Buying online from US to Canada...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kris McLaughlin, Dec 12, 2001.

  1. Kris McLaughlin

    Kris McLaughlin Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 5, 2000
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    Hi everyone,

    I'm in the process of buying a miniDV camcorder, and of course am attracted to some of the good deals available on the web. My question is, since I'm in the Great White North, how does this work for warranty issues? Is the warranty valid in Canada if the camera is purchased from a US retailer?

    Now, I'm not talking about any of those sketchy grey-market sites, reputable retailers only.

    Another question to toss out is what is the situation on duty/taxes on a (relatively) big-ticket item like this? Is it enough to negate any potential sticker-price savings?

    Thanks for sharing your informed opinions and experiences!

  2. Rob_J

    Rob_J Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 4, 2001
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    Warranty issues depend on the brand you are looking at. I looked into this when buying a digital camera and it turns out that Canon warranties are good for US/Canada. Nikon however, is only good in Canada if purchased in Canada.

    Now, as for duty/taxes, it's a little trickier. I bought an item on ebay from some folks in the US and ended up paying a brokerage fee. This is because if it is sent by a courier (like fed ex or ups) they will have another company act as the person carrying it across the border (I forget the name for this). But anyways, they charge you money for doing it. For me, it was like $40 CDN, but it might vary.

    I've heard if sent by US Mail, there is no brokerage, but I'm not 100% sure on this.

    All in all, with our current exchange rate, I think you might be better off buying something in Canada. You can usually find pretty good deals, and the shipping will be less. But, if the deal is too good to pass up, a US vendor might still be the way to go.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Aug 23, 1998
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    As Rob said, if you have it couriered you'll probably get dinged brokerage and GST. You may also face duty depending on the country of origin, but chances are you won't as they would have paid duty getting it into the US.

    However, if they mail it you may have insurance problems if it gets lost, and warranty could be an issue, especially on something likely to break like a camcorder. Unless you are getting a smokin' deal, I'd buy stuff like that up here, and get smaller items out of the US. With a 160% exchange rate, the deal has to be pretty good these days.

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