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CAN->US trip: A VGamer buyers guide

DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Games and Technology
I live in Winnipeg. I am going to LA this December (via Toronto LOL).

I really want an xbox360, and like all electronics, they are cheaper in the US. There is tons of info all over the place on bringing an item like this back but its all very confusing, and contradictory at times.

What is the skinny on this? I would have it in my carry-on bag. When I got to customs in Toronto on the way back, they would ask me "How much are you bringing back in CDN $?" I would say around $400 since that is the allowed #. Then what? He might ask me "what is the most expensive thing you bought?" as they do when we drive over to Grand Forks, ND for shopping trips... He might not ask me that, and let me go. but if he does ask that and I say "video game console" what happens next? Do I have to pay duty on this? If so, how much?

Where I live, GST is 6% and PST is 7%. Would i have to pay the equivalent of either or both of these amounts?

I will be returning on Christmas eve...so I don't know if this affects if the questions occur less or more.

Thanks in advance.


***UPDATE***

Holy shit, guys.

I just phoned Canada customs.

They told me that all computer entertainment items such as PCs, consoles and the games/software thereof are DUTY AND TAX-FREE regardless of where they are made.

AS LONG AS you are within your exemption limit ($400 for 48 hours or $750 for 7 days).

If you exceed your limit, then you have to pay the taxes of your province on the amount you went over.

O.o

Now I don't have to risk putting it in my luggage or shipping it, or any of that crazy stuff.

Now I have to decide what game to get. JUST ONE.

Side topic: what ONE game should I get? I LOVE GRAW2, RB6 Vegas, Stranglehold...I want Assassin's Creed for sure...and Orange Box.

Any other suggestions?

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    bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    1. Bring backpack
    2. Open 360, put in backpack
    3. Go home


    Note: This might get you in trouble.

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    Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Just unbox it, put it in your suitcase, and check it on your flight. If anyone asks just say you brought it with you to play with your friends at a lan party and now you are taking it back home. Fold up the box and put it on your carry-on and take that on the plane with you.

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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Well, these are interesting suggestions. I am staying at my uncle's place while I am there...

    If that is the case, then why wouldn't I open it while I am there, and put it back in the box, and say that I used the original box to transport it? Too risky?

    I don't know if I would want to put it in my suitcase and check it. Those guys don't give a fuck about your shit....right?

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    SaddlerSaddler Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I've flown with consoles before, it would probably be okay in your suitcase. Just bundle it in clothes.

    Saddler on
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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    with or without the box?

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    Mmmm... Cocks...Mmmm... Cocks... Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I've flown with consoles before to, when it went through the little x-ray dealie they just asked to check it.
    Opened up my bag, saw the Playstation and let me go. Never a box though.

    As for the whole tax dealie your wondering about, I have no clue.

    Mmmm... Cocks... on
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    NorayNoray Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Without, I'd imagine. Just make sure it's wrapped up in soft clothes/towels whatever really really well. And the fuller the suitcase, the better, so it doesn't have any room to bounce around. That way it will probably survive all the tossing they do with the suitcase.

    Noray on
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    AshendarkAshendark Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    You can always just ship it back to your home in Canada.

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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Ok I will use these tips. Thanks.

    Now, keep in mind that I am not trying to GET OUT of declaring it...If they ask the right questions, I will declare it...but I still would love to know how it works for the duty if I do tell them about it.

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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Ashendark wrote: »
    You can always just ship it back to your home in Canada.

    Yeah I thought of this...

    How much would this cost? I'd have to insure it too...How do I classify it when I ship it? They still might check it and charge duty and withhold it until I pay up...

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    supertallsupertall Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    How much you can spend without paying duty depends on how long you're gone for. Also, I really doubt the customs officers will be doing more than a cursory check on Christmas Eve, especially if it's late or you're on a large flight.

    supertall on
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    VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Saddler wrote: »
    I've flown with consoles before, it would probably be okay in your suitcase. Just bundle it in clothes.

    If you go this route, know that things do get stolen from checked luggage and the airline will have no responsibility to pay you for your loss if the console gets stolen. It doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen.

    Veevee on
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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    supertall wrote: »
    How much you can spend without paying duty depends on how long you're gone for. Also, I really doubt the customs officers will be doing more than a cursory check on Christmas Eve, especially if it's late or you're on a large flight.

    Yeah, after 48 hours you are entitled to $400 CDN of goods per person without paying duty. This is a recent change, as it used to be only $200.

    If I tell them my figure and they don't ask any more questions, I am fine. If they do ask the "most expensive item" question, then I have to tell them, and then I have to pay duty on the 360 no matter what, right? Because there is duty on electronics? Whereas there is NO duty on SOFTWARE ie) games.......which will come in handy....

    is this correct?

    Maybe i should just call customs and ask them.

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    Rotting MeatRotting Meat Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    If you do call customs please post the results, I'm curious.

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    CaptHighSpeedCaptHighSpeed Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Whats to keep you from saying you got it as a present from said uncle?

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    LoathingLoathing Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Noray wrote: »
    Without, I'd imagine. Just make sure it's wrapped up in soft clothes/towels whatever really really well. And the fuller the suitcase, the better, so it doesn't have any room to bounce around. That way it will probably survive all the tossing they do with the suitcase.

    Tossing of the suitcase? Man when I was flying back to Canada we had to switch planes in Italy and had to wait about five hours. I got to sit by one of the big windows overlooking the airport and watched as the little baggage trains drove by, flinging peoples luggage off them as they turned, and then other baggage trains just ran the fucking luggage over.

    Know what the ironic part is? When I got my own luggage back, it was shredded to hell - entire handle just ripped off, sides ripped, the plastic inside thingy that keeps it ridged was disintegrated.

    Win.

    So yea if you are going to bring a 360 back with you either take it as carryon and stick all the cables in the suitcase, or just bundle the living hell out of it.

    Loathing on
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    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Wasn't there a really good deal floating around, something like the normal package plus Halo 3 plus HDMI cables for $400 CDN? I think it was in a thread here, I can't remember which one though.

    jothki on
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    Kuribo's ShoeKuribo's Shoe Kuribo's Stocking North PoleRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    it's at dell.ca

    and it's a pretty good deal

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    WienkeWienke Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Just make sure to unseal it when you take it back. Open that sucker up then put everything back. Then as previously suggested before, you brought it along with you to play with friends. They'll probably just roll their eyes and tell you to move along.

    Wienke on
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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Wienke wrote: »
    Just make sure to unseal it when you take it back. Open that sucker up then put everything back. Then as previously suggested before, you brought it along with you to play with friends. They'll probably just roll their eyes and tell you to move along.

    This is what I was originally leaning towards.

    Re: Getting it as a gift...will that actually work?

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    NorayNoray Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I'd at least call to see what declaring it would cost, if anything. I mean it's not like they're going to remember you and then at the airport go 'HEY! You're that guy! Did you declare the xbox you were going to buy?'

    Noray on
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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Holy shit, guys.

    I just phoned Canada customs.

    ANSWER OBTAINED.

    OP UPDATED

    How do I change the thread title to make this a CAN->US trip VG buyers guide thread?

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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    BioShock is excellent, and unless it would be better on your PC, it gets a thumbs up from me.

    LewieP on
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    WienkeWienke Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Honestly I think you're being paranoid. Just buy whatever you want and don't claim a damn thing.

    If you're one to go by the spirit of the law then the law isn't for you anyway. The law is more or less in place to make sure the government gets their hands into whatever profit you're going to make by shipping goods across international boundaries and then selling them. Plus there is no way they can prove that you didn't bring it all with you in the first place.

    You're obviously buying it for your own personal use and not to sell so I don't really see the big deal.

    If you had 27 copies of the same game or something, then they'd definitely wonder what was going on.

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    Last SonLast Son Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Holy shit, guys.

    I just phoned Canada customs.

    ANSWER OBTAINED.

    OP UPDATED

    How do I change the thread title to make this a CAN->US trip VG buyers guide thread?

    Go to "edit post" for the OP, then go to the advanced screen. There will be a line for the title above the body of the post.


    As for the games, aren't games pretty much the same price in Canada as in the US? A quick look through amazon.ca and amazon.com showed them to be the same anyhow. So you could buy the console in the states then buy all the games you want at home.

    Last Son on
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    MoogPaulMoogPaul Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    In all honesty, you could of just gotten to LA, bought the xbox360, and then mailed it back to your house in CA. I did that when I went to vancouver from NY. I shipped back stuff that was 100% legal I assure you all.

    MoogPaul on
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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    MoogPaul wrote: »
    In all honesty, you could of just gotten to LA, bought the xbox360, and then mailed it back to your house in CA. I did that when I went to vancouver from NY. I shipped back stuff that was 100% legal I assure you all.

    How much did it cost you with insurance?

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    MoogPaulMoogPaul Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    MoogPaul wrote: »
    In all honesty, you could of just gotten to LA, bought the xbox360, and then mailed it back to your house in CA. I did that when I went to vancouver from NY. I shipped back stuff that was 100% legal I assure you all.

    How much did it cost you with insurance?

    I don't remember, this was a couple of years ago. Even if I had remembered, I'm sure shipping rates have changed now. I bet you could log onto ups.com or fedex.com and take a look.

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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Oh, and to answer the other question about game costs, games are $10 cheaper in the US on average. And remember that the Canadian dollar is worth more than the US dollar right now.

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Halo 3 is the obvious choice (assuming you've played Halo 1&2, otherwise you might be more than a bit confused by the story).

    After that, I'd recommend Gears of War, unless you've got a PC that can run Unreal Engine 3 stuff OK (which seems to be a surprisingly LARGE number of PC's, UE3 is very scalable. Try the UT3 demo if you're not too sure). I'd recommend the PC version in that case largely because it's coming out early next month with 5 extra chapters, an additional multiplayer mode, 3 new MP maps, and mod support.

    subedii on
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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    What about bundles?

    Here we have a bundle with Forza2 and Marvel UA for $399. That is the cost of the 360 itself, the games are free.

    I noticed on some US sites that there are some bundles, but they are not as good...(I am not a sports fan)...

    Edit:

    Oops, I neglected to check EBStop. They have the same bundle there.

    Edit2:

    What's the deal with Mass Effect? Can somebody compare it to something for me to see if I will be interested?

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    wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    hmmm, this thread interests me. I am going to Vegas in February, and I do not have a 360.....I might have to make a stop somewhere and buy one and send it to myself.

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    Cynic JesterCynic Jester Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Mass Effect.

    Just do it. Dooeeet.
    It supposedly has tits. Or the contours. Or some such shit.

    Seriously though, just check out some of the footage online. And get something to wipe the drool off with.

    Cynic Jester on
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    BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    lol man when I used to go across the border to the US, I'd come back from one day shopping trips with 10 shirts on, three or 4 pairs of pants on, multiple console games (all with shrink wrap tossed) and my jacket stuffed to the brim with packs of Marlboro's.

    :P

    Honestly customs is just the Canadian government's way of making sure you pay the extra high prices that are being charged up here ... fuck that.

    Canadians are being raped right now price wise, especially since our money is worth more than the US dollar. Consumers have realized the rapage that's happening and everyone is shopping south of the border through Amazon.com and other online portals.

    Retailers have started to realize what's going on and prices are finally starting to drop to match the reality of the strong Canadian dollar.

    Loonie hit 1.06 US today.

    Bamelin on
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    DolbyDigitalDolbyDigital Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    OK, here is another question:

    My trip isn't until December 18th. What are the predictions on whether or not there will be shortages by then?

    Should I just get my uncle to pick one up for me now, so that I am guaranteed a unit, or wing it and go get one when I am there?

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    MoogPaulMoogPaul Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    i dont think you'll have a problem getting a 360. If you do, I will be very impressed.

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    TheOne(AndOnly)TheOne(AndOnly) Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Say its used and that you bought it cheap.

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    NarianNarian Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Oh, and to answer the other question about game costs, games are $10 cheaper in the US on average. And remember that the Canadian dollar is worth more than the US dollar right now.

    And our Federal Finance Minister doesn't want to force companies to lower their prices. Just sit back and do jack shit like usual.

    Go Canada!

    EDIT: Hopefully Wal-Mart cuts game prices by $10 which will force EBStop to fall inline too. One can only pray...

    Narian on
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    WienkeWienke Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Narian wrote: »
    Oh, and to answer the other question about game costs, games are $10 cheaper in the US on average. And remember that the Canadian dollar is worth more than the US dollar right now.

    And our Federal Finance Minister doesn't want to force companies to lower their prices. Just sit back and do jack shit like usual.

    Go Canada!

    EDIT: Hopefully Wal-Mart cuts game prices by $10 which will force EBStop to fall inline too. One can only pray...

    I'm surprised Wal-Mart hasn't flipped out on video game companies like they did with the record labels to lower the prices.

    Wienke on
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    NarianNarian Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Wienke wrote: »
    Narian wrote: »
    Oh, and to answer the other question about game costs, games are $10 cheaper in the US on average. And remember that the Canadian dollar is worth more than the US dollar right now.

    And our Federal Finance Minister doesn't want to force companies to lower their prices. Just sit back and do jack shit like usual.

    Go Canada!

    EDIT: Hopefully Wal-Mart cuts game prices by $10 which will force EBStop to fall inline too. One can only pray...

    I'm surprised Wal-Mart hasn't flipped out on video game companies like they did with the record labels to lower the prices.

    Game sales aren't dropping wildly due to piracy.

    Narian on
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