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  1. #31
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    Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
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    I am in Canada as well, and always have had to pay $30+ just for brokerage fees alone for my Tom Bihn UPS orders. That's over-and-above shipping, duty, & GST. USPS is an option we have when ordering $49 or less worth of Tom Bihn product, but I would certainly prefer to use USPS rather than UPS for all of my orders, if I had the choice.
    Aeronaut 45; Synapse 19; Co-Pilot; PCBP & other packing cubes; Swift; 2 x Little Swifts; 3 x Side Effects; 5 Shop Bags; Small Cafe Bag; 6 Travel Trays; 5 Clear Quarter Packing Cubes; Cache ; Guardian Lights; 3 x 3D Clear Organizer Cubes; 3 x 3D All-Fabric Organizer Cubes; 4 Yarn Stuff Sacks; many Clear Organizer Wallets; many, many pouches; Cafe Messenger Stabilizer.

  2. #32
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    Same for Germany—USPS would be a much cheaper option.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Yikes. @BihnBag much of this is illuminating to us. Thank you for doing all of this research. We actually have a meeting scheduled with our UPS rep this week, and we're going to ask about some of these things.
    @darcy, did you learn anything useful from this meeting that you could share with us?

  4. #34
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    I know that this is an old post but I wanted to chime in. I regularly buy items from the USA to resell as a side business so I have some experience.

    Items from Tom Bihn should not be charged any duties. They should only be charged for the corresponding GST/PST/HST. This is because they are manufactured in the USA and under NAFTA no duties should apply.

    The brokerage fee is the biggest cost and it is super inconsistent. It is basically ups saying we fronted these costs for you and dealt with CBSA so pay us whatever we say !

    With your tracking info you should always contact UPS as soon as you have the package and tell them you want to ďself-declareĒ the items. This means that you are in charge of paying the duties and picking up the package (usually at the airport for me in Calgary). You pay only the corresponding government charges and avoid all brokerage fees. This applies to Fedex Ground and Express as well. You can try with DHL but Iíve never actually managed to.


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  5. #35
    Forum Member KmK's Avatar
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    Homerslog,

    If you do that, though, would you have to go to the "port of entry" airport? Items arriving for the Maritimes pass through Montreal first...never directly to Halifax, for example.

  6. #36
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    For me the problem is that if the package is inspected by German customs (and they seem to snatch anything bigger than an envelope) they hold it at a facility well outside of my (rather large) city. Itís only open for half a day in the first part of the day, and trains donít run as regularly out that way, so if I want to get my package (and avoid missing work) I have to get up crazy early and spend two hours on the train. And then fumble through a conversation with a bureaucrat, in stilted German, who will likely ask for some document I donít have.

    Or I can have it delivered to me for Ä29 (plus duties) which is what I normally end up doing.

    Now that you mention UPS I remember the additional complications I always have with them holding my package, wanting more money, etc. The smoothest route seems to be USPS which ends up as DHL/Deutsche Post on my end, but you still have all the problems from my first paragraph.

  7. #37
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    Ok, really old thread, but since it's been revived, let me throw in my experience. Several years ago I need to get a replacement propane hose for our camp stove. From the stove manufacturer, the hose was a $25 part, and they offered free shipping (within the contiguous lower 48). I tried to see about shipping it to me here in Canada. That $25 part ended up pricing out at $147 USD. According to the invoice, it was $25 for the part, then $12 to ship it to a brokerage firm, who then charged $45 in brokerage fees, and another $65 in shipping fees, Canadian taxes were due on delivery on top of all that. I found that to be completely ridiculous. Thankfully, I had a planned camping trip stateside, so I sent it (with free shipping) to a parcel hold location near the campground, where I picked it up for the parcel hold facility's $5 per package fee. $147 vs $30. And since I was there for 48 hours, when I declared it with our other purchases at the end of the extended weekend, since we were under the exemption limit we were waved right through at the border without the taxes.

    It's experiences like that where I tend to hold off on doing cross border orders unless it's something big, where I assumed I was ahead by having more on the order vs less to even out the brokerage fees. I never realized that UPS might be charging more per line item in the order. I'll need to rethink some of my strategies.
    Last edited by Kaadk; 01-27-2020 at 10:44 AM.

  8. #38
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    I guess I should have specified my post was specific to Canada. I canít really comment about European countries as I have no clue how they operate.

    Quote Originally Posted by KmK View Post
    Homerslog,

    If you do that, though, would you have to go to the "port of entry" airport? Items arriving for the Maritimes pass through Montreal first...never directly to Halifax, for example.
    Hmm. Iím not sure but I am 90% sure that you donít. I would call UPS and ask. At the end of the day all ups ground packages enter the country through borders well away from their final destination. Iím also fairly sure that Iíve had packages enter through eastern Canada and I havenít had that issue but Calgary is a big hub so it might be different for other cities.



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  9. #39
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    Agree 100% with homerslog about the NAFTA stuff. We shouldn’t be paying any duties on this stuff. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again ... I really wish that TB had the USPS option on orders over $50.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarpy View Post
    Agree 100% with homerslog about the NAFTA stuff. We shouldn’t be paying any duties on this stuff. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again ... I really wish that TB had the USPS option on orders over $50.
    I agree. I'm a Canadian living in the UK and the high costs on shipping stop me from placing orders a lot. A USPS option on more expensive orders would help or a cheaper option anyway. I notice when I buy from the US at other stores, its generally not as steep.

  11. #41
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    I just paid my brokerage fees to the UK on a 300 dollar order value and I was lucky this time with 36 UK pounds in tax and 11.50 UPS brokerage fees. It has been twice as much on similar orders in the past. So random!

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  12. #42
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    So I actually just paid duties for my order to Canada and it was pretty standard for a NAFTA deal.

    My order was 500 USD/700 CAD and I paid $26 CAD and change, which included the pre-payment discount of $5.

    So overall not a bad deal at all. I don’t know if this has anything to do with TB’s meeting with UPS and how they declare charges. I’m glad to know it can be this low for duties for future orders.

  13. #43
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    The far west
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    @darcy, did you learn anything useful from this meeting that you could share with us?
    I haven't forgotten about this topic! @MikeV is working on this project and gathering information/options for us. It's in the works.
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

  14. #44
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    Also from Canada - also paid $35 or so for duties and what not. I don't have TB ship here anymore.

    I typically wait and hope what I want is available on my next trip to the US and have it shipped to the hotel. This is also a gamble as it has to arrive in a tight window. I usually have to pay $5 to get my package from the business center at the hotel but that's much cheaper in the end.

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