAD. I have used DHL and had the same service, no duty. NEVER use UPS.
I do go and check if the supplier does have there own web page showing there factory/showroom etc. Because of the time difference it usually takes 24 hours to get an answer back so if you don't hear anything back right away they are sleeping ;)
Jeff
Member
Jan 25, 2010
375 posts
25 upvotes
Montr
Ask the seller what is the HS Code of the product you are buying. This is an internationally unique code for that type of product. Then, go on Canadian Customs website and download their PDF for custom duty rates, and look up the % for that HS code.

Then check with the shipping company how much they charge for brokerage services.
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 30, 2006
729 posts
4 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for all the help guys. Much appreciated.
Newbie
Dec 4, 2006
17 posts
1 upvote
If you want a alternative to ali baba i would check out dhgate.
I like that site do to the fact that the sellers do have ratings, so it is a little more safe. But always do your research about the seller before buying a item.
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2004
1625 posts
54 upvotes
dogxray wrote:
Oct 15th, 2010 9:35 am
I order a lot from Alibaba as it is the best way to find wholesale suppliers. Ship only EMS or China Post, there will be no duty or taxes upon arrival as long as your total package is under $1600.00 CAD. I have used DHL and had the same service, no duty. NEVER use UPS.
I do go and check if the supplier does have there own web page showing there factory/showroom etc. Because of the time difference it usually takes 24 hours to get an answer back so if you don't hear anything back right away they are sleeping ;)
Jeff

1600cad and no tax? Why is that?
Newbie
User avatar
Sep 27, 2010
75 posts
3 upvotes
Parkhill, ON
$1600 or more and customs holds it for you to clear it and then release it to you after you pay the tax. Was not clear on the tax thing. But you have to pay them on the spot and then wait a week for them to release it to you. For me to go to customs and do all that is a 3 hour visit and then wait for the product to arrive. So I order in smaller quantities to avoid the hassle
Jr. Member
Aug 22, 2010
106 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
I used to sell a lot of stuff on ebay. But my business died when HK/China sellers started signing up and I couldn't compete with their shipping prices. I couldn't even get my stuff drop shipped for cheaper. It was the time when a bunch of HK/China sellers discovered ebay and started selling on there.

I bought a lot of stuff from suppliers I found on alibaba. What I do to make sure they actually have the product is ask them to take pictures of it, send me samples, etc. It's almost impossible for them to mark it as gift and get away with it. Many are unwilling to do that. They will lower the value of the item if you ask so that you pay less. Most of my shipments were with DHL. There were a few times when I didn't have to pay, but most of the time I did.

For $200 worth of products, it's not worth a lot and you can probably get away with it if you ask them to lower the value of the shipped goods. But be sure that they do not include an invoice with the package in case your package gets inspected.

But like someone here said, be careful of scammers. THere are a lot on alibaba and you have to do your own research on the company. I've never been scammed working with about 15-20 suppliers but I'm always careful and do my own research and be on the lookout for clues. I never work with suspicious suppliers. Ask if you can buy samples of a few of their products and ask them to take more pictures of the photo. Most of the scammers will not let you buy samples and provide you with only stock photos or photos stolen from other websites. Use tineye.com to see where they got the photo from.
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