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Until recently, most U.S. retailers did not ship directly to Canada, and those who did charged prohibitive shipping and handling fees that made buying goods from the U.S. just as expensive (and in some cases more expensive) as buying the same goods in Canada.
Fortunately, Canadians now have the luxury of buying goods from an increasing number of U.S. online retailers who ship to Canada and charge reasonable shipping and handling fees for Canadian deliveries. This trend allows Canadian shoppers to take advantage of lower prices and greater selection in the United States.
If you are considering making an online purchase from a U.S. retailer, the first thing you should check on their website is whether they ship to Canada, how long shipping takes and how much you will be charged in shipping and handling fees for Canadian deliveries. Some websites are very upfront about these policies, while others are can be confusing.
The main advantage of having your order shipped directly to Canada is that you avoid having to drive across the border to pick up your goods. However, it’s important to keep in mind that although a number of U.S. retailers have streamlined their Canadian shipping procedures, your goods may still be held up at customs, and you may still have to pay Canadian taxes and duties when these goods arrive, just as you would on any other item you bring into Canada.