An increasing number of Canadians who travel to the U.S. are using a new form of cross border shopping that’s quickly growing in popularity: Online cross border shopping to U.S. hotel rooms.
If you’re planning a trip to the U.S. having your online purchases shipped to your hotel is a convenient, money saving way to do your cross border shopping.
How it Works
Cross border shopping to your hotel is actually quite easy, but requires some advance planning:
- Before you travel, purchase the goods you want online and have them shipped to the hotel you will be staying at in the U.S.
- Call your hotel to inform them that you are expecting packages so they will keep an eye out for them.
- When you arrive at your hotel, your goods will be waiting for you.
- Check your purchases, keep the ones you like and return the rest from your hotel.
There are several advantages to cross border shopping to your U.S. hotel:
- Convenience: Your hotel is an ideal place to receive your packages, examine your online purchases and return any unwanted items.
- Save Time: Cross border shopping from your hotel room takes a fraction of the time it would take to shop at brick and mortar stores.
- Lower Online Prices: Many U.S. retailers offer lower prices on the websites than in their brick and mortar stores.
- Free and Fast U.S. Shipping: Most U.S. online retailers offer free shipping within the United States and ensure your goods arrive within 1 or 2 days, benefits you won’t enjoy if you do your online cross border shopping from Canada.
- Free and Easy Returns in the U.S.: Most U.S. online retailers offer free returns and have quick, easy return policies from within the United States. Returning U.S. online purchases from Canada can be time consuming, incur shipping costs and require you to file an application to get your Canadian duty and sales tax refunded.
- Minimize Canadian Duty and Sales Tax: If you are in the U.S. for more than 24 hours you will have the benefits of bring some or all of your online purchases back to Canada with you on a duty free basis, a benefit you won’t receive if you ship your online purchases to Canada from the U.S.
Follow these tips to make sure you have a hassle free experience shipping your online purchases to your hotel:
- Plan Ahead: Time your purchases so they arrive at your U.S. hotel early enough in your trip to examine and return any items you don’t want without having to rush.
- Research Shipping Prices and Policies: Make sure you understand the online retailer’s U.S. shipping policies before you order. The most important questions are:
- Do they offer free shipping within the United States?
- If not, what are their U.S. shipping fees?
- How long will it take for your goods to arrive at your hotel after you order?
- Research Return Policies: While most U.S. online retailers offer fast, easy, free returns within the United States, not all of them do, so but it’s best to understand these policies before you order.