Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Making a list/review of Canada Post alternatives for shipping to USA

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 7th, 2018 1:51 pm
[OP]
Member
Feb 23, 2015
345 posts
13 upvotes
Mississauga, ON

Making a list/review of Canada Post alternatives for shipping to USA

There are only a few places that offer the service, almost none outside major urban centers. So if you know of others please list here and I will research them and post a comparison table and a searchable map.

Chit Chat express
Stallion Express
??
24 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2011
3327 posts
2036 upvotes
Markham
As far as Chit Chat, I know there are a lot of conflicted feelings about them but I wanted to mention they’ve finally got their act together and rolled out their new streamlined and integrated platform! No more double entry for postage then internal tracking!

Tracking shipments is also much easier and they also offer fully tracked/insured international parcel service through Asendia now too which is 10000% better than DHL and even cheaper than USPS options.

If you haven’t been using Chit Chat due to the archaic system, it might be worth a new shot.

This is the new(ish) site.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
12700 posts
3117 upvotes
Here 'n There
chit chats is great. now if only they had more of a midtown toronto location
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
6208 posts
779 upvotes
Toronto
I just did my first shipment using the new chit chats system, holy cow those Asendia rates for international (non US, non Canada) are comically low. I am loving the shopify integration.
I workout to get big so I can pickup bricks and ****.
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2011
3327 posts
2036 upvotes
Markham
toalan wrote:
Jul 5th, 2018 6:50 pm
I just did my first shipment using the new chit chats system, holy cow those Asendia rates for international (non US, non Canada) are comically low. I am loving the shopify integration.
Ascendia has some horrible reviews online but I used them for a few shipments to EU and Asia so far and they delivered on time and with very good tracking updates. It’s become my go to option for overseas shipments and actually made it competitve to sell from Canada again!
Member
Jan 5, 2007
229 posts
80 upvotes
Cross Border Pickups. Their shipping service caters to small business mostly. I used ChitChats for shipping and Cross Border Pickups for receiving and ended up doing both with Cross Border Pickups for convenience. For my shipments in the 24"x10"x4" range, I find their shipping with tracking and signature to the US cheaper. They also have a "2-day" and "1-day" available for pretty reasonable pricing. I also use them for domestic shipping and find that I am saving about 10%-20% on Canada Post.
Sr. Member
Dec 10, 2002
657 posts
31 upvotes
I know at least 6 of them (in GTA):

  1. http://chitchats.com. Largest in Canada, has drop off locations in BC, Quebec, and Ontario. Price probably is highest.
  2. https://www.crossborderpickups.ca/. Not sure about their price, but used their service to buy from US and they brought it back to Canada. They recently opened an office in Markham (14/Warden)
  3. https://stallionexpress.ca/. Cheaper than ChitChats. Only one office, which is in Markham. Seems not well organized. I heard they are moving to a larger office (Woodbine and 14th?)
  4. https://www.parcelforless.com/, Not sure about pricing, one man operation, Can do both ways (US to Canada and Canada to US).
  5. https://www.shipwizmo.com. Seems in Oakville, but then don't publish their address, probably only offer full service, e.g. pick up your package for a fee.
  6. http://www.ship2us.ca/. They don't have their own storefront. You drop off at their partner's convenience store, Fees are cheaper than most of the above.

We use Chitchats, but not via their online system. We use https://www.emarketplaceservices.com (EMS) to manage our orders and inventories. We use EMS to synchronize our orders from Amazon, eBay, and our own shopping cart. We also link our Stamps.com and Chitchats account in EMS. So that we can print shipping labels directly from EMS, and let it manage inventories as well.

There are a few benefits of using EMS:

  1. EMS is fully integrated with Chitchats, so you do not need to manually import manifest, EMS does it for you.
  2. EMS does not require you to install browser plugin. you can print to your 4x6 label printer directly from your browser. Chitchats requires you to install a browser plugin.
  3. EMS can synchronize orders from Amazon, Shopify, eBay, and Etsy.
  4. EMS has inventory quantity synchronization feature. If you sell in multiple channels, it synchronizes your product quantities with all you connected stores.
  5. Able to use your own USPS label printing providers such as Stamps.com or easypost.com. Stamps.com has a monthly fee (US $15 per month?). easypost also has fees (no monthly fee, but 1 US cent per label), the benefit of using your own USPS label provider is, you can use USD to buy USPS labels. We receive USD from our customers, if we convert our USD to CAD, we lose money. If you buy USPS label from chitchats, they only charge you CAD, say a USPS label cost is 2.66 USD, when chitchats converts it to CAD, they add about 3% or 4% on top of their not so good conversion rate, so you lose money again.
  6. Once a label is printed, EMS will automatically upload the tracking to the corresponding sales channel for you, and complete the order for you.
  7. (In the future) Being able to switch to a different provider any time (like stallion express). They don't support Stallion express at this moment, but I heard they are working with them to get it integrated.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
6208 posts
779 upvotes
Toronto
X24Secret wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 9:58 pm
Ascendia has some horrible reviews online but I used them for a few shipments to EU and Asia so far and they delivered on time and with very good tracking updates. It’s become my go to option for overseas shipments and actually made it competitve to sell from Canada again!
Saving that few dollars per shipment really adds up fast, right now is the best time for a Canadian online business that sells physical product. It really motivates you to do more business.
I workout to get big so I can pickup bricks and ****.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
6208 posts
779 upvotes
Toronto
go77306 wrote:
Jul 29th, 2018 10:18 am
I know at least 6 of them (in GTA):

  1. http://chitchats.com. Largest in Canada, has drop off locations in BC, Quebec, and Ontario. Price probably is highest.
  2. https://www.crossborderpickups.ca/. Not sure about their price, but used their service to buy from US and they brought it back to Canada. They recently opened an office in Markham (14/Warden)
  3. https://stallionexpress.ca/. Cheaper than ChitChats. Only one office, which is in Markham. Seems not well organized. I heard they are moving to a larger office (Woodbine and 14th?)
  4. https://www.parcelforless.com/, Not sure about pricing, one man operation, Can do both ways (US to Canada and Canada to US).
  5. https://www.shipwizmo.com. Seems in Oakville, but then don't publish their address, probably only offer full service, e.g. pick up your package for a fee.
  6. http://www.ship2us.ca/. They don't have their own storefront. You drop off at their partner's convenience store, Fees are cheaper than most of the above.

We use Chitchats, but not via their online system. We use https://www.emarketplaceservices.com (EMS) to manage our orders and inventories. We use EMS to synchronize our orders from Amazon, eBay, and our own shopping cart. We also link our Stamps.com and Chitchats account in EMS. So that we can print shipping labels directly from EMS, and let it manage inventories as well.

There are a few benefits of using EMS:

  1. EMS is fully integrated with Chitchats, so you do not need to manually import manifest, EMS does it for you.
  2. EMS does not require you to install browser plugin. you can print to your 4x6 label printer directly from your browser. Chitchats requires you to install a browser plugin.
  3. EMS can synchronize orders from Amazon, Shopify, eBay, and Etsy.
  4. EMS has inventory quantity synchronization feature. If you sell in multiple channels, it synchronizes your product quantities with all you connected stores.
  5. Able to use your own USPS label printing providers such as Stamps.com or easypost.com. Stamps.com has a monthly fee (US $15 per month?). easypost also has fees (no monthly fee, but 1 US cent per label), the benefit of using your own USPS label provider is, you can use USD to buy USPS labels. We receive USD from our customers, if we convert our USD to CAD, we lose money. If you buy USPS label from chitchats, they only charge you CAD, say a USPS label cost is 2.66 USD, when chitchats converts it to CAD, they add about 3% or 4% on top of their not so good conversion rate, so you lose money again.
  6. Once a label is printed, EMS will automatically upload the tracking to the corresponding sales channel for you, and complete the order for you.
  7. (In the future) Being able to switch to a different provider any time (like stallion express). They don't support Stallion express at this moment, but I heard they are working with them to get it integrated.
You make a compelling case for EMS.
I workout to get big so I can pickup bricks and ****.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
12700 posts
3117 upvotes
Here 'n There
My situation is likely more appropriate for a low volume user. There is no requirement to do a manifest anymore with Chitchats online so EMS automatically importing it is not an advantage. Here's my routine and no plugin is required at all:

1. Cut and paste address to Chitchats. Name, street address, city, zip code automatically import into the right place.
2. Enter box weight & dimensions.
3. Print label on 8-1/2x11 paper, cut out, tape to box.

Takes 2 min per order. Great for my low volume usage. Depending on your volume it might be worth it to pay the monthly fee to get a stamps.com account, use EMS, save a few shekels on paying USD, etc.

I wish Chitchats would get a more midtown Toronto location. It's quite a trek for many who live in TO to go all the way down to the lakefront. Their other locations are even farther. However, that's more than I can say for the other companies that don't even have a city location and are not as well organized.
Sr. Member
Dec 10, 2002
657 posts
31 upvotes
Depends how low is your volume, you may want to invest a label printer... I used to print my labels on a regular printer, I know there is an initial cost of probably $200 for the printer, but it well worth the money! If you don't need it later, you can always sell it on Kiiji, or just buy a used one. Now we only spend average 20 seconds per order. (to get the shipping label printed and affixed to the package)

I just searched on kijiji, you can get a used LP2844 for under $100.
eonibm wrote:
Aug 4th, 2018 12:21 pm
My situation is likely more appropriate for a low volume user. There is no requirement to do a manifest anymore with Chitchats online so EMS automatically importing it is not an advantage. Here's my routine and no plugin is required at all:

1. Cut and paste address to Chitchats. Name, street address, city, zip code automatically import into the right place.
2. Enter box weight & dimensions.
3. Print label on 8-1/2x11 paper, cut out, tape to box.

Takes 2 min per order. Great for my low volume usage. Depending on your volume it might be worth it to pay the monthly fee to get a stamps.com account, use EMS, save a few shekels on paying USD, etc.

I wish Chitchats would get a more midtown Toronto location. It's quite a trek for many who live in TO to go all the way down to the lakefront. Their other locations are even farther. However, that's more than I can say for the other companies that don't even have a city location and are not as well organized.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
12700 posts
3117 upvotes
Here 'n There
go77306 wrote:
Aug 7th, 2018 10:42 pm
Depends how low is your volume, you may want to invest a label printer... I used to print my labels on a regular printer, I know there is an initial cost of probably $200 for the printer, but it well worth the money! If you don't need it later, you can always sell it on Kiiji, or just buy a used one. Now we only spend average 20 seconds per order. (to get the shipping label printed and affixed to the package)

I just searched on kijiji, you can get a used LP2844 for under $100.
Just isn't justified by my volume. It might save me 2 min a week if that!
Newbie
Jun 12, 2018
6 posts
I’ve recently started using Chit Chats and it has been a game changer for my shop. I don’t know other cross border services but it’s much much cheaper than CP. They now have some drop spots you might want to check out.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
6208 posts
779 upvotes
Toronto
rnelson22 wrote:
Aug 9th, 2018 2:49 pm
I’ve recently started using Chit Chats and it has been a game changer for my shop. I don’t know other cross border services but it’s much much cheaper than CP. They now have some drop spots you might want to check out.
Game changer is an appropriate term. You are saving atleast 50% WRT CP, and you get tracking. With CP you pay double and get no tracking or pay quadruple and get tracking.

The best time for a Canadian online business that sells physical product is right now just because of cross border services. The problem now is finding Canadian products to sell that is not a food item and fits into a bubble envelope.
I workout to get big so I can pickup bricks and ****.

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