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Best/Worst Courier when Importing to Canada

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Best/Worst Courier when Importing to Canada

Well.. The point of this thread Is to let others know which courier ranks as the best and worst In terms of customs/duties fees.
As you all may know RFD Is meant for saving $ therefore the people here including me would like to know which courier Is the best to use! When ordering online that Is!

Couriers :
  • DHL
  • UPS
  • FedEx
  • Canada Post
  • Purolator
I think these are all the big reputable Canadian couriers?
Based off your experiences which courier has the best and worst customs/duties rate?
I've never got hit by duties/customs yet but I heard DHL Is probably the worst?
Let me hear what your experiences have been!
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Apr 3, 2007
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From where?

If it's the states, I always go with USPS. I have never had problems or charged duties.
On the other hand, I would NOT use UPS. Even though, it's only a letter off from USPS, it's a nightmare to deal with. I remember having to go to a UPS store to pay for duty only to be told to go to another store because they don't process duties there.
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Actually, DHL was pretty damn fair to us when we moved back to Canada. We shipped a crap load of stuff from the states and we got hit with about $75 worth of duties and fees on 13 boxes of contents.
Like a blind man at an orgy, I was going to have to feel my way through.
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The importing can vary from anywhere It's just which courier charges the least!
If RFD were to select one then I would assume the US because lots of cheap stuff gets shipped there!

Thanks for the input guys, Keep It going!

USPS seems to be getting good reviews as that's the courier the site I'm planning to order from uses.. Doesn't It get passed over to Canada Post when It hit the borders?
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I think these are all the big reputable Canadian couriers?
DHL shouldn't be on the list. Not reputable at all.

FedEx and UPS have roughly the same fees among the couriers. USPS is little to nothing. In terms of service and reliability (Express/next day deliveries); FedEx is the best followed by UPS.

Just be careful with USPS and Canada Post, their stuff can get caught up in customs allot and Canada Posts is good at delivering late.
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Oct 13, 2003
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All couriers will charge you the taxes, duties, and brokerage for importing packages into the country.

I think DHL charges 2.5% of total package value as a brokerage fee as opposed to the others who include it in the shipping fee.

Don't use the postal service if you want real tracking.
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Qbit wrote:
Apr 17th, 2012 8:17 pm
All couriers will charge you the taxes, duties, and brokerage for importing packages into the country.

I think DHL charges 2.5% of total package value as a brokerage fee as opposed to the others who include it in the shipping fee.

Don't use the postal service if you want real tracking.

The thing Is I've never got hit by an customs/duties fees on orders that are over $20 despite people saying when the order value Is over that they start charging.

Also what do you mean by "Don't use the postal service if you want real tracking."?
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Jimboski wrote:
Apr 17th, 2012 8:49 pm
The thing Is I've never got hit by an customs/duties fees on orders that are over $20 despite people saying when the order value Is over that they start charging.

Also what do you mean by "Don't use the postal service if you want real tracking."?

I believe this is what the intention was. I sent an express mail pack to Ottawa last Thursday. Tracking showed it was in the post office I dropped it at until Tuesday. Then it showed package successfully delivered. Tracking never updated once over 5 days. Tbh, I would rather pay extra for a courier than canada post. At least I can see progress then. I know tracking is not everything, but when a company (canada post) loses packages on a consistent basis, it would be nice to have some sort of reference point as to where the last location of said package was. Also, it is nice to have a delivery/commerce company that does not take off asinine amounts of time around "holidays" and then take an asinine amount more time to get back on track after.
Like a blind man at an orgy, I was going to have to feel my way through.
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I just shipped a rather pricey luggage ($800) from Germany to Canada using DHL International, and am anxious to know how much $ I'll have to pay when I receive it..

On a related note, does anyone know where in CBSA's website I can find out about duty on luggages? I only know that it's around 18% for clothing..

Thanks in advance.

Edit: I am not sure why the OP says DHL is the worst - if you break out the total fee by 1)duty 2)HST 3)brokerage, I don't think DHL is any worse than other couriers like UPS or whatever.
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leoben wrote:
Apr 17th, 2012 9:29 pm
I just shipped a rather pricey luggage ($800) from Germany to Canada using DHL International, and am anxious to know how much $ I'll have to pay when I receive it..

On a related note, does anyone know where in CBSA's website I can find out about duty on luggages? I only know that it's around 18% for clothing..

Thanks in advance.

Edit: I am not sure why the OP says DHL is the worst - if you break out the total fee by 1)duty 2)HST 3)brokerage, I don't think DHL is any worse than other couriers like UPS or whatever.

What do you mean pricey luggage? Meaning you bought $800 worth of stuff? If so then customs/duties are usually 1/3 of the total order value.

Well It's not only me agreeing that DHL Is the worst, Refer a couple of posts above mine where sandy said "DHL Isn't Reputable" or something along those lines.
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Jimboski wrote:
Apr 17th, 2012 11:58 pm
Refer a couple of posts above mine where sandy said "DHL Isn't Reputable" or something along those lines.

Thats correct. Just because a courier service has cheaper rates doesn't mean it's worth it. You get what you pay for. That often means completely lost shipments that will never be found, constant delays, late deliveries, zero service and the list goes on. If you want security then spend a few extra bucks and ship with one of the big three.
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^^ depends on the size and value claimed on the shipping containment itself... Got a coffee machine, valued at 500$ [& a big box] which was the cost, travelled half of the US to get to me, charge was 35$ and change at the door. USPS

I ship A LOT of big stuff to the US & canada [mostly us; car parts].I've used them all.

There are ways from US -> canada to avoid it, like rockauto.com, they charge the GST on it, so guy drops it off at your doorstep [just ordered 150$ last week and received it]

Canada -> usa is jokes, no customs/nothing. Awesome how we get shafted on almost everything since most vendors/ebayers are too lazy to fill out one extra form - but then again its our own fault for not wanting to pay a few bucks more initially then save big time at the door... oh well!

Like i said above, if the seller charges a tax/duty on what you buy - DON'T WORRY, NO DUTIES since you pre-pay a little bit. Think Amazon.com orders, UPS leaves it at your doorstep since they 'pre-charge' a small fee for the duties crossing over.

Otherwise, if it ain't USPS, bend over. Only saving grace would be people claiming the value <20$ on the package with the 'others', since then it would be maybe 10-20$. I once got some phones in and the guy marked it 'below the 100$' they recommend you do without getting extra insurance, so he put 99.03$ UPS wanted 47$ at the door - half the value of the items. **** that.
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