Best way to ship small value items--US to Canada??

I just did a search on this topic on A'gon, & did get quite a bit of info. Also, I have mailed a couple of CD's (USPO) to Canada with apparently no problem.

My current dilema: I sold a small $25 item to someone in Toronto (from US). I tried to ship it UPS, & spent about 1 1/2 hours on their website trying to decipher all the customs forms, which I think would need a really good lawyer to figure out. Finally, there was a place to click something (???) where I wouldn't have to send all the forms with the item, just sign something on the pack of the UPS label. Of course, the UPS guy later refused to take the box, saying I had to have "all 3 forms attached or it would just be totally stuck in Customs".

So, I voided the UPS shipment, now I'm thinking of sending USPS.
If I'm using their website correctly, it would cost only $2.35 to send a small 8 oz. box to Canada via "Airmail Letter Post ". Or, I might (not sure) be able to fit it into a Global Priority Mail - Flat-rate Envelope (large) for $7. Of course neither would have insurance or tracking. And I charged less than $10 for shipping so Global Express Mail at $15.50 is out.

Any advice? I'm thinking use the Airmail Post & take my chances. BTW, as I recall, the USPS only requires a brief 1 page Customs Form, not 3 pages like UPS. Thanks in advance for any advice!
USPS is the best (cheapest) way to Canada by far. Forget UPS. Fed Ex is next best choice.
I just shipped a package to Canada via USPS. It was a Line conditioner. Shipping with USPS is simple especially if it weighs less than 6 lbs, you fill out 1 Form. If it weighs more than 6 lbs, or has a significant value, or contains unusal items or materials, then there is a more comprehensive form. Either way don't be scared, the clerks are usually pretty helpful and it just requires filing out an extra piece of paper. Also, i think most of the time, it helps if it is a low-value Gift.

My policy is to make all out of US sales final, with an agreement with the buyer that I take no responsibilty once it leaves my hands.
I also vote for USPS.Never had a problem and ,believe it or not,delivery has been quick and whole.

As mentioned by JUSTLISTEN it is VERY helpful if you make it a GIFT or at the very least devalue the item (shame on me).Then it doesn't get bogged down at Customs.

I have ordered many a IC's ,CD's etc ,from the US, and shipping has been a good far.

As a side note ,I have larger more expensive items shipped to a border store and pick them up personally.
I live on the Quebec border in Northern Vermont and USPS is the best way to ship to Canada. Too much paper work with either FedEx or UPS. And, as stated above, the postal crew is very helpful with forms and information.
Everyone seems to dislike UPS, but I recently shipped my Denon 2900 player to Canada via UPS, insured for $800, and it only cost twenty-some dollars, and got there in two days. It came back by FedEx, also in a few days.
On shipments to Canada, UPS seems to tack on extra charges which others don't, notably brokerage fees. They have managed to break things for me in the past where others have not. Their claims process (if what they put me through can be dignified by that name) was an utter nightmare.

FedEx and the Post Office have both come through for me every time, but there are two points which make me choose the mails. First, if I am not home, they leave the package at a nearby office and I can go and get it any time during their (long) opening hours. Second (and I hope Canada Post is not reading this), about every second package seems to get through without any extra charges.

Normally I would have to pay about 15% taxes and a $5 handling fee on everything I received, no matter where it came from, as well as duty on goods not made in the U.S. FedEx is very conscientious and always collects these.
USPS Express Mail, if feasible and cost effective, has been easy and hassle-free. USPS Airmail Post would be my second choice for all the reasons mentioned in the earlier posts: relatively easy, reliable, and reasonable cost.
i've received things simply dropped in the mail, such as tubes and cartridges and they arrive faster and with less additional costs than the other options. it also seems that the brothers of usps communicate well with the brothers of canada post. if the items is small and less that $250-300, usps is the way to go for me.
Tvad has hit it on mail is the way to go...I ship 10 to 15 items a week to Canada via express mail and have never had a problem...I tried lower cost shipping and it either took too long...or got lost...and they charged the buyer a hefty duty mail to Canada is cheaper than if you were sending it to the lower 48 my vote is USPS to Canada...just remember to get the phone number of the buyer and put it on the will find most Canadian buyers ask for USPS...good luck
I just sold some gear that I need to ship to Japan and Taiwan. I was going to use Fed-ex, but now you have me thinking. My business sends things overseas about every other month. We've always used Fed-ex and have never had a problem, at least one that we could understand. Chinese yelled into a phone is totally incomprehensible, so who knows? But it is expensive and we always get an additional charge about a month after we ship for duties. So it is almost impossible to tell how much the shipping will cost. Does anyone know how the USPS is at shipping to the far east? And how long it takes?
Smaller sized items, USPS.
Mike_z, perhaps you should make this a thread of its own to get more responses. For my part, having shipped to Japan only once, I can say that Canada Post Xpress to the Far East worked very well, and in the time promised. The only surprise was that they could not track a package past the port of landing. If the package went to Narita, for example, tracking stopped after that.

One of my Far East correspondents says that USPS is if anything, faster than Canada Post.
Another vote for USPS...FedEx next. Aviod UPS...they just plain SUCK.

None are foolproof by any stretch of the imagination...just today I had to go pick up a package that came in in via USPS from the Toronto area whose delivery they managed to screw up...and it was still better thean UPS!
Thanks for all the advice! Today I mailed the item USPS Airmail for about $3. One tiny form to fill out. My next question may be: what is best way to accept international payments (other than paypal); esp. to Canada, but I'll probably do a separate post for that.

Thanks again! Steve