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).