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Tim Plains

Canadians & brokerage fees

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I just found this out yesterday when that guitar arrived.

I was expecting a $50 - $100 brokerage fee but there wasn't any.

If you buy something from the US and have it shipped by air, you avoid the brokerage fee.

The old saying's true - you learn something everyday...

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just what i didnt need to know! lol. i'm gassing horribly for the joan jett melody maker w/burstbucker. and the phone..its....right...there...and....the GC# ...its ...on...speed dial.....ahhhhhh!!!!!!!

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Sorry' date=' cunkhead!

Yeah Jocko, they hose us every chance they get![/quote']

 

Yup, costs me 130gbp customs fee just to buy a used guitar from the USA.

 

I even bought some custom picks from clayton for 40gbp. Customs charged me 15GBP HANDLING CHARGE !!!!!!

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I've never had that happen. Be it land or air....I've had to pay brokerage fees.

 

The only way to pretty much get around it is to have the company send the product by regular mail as Canada Post charges only a $5 brokerage fee. UPS charges insane fees and I won't deal with a U.S. company who insists on using them.

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I just found this out yesterday when that guitar arrived.

I was expecting a $50 - $100 brokerage fee but there wasn't any.

If you buy something from the US and have it shipped by air' date=' you avoid the brokerage fee.

The old saying's true - you learn something everyday...[/quote']

 

 

That's not entirely true.

What shipping company?

I avoided a brokerage fee when using FedEX, but had to go to the airport to clear the item through customs myself. not that i minded at all.

UPS on the other hand, has been hit and miss. one guitar shipped from California arrived with no additional brokerage fees. another one from Florida was slapped with a $90 brokerage fee. (that is on top of shipping fee, taxes etc)

not sure what the deal is with Purolator who are owned by Canada Post?

 

glad it worked out for you.

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Mine arrived via UPS and they're the ones that told there's no brokerage fee if the item arrives by air.

I also picked up the guitar at Hamilton Airport because I didn't want to come home to a slip of paper saying we attempted to deliver but nobody was home. Glad I did, the security chick at the airport was hot!!

 

six-string, I think the answer is in your post. You had to go to the airport. Hence, it arrived by air mail. What about that shipment you got from Florida - it must have been ground?

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just what i didnt need to know! lol. i'm gassing horribly for the joan jett melody maker w/burstbucker. and the phone..its....right...there...and....the GC# ...its ...on...speed dial.....ahhhhhh!!!!!!!

 

You live in Windsor. Get in your car, cross the Amabassador Bridge, pick up yr axe, and drive back. Stop off in Dearborn for some shawarma and falafel so when the customs agent asks what you were doing in the States tell him you needed a fix. Don't mention the new guitar in your trunk.

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No, you mention the guitar.

Drive over, buy a guitar & mail the receipt to your home address back in Canada.

As long as there's no receipt, they can't prove it's new.

After speaking with an ex-border guard, I know this would work.

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Thats why I have always questioned the term "Free Trade"

Very few things are free for the average Joe when cross border purchases are involved.

I have said for years that Canada should adopt the US dollar. Lets face it, we are the same country more or less.

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Generally, UPS and FedEx charge brokerage (anywhere from $50 to $100, depending) if shipping ground but waive the fee if you ship air. That's because it's normally at least $100 more to go via air.

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I just drove to Buffalo through the LP in the trunk and through all my extra chords and picks and junk in the case, tucked the receipt away and drove across the border. We bought some other stuff too while there....so they didn't ask much of anything, luckily they didn't find the 60 of Jim Beam in the back either!

 

Clunk if I were you, I'd just drive to Detroit and do the same thing man. It's made in the USA so bringing it back over the border you only have to pay the PST...and I think you can even apply to get back the state tax from Michigan.

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It's made in the USA so bringing it back over the border you only have to pay the PST...and I think you can even apply to get back the state tax from Michigan.

No, you pay the PST & GST. I've done it twice, sadly.

 

The first guitar, I bought in Grand Island, NY and paid NY State tax. At the border, I had to pay PST & GST on the total amount, including NY tax. Tax on top of tax, go figure!!

 

The second guitar I bought from GC.com and had it shipped to the GC in Buffalo. Because I bought it from a different state and shipped it to NY State, I didn't have to pay any state taxes. When I crossed the border, I only paid PST & GST on the cost of the guitar.

 

The border guard told me I couldn't claim the NY State tax.

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So the lesson is? You stand in Moose Lick, Manitoba with your guit tar, then toss it over the border to Mutton Jaw, North Dakota... no broker's fee. Right? Just as long as it doesn't touch the ground in both places you're good.

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well its still seems there is no clear answer.

i have done some research into this issue today and it seems everybody is right to some degree.

 

both FedEx and UPS will charge separate brokerage fees on ground shipments.

both FedEx and UPS will waive the separate brokerage fee if you pay for air or if you pay a higher cost for the faster ground shipping. i believe based on the fee schedules that this is because (as someone pointed out) the fee is simply included in the higher cost.

 

of interest, there are currently a few class action lawsuits in Ontario and Quebec against both UPS and FedEx for these charges which appear to violate consumer laws in Canada. you can google to find out more about it.

 

in all cases you are going to get hit with Provincial sales tax and the Federal Goods & Services tax too. count on that.

further yes USA made instruments are "duty-free" under the Canada/US Free Trade agreement, but other guitars made in Japan, Korea, Mexico etc can be subject to additional duty usually around 6%.

 

but as i said in my first post, last year I bought an LP and had it shipped ground from California and it was delivered to my door and i was not charged any additional taxes or brokerage fees. now maybe the guy just forgot? but somehow i doubt that.

earlier this year, a guitar shipped by ground UPS from Florida arrived, but i was hit up for the taxes and a UPS brokerage fee at delivery.

same company, same method of delivery. in fact, it was even the same delivery dude. he asked me how i liked my guitar.

 

anyway, sneaking stuff over the border in a car or whatever is always a risk.

i've done it and got away with it but i also know folks who have had major hassles with Canada Customs too.

the government can seize your goods and keep them or fine you for trying to get by without paying, if you get caught.

you have to weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself.

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Fair enough haha..but on the plus side I lost bout 5 lbs from sweatin the nads off in the 1 hour long nerve racking wait at the border...dunno if I'd do it again...but I did save nearly 800 bucks just by buying a Studio at GC instead of up here at L&M.

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Kinda an interesting discussion since I'm currently involved in writing about a highway project from Texas into Canada - and we already have quite a few Canadian touristas whipping through town here. Including some Canadian rodeo cowboys, etc., who compete here.

 

Never heard of guitar brokerage fees - but I'll tell yah that it's difficult for a small specialty magazine to sell subscriptions into Canada too. Enough that I gave up trying.

 

I agree that if there's no major sorta political brouhaha on a type of product - any more than among different U.S. states such as livestock - US and Canadian trade should be a lot more open. Heck, we'll have a big pipeline running pretty close to where I live that will help all North Americans live a bit better than if we have to buy fuels from folks on other continents who really don't like us much.

 

In fact, I think it's horrid I've gotta get a passport to pop across the border and get back - just to visit friends whose English is virtually identical to mine, wear the same boots and hats, play the same music and cuss government about the same way folks do here. Heck, Alberta beats the heck out of Minnesota for rodeo anyway. Guess who seems culturally closer?

 

It useta be a lot better. It should be again.

 

Odd. Very odd.

 

m

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So, what's the procedure for bringing goods across the border in the Family Truckster? How do they know you bought it in the neighboring country and are 'sneaking' it back over the border or just bringing it BACK across as you took it ACROSS on your way to vacation and are now coming home?

 

How does one avoid being accused of sneaking? Can you pay the duty AT the border crossing?

 

Would singing two verses "Oh Canada" get you a pass?

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Guitar Center will not accept a non USA credit card over the phone that needs to be shipped outside of the USA, even if they know you. Example: I can and have bought guitars from guitar Center with my Spanish credit card and carried them out of the store. I can and have bought guitars from Guitar Center and had them ship to Spain when I was there with my card and able to sign the for the purchase. They will not take a credit card purchase over the phone from outside of the USA... I have tried...

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^ that's odd, GC will ship to Spain but not Canada. :-s

I called GC's 1 (800) number last year when I bought the R8 and could only ship it to an address within the US.

 

Kinda an interesting discussion since I'm currently involved in writing about a highway project from Texas into Canada - and we already have quite a few Canadian touristas whipping through town here. Including some Canadian rodeo cowboys' date=' etc., who compete here.[/quote']

Interesting. I'm in the transportation field, myself. What are you writing about, exactly?

 

How does one avoid being accused of sneaking? Can you pay the duty AT the border crossing?

Part of it is just luck. They sometimes randomly pull cars aside for inspection. Other times, it's the way you act. If you act suspicious, you're probably hiding something. Yes, you can pay duty at the border. They have a cashier that's ready to take your money.

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I too bought a new guitar in the states, and I too had the honour of paying tax on tax.

 

My question is, if I drive to Seattle and buy something in a private sale, do I need a receipt from the guy ? Is used gear exempt? I guess I should look that up.

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