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Thread: How much is customs...

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    Default How much is customs...



    im looking in buying a telescope and Eyepiece ect...
    when i look at Canadian sites, they are close to 100 dollars more for a 400 dollar telescope, it seems to me that the cost in customs cant be that much, so wouldn't it make more sense to buy from the US sites?

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    I was under the impression that scopes were duty free, not sure at all though.
    One good thing to remember is that most Canadian brick & mortar outlets (and also many online retailers for that matter) have a set $CDN price and others will list the $US price and you pay the difference in exchange on your credit card bill.. which right now and for the foreseeable future is basically ZERO.. in other words you pay much more by making the mistake of buying from the retailers with set CDN pricing, which you have seen from your example.
    Last edited by GriffinBF; 03-25-2010 at 11:51 PM.

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    I rememebr hearing that they were duty free as well though I dont think accessories are. I bought a couple stuff off OPT a while back and ended up having to pay about $25 in duties and taxes with Canada Post. Ended up paying $75 on a $199 filter set shipped FedEx.
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    Telescopes, mounts, and accessories are basically free PST and GST are collected at the border, with probably a brokerage fee. You pay the post office when you pick it up, or the shipper when he delivers.

    If shipping is free un the US, you can sometimes save by having an american friend trans-ship it to you as a gift. This doesn't always work, especially with big packages. Customs tends to charge the tax if there is any doubt, and you can appeal and get your money back, but it is generally not worth it.

    If you can get the seller to use the word "repair" on the customs declaration, chances are good you can get away without paying federal and provincial taxes. I paid nothing on my Mak bought from a private individual on E-bay.

    Fed-Ex tends to drop and break stuff, and their brokerage fees are high. Hayneedle, the parent company of Zhumell, Telescopes.com. and Binoculars.com (among others) uses Fed-Ex exclusively.

    Now that the dollar is up, if I were buying something big, I would dicker with a Canadian supplier before making the deal.
    Last edited by WWPierre; 03-29-2010 at 01:17 PM.
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    The brokerage and duties for my HEQ5 PRO and GPS was $30 for the broker and $60 for the duty. The broker took a sheet of paper from one pile and stamped it and put it in another pile. The customs guy had to push the two boxes over the border line.

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    What I usually do is try to have anything from the US shipped USPS which saves on brokerage fees. Avoid using UPS or FedEx or any other non-postal shipping as brokerage fees are usually quite high.
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkskies View Post
    What I usually do is try to have anything from the US shipped USPS which saves on brokerage fees. Avoid using UPS or FedEx or any other non-postal shipping as brokerage fees are usually quite high.
    They tried to ship USPS, but they were given some line of BS, so they shipped UPS, they shipping was $10 more, but they paid it.
    Last edited by Agent420; 04-24-2010 at 04:36 PM. Reason: changed so to some

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    Theorizing here...

    To ship USPS outside CONUS, you need to fill out a customs declaration and physically take the parcel to the post office. Little guys, with not much volume can handle this. It is easier for the big outfits to let the big shippers handle all the paperwork. They would have to pay someone to do the work, whereas the shipper comes and picks the items up.

    I have done some business with an antique survey instrument dealer who just won't ship outside CONUS. I asked him why, and he said it was too much hassle. Standing in line and such. So I have him ship to a friend in California, who transships to me, or delivers on his trips to here.
    Last edited by WWPierre; 04-24-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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    Hi, I know this post is old but I investigated it with Border control. There are no duties for telescopes 8" or less ;p

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    Customs is free, however:

    say your friend sends a used scope to you for your birthday, and marks it as used telescope, GIFT, with No commercial value. However, to ensure it doesn't get lost, he chooses to insure for a certain amount - then you will pay HST on the insured amount + $5 Canada Post fee...if your friend sends via UPS, you'll be out of pocket by a substantial brokerage fee amount (~$50) + HST.

    P.S. With UPS, if your value is under $20, it is then free of any charges

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