Canada UPS delivery

I received a pair of interconnects from Canada a week or so ago. Shipping cost were $20.00 for UPS ground. Today I get a bill from UPS for another $19.00 Listed as "Entry prep fee" under brokerage service. Funny how this stuff gets swept under the carpet till after the sale is complete. Does that sound about right? $39.00 to ship a ten-pound item from Canada to the US insured for $500.00. Where did I go wrong in this deal?
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USPS takes care of that fee, but they are even less reliable than UPS, and a NIGHTMARE if you have a claim. Many freight companies don't mention the extra fee's. You just get a bill from them in the mail (and often a few more for the same after you have already paid it).
What can you do? You can send small and inexpensive items from the U.S. to Canada by USPS, but HOPE you don't have any problems, such as with their track system, which is NOT reliable, that is if you even have this option on your USPS ship choice. BTW, have fun with that Postal line....
Glen,UPS is at fault.Its not the seller you should be upset with.He does not collect this fee.This FEE is a blatant ripoff by UPS.
I allways specify no UPS.
USPS is very reliable and if Its a high ticket item.Use FED EX.
You went wrong by usung UPS and not finding out what it would cost.
The sad part is, I've always been a loyal UPS customer with no complaints till now. I will be sure to mention that to them tomorrow when I call. I will also be sure to mention that I am not putting up with these hidden charges and that they will be losing a life long customer over this one.
FedEx charges fees also in most cases.
Yes they do but they are not hidden.When you call and ask for a price it is included not hidden.
Shame on UPS
FedEx is the best, but more expensive and they do charge "extra" fees both ways.

UPS is good for inexpensive in-country items...that's it!

USPS is excellent for small items...but hope you never have a trans-border is IMPOSSIBLE to collect since they (USPS and CanPost) each blame the other.

CanPost...much the same as USPS.

My Rule: Be prepared to spend up to 10% of your purchase price to give your precious new audio item the BEST chance of arriving in good order.

Good Luck! (Toronto Area)
UPS? Don't even start me...

Thanks everyone, You want to here some more good news about UPS? I just bought an amp from a guy on the east coast. It just arrived today at my home on the west coast damaged. (Bashed in on the top right corner). I have started the claim. The piece was insured for the whole 5 grand. You can see where the corner of the amp came through two heavy pieces of cardboard (The box) Before it made contact with the ground. Must have landed on it's head to do damage on the top corner. I'll let you know how it turns out on another thread in a couple weeks.
sutts, go to the thread I posted a rather tedious explination of the how/what and where's of brokerage charges (entry prep fees).

UPS has a nasty habit of trying to bill "after the fact". Then, they try and use a collection agency if you refuse to pay. Here's the 5 minute drill:

1) UPS processes your cross border shipment but for some reason does not call before delivering to disclose/authorize the brokerage charges. (FEDEX does, and that's the ethical way to do it). On ground shipments this fee can be excessive for a small item (i.e $25.00 for $50 cables!)

2) UPS sends you a bill in the mail "after the fact", upsetting you as a buyer and you take it out on the seller(it's not the seller's fault)UPS then leverages their business size to try and collect the brokerage fee.

Here's the ethical way to handle this flagrant foul by UPS.

3) If the fee is reasonable (i.e. $35.00 on a $3,000 amp) pay it. Clearing large, expensive packages is more difficult than small items and can require significant documentation over $1600 value (harmonized code numbers, commercial invoices, cetificate of compliance, radiation certificate for CD players, etc,). Isn't NAFTA fun?

4)If the fee is unreasonable ($20 on cables) --Ignore the bill! UPS will try and collect and even threaten to "stop delivering to your address". Keep ignoring the bill -- after 90 days it is automated to a collection agency, who's junior reps have not yet eveloved from prehistoric Cromagnon man. These collection apes will insist you owe the money and try every stupid collection trick to get you to pay. Remember, it's UPS, not you, that is unethical ---and also remember these collection reps are paid only if they collect.

You simply state "I did not authorize the charges" and refuse to pay. If the fee is under $100 they will send a plethora of automated form dunning letters, which are great if you run out of cat litter. But for under $100 they don't go to court and will just write off the bill after a while. If they threaten to affect your credit (they can't do that in Canada) threaten them back. Have fun! ... and remember, you are right and they are wrong!

If this all sounds a bit disconcerting, it's because I've been through this 50 times or more -- and we have a commercial UPS account and brokerage account, as we ship and receive about 3,000 international packages a year. UPS simply doesn't get it -- they cannot ethically bill after the fact and expect to collect. No business should operate like that ... and I think it's only a matter a time before the government cracks down on this practice. (I suspect that enough people actually do pay them to keep the charade going and going -- and that their higher "after the fact fees/collect ratio" has a better bottom line than a lower, predisclosed fee would.

Don't get me wrong, UPS IS entitled to a REASONABLE brokerage fee, but they are not entitled to hide it and then try to collect it. Perhaps if enough people don't pay the brokerage prep fees UPS will get the message and call first with the brokerage fee, or reduce it on ground shipments with small values.

What bothers me the most about this charade is that it almost always creates unfounded anamosity towards the seller and puts a damper on otherwise smooth deals. (Too bad we can't get a senior UPS CRM or Finance person to glance through these threads.)

And perahps A'gon will post a permanent page with an international shipping "checklist", as shipping, like it or not, is part of your eLife and part of almost every A'gon transaction. --Lorne
better keep all the packing and hope you bought it from a business.they dont cover damage on used items between individuals
I too, have become a victim of the "HIDDEN CHARGE". I recently purchased a pair of cables from a gentleman in Canada. He agreed to ship Canadian Post, since he did not have confidence in UPS, nor did I, having some bad experiences in the past. Upon receiving his final e-mail, he included tracking numbers for the package....shipped Purolator Express!! I did not question this, as the gentleman was paying for the shipping.BIG MISTAKE!!! On Oct. 27, I received an invoice From PBB Global Logistics, apparently a Customs broker representing Purolator, stating that I owe $49.00 ($19.00 brokerage fee and $30.00 for Surety Bond Fee!). I could not beleive it. A $49.00 fee on a $275.00 purchase is ridiculous!! I've e-mailed the gentleman I purchased the cables from to see if he could clear up some of this confusion. He has had all positive feedback on this site, and our deal went smoothly also. I guess I'll just pay the bill and shut-up. I just hope that this post will help someone else make a better informed decision than I made. This experience, unfortunately, has left me with negative feelings toward pursuing any more cross-border transactions.
I really hate this issue because it always leads to folks not wanting to buy/sell to or from Canada - which in effect lessens all of our options when we're looking for something we need or want to get rid of something we no longer want.

As I have stated previously I run a import distribution company in Toronto which imports & exports almost exclusively to and from the US. So I have some experience with this.

Things to keep in mind are that UPS always charges "Brokerage" for handling shipments that cross the boarder - in either direction. The fees are listed on the internet. The breakdown includes various handling fees that others have mentioned above.

Canadian 'import rates'(Canada to USA)at:

USA 'import rates' (USA to Canada) at:

Of note: UPS WILL NOT insure personal or used items. ...And if the items you are shipping should become damaged they will scrutinize your shipment ( IMO trying to get out of paying for the damage). So... use UPS if you must, but they are expensive and are RATS should something go wrong.

USPS or Canada post are much cheaper and are quite reliable. ...While I'm certain there is someone out there who can relay a horror story (or two) most of us get the mail like clockwork. ...When was the last time you didn't get that birthday or Christmas gift from aunt Betty in Timbuktu...? IT PLAIN WORKS. And if you insure the goods you don't have to worry about the post office trying to squirm out of paying for the goods if lost or damaged. ...Try that with UPS. ...They will demand that you keep the packaging in order that they can inspect it (to see if it was adequate). God forbid that you should have packaging deemed inadequate because you'll be S.O.L. Or you might have to threaten legal action to get anywhere.

As an aside I find it incredible that we all pay these companies to ship our valuable goods, and then pay them again to ensure that they don't damage the goods or lose them. What the hell are we paying for in the first place...?! ...What an amazing business - kinda like Mafia extortion "protection money". Could you imagine bringing your gear into your dealer to have work done on it, and the dealer asking for insurance money in case the store were to get robbed or in case he dropped your piece on the floor. ...Its amazing to me how accepting we are of these 'normalcyÂ’s' - what a crock!

As a final comment... most folks on Audiogon are honest and wouldn't try to pull a fast one by burdening anyone with additional costs.
Ronk - why even pay this exorbitant ripoff? I mean what can they do anyway if you refuse? Send them back a dollar, no, make that 1 cent, Canadian.
It is certainly not my intention to dissuade people from doing business in Canada. All I wanted to do was make people aware that this could happen to you also. Now that I am aware that this type of "legal robbery" is going on, I can work with a seller/buyer to possibly split the fees.This was my first transaction in Canada, so I had no previous experience with this type of situation.Would I do business in Canada again? Possibly, depending on the situation. As I stated in my previous post, I had a very good transaction with the seller.This is by no means a reflection on him!I completely agree with you.Once again, big business gets richer at the expense of the little guy!

I agree with you 100%.Unfortunately, I don't want to take the chance that one day some goof-balls from a collection agency are pounding on my door looking for money. Or, worst case scenario, someone at one of these agencies decides they want to ruin my credit rating. I don't know if any of these options would happen, but I don,t want to take that risk. Thanks for your support!