Free trade!

In an earlier post I wrote about the hassle when you live in Canada, and want to buy something online, from the US. When I wrote that post, I’d placed a small “test post” with a stationery store in Virginia; GouletPens.com. The stuff I’d ordered — envelopes and a few notebooks — arrived in the mail. No additional costs, such as taxes or customs fees. Fine! I did it again … ordered a few more notebooks. This store carry a kind of notebooks, made from Tomoe River paper, that are particular to them, i.e. you can’t get ahold of them elsewhere. This is a very special kind of paper, and I’m a little in love with it. It’s extremely thin, but no matter how wet pen you write with, there’s no bleeding or anything else. It also, somehow, brings out the colour of the ink, beautifully, I think. It’s not a real contender to my favourite paper Clairefontaine, but sometimes it comes in handy with a thinner book.

Now, they arrived yesterday — same thing, no extra fees.

This made me curious about the rules, so I’ve finally found out how it is … why I had to pay so much when I bought the iPhone wallet from TwelveSouth. I was really interested, because this store has some pretty awesome stuff 🙂

Turns out you can buy $20 worth of stuff from the US, without paying any extra, but if you live in the US, you could buy stuff from there for $800 (!) without paying. President Obama signed a new law recently, bur our law isn’t revised since 1985. Twenty dollars!!! Imagine that … in today’s day and age you don’t get much for that amount. One notebook and 25 envelopes 🙂

Either way, now I know, so if I want more of those notebooks, I’ll have to buy them three at the time or pay customs. I don’t know how much that would turn out, but I’m sure there are ways to find out.

In most cases, this is no big deal, since most of the stuff you might want, can be purchased on Amazon Canada. This wasn’t the case with those Clairefontaine envelopes and, of course, the notebook (it’s their own Goulet brand).

24 Replies to “Free trade!”

  1. I’m sorry, surely I’m misunderstanding here…
    So, you’re saying that we can buy 20$ worth… And anything over that is subject to Import & Customs Duties?
    But Americans can buy 800$ worth before getting hit with Duties…
    Wow, what can I say other than just wow… ):): “Free” Trade? HA!!

    1. Wow, that’s really something else! Never saw that before!

      This Tomoe River is also Japanese paper, and the pages are thin, like in an old Bible or something like that … it’s so surprising that the ink doesn’t bleed through.

  2. It isn’t my fault but I’m sorry my federal government is such a piece of ****. Be glad you are not under its greedy thumb my friend. ❤️❤️

  3. “Free trade” is obviously not always as “free” as the name suggests…

    On an unrelated note, your blog’s new theme looks awesome. You styled it so much more better than the default look. The defaults of this theme look so ugly to me, especially the colours, that I would never think of using it – and here you go, you made it look great!

    1. Thanks! 😀 You’re right — the original is so ugly, so you would never even consider it! Guess I felt like a make-over, in order to get back into the swing of things. Not sure it helped, though …

        1. Yeah! That other one … when you hovered over a photo they turned sepia, and I didn’t like it well enough to remove that function. I’m not too inspired about themes right now …

    2. Oh, and one more thing: It has the hamburger menu. Normally, I wouldn’t have chosen a theme with that, as we’ve talked about so many times. But now I though, I’d rid myself of some of all my hang-ups, as they rather prevent me from doing/choosing stuff than anything else. I used to steer clear of hamburger menus, but I honestly don’t know for whom … me or the readers?! Most likely me.

      1. Haha, exactly what crossed my mind! The hamburger menu! It’s my pet peeve. I’m not sure why I hate it so much, it doesn’t bother me too much when someone uses it but I’d never use it myself. I want my navigation displayed when I spent time on doing it in the first place. I think most people don’t mind the hamburger at all. Depends on the region too. In my country you’d totally confuse the user if you attempted to use something as current as the hamburger menu. I don’t think a regular Czech internet user would crack it and realise that they’re supposed to click on it to expand.

        1. Ahh … you have a point there — certain things are really regional! I don’t like it either, but I think it’s here to stay. I’m equally irked by that they put all the widgets in the footer. In fact, I think I hate that more. LOL

              1. I really need to learn coding asap, so I could make a theme of my own. WP themes increasingly suck. Or rather, they seem to have stopped producing free themes.

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