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03-24-2008, 07:31 PM   #1
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Questions about Canadian buying from b&h

Hello, I haven't bought from America before, so I have a few questions about buying from b&h.

1) How long should I expect to get it across the border?
2) I live in BC, am I charged PST or only GST? What about duties?
3) I pay the taxes/duties at my door?
4) For Pentax lenses, do I ask b&h to get the international warranty card for me or do I ask Pentax USA? What about Tamron?
5) If I receive a substandard lens, I have to pay for postage for the roundtrip to the repair centre?

Thanks.


Last edited by jake123; 03-24-2008 at 07:45 PM.
03-24-2008, 09:13 PM   #2
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check out some replies in this thread
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/23530-help-buying-gear...canadians.html

from my single experience
1. very fast (But i'm in ontario)
2. PST + GST, duties shouldn't be charged, but i got screwed
3. Yes

not sure about 4 and 5, would be interested to know
5. is tricky because you don't want to get nailed double on taxes when it's shipped back
03-24-2008, 09:52 PM   #3
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Re: Questions about Canadian buying from b&h

QuoteOriginally posted by jake123 Quote
Hello, I haven't bought from America before, so I have a few questions about buying from b&h.

1) How long should I expect to get it across the border?
2) I live in BC, am I charged PST or only GST? What about duties?
3) I pay the taxes/duties at my door?
4) For Pentax lenses, do I ask b&h to get the international warranty card for me or do I ask Pentax USA? What about Tamron?
5) If I receive a substandard lens, I have to pay for postage for the roundtrip to the repair centre?

Thanks.
Hi. I'm in Vancouver, and haven't ordered from B&H but have from Adorama. Here's my experience cross-border shopping online:

1) If you choose an expedited delivery method like FedEx, it will take one or two days to get to you. (FedEx International Priority will be one day, International Economy will be two.) You'll be able to track the shipment's progress on FedEx's website using the package tracking number B&H will provide. If you choose the regular postal system (US Postal Service handing off to Canada Post), I'm not sure how long it would take. Longer. ;-)

2) You'll have to pay both GST and PST, as well as a "customs brokerage" charge to whomever brings your package across the border. The brokerage charge is included in FedEx's international rates. (However, since FedEx will have to pay the GST and PST on your behalf, they'll tack on an additional service charge of $10.) Canada Post charges something like $5 or $8 for customs brokerage.

As for duties, I've done several orders from the U.S. (flash unit, memory cards, lens), and have yet to be charged any duties. Not sure why, but it seems there isn't any on photographic equipment.

3) For FedEx, yes, they have devices that will let you pay the taxes and service charge by credit card upon delivery, at your door. (I doubt they take cash or cheque.) Canada Post would send you a package notice, and you'd have to go to the post office to pay the taxes and brokerage fee when you pick it up.

4) I'm not positive about this one, but I don't think you need warranty cards for anything. I think they're for information purposes. The thing that gets you warranty service is your proof of purchase. The trick there is that you'll have a receipt from a U.S. retailer, which may require you to send the lens to Pentax USA for warranty service. But again, I'm not 100% certain on this. I don't know if Pentax Canada cares where you bought an item. They may.

5) If you receive a substandard lens, you would have to pay to ship it back. Generally, you have to pay one-way to the destination (whether back to B&H, or to a repair centre) and they pay to return it to you.

In January, I received a DA* 16-50 from Adorama with a centering defect. I had to pay to send it back to them, and they explained that if I wanted to exchange it I would have to pay the return shipping back to me, for a total of three rounds of shipping charges. I decided not to, and requested a refund instead. Adorama chose to ignore my request and instead sent me an exchange at their own expense. Luckily it was a good copy the second time.

Last tip: avoid UPS. I haven't used them, but have heard that they charge exorbitant customs brokerage charges that aren't included in the shipping charge, unlike FedEx. (Note that UPS is not the same as the USPS.)

And as a passing opinion: I understand the appeal of lower prices, but I personally won't buy lenses online any more. For lenses, I've come to feel it's more important deal with a store directly, in person.

Lot of info - hope it helps.

Jos
Vancouver, BC
03-24-2008, 10:01 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
5. is tricky because you don't want to get nailed double on taxes when it's shipped back
There's a form you can find somewhere on the Canada Border Services website that will allow you to get one round of import taxes refunded in the event of something like this. You just have to prove that you shipped the item back to the States once for a replacement (a shipping receipt would probably do the trick).

Jos
Vancouver, BC

03-25-2008, 10:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply so far... Most of my questions have been answered...

One more question... I bought a Tamron 70-300 (@ dunne&rundle) locally, and I see directions for warranty purposes... It has a USA/Canada barcode on it, so I assume there is warranty for it... So what can I expect with the other ones? Canada/US warranty=same? There isn't even a Tamron Canada website...
03-26-2008, 01:26 PM   #6
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Can not stress enough the point about avoiding UPS. Not only have I been charged like it was precious cargo for stuff, I've had experience where snail mail has shipped faster than them, and when one charged me $35 and the other $4, you can see why I now avoid UPS. Won't even deal with a company that will only ship to Canada via UPS.

If you are in Vancouver or the Fraser Valley, there is also a business in Sumas that will receive your goods. Ship Happens. I recently had a large parcel shipped there because the cheapest quote we could find to get the parcel over the big wall, the border was $750, and to get to Sumas was $150. The company charged me $6 to receive it. You still have to pay GST and PST when you bring it across the line but I saved on shipping and brokerage.
03-26-2008, 01:35 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jnorth Quote
Can not stress enough the point about avoiding UPS. Not only have I been charged like it was precious cargo for stuff, I've had experience where snail mail has shipped faster than them, and when one charged me $35 and the other $4, you can see why I now avoid UPS. Won't even deal with a company that will only ship to Canada via UPS.

If you are in Vancouver or the Fraser Valley, there is also a business in Sumas that will receive your goods. Ship Happens. I recently had a large parcel shipped there because the cheapest quote we could find to get the parcel over the big wall, the border was $750, and to get to Sumas was $150. The company charged me $6 to receive it. You still have to pay GST and PST when you bring it across the line but I saved on shipping and brokerage.
I agree. UPS rip you off big time. FedEx is less, Postal service is less again, friend across the border is better yet.
03-26-2008, 01:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jnorth Quote
Can not stress enough the point about avoiding UPS.
As a one-time Canadian with experience in this area, I totally agree!

QuoteOriginally posted by jnorth Quote
If you are in Vancouver or the Fraser Valley, there is also a business in Sumas that will receive your goods. Ship Happens.
Best courier name ever?

03-26-2008, 05:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jake123 Quote
Thanks for the reply so far... Most of my questions have been answered...

One more question... I bought a Tamron 70-300 (@ dunne&rundle) locally, and I see directions for warranty purposes... It has a USA/Canada barcode on it, so I assume there is warranty for it... So what can I expect with the other ones? Canada/US warranty=same? There isn't even a Tamron Canada website...
Sorry, I mean I see nothing about warranty...

Thanks for the warnings. I guess I will only use UPS buying in Canada
03-27-2008, 05:18 AM   #10
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I recently bought a lens from B&H and received it in 3 days. Generally, like others said, I would avoid UPS unless they will ship UPS Expedited which includes the brokerage fee. B&H shipped this way, shipping was $30 and I paid PST/GST at the door when delivered.
03-27-2008, 06:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerryg Quote
I recently bought a lens from B&H and received it in 3 days. Generally, like others said, I would avoid UPS unless they will ship UPS Expedited which includes the brokerage fee. B&H shipped this way, shipping was $30 and I paid PST/GST at the door when delivered.
that's the problem w/ B&H, you gotta justify $30 in shipping, discourages buying some of their cheaper items. IIRC, i chose UPS because it was CHEAPER than USPS
04-27-2008, 02:07 AM   #12
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G´day,

if buying online from adorama.com, do they want to see a copy of my credit card like b/h as well?
04-27-2008, 02:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jake123 Quote
Hello, I haven't bought from America before, so I have a few questions about buying from b&h.

1) How long should I expect to get it across the border?
2) I live in BC, am I charged PST or only GST? What about duties?
3) I pay the taxes/duties at my door?
4) For Pentax lenses, do I ask b&h to get the international warranty card for me or do I ask Pentax USA? What about Tamron?
5) If I receive a substandard lens, I have to pay for postage for the roundtrip to the repair centre?

Thanks.
1) 2 working days after entering the UPS system by UPS Expedited. Add 2 more days for B&H to process.
2) PST + GST + Duty. Usually less than 12% total but you never know the exact amount because they have their funny way to work out the details which I don't always understand.
3) Yes, cash or CC. If they charged you more than you should, you can download the b2g form from the gov website and file a claim. PST/GST/Duty can be claimed if they indeed charged you more than you should pay. Brokerage fee is done once paid. If in doubt, you can request pickup or redelivery later so you would have time to deal with B&H or UPS first.
4) Within Canada, the B&H invoice will do.
5) One way return shipping will be on you for either refund or exchange. I would not recommend repair at all. Just be sure to inform B&H to state the package was an exchange item and GST/PST/Duty were already paid otherwise UPS will knock on your door asking for more money (but you can always file the claim through b2g form later).

Here is some more info on brokerage fee. Make sure you read all the fine prints. You don't pay extra brokerage free by UPS Expedited up to certain # of items.
UPS: Rates for Customs Clearance into Canada
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