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    Default Ordering Astronomy Products from the USA to Canada



    Ottup posted this:

    I order from the US to Canada frequently. The problem ordering from the US is not duty, it's UPS (if you use it, which you should try not to).

    If your shipment is marked "telescope parts" or "astronomy gear", NAFTA says it's duty free. If you are receiving by Canada Post you will be charged GST and a flat $5 handling fee, which is not too bad. Of course the incoming inspector can make a mistake and charge you duty, but there is a process (cumbersome) that you can use to appeal the charge. (This has never happened to me, but I've heard of it.) You need to ask the sender to mark the shipment appropriately - the handlers won't know what's in the box unless they are told. Most online vendors' order pages have a "special comments" box - use that to say "please clearly mark as telescope accessories on exterior of box".

    If the sender insists on using UPS or Fedex, the courier adds a "handling fee" for filling out the two boxes on the customs form for you, and this ends up as a COD charge on your end. These handling fees are incredibly high - like 20% or 30% in some cases. Fedex adds the additional inconvenience of billing you later for this fee, with a mechanism that has no online payment capability. All of this, of course, is "for your convenience". Never never accept UPS or Fedex unless you have no other choice.

    Ask the sender to use US Postal Service, not UPS or Fedex. Most will do so on request. If you absolutely must us UPS, you may as well use the Air service since they will waive the handling fee. So it ends up costing the same as the Ground service (which has the handling fee) but at least you get it at Air speeds.

    Regards
    Richard

    Editor's note: Small items sometimes slip through the mails with no additional charges. Another technique is to have the item sent to a friend in the USA, and have them send it to you as a gift.
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    Thats great sticky!!

    The prices are always much better in the US as I also lived in Canada. The problem is duties and taxes for shipping when you ship from the US. Some websites in the US will also not ship to Canada as mentioned above you can do several things.

    Another Option:


    If you know someone in the US you could easily ship to them and pick it up after, or they could open it and send it as a gift to save you duties/taxes.

    Another Option:

    You could go pick it up, and spend some time in the US yourself. Just make sure you bring some telescope gear and mention you are going for a trip including astronomy star part etc. Just make sure to throw out the box and mail back your manual etc! This way you will save on the way back as well You don't have to lie either, just stop around some dark skies or visit a nice star party in the US the people are very nice!

    cheers!
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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