UPS is a pain. Lots of paperwork for the shipper. It is also the one most likely to cost you a duty. The cheapest is the Canadian postal service. (Royal Mail ??)
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UPS in Canada will not insure any used items and will not be accountable for any loss/damage/etc. FedEx does but is more expensive as it is delivered via air. I don't think there are any hidden costs with FedEx. I shipped an amp from Canada to the US without any problems using FedEx. Also with FedEx, you'll get the amp within 2 days.
I run a distribution business in Canada, and think I may be able to provide a few insights into this import/export question. The business I run in Canada is an import/wholesale operation and we ship many goods to and from the U.S. We have used UPS, FED EX, and Canada post. I have also shipped personal audio goods to and from my two residences (Toronto and Cleveland) and to and from private individuals to my residences. -In case anyone is wondering I’m a dual citizen.
I recently purchased a Levinson #380 from a very nice fellow in British Columbia. Since the unit was USA product, there were no Duties to pay, only the expense of shipping which, in the thread above, you know can be very expensive. The fellow in B.C. lived close to the border so he used a private service, LetterLock and they shipped it to and from Wa. State to me. The only problem was customs who opened the double boxes and removed the unit, only to replace it in the cardboard cut-out without its protective plastic bag...the corners of the unit were rubbed raw, completely ruining the finish on the faceplate. Customs did not claim responsibility and the shipper who used FexEx once it got into the States(Letterlock), was told by FedEx that since it was in factory packing and showed no visible signs of shipping abuse, they were not responsible either. The outside shipping box looked as if it had just come from the manufacturer to me! FedEx also lost the secured funds payment via return overnight, causing concern and additional costs for a stop pmt. and re-issue of funds. The seller, John, was very gracious and paid for the faceplate out of his ouw pocket and had a devil of a time with both shippers. I met a fellow audiophile, got a great piece of gear and became very aware of the problems that shipping companies can cause, all right before Christmas...and John lost money. Lesson: be very careful and follow the good advice offered above!