Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US?

 


Snowboarder  (A 56791)

Jan 26, 2013, 8:47 AM
Post #1 of 14 (1757 views)
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Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? Can't Post

I'm shopping for my first rig and would like to buy used. The selection from the states is good, but I'm wondering if there are any issues, fees, border/import, or other surprises when any fellow Canadians had used gear shipped from the US.


bk1411  (B 6128)

Jan 26, 2013, 7:34 PM
Post #2 of 14 (1630 views)
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Re: [Snowboarder] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've bought two mains from the US, a container, and camera gear (all from the classifieds). I've never had an issue, you're in for the normal border fee's , exchange rate bla bla bla. But as long as you have a credible seller it's pretty easy/stress free. It's usually about 50 bucks for border fees plus whatever the shipping amounts to. But again, it'll depend on the size/weight. The most i've had to date though was the container/reserve, and that was 50 bucks for border fees.


t1mb0b  (B 6603)

Jan 26, 2013, 11:37 PM
Post #3 of 14 (1578 views)
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Re: [Snowboarder] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've bought a few items from the US and received them here in Canada without any issues. I haven't had to pay any duty/taxes on anything.

It depends on the description of the contents being shipped and the declared value on the customs form- that's what determines the amount of duty/taxes to be paid.


Deci  (D 1046)

Jan 28, 2013, 7:11 PM
Post #4 of 14 (1480 views)
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Re: [Snowboarder] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

I buy and sell to/from the US all the time. I live in Ottawa. If you need advice/help re gear, let me know.


Snowboarder  (A 56791)

Jan 31, 2013, 6:55 PM
Post #5 of 14 (1421 views)
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Re: [Deci] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the offer. What are the steps you take when buying gear online? I'm a little nervous about sending a stranger thousands of dollars for gear i have not had a chance to look at.


excaza  (C License)

Feb 1, 2013, 4:23 AM
Post #6 of 14 (1381 views)
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Re: [Snowboarder] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ask your rigger to 3rd party the transaction for you.


Chris-Ottawa  (A License)

Feb 1, 2013, 5:01 AM
Post #7 of 14 (1357 views)
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Re: [Snowboarder] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you're worried about sending money to someone you don't know, versus how to get the rig into Canada. Here's some info that I've learnt.

There's always some risk, but here are a few things you can do to minimize the risk

1) Use a proxy, which has already been mentioned. They send the rig to the proxy, you send the money to he same proxy. When the proxy has both, they resend the pieces to each other. That way, no one gets screwed. It'll cost you a few bucks to do this, but it's worth it.

2) ONLY pay with Paypal. This way, you know they received the money, it's traceable etc. There's no reason why someone can't/won't accept paypal nowadays.

3) Require them to send the rig with tracking (same if you opt to send cash/cheque/money order). This is your insurance that it's on it's way and proof that it was delivered.

4) Get as much info on the gear as you can (via email). Pictures, serials, general info from the current owner. If it goes bad, you have evidence that they discussed with you and promised you a rig in exchange for money. Ask lots of questions.

5) Get an itemized list of everything that's included, don't rely on assumptions. If you got the rig and it was missing a reserve pilot chute, or a cutaway handle, these are added expenses that you will incur.

6) Get a rigger to check out the gear once you receive it to ensure it's airworthy. It's surprising how many people are willing to jump a rig because it "looks" ok on the surface and the reserve seems to be in date. People can be shady, I've seen some rigs sold that had stitching coming out that were jumped until the repack date arrived. Scary!

7) Duties suck. If someone sells you a $4000 rig and they mark that on the box, be prepared to spend an additional $200-$300 on duties/taxes. It sucks, but if they lie and say it's only worth $50 for example...guess what happens if the box gets lost/stolen etc... You get $50, and you're still out the $4000 for your rig because it was delivered. It's not worth the risk on a big purchase, just accept that you will be paying it. Also, you can save yourself about $60 by clearing it yourself. It's quite easy, but UPS does it for you and they charge you $60 to do it. For more info on that, google: Self clearing packages canada. There are guides all over the place on how o do this.

"Generally", most jumpers are reputable, resulting in little problems. Be cautious with overseas purchases, and with people who are difficult to get information from. If they are selling a rig, they should generally respond quickly, and with the exact info you want. If they hesitate, or never give you quite what you're asking for...be wary.

When I bought my first rig, I sent a few emails back and forth, asked my rigger and they said, send the money. I sent a bank draft in an un-tracked envelope, and a few weeks later, received a rig in the mail. Worked out great, but I could have gotten hosed really bad. Dumb decision on my part. I've since bought hundreds of things from the states from personal collections, and businesses. Thankfully, I've had great luck.

If you want more info, feel free to respond or send me a PM. I should also mention that I'm a rigger so I can probably share some other info about gear if you need any assistance. There's a lot more to gear than is on the surface.

Good luck and be sure to share what ever you end up getting. Also...fill out your profile. It let's people know your experience, where you are, and that you're not a spammer etc..

Thanks! Hope that helps you out!


gowlerk  (C 3196)

Feb 1, 2013, 8:02 AM
Post #8 of 14 (1317 views)
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Re: [Chris-Ottawa] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

I buy used stuff from the US often. In addition to the hints already given I would add that it's much cheaper to use the Post Office than UPS. Due to international conventions they do not rip you of with broker fees. Canada Customs will process the shipment and decide if you need to pay GST/PST/HST or not. The decision seems to be somewhat random, I can't figure out how they decide, but generally shipments valued under about $200 are not taxed. Over that value and it becomes a crap shoot, sometimes they charge, sometimes not. If they do charge the PO will add a $5 charge, not the $35 that UPS will charge you. In addition, if you are not home to receive the package you can just go to the local PO where it will be waiting for you. Some shippers don't like the PO, they will say that shipments get lost. I have never had the PO lose a shipment. Hundreds coming and going, none lost or damaged. If a seller won't take Paypal find another seller. Unless you are dealing with an established business you can trust. Don't allow a seller to talk you into sending a Paypal payment as a gift. If you do so the seller will not have to pay a fee, but you will have no recourse through Paypal, the money will be gone. Generally the fee the seller pays is 2.9%, some sellers will ask you to cover it. It is worth the fee, if you don't receive the package Paypal will reimburse you and go after the seller themselves. They are very good at this.

I hope this helps you,
Ken


f2t323

Feb 1, 2013, 8:23 AM
Post #9 of 14 (1311 views)
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Re: [Snowboarder] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

i think most canadians have bought there first rig from the states ,so much more selection .
As has been stated pay trought paylpal no exceptions (and not as a gift).
Learn all you can about self clear (as chris said),if its coming groud you need to get the shipper to say you wanna self clear .
Ask ALL the possible questions ,dont be affraid to be annoying ,i.e.:Does the main have patches or holes,condition of EVERYTHING.
I tryed to do my fisrt purchase on my own ,bought a complete rig ,got lucky enough to pay trough paypal and ask the right questions .cause when i received my gear the main was a p.o.s. car cover .(i payed too much too).
DECI helped me out alot trought the whole process of returning it and getting my money back ,even from cbsa .After that he was extremelly patient with all my questions and inquiry's on my subsequent purchases .Even got me to save about 500$ .
THANKS AGAIN BUDDYWink

lesson here is get help from a rigger you trust


Deci  (D 1046)

Feb 1, 2013, 10:04 AM
Post #10 of 14 (1297 views)
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Re: [Snowboarder] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think more importantly than anything else is to establish WHO you are buying from.

The community is very small. What I tend to do is to call the local DZO (of the person selling), and ask about the seller, then ask the DZO to speak to the Rigger that's been packing it. Those 2 people can give you a good feeling about who you're buying from and what condition the gear is really in. Phone calls are cheap these days, and it's well worth finding out about who you're buying from.

So some people have mentionned using USPS - which is awesome - if the gear you're buying is worth $1k or less - because that's the max insurance that the seller can get for it.

For more expensive things, like a full rig worth $4-5k, use UPS. It sucks because it's more expensive, and you'll have to pay a brokerage fee that varies on the declared value. See this page for rates:

http://www.ups.com/...stoms_clearance.html

Whereas USPS typically charges $8-10 for clearing a package.

Both ways you'll have to pay taxes (13% most provinces) on top of the brokerage fee.

It's the cost of being Canadian, I guess.

Unless you drive down and pick it up yourself, and then don't declare it as you cross, which is illegal, but commonly done.


Deci  (D 1046)

Feb 1, 2013, 10:17 AM
Post #11 of 14 (1291 views)
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Re: [f2t323] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the kudos. Anytime.


Canadianfella  (D 29227)

Feb 1, 2013, 3:18 PM
Post #12 of 14 (1267 views)
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Re: [Snowboarder] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Pay through paypal with your credit card. That way if the person screws you, both Paypal and your credit card company are on it. It add's about 3% to the price, but it's worth the security of knowing you can't be out thousands. If you do get screwed, call your credit card company and tell them you never received goods, you sign the paper they send and the charge is off your card.

2. Tell the person to ship it labelled "Return of borrowed goods" or something similar. The only way customs causes issues is if they think you've bought something... If they think you're just getting something back that's already yours and paid for, you won't pay duty on it no matter the "value". Ensure they don't put a receipt or invoice in the box - mail that separately if there is one...


gowlerk  (C 3196)

Feb 1, 2013, 6:12 PM
Post #13 of 14 (1250 views)
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Re: [Canadianfella] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

I disagree with attempting to defraud customs with a false claim. Not because I'm too honest to cheat the tax man. But because you can't expect the seller to be truthful with you and at the same time be willing act as a party to fraud. You can't have it both ways. An honest seller won't do that and yet you are looking for just that.

Ken

When shipping internationally a signed and sworn to be truthful declaration is required.


(This post was edited by gowlerk on Feb 1, 2013, 6:13 PM)


gcollados  (D 159)

Feb 2, 2013, 1:22 PM
Post #14 of 14 (1214 views)
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Re: [Snowboarder] Have any Canadians bought used gear from the US? [In reply to] Can't Post

I bought from US several times with no problem.

But, I bought last year a reserve canopy (PDR 113 from drop zone classified) the canopy never shows up.

I called the seller by phone and he said that the canopy was sent but that he had lost the mail track number (He is a pilot and he was temporarily in south America, he said).
After a month I started a claim to PayPal and they returned my money.

So again:
1 Ask for references, pictures, ask questions etc.
2 Use a third part if you can
3 Use Paypal

Gustavo



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