Although this isn't **exactly** on topic, it's too important to not post for Canadian Miata owners.
I do strive to get my parts in Canada, and always give local and national vendors a chance for my business first, but sometimes it's an exercise in frustration. I can't buy what no-one in this country will sell me.
I'm even throwing this out to those [deleted] [deleted] from Toronto who won't ship or sell anything to their countrymen, forcing good honest decent people with a perfectly good passport to buy in another country instead of Canada's Largest Miata Market. Shame, shame.
You GTA guys can move a few inches closer to my Good Books if you promise and actually do put "GTA" in your New Topic line for your "we won't box it, let alone ship it, outside the GTA" threads. That way we won't waste precious time reading them when we live, I dunno, a hundred miles from the Centre Of The Universe.
Get A Broker
Since I set up an account with a broker about 6 months ago, I've spent way too much money on a Miata build. In many cases parts came from the US.
Although Brokers do charge a fee for service, they take care of everything (in my experience) and do it quickly. By way of example, I just bought a set of headers on eBay for my truck.
Total (with shipping) was $USD 186 ... that was my PayPal Invoice amount.
Note: Vendor's shipping to the Broker's US warehouse $40; Shipping to Canada would have been $80
(In many cases, I've taken advantage of free shipping offers to US destinations; saving even more since the Canada shipping doesn't change).
Brokerage Fee; I'm guessing as it varies but maybe $25 based on a couple dozen previous transactions.
Courier Fee: Yes, the Broker actually ships the part after it's cleared from it's facility to my home and uses another courier to do it. However the broker hauls the cleared goods across the border first, so it's domestic Canada shipping. My guess maybe $25 again based on previous transactions.
GST, PST (5% + 5%) With the items above, total taxable is around $230, so $23; total landed cost $253. The Broker charges my card, zero fees payable at the door, ever.
I dare you to buy something for $146 on eBay that comes in a huge box, is somewhat heavy, is shipped Internationally, and pay (for example) UPS's brokerage fee, disbursement fee, COD fee, and they Mystery Fee They Got Sued Over And Lost, But Are Appealing, and get away with a landed cost in that ballpark. Don't forget you pay GST/PST/HST on all those Carrier Fees as well.
And remember, this is being carried by two different couriers in the process, and it's STILL cheaper.
It's also possible to have the item shipped directly to you, and have the Broker handle everything else (same outcome; no fees at the door, ever). However, in my experience, it's cheaper to hire another courier (my broker generally uses Purolator) than it is to pay International Shipping to UPS, FedEx or any of the alternatives.
My estimate for this particular shipment, if just sent via UPS to my door, would have cost $313 all in, a difference of roughly $50 more.
Call around and Hire A Broker. Really.
Wow someone woke up on the wrong side of the bedI dare you to buy something for $146 on eBay that comes in a huge box, is somewhat heavy, is shipped Internationally, and pay (for example) UPS's brokerage fee, disbursement fee, COD fee, and they Mystery Fee