The 7 Hidden Costs with Buying outside of Canada
Why it's More Expensive to Buy from outside Canada
As a Canadian company we are unable to match the prices of US based retailers on a product by product basis. But don't worry. There is good news...
There are a many reasons why purchasing from a Canadian based retailer is often LESS EXPENSIVE (despite the price of the product being slightly higher).
1. No Free Shipping
It doesn't matter how much stuff you order from outside Canada, you will often have to pay for shipping. We offer free shipping on orders over $200.00. That alone can make up the difference in product price.
It is a common misconception that ordering online from outside of Canada will allow you to not pay the Canadian HST or GST/PST. This isn't true. When you place the order you don't have to pay the tax up front, but as it comes over the border the tax is paid on your behalf by the courier company - who then charges you when they get to your door. In almost every instance they require you to pay the tax amount in cash only. No cash = no product released and you'll have to go to the depot to pay.
3. Brokerage Fees
The courier company delivering your goods charges this when they do all the paperwork involved with transporting your package over the border.
You order a product from the USA. The package is shipped using either FEDEX, UPS, or USPS courier services. They ship the package through the nearest Canadian border crossing. When crossing the border there is paperwork to complete and duty fees to be paid. The courier will complete all of this for you; it's called 'Brokering' your package. For this, they charge a fee. If you go to the US to pickup your package, you will avoid paying this fee. Brokerage fees are calculated based on the total value of the order. This can range from an additional $5 all the way to $75+ (usually about $30).
Also known as a Tariff, this is a fee charged by the Canadian Government. There are different duty fees depending on what the item is and where it was made. Many of our products offered are manufactured outside of the USA or Mexico and are subject to duty as they cross into Canada. It can range from an additional 10% - 30% of the value of the order, and sometimes even higher.
5. Disbursement Fees
This is the fee charged by UPS and FedEx for pre-paying duty and taxes to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for you. It depends on the amount pre-paid for you. Usually an additional $15 to $20.
6. Currency Conversion
When you pay by credit card for products priced in Canadian dollars, you pay the exact amount. When you purchase products in US dollars the credit card companies charge a fee. It is usually an additional 3.5% of the total. This is in addition to any variance in currency value.
7. Border Delays
Though it doesn't cost more, we all value getting stuff quickly! Order from outside of Canada and you can be waiting a LOT longer to get your stuff. And how do you put a price on that?