Shopping Discussion

Is it worth it to buy a TV from USA and bring it back to Canada

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 8th, 2013 2:48 pm
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Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5876 posts
1530 upvotes
BC
dutchca wrote:
Nov 25th, 2013 7:25 pm
There isnt supposed to be discretion on duties. Taxes yes, but not duties.

Practice may be different but my comment was directed towards what is mandatory.
Yes, that is correct. The collection of duty is core business for Canada Customs and they only collect Federal and Provincial tax as effectively a sideline or a favour to other government agencies.

RFD people's experience is all over the map.

Some claim they have been crossing the border for years with major purchases and never been asked to go inside and pay anything.

Others have more realistic tales of periodically being sent in for day trip purchases of as low as $50.

It varies by border crossing too. Smaller points of entry tend to send more people in, but even there it can still be a random process depending on how busy they are or on individual officer.

Once inside, some officers will be quite adept at looking up duty rates and charging accordingly, while others will take a guess that an item is zero duty and just collect the tax.

One indisputable fact is that with the ever increasing traffic over the border they are not able to operate by the book nearly as much as they used to.

Years ago Canadians seldom went over for a day trip to shop, just for overnights or vacations.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
24601 posts
10062 upvotes
dutchca wrote:
Nov 25th, 2013 7:25 pm
There isnt supposed to be discretion on duties. Taxes yes, but not duties.

Practice may be different but my comment was directed towards what is mandatory.
Again, it is different in practice. I've been waived on all sorts of stuff including non-NAFTA clothing which is what? 30%?
Deal Addict
Feb 28, 2004
3807 posts
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Vancouver
LostInTruth wrote:
Nov 24th, 2013 10:50 pm
^ It all ends up in the landfill in China anyways. People have too much time and money to spend on junk.
Corrected
Deal Addict
Mar 4, 2011
1057 posts
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Vancouver
death_hawk wrote:
Nov 25th, 2013 9:53 pm
Again, it is different in practice. I've been waived on all sorts of stuff including non-NAFTA clothing which is what? 30%?
You're located here in the west, aren't you?
From reading the posts over the years about whether people were being charged duties and taxes when returning from the US I've always thought that it sounds like the eastern crossings were stricter than the ones here in the west. I probably either shop or pick up packages from a mail drop in Washington every 6 weeks or so and haven't been charged anything for at least 15 years except this September when I was taxed on my new puppy.
That said, I never bring back anything without the full expectation that I will have to pay any applicable duties and taxes. I always take that into account when determining if a purchase is a good deal or not. If I don't get sent in to pay it's an even better deal.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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mslolo wrote:
Nov 26th, 2013 2:48 am
You're located here in the west, aren't you?
From reading the posts over the years about whether people were being charged duties and taxes when returning from the US I've always thought that it sounds like the eastern crossings were stricter than the ones here in the west. I probably either shop or pick up packages from a mail drop in Washington every 6 weeks or so and haven't been charged anything for at least 15 years except this September when I was taxed on my new puppy.
That said, I never bring back anything without the full expectation that I will have to pay any applicable duties and taxes. I always take that into account when determining if a purchase is a good deal or not. If I don't get sent in to pay it's an even better deal.
I sure am, but that doesn't explain that one time I brought back $100 worth of goods and was sent in to pay the taxable portion which amounted to $2 worth of GST which works out to $40 worth of taxable goods.
I'm all for enforcing of taxation, but I'm pretty sure it'll cost more than $2 to process the paperwork on the $2 I just paid.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 3, 2010
814 posts
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Richmond Hill
Sanyo wrote:
Nov 25th, 2013 9:20 am
What's the difference in price between the two countries ?
Wow....I just did a quick lookup between Bestbuy.ca and Bestbuy.com....

On the Samsung F7100 55" that you (OP) are looking at:

Bestbuy.ca: $2,299.99

(http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/sam ... c72bc3en02)

Bestbuy.com: $1,297.99 - on sale right now regular $1699.99

(http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/sam ... c72bc3en02

Given this price difference, hell yeah! Buy in the states. It's $1,000 less. Add in tax and duties, gas to go and come back, even throw in a repair cost. I think you would still come out ahead.
Sr. Member
Dec 20, 2007
603 posts
47 upvotes
At the end of the day you need to figure out if the price with taxes and duty (not applicable on Nafta countries e.g US and Mexico) is cheaper or not. (Sony XBR TV's were made in Mexico a few years ago, not sure if they still are.) If there is a saving you might as well go for it because you're so close to the border. I bring stuff back all the time (about 1.5hr drive from the drop box) and its always been clean and simple. Because you're so close if something happens (statistically very low failures down the road for new TV's) just take it back to the US for warranty replacement.
Deal Guru
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May 9, 2006
11317 posts
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How are you going to bring the TV back? I've read Plasma TVs shouldn't rest on its side... not sure about LCDs. Also if you're planning on getting a big TV, do you have a van to haul it back? Those boxes are massive.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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joeyjoejoe wrote:
Nov 26th, 2013 12:03 pm
How are you going to bring the TV back? I've read Plasma TVs shouldn't rest on its side... not sure about LCDs. Also if you're planning on getting a big TV, do you have a van to haul it back? Those boxes are massive.
It wouldn't be the first time I brought a trailer to the US and it sure won't be the last.
Next trip I'm going to be importing a standalone fridge and standalone freezer.
Deal Guru
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Nov 30, 2009
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Toronto
Why don't more Canadians move to the U.S. if prices are so low?
[QUOTE]I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.[/QUOTE] ~Andy Bernard, The Office (U.S.)
Deal Addict
May 2, 2007
3015 posts
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Kingston
^ have you seen the wages, and health care costs?
Member
Jan 17, 2013
457 posts
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Sarnia
In less than 6 months that same tv will be down below $1400 on sale in Canada as well. I'd wait.
Deal Guru
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Nov 30, 2009
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Toronto
starboy869 wrote:
Nov 26th, 2013 6:42 pm
^ have you seen the wages, and health care costs?
Things we take for granted maybe?
[QUOTE]I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.[/QUOTE] ~Andy Bernard, The Office (U.S.)
Deal Fanatic
Aug 22, 2006
9820 posts
855 upvotes
death_hawk wrote:
Nov 25th, 2013 3:09 am
Misinformed comment. On paper it's 100% but in practice it's much lower, especially if it's a personal importation.
While I have no actual stats, I'd say my own personal stats are about 40% pay rates. Dollar values don't matter as I've been sent to pay $2 worth of GST and waived with $5k worth of goods on a 7 day.
Dollar amount does matter in that the higher amount you spend, the more likely you'll need to pay. If you only buy a couple hundred on a day trip you'll almost never be asked to go in. If you spend less than $1000 on BF, i doubt they'll even take a second look at you but if you bring back $3000 on a regular day, almost guaranteed you're going inside to pay. Also to a degree it depends on what you buy... if you spent a decent amount, they'll ask you what you bought and depending on what you bought, farther questioning like how much was product a, b, c.. .etc and if the amount is somewhat high, you'll be more likely to go in than if most of the stuff you bought is non-taxable.

If they asked you to go in to just pay $2, then the custom officer probably thought you were lying (as most that goes down South actually spend a bit more than $20 or $30) to them or you bought a lot of non-taxable items and they didn't ask anymore questions or you were just the random person they decided to flag inside (pretty rare).
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May 9, 2006
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death_hawk wrote:
Nov 26th, 2013 4:30 pm
It wouldn't be the first time I brought a trailer to the US and it sure won't be the last.
Next trip I'm going to be importing a standalone fridge and standalone freezer.
And that's assuming OP even has a trailer hitch.

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