View Full Version : So frustrated by ridiculous shipping costs to canada!!!

01-05-2011, 01:12 PM
I have to complain about this.

I saw that Elderly has cases on sale for 20% off. I thought, 'Great, I can get a nice new case for the custom i'm hoping to get." Also Elder offers lots of different cases which are not available in Canada.

So I contacted Elderly to see how much their Ameritage and Fremont cases would be and how much shipping would cost.

They quoted me $90.00-110.00 JUST FOR THE SHIPPING.

Elderly is, I believe, located in Lansing Michigan which is all of 300 miles from Toronto! MGM shipped me a case (with a ukulele inside, not just an empty case) from Hawaii (4600 miles) for $40.

Arg! :mad:

Coconut Willie
01-05-2011, 01:15 PM
Yet another reason to deal with MGM!!!

01-05-2011, 01:38 PM
Tell me about it. I've only ever ordered something very, very small from Elderly; it's not worth it otherwise. It seems eminently silly that companies will charge blanket rates for "international" shipping when it sometimes costs less to ship something from the U.S. to Canada than it does to ship the same thing from one coast of Canada to the other.

Then, after we're ripped off with the stupid shipping costs, we're ripped off again by Canada Customs. Hurrah!

01-05-2011, 02:12 PM
Road trip ?

01-05-2011, 02:24 PM
Road trip ?

Maybe we could do an order to someplace in the states, a friends or relatives, and have them bring it all sometime when they come to visit. Also, if we were criminals ;) we'd be able to avoid those pesky duties!

01-05-2011, 05:50 PM

makes a person appriciate the ukulele junky .....

01-05-2011, 06:38 PM
I shouldn't tell you how little Mim charged to ship a whole uke, in a gig bag, with cable and tuner, from NC to South Australia then. Suffice to say it wasn't anywhere near the Elderly quote and it even made MGM look stingy, which he isn't. I hope Mim hasn't ripped herself off too much. :(

01-05-2011, 06:42 PM
I am in the US, and didn't buy a case from Elderly because of the shipping cost too. It seemed too high to me, so I just bought something else from another vendor (at the time they had a blue uke bag that I wanted and no one else seemed to carry it). I will only spend so much for shipping, then I draw the line. If Mike from Mainland Ukuleles can send me a banjo uke in a hard case for $10.95, why was the gig bag from Elderly so high (I can't remember what it was, but it was like adding 50% more to the cost of the case, and it was domestic shipping). Anyway, I see they have a special on their site for shipping right now, on select items to (48 US).

01-05-2011, 07:34 PM
Maybe we could do an order to someplace in the states, a friends or relatives, and have them bring it all sometime when they come to visit. Also, if we were criminals ;) we'd be able to avoid those pesky duties!

When I bought my Big Island uke from ukerepublic, I aranged to pick it up during a trip to florida. Met him at a Starbucks just off the interstate. No duty costs because I was gone for more then 5 days or whatever the rules are.

01-05-2011, 07:45 PM
Elderly charges like $5 to ship a set of strings. No thanks.

01-06-2011, 12:20 AM
The problem with international shipping, in my opinion, is that some shops will only ship by UPS or FedEx. That'll work fine in the US, but it's
a) very costly when shipping internationally (I was about to buy a tuner: $18. Shipping: $45. No thanks.), and
b) a very bad way of shipping to, for example, my country. Because:
1) UPS, FedEx, TNT: They insist on handling customs. Unlike my domestic equivalent of usps they won't give me the option of letting me handle customs myself.
2) When they handle customs they always add about 20% to the invoice price (which includes the expensive shipping), for some unfathomable reason.
3) Then they add the VAT (25% here) on top of that. This part is OK and legal, it's just that the 20% overhead, plus the expensive shipping makes this much more expensive than it should be.
4) On top of that they charge a large fee just to do all of the above (and VAT on the fee as well, of course).
5) If (no, when) they make a mistake they charge a large fee to do the calculations again, even if it was their mistake in the first place. This of course makes it not worth it, which is presumably why they set the re-handling fee that high.
6) Finally, even though the item will arrive in the country in a day or two UPS and FedEx don't have any domestic cargo flights here (unlike DHL, actually), so the instrument will sit inside a truck (even if airfreight was paid for from the shipper) and be on the road for maybe a week before it arrives here. In winter. Inland, where it's very very cold.

These days I only buy if there's an option of shipping with USPS. It's much cheaper, it arrives _much_ faster (after arriving in my country the cargo is dispatched directly into the domestic postal system and air-freighted to my town), the VAT is calculated from the invoice price and not artificially increased, and (because there's also VAT on shipping) the lower shipping price means lower VAT as well. And, finally, the customs handling fee is much lower (and I have the option of handling customs myself, lowering the costs even more).

Fortunately MGM ships via USPS! :) (My pocket kala is in the mail)