homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.226.252.142
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Ecommerce
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: buckworks

Ecommerce Forum

This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >     
Customs Charges between US & Canada
FedEx vs. UPS vs. USPS
ambellina




msg:3588816
 3:40 pm on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've been shipping orders into Canada from the US through FedEx for a few months now and a lot of my customers are refusing to pay their duties/taxes/fees, etc. The government charges aren't so bad, but the brokerage fee that FedEx charges seems outrageous.

Does anyone have any advice on whether we should change to UPS or the USPS, or stick with FedEx? Are there any great differences in the fees they charge?

 

Rehan




msg:3588822
 3:54 pm on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

UPS is even worse than FedEx (google "ups customs clearance fees" and you'll see a link for more details). Most Canadians who are aware of the couriers' fees prefer to have items shipped via USPS.

Swanny007




msg:3588838
 4:33 pm on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm in Canada, I've received plenty of shipments...

UPS is by far the worst. They charge way more brokerage than anyone. I've deliberately not bought things because people will only ship UPS.

FedEx isn't too bad. They still have brokerage charges but they seem a bit better.

USPS is by far the best option when shipping to us. On smaller things they don't even charge brokerage (that's my experience anyway).

So as a Canadian, I implore you ship USPS to Canada!

ambellina




msg:3588850
 5:02 pm on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

excellent! thank you both very much.

lgn1




msg:3589639
 3:58 am on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

If duty or GST/HST is charged, then there is actually a $6.00 customs handling fee by USPS/Canada Post.

Which is still a lot cheaper than FedEx or UPS brokerage fee.

Rugles




msg:3589863
 1:57 pm on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ya, welcome to "free trade".

The whole system is set up to benefit only large companies IMO. If you are an individual or very small company, you really get screwed by the brokerage fees. Its not the fault of UPS or FedEx because it does cost them a lot of money and effort to clear goods into the country.

It works the same both ways, if you were wondering.

glitterball




msg:3590744
 12:15 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Its not the fault of UPS or FedEx because it does cost them a lot of money and effort to clear goods into the country.

Hmmmmm, not sure about that, I've suspected for a long time that the custom clearance fees subsidise the cheap shipping rates offered to sellers.
i.e. UPS and FedEx make their profits from the custom clearance fees.

I will not buy from a website that only offers UPS anymore. Their customs fees often amount to more than the value of the goods.

Rugles




msg:3590828
 2:22 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

We do not use UPS or FedEx as our Customs broker at this point in time. We ship across the border both ways everyday.

I can tell you as a fact, that UPS is competitive with their brokerage rates. We get a little bit better deal with another company but they just raised their rates. So we may be back with UPS soon.

Don't believe me, contact one of the big brokerage firms for rates.

bwnbwn




msg:3591093
 6:33 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Actually it isn't FedEx or UPS that get the money it is the brockarage frim and not either company. They pay them and then try to collect problem is most not all refuse to pay throw away the bill and guess what You have to pay the duties and they can add up.

The only way to ship to Canada using UPS or FedEx is express or overnite fees are already figured into the cost. Anything by ground you get hammered and the shipper usually ends up paying the duties bill.

I second Swanny007 I have figured it cost 9.00 up to 3 pounds 3 -5 11 and 11 over begins 29.00 and 2.00 US funds per pound after that. A package weight of 11 pounds I charge 29.00
USPS is the only way to go.

My wife just learned we shipped a 35.00 item out to Canada they paid for mail she shipped it FedEx Ground Fee is 25.00 for the duties. She won't make that mistake again...

lgn1




msg:3591325
 10:19 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

The whole problem is with Canadian Customs.

US customs will not bother with parcels under $200 shipped to the US from Canada, under section 321. The parcel will arrive at the customer door, with no duty, taxes or brokerage fee.

Shipping from the USA to Canada, Canada customs will not clear the parcel if the value is over $20, without collecting the HST, duty (if applicable) and brokerage fees.

They should raise it to $200, to make it a level playing field for both American and Canadians. Im surprized that American elected officials have not put this forward to the Canadian Government.

If the Americans have figured out that they lose money collecting a few dollars in duty and taxes on a parcel, why haven't the Government in Canada figure out this also?

Rugles




msg:3591903
 2:14 pm on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well, the US government does not have a national sales tax. If they did, you can be sure they would be slapping a tax on a $50.00 package.

Now it is simply not worth the effort for them. But it is for the Canadian government, or they would not be doing it. Revenue Canada employs plenty of accountants and actuaries who I am sure know at exactly what point its worth collecting their 5 points.

[edited by: Rugles at 2:16 pm (utc) on Mar. 5, 2008]

CernyM




msg:3591945
 3:04 pm on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Its unlikely that they'll give up on collecting the sales taxes.

However, it would be nice if it could be made trivially easy for US companies to collect the taxes and remit them rather than requiring them to be paid COD.

mattb




msg:3592468
 1:00 am on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

As a merchant we've had problems with Canadian Customers refusing to pay FedEx the customs fees. FedEx then bills the charges back to our account. We've switched to UPS only to Canada as they will not deliver the package until the customer pays all of the fees.

arnarn




msg:3592725
 9:34 am on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

good point mattb!

FedEx ground rates and service with tracking, etc. were GREAT.. but the real kicker was when we'd get billed for customs duties and fees 6 months (or more!) after the sale.

In our case, we couldn't really blame the Canadian customer either because the brokerage firm assigned would attempt to collect the fees months after the sale.

To be fair, though, it has been 3 years since we've used FedEx for any international shipping, so maybe things have gotten better.. check with them and try to pin them down on the brokerage assignment / fees.

wayzel




msg:3593568
 12:16 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

For lightweight products, my recommendation would be to use Fedex Express instead of Ground. Brokerage fees are already built in, and 3-Day Select is only marginally more expensive than Ground with the benefit of passing cost on to the customer at time of sale.

For heavier products, look into getting set up with a Canadian non-resident importer permit. If you are incorporated in the US you can get this without too much trouble. The benefit of that is you will know what the exact customs duties, VAT, and GST/HST fees will be before shipping. If your total sales into Canada are below a certain amount, you can even get a VAT refund each year.

mattb




msg:3594208
 4:25 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

As of three months ago, FedEx was still back charging for customs fees that they couldn't collect. It's not worth our hassle so we just switched our software to do UPS only to Canada.

lgn1




msg:3594262
 5:11 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't understand why so may American Merchants don't offer USPS to Canadian customers.

Many Canadian Customers will not deal with American merchants if they only offer UPS or FedEx, as they don't want to get hit with high brokerage fees.

Canadians don't hate there postal service (Canada Post) as much as the Americans hate USPS, and they will accepts a package that will take longer to recieved, rather than paying huge brokerage fees.

If an American merchant is to succeed in expanding it Canadian customer base, they need to offer USPS (or even call it Canada Post (as that is who finally delivers the parcel), to succeed.

trinorthlighting




msg:3594774
 4:07 am on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

USPS costs more to ship than Fed Ex or UPS. It also takes packages longer to deliver and tracking via USPS is not that great.

When we get hit with back brokerage fees, we just charge the customers credit card. Sure, people will threaten a "charge back", but we always have our paperwork and ducks in a row and have never lost a chargeback due to a copy of our "terms and conditions", copy of the brokerage bill and a copy of the proof of delivery.

If the credit card is no longer active, we send the customer a bill, if they do not pay it, we sell the debt off to a collection agency. 99% of the time we collect our money due.

Swanny007




msg:3594787
 5:00 am on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I find it odd that FedEx will deliver the package without collecting. UPS doesn't do that. You don't pay you don't get the package with UPS. UPS still sucks more :-)

wayzel




msg:3595259
 9:58 pm on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

We've found USPS to be a poor choice for international shipping from the merchant's perspective. In addition to tracking issues, difficulty collecting on insurance claims, and slower delivery times, you also cannot file all customs declaration paperwork electronically. So, you buy postage and print everything via computer but still need someone to "accept the package" at the post office. Whatever the postage savings, time in line costs more.

Wanderlei




msg:3597556
 4:23 pm on Mar 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

"So, you buy postage and print everything via computer but still need someone to "accept the package" at the post office. Whatever the postage savings, time in line costs more."

We used to think we HAD to go to the post office, but I think they got sick of all our packages and suggested we get a pickup. Now we do a pickup request through Endicia everyday and someone from the post office picks everything up - no more waiting... and these are all international.

CernyM




msg:3598454
 1:48 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

We've found USPS to be a poor choice for international shipping from the merchant's perspective. In addition to tracking issues, difficulty collecting on insurance claims, and slower delivery times, you also cannot file all customs declaration paperwork electronically. So, you buy postage and print everything via computer but still need someone to "accept the package" at the post office. Whatever the postage savings, time in line costs more.

Call the postmaster of your local office and talk to them about this. They've never refused or returned any international packages that we've shipped out.

aleksl




msg:3598486
 2:17 pm on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

USPS is pretty much the only way to Canada for us.

FedEx slaps RIDICULOUS broker fees, we've seen some fees to be in excess of 30% of the value of a product, on some we even LOOSE serious money. We no longer ship to Canada via FedEx, except express.

Right now FedEx keep threatening "to disable shipping account" if we don't pay broker fees, although it clearly states in our Terms that "customer agrees to pay all customs and broker fees". I am waiting to see whether they decide to close a 5-digit per year shipping account because of couple of hundred bucks worth of fees. If they do, they are dumber than I thought...we've already switched half of our shipping to USPS, and we'll be switching the other half to UPS or DHL.

sleepy_eye




msg:3615138
 8:28 am on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

usps isnt as much of a problem as people think
There is limited tracking, but using software from companies like endicia, which print out all customs forms electronically, makes the job easier

Roxster




msg:3626143
 3:15 am on Apr 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some goods are declared as hazardous and prohibited by the US mail while Fedex and UPS do not regulate them in ground packages. We used to use FedEx to ship to Canada,and had to stop a year later. The profit was too low to hand fill out those pesky forms, and then we had to pay the brokers fee months later as most Canadians wouldn't pay the taxes once they got the package. We waited 2 years to try again this time with UPS. The make customs declaration much easier then FedeX did. The rates seem fair too.

Also when a customer asks for the tracking number, the post office doesn't do that for international mail. When fighting a charge back you sometimes need proof of the delivery. Also customers need to know the status which the post office lacks updates.

tootalldave




msg:3626208
 7:11 am on Apr 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

UPS and FedEx lost us many overseas customers, the fees they charged during delivery we're equal to our products.
I would not recommend USPS Airmail..
For a few dollars more, It's best to ship USPS Express,
* 3-5 days for delivery
* Print all forms online
* Excellent tracking
* $100 insurance included
As far as drop off, you can schedule pickup at your door online.
There may be some fees during a delivery, unless you happen to accidently check the gift box in the custom form ;)

jwolthuis




msg:3626334
 12:02 pm on Apr 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

There may be some fees during a delivery, unless you happen to accidently check the gift box in the custom form ;)
I see your wink, but wanted to add that misrepresentation of customs forms by checking "gift" is never a good idea. Sure, you might save your customer $8.50 in customs clearance fees, but is it really worth it?

Customers routinely ask us to violate trade laws by checking "gift", and threaten to take their business elsewhere if we don't. We tell them, "Au revoir".

DryFire




msg:3627295
 12:35 pm on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Whatever happened to NAFTA?

jwolthuis




msg:3627332
 1:35 pm on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

NAFTA covers Import Duty, not tax.

DryFire




msg:3627839
 3:01 am on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

You’re right… but it’s just frustrating the expense and hoops that are involved with shipping to Canada. If it was truly free trade it wouldn’t be any harder to do business with Canada than it is with Colorado. Regardless of why the fees are collected, it ends up being a trade barrier. Sorry about the rant. It must be April 15th because I’m kind of in a “I hate taxes mood” today.

This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Ecommerce
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved