Border mail services down South (Blaine/Point Roberts, WA, USA)

For the past several years I have buying most of my stuff online. The main reason is, of course, the price. I also like the exuberant anticipation of the sudden arrival of the goods.

However, many sellers on eBay and Amazon either only ship within US, offer free shipping to US only or the cost of shipping to Canada more often than not is unreasonably high, and defeats the whole purpose of on-line shopping.

Many people find it worthy to rent a mailbox in Blaine or Point Roberts to hold your incoming mail and parcels for an either a monthly/yearly fee or a fee per parcel (usually, $3-$5 per parcel), and pick them up whenever it is convenient.

What to be aware of.

When you are crossing the Canadian border, you may need to pay tax. It is best to do your own research on how much you may need to pay. My buddy picked up my motorcycle gear this week, and paid $25 duty on the $200 purchase (even after that and the gas money it was a lot cheaper than paying for shipping to Canada, and UPS’s brokerage fees).

You can use the approximate duty calculator, and read what conditions may exempt you from paying duties and taxes on your purchases (click “Continue Reading” or look below for links).

How to get a mailbox.

There are several options, but here are the ones that I was advised to use:

Ship2Blaine
24/7 Parcel
MBI Store

Links:

Estimated duty calculator
Information on paying duties and taxes from the official source (Travel.gc.ca)

Also! If the price of the item you have bought went down within a week from the date of the purchase, you can ask for a refund. And it’s easy!

#frugal#Renting a mailbox in the US#Simple Vancouver#simplevancouver#Vancouver