Sunday, July 5, 2009

Shipping your purchase from Adorama to Canada

The question of shipping options to Canada comes up regularly, so I put together the following info - hope it helps.
When shopping with Adorama for shipping to Canada, you can choose from: FedEx International Economy, FedEx International Priority and UPS Express
With UPS Express, there should be no additional brokerage charges for customs clearance, as these are included in the shipping fee. The same holds true for FedEx International Economy and FedEx International Priority. I understand that back in February 2008, there was a class action lawsuit filed in Ontario against UPS for hidden fees.
Sales taxes and duty (if applicable - most photo items are duty free because of NAFTA), are additional and (unless you have an account with FedEx or UPS), are payable upon delivery. Duty may have been paid on the item entering the USA from the originating country if there was no FTA in place. But in any case, photographic equipment items between the US & Canada are duty-free.
However, if your purchase requires a tariff (eg paper products, storage media) this would typically be less than 0.5%. You can download the Customs Act on line to find out how your purchases would be classified and from that, estimate the tariff.
Many customers have reported that USPS online package tracking is not very good, and if a package is mislaid in transit that the customer must wait 45 days before submitting a lost parcel claim.
Conversely, experience has shown us that UPS's online package tracking is excellent and if a package is mislaid, that they are much more responsive. Our Canadian customers tell us that UPS is fast and reliable, and that packages are handled efficiently when they arrive into Canada.

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador


  1. UPS to Eastern Canada have extremely high rates .I can almost drive there cheaper.USPS has much better rates for Eastern Canada 60 to 70% cheaper and delivery time is about the same.

  2. I agree, however, as I stated above, USPS online package tracking is poor, and if a package is lost it can take a long time to receive compensation - and in the meantime, the customer is without his/her goods.

    Basically, the additional cost of shipping UPS is to cover the cost of a speedy, trackable service and enhanced insurance.

  3. Helen I agree that having good tracking is a convenience, but charging up to $75 shipping for $10 items is enough to send any Eastern Canadians looking to your competitors who offer shipping at a fraction of Adorama prices.USPS has full insurance coverage up to $100 free and charges only $1.00 extra per additional $100 of value.I suppose that Adorama does not need the business .A shame ,as they seem to have great customer reviews and shipping rates in the United States.

  4. If you would like to email me directly:, we can certainly look at individual arrangements.
    However, we do not intend at present to offer USPS across the board for all items.
    It is just too unreliable, and every time we ship USPS we face the possibility that a customer is going to 'lose' their item.

  5. I am from Toronto and I would absolutely buy from Adorama if they were to offer USPS shipping at the nominal rate (priority mail international or some such service.) I usually resort to buying film from eBay simply due to the fact that this is the way things are shipped. As a consequence, the film is not as fresh, and additionally, supply is inconsistent.

    The shipping & handling of a package containing 5 bricks of 120 film should not cost more than $15! It should be an option, and possibly include a disclaimer that you cannot guarantee a speedy arrival. I am positive that business (From Canadians, at least) would skyrocket!

  6. Adorama DOES offer USPS - you just need to email me.

    Speedy shipping isn't the issue - insurance is the issue!

  7. Hi Helen,

    I'd like to buy a laptop and printer from Adorama (about $2,000 in total). There are three shipping options presented to me:

    1) UPS Worldwide Express $199.05
    2) FedEx International Economy $245.55
    3) FedEx International Priority $371.55

    I'm not in a rush to get my order. Are there any hidden/additional fee's related to the UPS Worldwide Express?

    Thanks for your time!

  8. UPS will most likely collect DUTIES and BROKERAGE fees. (FedEx will collect only DUTIES, as brokerage fees are already built in because they have a standard rate)

    Being high value items, we wouldn't be able to offer USPS.

  9. The UPS "Entry Preparation Charges" for Canada are listed below.

  10. For Canadians who are fortunate enough to live near the US border, contact a mailing/parcel delivery service in the US (one with street address and not PO Box number) and have UPS ship it there. The rates are far cheaper than shipping to Canada. I live in Vancouver, BC and ship my orders to Point Roberts in the US (a mere half-hour drive). On returning, I declare the value of the items to Canada Customs and pay the applicable taxes.

  11. Unfortunately, this is not true. There are brokerage fees charged by USP. This is an issue in Canada. This is an unfair and bad practice criticized several times. I try to avoid that company. I have had this bad expedience before. Now, I select camera store that ship through USPS only. This is by far the best way in terms of cost when ordering from canada.
    Sorry for my mistakes.

    Richard lefran├žois

  12. As I noted above, brokerage fees are included with UPS Express.

  13. I'm just curious if Adorama has any plans to provide a shipping option (affordable shipping option, that is) that includes duty and tax in the final cart price, as B&H currently offers. I live in Saskatchewan and have ordered a number of items from B&H but never from Adorama. The lower shipping cost and added convenience of not having to pay any fees when the item arrives is a huge selling point for me (and for a lot of others as well, I would imagine).

  14. Yes, we are currently in discussion with 2 potential providers of lower cost shipping options to both Canada & Australia.

    In the meantime, please email me directly for details of our price matching policy!!

  15. It seems that in June 2011 UPS introduced a $10 'bond' fee - they don't describe it as a broker fee, which now affects items shipped UPS Express & UPS expedited. The info can be found here.

    If you can go and 'clear’ your order yourself you won't be charged.

    Thank you to Lindsay for alerting me to this change.

  16. Hi, thanks to Helen for the explanations! One thing doesn't seem to be discussed here. When buying from Adorama (or other US shop) from Canada, won't we pay PST, GST apart from import custom taxes? I live in Quebec, so both those taxes should apply... or not? Thanks:)

  17. Just about everything individuals import into Canada is subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of five percent. The GST is calculated after customs duties have been applied.

    You will also have to pay the applicable Canadian Provincial Sales Tax (PST) or Quebec Sales Tax (QST). The provincial retail sales tax rates vary from province to province, as do the goods and services to which the tax is applied and the way the tax is applied.