USPS vs UPS [What's the opposite of Gloat]

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Perhaps Canadian readers will be interested in my recent experience.
I ordered some stuff from Woodsmith costing $42.90US and they were about to charge me $21.49US for handling and shipping via UPS. I felt this was excessive (50% of the value of the order) so I asked them to ship it USPS instead. They agreed and said the charge would be $16.25US. I found this still to be expensive but I agreed to the price.
I received the package today with a charge of $12.94CAN. This is $3.70 Federal Sales Tax plus $4.24 Provincial Sales Tax plus --- wait for it --- $5.00 service charge!!
So now I have paid $16.25US plus $12.94CAN via the postal service versus $21.49US for UPS. I don't know if there would have been additional charges by UPS (taxes etc). Perhaps someone can enlighten me on that point.
Even without tax considerations, it cost me $16.25US plus $5.00CAN instead of $21.49US. Not much of a saving considering the current exchange rates and a big loss if UPS does not collect tax.
Best Regards, Jack Fearnley
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You have to pay the taxes anyway regardless of shipper. The $5 service charge is a bargain; UPS brokerage fees would have been many times more than that.
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What did Woodsmith have that you couldn't buy from Lee Valley?
Just curious.
Patriarch
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Patriarch wrote:

Just to satisfy your curiosity :)
I bought the CDROM versions of their shopnotes (three CDROMs for $29.95) and while I was at it I bought the hardware kit for their box joint jig at $12.95. I already checked at my local woodworking store in Montreal (Langevin & Forest, a veritable Aladdin's cave of fine tools and exotic woods) who hold most of the shopnotes for sale but no CDROMs. I suppose I could have bought the hardware from Lee Valley (I just blew $200.00 there last weekend) but it seemed convenient to get it all compatible in one kit.
Live & learn, Jack Fearnley
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I wonder if you could have gotten the cheap "book rate" for this. They are, after all, electronic books...
Jim
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Short answer: No.
Officially the book rete is 'bound printed matter'. Section M 720 of the DMM.
It _could_ qualify for "media rate" (DMM section M 730), maybe. There is a 1 lb minimum for that rate.
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Being that close to the border, if you do enough mail order shopping in the US, consider a mailbox on the American side from which to pick up your purchases (most can handle larger packages for you). Takes me an hour once a week and saves a ton of hassle and money.
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Jack Fearnley wrote:

It's almost enough to make ya want to move to the US.
ray
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AFAIK, UPS would have screwed you several times over the $5.00 that CanadaPost charged you for clearing customs. The GST/PST would have been charged in any case, and the initial costs charged by the seller have no bearing on what happens after it leaves their door. The only exception to having the seller pay/charge more for UPS or any courier is, I think, UPS if they ship it expedited or express. In those cases, someone pays more up front, but the brokerage fees are included.
Check out here (http://www.ups.com/content/ca/en/shipping/cost/zones/customs_clearance.html ) for details on what UPS charges for brokerage. According to that chart, you probably would have been paying $19.00 for brokerage. On top of those fees, you'd be paying the GST/PST/any other customs charges for importing your widgets.
FWIW, if a US seller won't ship it USPS, I won't buy it. It takes a little longer, and you still have to pay the tax, but at least UPS or the courier company won't make a ridiculous profit for having the package stamped at the border. I guess, to be fair, I don't know what's involved with being the customs broker. And the UPS fees do tail off when you get to the more expensive side of things, making it less painful. But for the $50 to $500 items I might be ordering, they're a bit ridiculous when USPS/CanadaPost can do it for $5.00.
Clint

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That is an excellent tip. I consider myself a pretty savvy x-border shopper, but to have things shipped USPS has never occurred to me. *slaps forehead* I have paid upwards CAN$ 100.00 for UPS to clear stuff through customs for me..mostly things under US$1000.00. I changed to a proper broker who charges me CAN$50 per transaction to $5000.00... still expensive on a US100.00 item. USPS seems very reasonable. To have stuff shipped to my "Mailboxes Etc." mailbox is PITA with all the delays at the border these days. When I go to socialize in the US as well as a pick-up, then it is okay...but I seldom know this ahead of time.
Thank you, Jack!
*tips hat*
0?0
Rob
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You bet there would have been. Not only the taxes, but UPS's own special charge for customs brokerage (which is what the $5 charge was for, BTW).
I refuse to have ANYTHING shipped from the US in Canada by UPS.
djb
--
"The thing about saying the wrong words is that A, I don't notice it, and B,
sometimes orange water gibbon bucket and plastic." -- Mr. Burrows
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I recently had to pay a $40 brokerage charge on a $100 item to UPS. "Worst company ever!"
Ken Muldrew snipped-for-privacy@ucalgazry.ca (remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
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IIRC, UPS 'brokerage fee' (the equivalent to that Canada Post $5 service charge) *starts* at $35.
shipped by UPS you would have been out the US$21.49, plus the CAN$3.70, plus the CAN$4.24 *PLUS* (at least) CAN$35.
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Jack Fearnley wrote:

The miracle here is that the USPS managed to locate Canada.

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
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The United States Postal Service does not operate in Canada. Mail shipments into each country are handled by their own respective mail services.
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Excuse me, but how do you think it got _to_ where Canada Post could handle it? Canada Post does not operate in the United States. <grin>
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On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 08:13:03 +0000, Robert Bonomi wrote:

Ackshally, it does.
http://www.purolator.com/usa_customer/about_purolator.html
--
Luigi
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Luigi Zanasi wrote:

Huh? When did Purolator Courier become Canada Post? That's like saying that the United States Postal Service operates in Canada and then referencing United Parcel Service site.

--
--John
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Canada Post owns Purolator in Canada.
Mike
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J. Clarke wrote:

Post/USPS always gets it there eventually. The only glitch I've found is that when comething is shipped to Canada, the USPS tracking system still thinks that it is at the origin, until it actually gets to the destination. It doesn't seem to know that it is sitting in customs at the border until after it hands off to Canada Post.
Other than that, it works for me.
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