Question for the latitudinally challenged - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Temagami, ON
Posts: 40
Question for the latitudinally challenged

While I'm waiting for the snow and ice to melt I'd like to buy some stuff. I was hoping my fellow Canadians could help me out with some solid advice on ordering from south of the border ie what taxes do I pay at the vendor or at the border, what kind of duty I can excpect to pay, post vs courier etc.....

I will buy locally when I can and I don't mind paying a little extra but the petro-can in town isn't exactly overstocked with bike stuff though they do have an excellent selection of car deoderizers.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Langley, British Columbia
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Whenever I purchase bike parts from the US I ask that they send by US Post, that way I seem to avoid the duties when I pick it up the post office.

Recently I purchased a Stebl horn, and the Purolater courier very nicely asked for $35.00 duty, which was more than half the cost of the horn, man was I @#$%ed.

I have heard that the old trick of saying the package contains a gift, seems to get the attention of the customs inspectors these days.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 08:01 PM
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 102
Stevebee is right - USPS is the only way to go. Stay away from the couriers. UPS is amongst the worst for courier services - I have paid close to 50% of the value of the product for their "brokerage fee". Total scam. Beyond that you will have to pay the normal PST and GST, and of course the lousy (currently) exchange rate

Sometimes (and not always from my experience), USPS will add a $5.00 charge for the border paperwork - gladly pay it in comparison with what others charge. Bottom line is we end up paying quite a bit more than our friends in the US, but, hey, that's the way it is, and didn't we get the V a year or two before they did??
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 08:35 PM
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
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What those guys said 1+. UPS is brutal and will rape you on brokerage charges. ($45-$55 Cdn) for anything that crosses the border.

USPS (The American version of Canada Post) charges nothing to broker. It is up to customs whether or not to hold the package and have you come in and claim or not. I ordered Handguards just recently and had to phone the dealer to ensure they used USPS. Shipped for around $14, zero brokerage charges, came to my door with a signature required for delivery.

Any online business without the ability to ship cross border with USPS should be avoided by our fellow Canucks.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 10:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Iowa
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When we used to go to BMW rallies our Canadian friends would strip their bikes and come over and put about everything they could on them and go home. Shame we have such a border problem. I ordered a crossbow from Canada once and got lost in the mail. You talk about a mess trying to work between two mail services to find a tracking on an insured item. After 3 months i gave up. 6 months later half the package came of the two sent. Now i don't sent anything other than to US. Like my across the border friends a lot and have several good ones i rode with but too much hassle sending or buying anymore for me. Insured USPS sure didn't work for me. thanks for the tips

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 11:04 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Edmonton AB.
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All couriers are bad but UPS is by far the worst. They'll take your package and flatten it, crush it and run over it with a fork lift. Then they'll bill you for bogus surcharges. And if you refuse to pay they'll send a collection agency after you. With UPS they win, you lose.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 05:21 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 687
+2 on the USPS recommendation. I've bought some big ticket items from the States (a helmet and set of tires) and had no problems, paid no duty. Hey, isn't that one of the reasons we signed NAFTA?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Iowa
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Second the ups problems. Every single package i get from them includeing the one a couple days ago is almost destroyed. SOme i have sent back. USPS is much better but always insure them or they know and somehow get pretty ruffled up also. Postal is much better if you have a claim also. And that is just here in the US.

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