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How long did it take to get to your neck of the woods?
By Wafflehaus
Just an FYI for us Canadians- don't forget that your shipments are going to arrive with a nasty brokerage charge- I'm out over $150 on two orders from SparkFun above and beyond the shipping.

Turns out UPS adds charges left and right- for instance, $4.50 per line item on the invoice. So an order of 10 items? $45 in 'line item handling'. Plus GST. Plus 'brokerage handling' of $50. Plus 'bonding' (ie, we'll pay the duty, but we don't know if you'll pay us, so we'll charge extra) of $25.

Basically, ordering from SparkFun directly has become an outrage to me (not SparkFun, mind you, you guys rock), but I'm paying on average an additional 25-33% just for shipping and brokerage.

---outraged in Edmonton.
By SFE-Toni
That is terrible to hear! Thank you for posting a warning to other shoppers. You may also want to consider checking with some of our Canadian distributors to help cut down on those extra shipping costs.
By deveauzt
Ah yes - I call that being 'UPSd'. At one point there was a class action lawsuit out west about how rediculous they were being. I just make certain to choose USPS whenever possible as I've been burned before - not when ordering Sparkfun though. USPS / Canada Post don't normally give any issues at all.
By deveauzt
I can't order from Polycase for example as they only use UPS. Had to pay an extra 30 dollar charge once for a 15 dollar order (had already paid a flat fee to begin with).
User avatar
By Ross Robotics
I am curious as to why they charge so much or charge extra. Mind you that I live in the states.

Do you live deep in the country? If so, how about you have them ship it to the nearest city and you pick it up.. It's really puzzling me that a company would do this when you could use another company or some other means.. Have you tried another company? Why do you choose to use the same company that is charging you an arm and a leg?
By deveauzt
Here's how UPS broke down the extra charges for me one time I got zinged for an extra $60.00 at the door. They claim that you can use any air services (Express or Expedited) and get free brokerage....but I don't trust them as far as I can throw them. USPS / Canada Post never give me a hassle - worst I've ever had with them was to pay the taxes on a package when I go to pick it up.

Email response from UPS when I questioned them:

"The shipper has Prepaid the cost of shipping Standard Service. The fee the shipper pays does not include any brokerage, duties or taxes owing as the shipment enters Canada. The consignee is responsible for these charges. It is always a good idea, when ordering items from outside of Canada, to ask the vendor if their price includes import charges (Brokerage fees, duties and taxes).

Here is the breakdown of the import charges on your brokerage invoice based on the shippers declared value of $129.29 CAD:

This is a UPS fee, to cover the cost of collecting the funds in this manner.
The Goods & Services Tax on the COD fee.
Disbursement fees are charges for UPS having to pay duty and/or taxes to the government on behalf of the importer.
Entry preparation charges are a fee for UPS processing the paperwork for a package to clear Customs
The Goods & Services Tax on the Brokerage charges.
The Harmonized Sales Tax on the Canadian value of the goods.

A Brokerage fee is charged to process your shipment and present your paperwork to customs on your behalf. All courier shipments with a value exceeding $20 CAD require customs clearance by a broker. The customs clearance procedure requires the broker to perform, on behalf of the importer, a number of tasks. Tasks include, but are not limited to, auditing import documentation, classification of the commodity being imported, and preparation and transmission of accounting information to Canada Customs. The UPS Customs Brokerage published rate schedule is competitive with industry standards.

Please be advised that all of our rates or fees are published and available in our rate guides or at ( ... rance.html) . When accessing the link for Rates for Customs Clearance into Canada, please review the complete fee schedule provided. Please note: Entry Preparation Charges, Disbursement Fees and Additional Services may apply to your shipment.

U.S. shippers are advised that brokerage charges, duties and taxes will be billed to the importer unless otherwise indicated by the shipper.

UPS provides free brokerage services for all shipments sent via any one of our air services, Express and Expedited.

Thank you for using UPS Canada Internet Services. "
User avatar
By Ross Robotics
Thanks for posting that. The broker fee is probably an automated system that processes all info by computer. They payed $20,000,000 for it and have yet to pay it off, so they start charging a fee. Maybe 1 package in ten thousand get stopped and searched.
By MeSat
UPS charging large brokerage fees is not new. I have dealt with it for a few decades.

If I need quick shipments from the US, I will use FedEX. I have yet to be charged a brokerage fee from them.

I usually try to order long enough in advance that I can use USPS. I have has orders come just as fast that way.
By bls
And an FYI for those in the states - you'll also be faced with these outrageous charges on Standard Service shipments from outside the states if the value is over $200. The charges only apply if the value exceeds the duty & tax free limit which is $200 for the US, but for Canada it's only $20. Under $20 no GST or HST tax is due so no problem and packages are delivered quickly with no additional charges. The Canadian duty & tax free limit is constantly being increased for cross border shoppers returning to Canada, but for shipments has remained the same for many decades (as far as I can determine) and I have to wonder why and if UPS doesn't have something to do with it in order to continue ripping us off?

I always try to have shipments sent via USPS, but when USPS wasn't an option I've had much better luck with Fedex and had some shipments delivered with no additional fees although Fedex has fee's similar to UPS. And when GST/HST was due, Fedex has only ever added a $10 Advancement Fee, but one can elliminate this fee by going to the Fedex web site, opening an account and registering a credit card with them to have any GST/HST amounts charged to that may be due on shipments.
One can do the same with UPS, but not on line (must fax or mail the account registration) so much more difficult to set up the account, you also have to make them aware of each shipment sent to you before it reaches customs (Fedex automatically detects shipments addressed the same as your registered address) plus I have little faith that UPS still won't sneek in some charges in addition to the GST/HST due.
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