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I've noticed some really good deals via Amazon, Jessica Books, etc.

I've been ordering things thru my friend in Seattle and he brings them to me so I can save on shipping and handling fees.

I've not had it sent to my Vancouver address because I believe there are hidden costs.

Has anyone ordered anything from the states? What were you charged as far as duty, taxes, etc?

If I'm only saving a couple of dollars thru my friend, then I'll not trouble him and have it sent directly to me.

BTW, books in Vancouver are so much more expensive...even if you have a Chapters card!

Edited by maxmillan (log)
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Just wondering if you've ever checked out amazon.ca as it's all in Cdn. prices and their shipping rates within Canada are pretty reasonable.

http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/tg/browse...2415742-0451544

Also, the Chapters online site offers free shipping for orders over $39 and I swear the prices online are less expensive than going into their stores.

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/Default.asp

Happy Shopping,

Scout

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I ordered the French Laundry cookbook from Chapters.ca , and saved myself about $35 after the on-line discount and Chapters card discount. The service was very quick and the book was in perfect condition. There was also the added benefit of only having to deal with the guy in my mailroom and not the dopey Chapters counterperson who wouldn't know Thomas Keller from (gasp) Bobby Flay.

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I have dealt with Amazon.ca almost from its inception and have always had superb and speedy service. Sometimes I am astounded - it takes longer for my cheques to get across town to pay my bills than it takes to get a book delivered from Amazon.ca

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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D-uh! I didn't realize there was a Canadian Amazon. OMG, this will just open up a Pandora's box for me. Thanks to you all for your help. And I certainly will go thru eGullet link to purchase my books.

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Not only is there an amazon.ca, there are amazon.ca coupons. I think you get $10 off your first purchase just for signing up, and free shipping on overs over $39. This page lists the coupon codes and is kept up to date:

http://www.bylo.org/literacy.html

I went a little crazy a few months ago and used up all the available coupons at the time, making each order just over $39 to maximize coupon usage.

For books, CDs and DVDs that I can't order through amazon.ca, you can order from amazon.com and there will be no extra duty or import taxes charged. The total when you book is what you'll pay, converted to CAD of course.

I didn't know we could egullet link to amazon.ca, I'll be sure to do that from now on.

Edited by plunk (log)
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For books, CDs and DVDs that I can't order through amazon.ca, you can order from amazon.com and there will be no extra duty or import taxes charged. The total when you book is what you'll pay, converted to CAD of course.

That's news to me. Could you point me to where your saw that?

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amazon.com doesn't explicitly say that anywhere but I order from online US stores every so often and I've never been charged for books. I think if the amount is low enough and for certain types of things, you don't have to pay extra charges.

For example, today I got a package from amazon.com containing two books and two DVDs. Went down to the post office and just picked it up, no extra charges. The books were for my husband, the DVDs were for me (Tampopo and Big Night, which I could not find anywhere here).

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amazon.com doesn't explicitly say that anywhere but I order from online US stores every so often and I've never been charged for books. I think if the amount is low enough and for certain types of things, you don't have to pay extra charges.

For example, today I got a package from amazon.com containing two books and two DVDs. Went down to the post office and just picked it up, no extra charges. The books were for my husband, the DVDs were for me (Tampopo and Big Night, which I could not find anywhere here).

I think you have to be pretty careful here. Customs seems to me to be pretty arbitrary and whereas I have had stuff delivered without additional costs, I have also been dinged badly! Once someone sent me a book as a gift, clearly marked as such and it cost me $20 in customs and brokerage fees - about the same as the cost of the book! So be wary - it's not cut and dried by any means.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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amazon.com doesn't explicitly say that anywhere but I order from online US stores every so often and I've never been charged for books.  I think if the amount is low enough and for certain types of things, you don't have to pay extra charges. 

For example, today I got a package from amazon.com containing two books and two DVDs.  Went down to the post office and just picked it up, no extra charges.  The books were for my husband, the DVDs were for me (Tampopo and Big Night, which I could not find anywhere here).

I think you have to be pretty careful here. Customs seems to me to be pretty arbitrary and whereas I have had stuff delivered without additional costs, I have also been dinged badly! Once someone sent me a book as a gift, clearly marked as such and it cost me $20 in customs and brokerage fees - about the same as the cost of the book! So be wary - it's not cut and dried by any means.

Agree with Anna...same thing happened to me for a used book. You just never know when you will get hit.

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Hmm, thanks for the heads up about the customs and brokerage fees.

Other than amazon.ca and chapters.ca, are there any other good online Canadian stores for books, new or used?

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Try abebooks.com for used books. I have ordered several books from this site and as well as from Amazon.com.

In my experience, even with the CAD/USD exchange it is cheaper to order from Amazon.com. The only exception is if there is a free shipping promotion on the Amazon.ca site - occasionally that tips the scales in favour of the Canadian site. I price out both the US and Canadian Amazon orders everytime I order (as recently as this morning) and have rarely order from the .ca site. The other thing I have noticed is that the orders from the US site are delivered way faster than the Canadian. Once for fun I split my order - I was ordering 2 copies of the same book for my daughters- and the one coming from Amazon.com arrived almost 2 weeks sooner than the book from the Canadian site. Go figure!

And as for duty, I have never, ever had to pay duty when ordering from Abebooks or from Amazon. com. Interestingly, Abebooks is a Victoria-based company that links used book sellers so even though they are Canadian, everything I have ever order has been from a US-based bookseller. One note of caution - check the publication dates on the books you order. Sometimes you end up with a very old edition of a book that might not be the edition you were looking for.

Cheers,

Karole

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Thanks for the abebooks.com tip Foodie. I just ordered an out of print book from them that I wasn't able to get from amazon.com, it seems that some of the amazon.com resellers won't ship to Canada.

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The best place I know of for great deals on books is www.bookcloseouts.com. The pricing is in US dollars, but they ship out of Canada so you don't have to worry about the border.

The shipping estimates they give are usually highly overestimated, and I've gotten mine more than a week before I was supposed to (for the cheapest ground shipments).

All their prices are usually under $10, and most are around $3 or $4.

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Another good place for books is the eBay sister site Half.com. The site works in Canadian dollars and ships via Canada Post's Borderfree program so the amount that is quoted is the amount you pay, no surprises.

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