Shopping Discussion

Mail Processing at Canada Customs SLOW?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 19th, 2017 11:30 pm
Sr. Member
Nov 20, 2005
913 posts
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It's not really worth the hassle for shipping small goods crossborder then bringing it back home. The gas + the waiting times at the border will just negate any savings you are trying to achieve. Just spend the extra for ePacket because you'll get it at a decent time, the biggest problem is the none express packets that is taking a long time. Even the trackable ones are taking longer than expected. As for untrackable ones, don't even bother, at this rate I feel like I may win the lottery before getting them.
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Dec 17, 2004
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pitabread wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 4:26 am
It's not really worth the hassle for shipping small goods crossborder then bringing it back home. The gas + the waiting times at the border will just negate any savings you are trying to achieve. Just spend the extra for ePacket because you'll get it at a decent time, the biggest problem is the none express packets that is taking a long time. Even the trackable ones are taking longer than expected. As for untrackable ones, don't even bother, at this rate I feel like I may win the lottery before getting them.
For people living in border city such as myself (White rock BC), i get gas across the border (2.89 USD/G) and pick up packages when i do.
I was actually trying to order my phone and ship it to the US but aliexpress cancelled my order while i provided proof of my cc and account, which is bull.
I wound up creating another account and just ship to canada.

I did order phone cases from ebay (chinese origin) and shipped to US.
Guess what, both the phone and case shipped from Shenzen and i ordered the case end of January, almost 2 weeks since my phone tracking shows in canada already.
I got my phone case 3 weeks later in the US and i am still waiting for my phone going 70 days now.
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Dec 27, 2016
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jan27299 wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 12:39 pm
For people living in border city such as myself (White rock BC), i get gas across the border (2.89 USD/G) and pick up packages when i do.
I was actually trying to order my phone and ship it to the US but aliexpress cancelled my order while i provided proof of my cc and account, which is bull.
I wound up creating another account and just ship to canada.

I did order phone cases from ebay (chinese origin) and shipped to US.
Guess what, both the phone and case shipped from Shenzen and i ordered the case end of January, almost 2 weeks since my phone tracking shows in canada already.
I got my phone case 3 weeks later in the US and i am still waiting for my phone going 70 days now.

See that is what its a mystery. I am not sure shipping to the US border has any special treatment like a loop hole to get it faster. Because my phone is the one that is stuck. I shipped it to Toronto from China. But the case which was shipped after the phone got here in a month. So I dont know what to believe. Makes me wonder that this whole theory about CBSA under staffed is just a bunch of BS. How did the case get here faster than the phone by the same shipping company? I am guessing they just sort things that could be valuable by looking at a phone, which I assume usually comes in a small box. But the cases will be in a plastic envelope. So they deliberately put the phones away for later and release the cases.
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User042404 wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 2:20 pm
See that is what its a mystery. I am not sure shipping to the US border has any special treatment like a loop hole to get it faster. Because my phone is the one that is stuck. I shipped it to Toronto from China. But the case which was shipped after the phone got here in a month. So I dont know what to believe. Makes me wonder that this whole theory about CBSA under staffed is just a bunch of BS. How did the case get here faster than the phone by the same shipping company? I am guessing they just sort things that could be valuable by looking at a phone, which I assume usually comes in a small box. But the cases will be in a plastic envelope. So they deliberately put the phones away for later and release the cases.

My phone is shipped to Canada.
Phone case is shipped to USA parcel receiving.

My point is, its faster to ship in to the US.
Even in the past before all the slowness, my shipments from china to USA is 2-3 weeks tops but average 2 weeks.
Shipment from China to Canada was always 4-6 weeks on average, 3 weeks if i am lucky.

till now shipments to USA is still 3-4 weeks fro china whereas China to Canada is average 2-4 months.
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Sep 19, 2002
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Good idea about shipping to a U.S. postal box.

For those in Vancouver, it's less than 30km to Point Roberts package services and USPS.

I'd much rather ship to the U.S. in 3-4 weeks than ship to Canada in 3-4 months.

A lot of Vancouver residents already drive down every weekend to get eggs and milk from Costco, might as well get mail as well.
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Feb 9, 2009
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User042404 wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 2:20 pm
So they deliberately put the phones away for later and release the cases.
It might look like a balancing act to satisfy Canada retail lobby, especially since the obsolete $20 limit is not enforced in practice. It also allows to collect more taxes from phone sales in Canada. As well, mobile phones more often require opening the package to assess value, so it adds to CBSA workload. It might be that package opening (secondary inspection) is a separate stream with its own Que. It also depends on value the seller has declared in CN22, as low value packages are less likely to be delayed for opening. Current state of economy, local sales volume, and total tax revenue collected always factor into this. But a lot of cheap G3 $60 mobile phones are sold on Ebay, so they are hardly flagged.
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Aug 23, 2004
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Have two items (ebay) shipping from China since Feb 3. Looks like they will not arrive until April.
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arnycus wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 4:41 pm
Current state of economy, local sales volume, and total tax revenue collected always factor into this.
Isn't this the chicken egg which came first situation? Most people buy from China because they can't afford the ridiculous overpriced phones and incredibly high taxes locally. (Samsung, apple phones) If the phones are affordable and if the taxes are reasonable there wouldn't be any need to order overseas from China. Some of the Chinese phones are faaaar superior for the price you pay compared to the highly reputed branded phones that rip you off. It has gone to a point that holy crap you bought a phone in bestbuy?? wow you are rich!!

If that was not the case I would be happy to buy a phone from Bestbuy. In any other scenario this would be seen as a highly selfish act (if the govt isnt involved) Discouraging people to buy cheap stuff from China. But its amazing that US doesn't have a problem with it and respects the global free market and isnt give the consumer a hard time. We are getting ripped off in taxes. If you have noticed the supplements price in Canada, compared to the states its ridiculous. Almost twice as much for the same product, it is cheaper for me to order it from the states INCLUDING the shipping charges than go to a local supplement store to buy things.
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Dec 27, 2016
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apvm wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 4:51 pm
Have two items (ebay) shipping from China since Feb 3. Looks like they will not arrive until April.
Oh I am sure it will arrive before April!!!

April 2018! Face With Tears Of Joy
Member
Nov 7, 2014
461 posts
170 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
I finally got my Aliexpress underwear today. It was ordered November 22, so about 118 days in total shipping time.

I told my postman that I had ordered this in November. He acted really surprised it took this long. I think he is not aware this kind of delay has been normal. Interesting...
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Jan 4, 2017
286 posts
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Calgary
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I received two 11 Nov orders today (not trackable) - after 129 days: synchronized sluggishness. Another two 11 Nov orders are still missing and two 8th Nov orders, also. If you want to call the CBSA's front desk in Mississauga, this is the number: 1-905 625 7100. I left a message and when somebody returned my call, I was on the other line and missed them. My updated table is attached.

Any more 11th Nov orders and earlier missing?
We came, we saw, we left!
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User042404 wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 5:08 pm
Most people buy from China because they can't afford the ridiculous overpriced phones and incredibly high taxes locally.
Of course, but there is caveat... Some folks don't realize, Band Certification Fees are the huge part of a phone cost. On China local market, a modern local make phone costs ~$35 up, but with a weaker CPU and only support for China bands. They seems to be heavily subsidized by China gov to fight iPhone popularity. On AliExpress many sellers offer "world phone" versions that employ higher end CPU and support mostly European bands. Very few phones on Ali support NA LTE bands, and they are costly, since demand is low but certification cost high. If a China phone maker enables NA bands without licenses, they may be subject to costly law suites or ban from the market. Its also not so easy to unlock NA bands on most phones even if supported by CPU, since each band requires antenna tuneup and amplifier settings in firmware users don't know even if they find the right tools.

So, besides cost there is also band support factor. I'd say 70-80% of cost difference for "high end" China phones goes to band certification fees. For example, Rogers employs 4G LTE band 12/17 (700Mhz) for better wall penetration, and bands 4 (1700/2100) & 7 (2600) for higher bandwidth, and Bell uses same bands and b2 (they are different from similar frequencies in 2G and 3G range). Likelihood is, most Ali sold cheap phones would only support LTE b7 if any, plus a whole bunch of useless here LTE bands, so in most places LTE fast downloads may not be available with a China cheap phone, it will fall-over to 3G range. Also reception quality will suffer in suburbs and concrete blds, and the choice of mobile LTE providers limited. It may be an unwelcome surprise for many buyers. So the local mobile market is protected by prohibitive industry set fees rather than duties, though Customs still helps to collect taxes and duties on these "handicap" phones.

As to CBSA phone number above, it might be useful only to those who got a Notice from CBSA to submit receipts etc. I doubt they can answer when a certain item not registered in their DB will be processed.
Last edited by arnycus on Mar 20th, 2017 7:08 pm, edited 9 times in total.
Member
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Oct 14, 2009
458 posts
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Windsor, Ont.
Got a notice on my door today about a package delivery. Can't pick it up until tomorrow. I bought a phone that shipped on the 28th of December. Arrived in Canada on the 17th of February.

Of course, I bought a case for the phone around the same time, so I have to assume I'm going to get the case first and wait another month or two for the phone.
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Feb 19, 2017
12 posts
JurgenK857634 wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 5:46 pm
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I received two 11 Nov orders today (not trackable) - after 129 days: synchronized sluggishness.
Hey congrats! Just a quick question (hope you don't mind answering)... Has CBSA opened any of your packages for second inspection? I am just curious whether that could be the reason for this whole delays :S
Member
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Jan 4, 2017
286 posts
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Calgary
zinx7z wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 8:13 pm
Hey congrats! Just a quick question (hope you don't mind answering)... Has CBSA opened any of your packages for second inspection? I am just curious whether that could be the reason for this whole delays :S
No, nothing has ever been opened! And these two were not even shipped by Aliexpress standard but by untrackable super cheapo snail mail...and they beat the Aliexpress standard shipped stuff...which is presently at 132 days and counting.
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