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08-12-2009, 07:15 PM   #1
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RANT: Why is it taking so long for my package to get from the US to Canada?

I recently sold my DFA100 macro to another forum member in Canada; I shipped it off last Tuesday (8/4) via USPS Express Mail, which estimated the delivery time to be 5 days. I've been keeping up with the tracking and currently, it's in Customs, where it's been since late Monday afternoon (8/10). How long should I expect this lens to remain in Customs before it resumes it's trek to it's new home in BC? On the customs form, I didn't fudge it as a gift or put a ridiculously low value on it; I mean, it's a camera lens for heavens' sake, what would be the holdup?

In contrast, last Friday, I shipped off my Pentax DSLR to it's new home in Sydney, Australia via USPS Express Mail. They guaranteed me 5 days, but it actually showed up in 4 days. Apparently, it breezed right through Australian Customs. I'm still waiting on the buyer to get back with me to verify that everything's OK, but I'm glad to know that it's gotten to where it's supposed to go.

I just don't get how Canadian Customs can be so inefficient when Australian Customs is so efficient at getting things through. Heck, I've even bought from overseas a couple of times and the items didn't stay in US Customs more than a day or 2. What gives?

Thanks for reading.
Heather

08-12-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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I just had a lens delivered from Canada and it took a week and a day although they did say to allow two weeks.
I think things have been taking longer going to Canada than they do coming from Canada Heather (but I may be wrong - flame insurance).
08-12-2009, 07:26 PM   #3
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Sorry Heather, but that's common around here. You'll just have to assure the buyer that it's on the way
08-12-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
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if you actually put a decent description on it with full value, ive noticed it takes things longer to get to places.

a small box with nothing written on it, goes through the x-ray, not a bomb, off it goes, no one bothers to file any paperwork.

thats my take on it...

08-12-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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i would usually at least double or whatever postage estimates they provide
we're the world's second biggest country, give our postal service a break
08-12-2009, 07:35 PM   #6
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QuoteQuote:
I just don't get how Canadian Customs can be so inefficient when Australian Customs is so efficient at getting things through. Heck, I've even bought from overseas a couple of times and the items didn't stay in US Customs more than a day or 2. What gives?
Canadian customs is neither inefficient nor efficient; a more accurate description would be that they are unpredictable. I have shipped countless items across the US/Canada border for over 10 years. The last item I received was a lens from California. It was shipped on a Saturday there and delivered to my door here on Tuesday morning; that's a blistering 3 days! On the other hand I shipped a camera to the US this spring and it took 14 days! So where was the hold up; US or Canada? Who knows.

My humble thoughts are to always ship with a tracking number and insurance for the replacement value of the item. It goes missing, you're covered. As for the time lag - take a deep breath and read a book in the meantime.
08-12-2009, 08:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
Canadian customs is neither inefficient nor efficient; a more accurate description would be that they are unpredictable. I have shipped countless items across the US/Canada border for over 10 years. The last item I received was a lens from California. It was shipped on a Saturday there and delivered to my door here on Tuesday morning; that's a blistering 3 days! On the other hand I shipped a camera to the US this spring and it took 14 days! So where was the hold up; US or Canada? Who knows.

My humble thoughts are to always ship with a tracking number and insurance for the replacement value of the item. It goes missing, you're covered. As for the time lag - take a deep breath and read a book in the meantime.
Better make it a fairly big one. Try Atlas Shrugged.
08-13-2009, 02:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by graphicgr8s Quote
Better make it a fairly big one. Try Atlas Shrugged.
I wouldn't have time to read that modern classic, "101 Reasons Why Republicans Love Obama" before the last item arrived.
Did I mention it cme from California in just 3 days? Hmmm... I think I did...

08-13-2009, 03:51 AM   #9
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I can start to feel the pain also I recently won a auction on a new lens and it shipped on the 3rd and left Brazil on the 7th to the US, apparently the status still hasn't changed. I believe customs has it and hopefully they will release it by early next week. Just hope there will be no customs fee, if so then not much.
08-13-2009, 04:15 AM   #10
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A couple of years ago I bought a lens from a Canadian seller. After a two week wait, during which time I figured it was lost or stolen, it finally arrived. Apparently, an item sits in customs for an undetermined length of time until they're good & ready to let it go. Consequently, I now only do business with American sellers..... I don't even look at items offered up by Canadian sellers, so that I'm not tempted..... I have enough aggravation in my life without looking for more.
08-13-2009, 05:02 AM   #11
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I will say that I do have tracking and plenty of insurance on it, so everything's fine there.

Maybe I'm just being a bit too impatient.

Heather
08-13-2009, 05:39 AM   #12
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I've never had an item lost or not delivered from the US to Canada, but as mentioned above the time is unpredictable. Basically, almost all items end up at a major postal facility close to the destination. Here in the GTA it's Gateway Mail Facility in Mississauga. I've got friends in Customs (one in Commercial Cargo, one in Passenger Operations, and one in Postal Operations), basically they only have so many staff and when there's an increase in volume (whether it be more items that day, more that week, or more that month) they still only have X capacity to process, so items may sit and wait longer for clearance. If you want guaranteed time use a courier, but you'll pay for it, otherwise we're at the mercy of USPS/Can Post and Customs.

Don't forget also that the volume of items crossing the US/Canada border is probably a lot higher that products going to and from US/Australia.
08-13-2009, 08:16 AM   #13
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Being in Singapore, I find US packages by USPS pretty quick and reliable but getting anything from Canada by Canada Post is like watching paint dry. I actually had a package that was sitting in Toronto for a good 18 days before it was sent out of the country. When I send out packages from over here to anywhere in the world, it leaves the country within 36 hours at the most... talk about efficiency.
08-13-2009, 08:37 AM   #14
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Heather, that's normal. As gooshin has mentioned, if the package does not have any commercial value delcared where local tax (federal and provinical) will apply, it will go faster. Otherwise, if there is value declared (and it exceeds certain amount) it goes through the slow line where the staff have to prepare some paperwork for tax purposes.
08-13-2009, 08:52 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Heather, that's normal. As gooshin has mentioned, if the package does not have any commercial value delcared where local tax (federal and provinical) will apply, it will go faster. Otherwise, if there is value declared (and it exceeds certain amount) it goes through the slow line where the staff have to prepare some paperwork for tax purposes.
If you don't insure it and declare a value, what happens if it gets lost? It comes down to the item, value (or rarity) and risk.
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