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Amazon.com shipping to Canada

UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So with the Canadian dollar's parity with the USD, Amazon.com has been far more attractive in terms of buying presents, specifically for the soon to be looming Christmas holiday. I've been creating the same carts on both Amazon.ca and .com and then going through the check out process (stopping just short of placing the order) so I could compare the prices and the savings seem really great. There's one thing that kinda throws me though. When Amazon.com calculates the total, the estimated tax is listed each time as "$0.00". Now I wasn't aware that you didn't have to pay taxes on things in America so could someone tell me what's going on here? Will I eventually get taxed and will it be at Canadian levels or American ones? Could anyone else who orders from Amazon.com and ships to Canada tell me what your experience with the taxes are? If it helps, it'll probably be a package of about 4-5 items, varying in books and dvds.

Underdog on

Posts

  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Well I haven't dealt directly with amazon.com before, but I do know a bit about how border crossing works. When the item gets to the border, tax will be assessed and invoiced after the fact. You will also have to pay a customs brokerage fee if you do not do the customs paperwork yourself. The USPS/Canada Post isn't that expensive, but any courier (DHL, UPS, Fed Ex, etc.) will absolutely ream you on this. You should calculate what the duty/tax on the item is going to be and factor that into your total cost. Also inquire with the carrier amazon.com uses and see how much extra they're going to charge you for brokerage. Though I'm not entirely sure where this can be seen, I suspect the Canada Customs site would be able to direct you to the info you need for the former, and the carrier's site would be a good source for the latter.

    Sadly, this extra cost can often put the price of buying items in the US and having them shipped to Canada above that of just going to a Canadian brick and mortar store. If after this additional cost you're still saving, but only a bit, consider buying locally. Supporting local business is always good, particularly if you choose a small local store - the customer service is usually far better and specialized to the field they're dealing in, and returning items should they be problematic is far less of a hassle.

    Dark Moon on
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  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    be aware there are a # of things .com wont ship to canada as well, like all video game products

    Deusfaux on
  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The reason it's showing $0.00 for tax is that you're out of state. If you were buying something from Florida and lived in Florida you would have to pay tax. If you live in Michigan and buy something from Florida, you do not.

    Uncle Long on
  • UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Deusfaux wrote: »
    be aware there are a # of things .com wont ship to canada as well, like all video game products

    Also iPods and headphones but they'll usually tell me about this before I get very far in the ordering process.

    Ok so I was poking around, looking for some information on Canadian customs and I ran across a website that mentioned that because of NAFTA, things made in the US or Mexico were not taxed at the border coming into Canada. Am I being too optimistic here or will there really be no taxation?

    To Uncle Long: Well ok but does that mean I'll never get taxed?

    Underdog on
  • cSpoogecSpooge Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Underdog wrote: »
    Deusfaux wrote: »
    be aware there are a # of things .com wont ship to canada as well, like all video game products

    Also iPods and headphones but they'll usually tell me about this before I get very far in the ordering process.

    Ok so I was poking around, looking for some information on Canadian customs and I ran across a website that mentioned that because of NAFTA, things made in the US or Mexico were not taxed at the border coming into Canada. Am I being too optimistic here or will there really be no taxation?

    To Uncle Long: Well ok but does that mean I'll never get taxed?


    you will still have to pay GST on them, but you will not have to pay duty on them.

    cSpooge on
  • Draco_AuricDraco_Auric Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Honestly if you get your stuff shipped by post there is no way to know if you will get charged taxes, some times they'll look at the item but some times they don't. In my experience though you'll get away with it more times then not. If the item does get checked then you will end up paying GST/PST plus a $5 fee.

    Couriers on the other hand will always charge you though, and like Dark Moon said they charge a larger fee.

    Draco_Auric on
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  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Amazon.com usually ships items to their canadian distribution centers before shipping it to you, so you don't get hit with tax, or any customs or duty fees. I buy pretty much all my dvds/books/whatever else they to canada from there now.

    taliosfalcon on
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  • UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Amazon.com usually ships items to their canadian distribution centers before shipping it to you, so you don't get hit with tax, or any customs or duty fees. I buy pretty much all my dvds/books/whatever else they to canada from there now.

    So you usually buy from Amazon.com and have it shipped to Canada and don't experience duties or taxes? Sorry for the redundancy, I just wanna be clear on this.

    Underdog on
  • KVWKVW Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I ordered books from Amazon.com and had them shipped to Nova Scotia and there was no duty or extra fees when they arrived. That was about a year ago though, but I don't think anything will have changed in terms of fees. I'd wager it might be cost based. Mine was like $40. If you order a couple $100 worth of stuff, it'll probably get dinged for duty fees or what have you.

    KVW on
  • an_altan_alt Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Underdog wrote: »
    Amazon.com usually ships items to their canadian distribution centers before shipping it to you, so you don't get hit with tax, or any customs or duty fees. I buy pretty much all my dvds/books/whatever else they to canada from there now.

    So you usually buy from Amazon.com and have it shipped to Canada and don't experience duties or taxes? Sorry for the redundancy, I just wanna be clear on this.

    Yes. I always order from .com and I've never paid any duties or taxes on anything that's arrived in an Amazon box. Due to my obscure taste in books, I've done this quite a bit.

    an_alt on
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  • InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I've ordered the opposite way, from .ca to the US and didn't have to pay any additional fees beyond what was listed. Though it did take them nearly a month to get me the item.

    Invisible on
  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I've ordered from other US stores (thinkgeek etc..) and never paid taxes.

    I did however get seriously reamed by fedEx on "brokerage fees" so now if possible I ship using USPS(they hand it over to canada post at the border). Sure it takes longer but meh, I'm a patient guy.

    Aridhol on
  • UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    an_alt wrote: »
    Underdog wrote: »
    Amazon.com usually ships items to their canadian distribution centers before shipping it to you, so you don't get hit with tax, or any customs or duty fees. I buy pretty much all my dvds/books/whatever else they to canada from there now.

    So you usually buy from Amazon.com and have it shipped to Canada and don't experience duties or taxes? Sorry for the redundancy, I just wanna be clear on this.

    Yes. I always order from .com and I've never paid any duties or taxes on anything that's arrived in an Amazon box. Due to my obscure taste in books, I've done this quite a bit.

    This is looking promising. Have you ever done a large order though? Like maybe $200 range?

    Underdog on
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