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Shipping guitar from Canada to US


jeff5341

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If the geet was made in the US or Canada there won't be a duty. Do declare the real value for insurance purposes and you may have to pay Federal and State taxes. Any of the big couriers will do but I've shipped by post as they charge the least for clearing customs. Canada Post has always served me well. Also remember to allow the guitar to acclimate for a good 24 hours at this time of year.

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If it is a US made guitar, have them mark it "US goods returning" and you won't pay any duties or fees. If the guitar was made somewhere else, you want to minimize the value as much as possible to prevent fees from US Customs.

 

If you are buying from a dealer, they will know how to pack it etc., but if you are buying from an individual, please make sure they detune the strings prior to shipment and pack the case inside a cardboard box with padding of some kind - as messy as it is on the receiving end, I am a big fan of styro popcorn.

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Once I sent a FREE guitar to a guy in Canada (who I only knew through another website I write for), who's house had burned down. I got hit with major customs clearing fees. I shipped it either UPS or FedEx (FedEx I think), and their agents came collecting on both ends. DO NOT believe this NAFTA BS. You WILL pay customs fees, and nobody will tell you what they are until the bill comes. I GAVE the guy a $700 guitar, paid the shipping, and then got hit with all the border BS.

 

Just goes to show you, no good dead goes unpunished.

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I've shipped both ways many times (as well as to Europe several times).

International shipping is a breeze - effectively one extra form to fill in.

 

 

Going to the USA from Canada is the easier direction.

 

if it's N.AM. made, ensure that is clearly marked on the customs form. I always cut & paste the manufacturer's US address right into the "customs invoice".

 

The only fee in that case will be brokerage (not duties or taxes), which is a fee the carrier charges for doing the paperwork. It is not an actual tax or duty. On a $2000 guitar it's about $30 IIRC. Check UPS site. Fedex Ground does not have have in house brokerage. Always check the cost of higher services - often brokerage is included in the charge, whereas it isn't for ground.

 

You specify who will pay brokerage & duties/taxes(if any) when you generate your shipping label on UPS.

It will never be billed on both ends - if anyone is charged twice, there's a problem that should be addressed. I always have the receiver pay the brokerage - even if (as is usually the case) there are no duties/taxes, I think an American is better equipped to deal with US Customs than I am, in ther unlikely event that they screw up (has never happened to me, but ya never know).

 

Post Office is generally less expensive & the brokerage fee is maybe $5 instead of $20+.

However, Canada Post limits insurance to $1000 ($5000 within Canada; $1000 International), so I don't use it for higher priced guitars.

P.O. is also slower & has non-existent tracking once it crosses the border.

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