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 Post subject: International shipping
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:31 pm 
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Location: Bridgewater, NJ, US
So, a couple of weeks ago I struck a deal with a really nice guy named Pete in Canada. I have been collecting Sony APM speakers for about a year, I had 3 pair. My current system uses APM 33W as the main stereo pair and I have 2 pair of APM 22ES, modified with tweeters from 33's, as the center and surround speakers. I use an Energy sub, 12".

So back to the deal. Pete sold me a pair of APM 55w's, they will be the flagship pair. He was nice enough to agree to ship them to me at near 30" tall and about 65 pounds each. He used Canada Post.

A couple of days ago, one speaker shows up at my house. After a trip to my local post office, online inquiries and a phone call, I discover that the speaker is at ISC Chicago. It's in system limbo, likely waiting for customs to decide if it needs a duty tax, or if it's drugs or a bomb, who knows. Until they take it off a pallet and enter the tracking number into a computer, I have no idea.

Also, only the sender can instigate an investigation. I sent Pete an email asking him to help out if he can, I'm hoping he will.

He told me he never sent anything this big before but the only convenient option for him was Canada Post and since these things are so hard to find, I agreed to whatever worked for him.

I guess I am wondering if the likelihood of delays of this nature are less prevalent if UPS was used, or can this happen with them too?

Also, it's a warning to anyone else buying from outside the US. Be careful how you ship. These speakers cost about $175 for the pair to ship through the mail, and I have one speaker in tact and one in limbo exposed to possible damage, disassembly or disappearance. These are 33 year old, practically irreplaceable, delicate speakers. Needless to say I'm stressed. In the future, I will gladly offer to pony up the additional cash for a more secure, monitored shipping option.

With some luck, the only result will be a slight delay, a week or two. I'm trying to keep my spirits up and hope for the best.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:57 pm 
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Location: Bridgewater, NJ, US
Just to follow up. The speaker arrived today. I don't think it got opened, but it was a little roughed up and there is some very minor damage I can repair, nothing catastrophic. I'll probably never really know why the delay but at least it all worked out ok. Listening to Quadrophenia on BluRay 5.1 24/192 and I must say they sound sweet so all is good today!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:13 pm 
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Location: Rio Rancho, NM, US
Glad to hear that things turned out mostly OK for you. At least you got the speakers that you coveted and that's a BIG plus.

Being a glass half-full kind of guy, I guess it could have been worse. Do you think the damage occurred because of rough handling or insufficient packaging? Or maybe both?

Was Pete able to be of some assistance as the shipper?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:30 pm 
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Depending on the Canada Post post office it is possible to get insured and tracked shipping. Canada Post for instance offers fully insured "express" shipping via Purolator. Pete may have already sent via that avenue. Sometimes the biggest problem with shipping isn't the courier service, it's the customs delays.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:14 am 
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Location: Bridgewater, NJ, US
According to Pete, the speakers weren't officially late until the 5th so he didn't need to do anything till after that.

My assumption is a customs delay considering the delayed speaker was processes 7 hours earlier than the one that showed up first from ISC Chicago.

I would say the damage was due to rough handling, but that maybe more precautions could have been taken in packaging. I think a panel of luan over the front surface would have protected the drivers better and would have been light and cheap. If I ever ship speakers, I will do the luan.

I will be replacing the dispersion grill on the tweeter with an eBay purchase, but it's adding another $50 to the cost. Spare drivers are usually good to have lying around for 30 year old speakers though so it's not horrible.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:10 pm 
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Location: Calgary, AB, CA
I've been shipping audio gear back forth between Canada and the US for years. I've had FAR more problems using UPS than any other carrier. I once had them return a vintage belt drive turntable (wth no internal circuit boards) to me that was destined to the US as I didn't have the right FCC clearance papers completed; apparently the geniuses there thought it contained radioactive components or something.

So yes, border delays happen no matter what carrier is used. If you want the least problems and the lowest brokerage fees, Canada Post / USPS has always been the best for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Location: Menlo Park, CA, US
I'm in the process of possibly buying an amp from someone in Canada, with the package weighing around 100 lbs. The fedex quote we got for shipping to the US is close to 400 CAD including insurance. Does that sound reasonable? Any other recommendations for shipping options to look at? Anything in particular we should be careful about to avoid customs delays? In particular, I hope that as a used object, they wouldn't charge duty on it, do they? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:35 pm 
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mcsim1024 wrote:
I'm in the process of possibly buying an amp from someone in Canada, with the package weighing around 100 lbs. The fedex quote we got for shipping to the US is close to 400 CAD including insurance. Does that sound reasonable? Any other recommendations for shipping options to look at? Anything in particular we should be careful about to avoid customs delays? In particular, I hope that as a used object, they wouldn't charge duty on it, do they? Thanks.

The rate will depend largely on the location of the seller and you as a buyer, but adding insurance for an expensive item really increases the cost. Something that weights 100 lbs will be too heavy for postal service, so Fedex Ground is your best choice. There is nothing that I know of to expedite customs delays.

I'm not sure what they do in the US, but in Canada all items being imported are subject to duty and sales tax based on the declared value. The fact that an item may be used has no bearing on the duty and tax, since it was not paid when the item was new.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:46 pm 
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Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CA
Not exactly correct,duty is passae,Canada Customs only interested in HST @13% on declared value plus currency differential which is getting pricey at a .73 cent dollar.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:15 pm 
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Markwatkiss wrote:
Not exactly correct,duty is passae,Canada Customs only interested in HST @13% on declared value plus currency differential which is getting pricey at a .73 cent dollar.

If you are going to try and correct someone, please at least make sure you know what you are talking about.

The person posing the question is from the USA, and as such he certainly isn't going to pay HST, nor would a good percentage of Canadians since that tax only exists in a few provinces. Your post about Canada Customs is not only irrelevant, it is also WRONG. Canada Custom DOES charge duty on items shipped into the country, who else do you think would charge it? If it wasn't customs, duty wouldn't exist. Duty is based on the product / commodity type and the country of origin; we don't even know in this case where the amp was made, and neither of us as Canadians are likely to know what the US duty would be.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:47 am 
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@mcsim1024

Road trip!

At 100-lbs. I wouldn't trust Fedex or anyone else with shipping; that amp is gonna get dropped at some point during transit.
Well...maybe if it was strapped to a pallet.

I drove all the way from SW Florida to St. Catharines in Ontario to pick up a mint LP12 that I bought last Summer; no way I was gonna entrust any of the shipping companies with my baby.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:03 pm 
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Location: Brownsburg, IN, US
About a year ago I purchased a pair of large floorstand PSB speakers from a gent in Ontario. He shipped them Canada post express and they arrived very quickly with no issue at all. The cost wasn't all that bad considering.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:24 am 
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Location: Pasadena, CA, US
I'm currently looking at buying a pair of German made speakers from a dealer in Canada. I was quoted $394 Cdn. for shipping, as well as brokerage fees and customs duties. If those last two items are higher than expected, the deal will no longer be a good one. Also, I was told by the dealer as well as a couple of others that have had negative experiences, that strapping the speakers to a pallet is the best way to avoid any damage. BTW, if the speakers were manufactured in Canada I wouldn't have to be concerned about the duties due to NAFTA.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:19 am 
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Location: Newmarket, ON, CA
stmike wrote:
I'm currently looking at buying a pair of German made speakers from a dealer in Canada. I was quoted $394 Cdn. for shipping, as well as brokerage fees and customs duties. If those last two items are higher than expected, the deal will no longer be a good one. Also, I was told by the dealer as well as a couple of others that have had negative experiences, that strapping the speakers to a pallet is the best way to avoid any damage. BTW, if the speakers were manufactured in Canada I wouldn't have to be concerned about the duties due to NAFTA.



If they are a larger speaker (ie a tower) I would only get them shipped via pelleted freight, especially if they are a more expensive speaker. I had a previous great experience with paying UPS $650 to ship a pair of speakers that they managed to damage due to gross neglect (packaging was done properly in factory boxes that included 4-6 box layers depending on the side). They used every excuse in the book to not cover the damage they did, even when insurance was bought & they were clearly at fault.

Which shipping method are they using? For duties/taxes you may want to verify this yourself. As for duties, NAFTA doesn't mean everything is duty free, you would have to look up the harmonization code for speakers to see what the duty would be (it may be duty free, while many other things can be up to 6%).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:23 pm 
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Location: Pasadena, CA, US
I received a call from the dealer in Canada the other day. He said he'll be unable to ship the speakers to me due to our administration's new import laws. He told me that new items won't be affected too much, but that used items (i.e., the speakers I wanted to buy) are now pretty much impossible to ship into the US unless the original import/export documents have been saved. This, apparently, is not often the case. This even effects US imported goods returning to the states. Needless to say, I won't be getting those speakers; however, I did find a pair of European manufactured speakers locally that were delivered and set up for me this morning. I spent the day listening to them and am very happy.


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