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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Canadian Association of Magicians! » » BEWARE! Additional shipping costs from UPS (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of lhughes
Has any other magicians out there been held at ransom by UPS? I just completed two orders last week. One from Tommy James, where the items were shipped by USPS and the shipping costs were predetermined before I ordered. This went splendidly. The other, by Wonder Imagery, where the cost of shipping was not included. After ordering, I was told the cost of shipping was an additional $20 by UPS. I paid the additional money but yesterday received a notice from UPS that they are charging an additional $47.61 import charges. Since the item cost less than $100, the shipping was now an additional $67.61.
I contacted Wonder Imagery to inform them of this and they replied “We have no control over what your government charges in taxes and I’m a bit offended that you’d blame it on me.” Of course this isn’t a tax, it has nothing to do with import duties, or Canadian taxes. It has to do with UPS charging carrying charges. Wonder Imagery went further to explain that if I would have asked for USPS, they would have charged $8 more, but it could take 15-20 days longer to arrive. Funny thing is, my order from Tommy James using USPS standard shipping is here already whereas my order from UPS isn’t.
I tried to explain to Wonder Imagery that perhaps they should be aware of this additional costs to Canadians and be up front about this. They replied, “Should you choose not to order from us in the future because you didn’t communicate you wanted a different shipping method, I’m a bit puzzled at that, but OK. Where you spend your money is 100% your choice and I respect that.”
Sleightly yours,
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Profile of lhughes
After some emails back and forth to Wonder Imagery, we reached a more conciliatory attitude. Tim from Wonder Imagery wrote, “ I will try to put a note on the site in the shipping information section to let people know they are responsible for import/duty tax/fees and any brokerage charges by the carrier. It’s not just Canada - it’s all international destinations. I’ve never thought to add this to my site before because this is the first time in over 20 years of shipping internationally that it has been an issue.”
Thanks Tim, that might help.
Sleightly yours,
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176 Posts

Profile of balzar
Import/duty tax/fees and mysterious "broker" fees are always a risk when receiving goods in Canada. In 30 years of having things shipped here, I can see no rhyme or reason to the system. Frequently things arrive without any additional charges, other times, inexplicably, the charges are exorbitant.
It was good of Wonder Imagery to take your concerns to heart, but it should hardly be a concern of theirs.
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265 Posts

Profile of Wordsworth
I've run into this a few times and it can be a real kick in the face sometimes, and make your orders unbelievably costly. And like balzar said, good luck figuring out when its charged etc.
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Profile of disbelief
I have stopped using UPS for this reason. I have been burned a few times with the additional cost
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Profile of Wizuriel
Yeah if given a choice I will use any service over UPS
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
7504 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
Hi Lorne,

On your other thread, I made a comment about getting items from the USA via UPS vs. USPS.

The topic of Customs Fees, GST Fees, and Brokerage Fees seems to be pretty "common knowledge" among many Canadian magicians, because we've been ordering magic and other items from the USA for many years.

Based on my experience... UPS will ALWAYS cost more for brokerage fees, and will LIKELY cost more for GST and Customs Fees. It's just the nature of using that method of shipping. But like I said in my other post, sometimes they are faster and more reliable.

A second observation I'll share is this... Based on my experience, UPS charges a minimum of $30-35 for Brokerage Fees, but USPS / Canada Post charges a minimum of $0-$5 for Brokerage Fees. And then GST & Customs Fees are on top of that.

A third observation I'll share is this... Some businesses offer to ship Internationally via various companies... USPS / Canada Post, UPS, FedEx, etc. But some don't offer options.

Not too long ago, I ordered a few hundred dollars worth of magic BOR items from Loftus. I had a choice of having my parcel (2 or 3 large boxes) shipped via USPS or UPS. Shipping was cheaper via UPS, and was more via USPS (something like $100 US vs. $150 US). Although I saved money by shipping via UPS, I paid more for Brokerage Fees. Sometimes that's where the tradeoff is.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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301 Posts

Profile of Zauberman
Like balzar, the whole thing seems to be random and inconsistent. I've got notices 2 months after the fact that the Can. gov't wants an extra $150 import charges on a $350 item that I already paid import and taxes on. Like Revenue Canada, good luck arguing with them. So much for free trade eh.
Smaller items often slip thru with no extra charges. Packages not so much.
You can't really blame the Magic Shops at all. They have no jurisdiction over what we do in Canada and can't be expected to figure something out what in our own country we can't even figure out. lol If you want to blame someone, and the illogical and somewhat unfair policies....give your MP a call.
John Vincelli
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Montreal, QC
34 Posts

Profile of John Vincelli
American shops should do like Penguin and mark their package as a magic kit or magic set. This doesn't sound the "alarm" at customs as most people think that's just a kid's toy. Another work around I've seen shops do is mark the package as a gift and lie about the value. This usually helps.
John knows!
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Inner circle
2348 Posts

Profile of todsky
Or a better option is to order from a Canadian magic shop! No surprise custom fees, and you support Canadian business.
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks.
Ben Train
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Inner circle
Erdnase never had
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Profile of Ben Train
Purchased $160 item, got hit with a $93 duty tax. Insane.
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