I agree SHIPPING & HANDLING FEES are a HUGE Rip-off !!
Over the years I’ve worked around this problem in various ways:
1- Only order from Canadian Companies (meh… just not the same vast selection of things as there is the USA)
2- Order from US Companies that provide FREE Shipping to Canada (not enough of them)
OR like @little_d: mentioned in Reply # 30… my best solution so far:
It is so frustrating! We buy almost everything in the US and have it shipped to our US po box- most stuff is free shipping within the US. Shipping costs to Canada are ridiculous
Use a US Post Office Box… find a nearby US Border Town and go into a UPS Store and set yourself up with a Post Office Box. Voila, you now have both a Ship To Address… and a US Postal / Street Address. Use a Canadian Bank issued US Credit Card (so you pay in US Funds), and the process can be as smooth as silk !!
If the items are small enough they’ll fit into your Post Office Box and await your pick up. If they are not, the UPS Store will hold them for you at a set rate per day depending on how big the package.
Some UPS Stores will even provide this service without you having a Post Office Box (in so much as UPS Stores are franchises) … but you’d have to call them in advance of making the purchase to find out what their individual policy is, and how long they’d hold an item, and how much they’d charge.
When you go across the Border for a day trip to pick up your Parcel… Canadian Customs will allow you to bring back up to $ 200 CDN Duty Free (your Personal Exemption) if you’ve been out of the country for more than 24 Hours (sometimes worth staying over say in a Cheap Super 8). Under 24 Hours you have to declare everything and pay the Duty & Taxes (usually not a big deal… infact a good lot of the time the Customs Agents will just wave you thru, cause they don’t want to deal with the hassle / paperwork). Just be sure you are ALWAYS 100% honest… lieing causes more problems than it is worth… not only is it illegal, you’ll be hasseled every.frickin.time.in.the.future that you cross the Border.
If you stay out more than 48 Hours then you can bring back $ 800 in goods Duty Free (Your Personal Exemption)
NOTE – Canadian Customs counts by the Hour for the first 2 Full Days… so when it says more than 24 Hours… it means 24:01 or more hours out of the country (ie 1 PM on Friday to 1:01 PM on Saturday).
After 48 Hours they count by the day… so ANYTIME on Monday to ANYTIME on Thursday = 4 Days.
Hope this helps,