free trade? [207/365]

I’ve placed an order with a little stationery shop in Virginia, USA. It’s a very small order … just some envelopes and paper, it came out to sixteen bucks or so. I’ve done this to “test the waters”. I’m curious to see whether I’ll be charged with customs fees and all that stuff.

Once before, I’ve ordered something from the US; the wallet for my iPhone and I was aware then that I would be charged. $30. The procedure was very easy and convenient … you paid it online, beforehand, on FedEx’ website, so it was all taken care of once it arrived.It was a lot of money for that little thing, though!

Now, a guy here in Saint John, told me he had ordered a fountain pen from this same store as I mentioned in the beginning. It was delivered with US Postal Services, and he didn’t pay any extra. I asked the people in the store, but they hadn’t heard about any such thing.

It’s a little annoying that it has to be this way. Most of the time it isn’t a problem, when you buy via Amazon Canada, but I couldn’t find these envelopes to a reasonable price there, so I decided to test the system. They’re putting it together now, so in a few days I’ll find out.

11 Replies to “free trade? [207/365]”

  1. Our countries have the longest Undefended border in the world. Why should you have to pay extra! I wish our southern border relationship was as good.

    1. Yes, and that’s a wonderful thing (about the undefended border). It’s a great relationship. I just don’t understand this stuff … sometimes you hear about trade agreements this or that. We’re just little people, and the amounts are so insignificant when you look at the big picture.

  2. I’ve run into this when I’ve ordered my books from the printer. If the USPS picks up the order, I might not pay Customs. If a courier service like DHL picks it up, there is a Customs charge. The printers can’t guarantee whether the books will be sent by courier or postal service. Usually I end up paying for the books and then paying the same price again for the delivery. I think that’s outrageous.

    1. Yes, it is outrageous. These guys do ship with USPS, so I have a certain hope this time. If it works, I could do it again. They had good stuff there 🙂

  3. I once accidentally ordered a book on Amazon marketplace shipped from the US and I paid more on customs duty than on the book. Now I know to check properly where the goods are shipped from. Of course, once UK is out of EU, I’ll be cut off the British Amazon as well.

    1. Yeah … one learns! I sent from some baseball caps from CNN, when I’d first arrived here. They must have been the world’s most expensive baseball caps! It was outrageous …

      I don’t even know which Amazon the Swedes get redirected to … never used them before I moved.

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