While the practice of using a U.S. shipping address among Canadian cross border shoppers has been around for years, it has recently exploded in popularity.
The practice involves having your U.S. online purchases shipped to a package receiving location just across the Canadian border for a small fee (usually $5 - $10) and driving across the border to pick up your goods when they arrive.
The primary benefit is significantly reduced or free shipping costs, as domestic shipping costs are significantly cheaper than international shipping to Canada, and many U.S. retailers offer free shipping within the United States when you meet their minimum purchase amount requirements. Other benefits include faster shipping times and the possibility that you won’t be charged duty or tax when you cross the border coming back to Canada, depending on the border agent you get.
Unfortunately, using a U.S. shipping address for delivery and pickup hasn’t been a viable option unless you’re located within a short driving distance of the border, until now.
Introducing U.S. Shipping Addresses with Re-shipping for Canadians
Fortunately, some U.S. shipping address providers are taking the services the next level, offering convenience and cost savings through re-shipping services for Canadians who don’t live within driving distance of the border.
How it Works
Just like using a traditional U.S. shipping address, your U.S. online purchases are shipped to a package receiving location on the U.S. side of the border, allowing you to take advantage of free or low cost shipping within the United States.
But instead of driving across the border to pick up your packages, for a reasonable fee, the re-shipper will clear your packages through customs (you will be responsible for paying all duty and taxes) and re-ship your items from within Canada right to your front door, allowing you to take advantage of low cost domestic shipping.
Why Use It
- Save on Shipping Costs –Re-shipping services can provide big cost savings if picking up your packages in the U.S. isn’t a viable option. They allowing you to avoid expensive international shipping fees and hefty international “service” fees that some couriers surprise you at the end of the delivery process.
- Convenience – Re-shipping services offer the convenience of delivering your U.S. purchases right to your front door, a big plus if you would otherwise have to drive a long distance and factor in the cost of gas to pick up your packages.
- U.S. Retailers Who Won’t Ship to Canada – Some U.S. retailers won’t ship to Canada, which means you only options are to ship to the border and use a re-shipping service, or drive across the border to pick up your package, which may not be time or cost effective depending on your location.
- Buying Items Not Available in Canada – There are many products you can’t buy in Canada, even if you wanted to. In these situations, your options are shipping to the border and using a re-shipping service, driving across the border to pick up your package, which may or may not be a viable option for you, or paying for expensive international shipping, the worst option of the three.
- Multiple Package Bundling – If you are making multiple online cross border purchases, re-shipping can provide you with big cost saving, as many re-shipping services will consolidate your packages before re-shipping them. This allows you take advantage of free or low cost domestic U.S. shipping on multiple packages and only pay for a single package when your goods are consolidated and re-shipped from within Canada.
Tips & Criteria
- Use a service that controls the whole process in-house (ie. U.S. border shipping address, customs clearance and re-shipping from within Canada). If any of these services are farmed out to a third party, it could increase your costs, cause delays and create other logistical issues.
- Use a re-shipper that has a presence on both sides of the border, and re-ships your packages from within Canada (not the U.S.).
- Make sure the service provider is transparent about the costs associated with their re-shipping service, and understand that you will be responsible for any duty and taxes payable on your goods, just like you would be when bringing goods into Canada any other way.
One re-shipping service we have met with that meets all of the criteria above is MyUSaddress.ca. Check out their website for more information about their costs and services.