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What I want is a USAT 4 bay hopper, UNDEC, that I can dress up with a WV logo. Art Knapps has what I want for $104.97 + plus tax and shipping being thirty bucks - tops.

So I enter a photo contest that cost's me nothing - and I win.


What the hey I figure. I'll just take advantage of the $25.00 gift and make the phone call.

Well, they don't have what I want. In fact they don't have anything close. So I change my expected colour scheme in mid thought and order the only 4 bay they have. Santa Fe + painting + decaling. God!

Cost after deducting "the prize" is $54.99 USD

Wait for it!

Federal Express is $81.34 USD

GST at the border is $17.35 CDN

So I now have the 4 bay hopper I didn't really want for a grand total of $157.14.

....if I didn't have a well developed sense of humor.
 

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Add the cost of "how many" cans of grey primer it will take to cover that hopper paint and decals.
 

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Dave

That Fedex fee is the killer and no doubt included at least $50 customs brokerage even though no duties are levied. That is why I will only deal with suppliers who will ship by the Post Office where such foolishness does not happen. Sadly, many USA suppliers will not use their own post office so I simply will not buy from them.

But ... am glad your sense of humour saw you through!

Regards ... Doug
 

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That $81 Fed X charge is very high. It only costs around $40 USPS to the UK for a boxcar and a loco (RS3) is around $65.

I reckon you should all push for the lower USPS delivery from your dealers. Maybe they will listen to you. Maybe they won't.
 

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Was the FedEx charge a surprise? They did not tell you they were shipping by FedEx and you did not ask?

Not trying to put cold water on your story, but it seems you know about these costs already, and would have insisted on the post office shipping.

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg

The Fedex charge often is a surprise.

First of all, the vendor (who shall remain nameless in this case) is one of those who refuses to use the USPS because they post office does not give a tracking number. The Fedex charge on the shipper end is usually reasonable even for foreign shipments.

Next, the Fedex agent in Canada will add a charge ($50-75) for so called customs brokerage. This is because Fedex remits the sales tax that is due and then collects it from the consignee. The fee is absolutely outrageous considering Canada Post charges a token $5 for the same service.

The buyer has little choice at the time of delivery. If he doesnt pay the extra Fedex charge the goods go back. There is no guarantee that the original vendor will even accept the goods back let alone credit the account.

Almost everywhere else in the world, the post office is the shipping instrument of choice for small packages. It is only in the USA where courrieurs are favoured in part for the tracking number and in part because they pick up at the vendor's premises. But courrieurs are generally a poor choice for exporting goods as Dave's story shows.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Posted By Greg Elmassian on 09/27/2008 9:10 AM
Was the FedEx charge a surprise? They did not tell you they were shipping by FedEx and you did not ask?

Not trying to put cold water on your story, but it seems you know about these costs already, and would have insisted on the post office shipping.

Regards, Greg

Naive I am.


It simply never occurred to me to ask. The nice lady on the other end simply said it would be out the next day and I told Bev to expect something in the mail in about two weeks. The first indication that it was a FedEx item was when I got a call from them the next day asking for the GST. As FedEx/UPS are small potatoes here I must remember to ask about that next time I get stuff from the US.

As far as tracking #'s go, I get tracking numbers from Canada Post all the time and because I have their Venture One card I also get a real break on small package rates to anywhere in the world. We bitch a lot about CP but it's a pretty great service. And my delivery lady likes my trains.


Dave
 

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No offense, but this is why I will not buy from ebay dealers in Canada. I have to pay more for an international money order, and shipping charges are always higher, and it takes way longer to get my stuff. By the way, when I send stuff anywhere by USPS I always get "delivery confirmation" This is very cheap, and I always know exactly when the package was received.
Paul
 

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K guys. Can I say a few things about shipping USPS... I usually DO use Priority Mail to save the customer money, but it has following drawbacks; 1. As mentioned, no tracking, even the PO doesn't have a clue where it is. 2. You have to pay extra for delivery confirmation (not available for all locations, either), and the guy can STILL claim he didn't get it because his dog signed for it while he was out. 3. Insurance is extra (and also not available to all locations), and claiming on it is a PITA especially if it just disappears -- You CAN'T file a claim for 30 days and they won't pay after 180, and will keep kicking it back for "more information" until the time runs out...

OTOH they don't usually smash things quite as often (or as badly) as UPS
 

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Canada Post does offer delivery tracking numbers - for stuff sent domestically. But the USPS does not offer the same service hence no international (to the USA) confirmation.

Mik raises good points as to why he dislikes using the USPS. But his convenience is not worth (to me) the extra $50 I will pay on a $60 order. If a dealer wants export business (and let's face it, lots of Americans do not want to export) then he needs to take steps to meet customer needs - shipping by the post office is just one of them.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Just to clarify, I don't DISlike the post office (United Parcel's attitude I abhor, tho)... I was just telling you the drawbacks. ANOTHER drawback is getting everything in the stupid car, driving downtown (at $3.65 gas), paying for parking, getting everything OUT of the car, standing in line for half an hour...is NOBODY's idea of "fun".... Especially when people balk at paying a lousy 50c in handling to help defray the shipping materials that actually COST you $4! BTW the customs forms are a PITA too.

Yes, all in all, it IS faster and MUCH easier for the vendor to just pick up the phone and have a courier come to THEM...

I don't have an answer. At least not one you'd be happy with.




But I WILL say this... As long as people continue to shop with the Wally Wurld mentality of "the lowest price" uber alles, then customer service will continue to suffer.... You gets what you pays for. You (in your own words) said you aren't concerned with the vendor's "convenience". Just the lowest price. The vendor is concerned with trying to STILL make a living selling stuff at the artificially low price people are willing pay. Sending it via courier saved HIM time which IS money.

Seems to me that a little communication (from you too!) could have avoided the whole situation...YOU assumed he'd ship one way, and are mad because he didn't. Likewise, he probably assumed you wanted it ASAP and so shipped the fastest easiest way.
 

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I managed to buy, direct from Aristo-Craft, two reefers and two RS3 loco that were from the shipment destined for the 2006 MWLSTS which was canceled - hence them still being available.

They were sent by USPS, and had insurance, the delivery time was around two and a half to three weeks. The only one longer was around the Christmas period 2007 and was held up in UK Customs. These four items were all sent at separate times and only the last ( a loco) incurred UK importation costs.


I was given a tracking number by Aristo and I was able to check the parcels progress on the UK Parcel Force web site. All four items were delivered to my door.


So with all this in mind I can't find fault with the US and UK Postal delivery systems. I have, however, heard uncomplimentary reports about other methods of delivery from the States.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Posted By Mik on 09/27/2008 1:53 PM
Just to clarify, I don't DISlike the post office (United Parcel's attitude I abhor, tho)... I was just telling you the drawbacks. ANOTHER drawback is getting everything in the stupid car, driving downtown (at $3.65 gas), paying for parking, getting everything OUT of the car, standing in line for half an hour...is NOBODY's idea of "fun".... Especially when people balk at paying a lousy 50c in handling to help defray the shipping materials that actually COST you $4! BTW the customs forms are a PITA too.



I understand this is a problem and indeed I sympathize.

A friend of mine from Washington was visiting here at Christmas year or so ago and was quite surprised that Canada Post had a full service outlet in just about every neighbourhood. And the 'international' paper work consisted of a small green 'sticky' with name, address and value on it. He has to drive some distance for USPS and he lives in a larger community.

So yes, if I was a seller I would rather have someone pick up my stuff at the factory door, at the buyers expense, than take it into the citymyself, or pay someone to do it.

It's a different business philosophy in a different environment.

I'm not complaining about being ripped off. I should have looked into the situation more closely. I just thought it was kind of funny in a way.

Dave
 

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This is an enlightening discussion. I never thought about what happens when you ship USPS to Canada. I definitely have heard many horror stories involving UPS and FedEx and DHL at borders.

Question: although no tracking info (an inconvenience), and no REAL delivery confirmation (a RISK), does the USPS insurance work when it goes from the US to Canada? At least that would seem to make it "risk free" if the package did not arrive.

Regards, Greg
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 09/27/2008 8:20 PM
Question: although no tracking info (an inconvenience), and no REAL delivery confirmation (a RISK), does the USPS insurance work when it goes from the US to Canada? At least that would seem to make it "risk free" if the package did not arrive.




Depends upon where it is going.... it took well over 4 months for an AIRMAIL package I sent to a place called Carrot River in Saskatchewan to arrive... How can you know whether it's really lost or not when they send it via pack mule (or maybe mail snail)?..It also doesn't leave much of your 180 days for them to "investigate" before they decide it's been too long and they won't pay.

I had to claim insurance ONCE on a package to Canada... got the usual BS about not packing it correctly, 3 or 4 kickbacks for "more information" on initial value, had to get independent repair quotes, etc... even though it was kind of obvious from the tire prints that it had fallen off some machine and gotten run over. Good thing it was a current production, off the shelf piece-- I'd hate to have had to go through that with a irreplaceable antique or a custom item.
 

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When packages are shipped from the USA into Canada, they may take a circuitous route. In the east, all packages cross the border at the Niahara frontier en route to Toronto (Canada Post Gateway). But before the border can be crossed ... USA export controls must review the package and then Canada Customs (actually performed by the Post Office) reviews it. This review is to apply sales tax to protect local merchants in Canada who must collect sales tax on purchases.

Once in Canada, there is no distinction between air or surface ... all mail including packages goes air if the distance requires it (ie from Toronto to Carrot River SK). carrot River is about 150 miles northeast of Saskatoon (not far from Prince Albert) so the package would be flown to Saskatoon and sent by truck to Carrot River. Once the package arrived at Gateway, delivery time to Carrot River would normally be 2-3 days. The real delays are at the border.

The mail in the USA normally takes 2 days to reach the border. Then allow about 1 week for Homeland Security to apply export controls and at least 3 days for Canada Post to do its customs review ... now 1 more day to Gateway and 2-3 days to deliver. Even the slightest hiccup makes this longer.

Packages sent from Canada to the USA take less time as Canada has no export controls on personal packages to the USA. Howeve, the packages are usually opened by USA Homeland Security - and seldom are repacked well.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Where did you ever get the fairy tale that goes like this: "...the packages are usually opened by USA Homeland Security-and seldom are repacked well." I have done business with G-scale and other sellers in Canada for over six years. Some of them are in the Toronto area and others, like Art Knapp etc. are in British Columbia. EVERYTHING is sent by post and I have never had a package opened (many) nor have I ever had any delivery problems or surcharges. Isolated good luck,--not likely.
 
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