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Canadians buying online components, when to pay in US or CAD?

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Gordito

New Member
I've read many threads about shipping to Canada and also consulted various sellers website. Most of the threads are rather old though (2007-2008) and are a bit vague on the brokerage and duty fees, and most sellers have since then changed shipping methods or fees. Also, US and Canadian dollars are near parity.

Has any Canadian here recently ordered from US websites (lets say mouser, Digikey or Newark) in US currency? My orders where in CAD because i was somewhat scared of those non disclosed 'custom fees'.

- Most websites take care of brokerage and duty and 'custom fees' (brokerage?) when the currency is CAD. How much are those two fees in reality? (i don't care about GST this is a business expense). I believe duty is NIL due to NAFTA?

- The true exchange rate (before bank fees, from XE.com) is 1$US = 1.02381$ CAD but if we compare the prices in US vs CAD we see that mouser charges 8% exchange, Newark charges 5% and Digikey charges a big 12%!

I'm trying to determine when it is better to do the transaction in CAD or US, depending on the exchange charged by the website vs custom fees.

Thanks
 

adamey

Member
Digikey all the way for me.

Order Monday and get it on Tuesday. Shipping via UPS is only $8.00 and there are never any extra fees. Digikey must have something set up with UPS as I always get charged brokerage fees and have other "issues" when ordering something from other companies.
 

Gordito

New Member
Hi Adamey, did you pay your problematic orders in US$?

I've ordered mouser twice and Newark once (all within the past two months), in CAD, and only paid the advertised shipping rates (ie 20$ CAD for mouser and 12$ CAD for Newark), no extras.

Actually, Newark sent 9 line items in one shipment (12$) and a flux pen in another box by itself so i got charged another 12$ for the 4$ flux pen! Maybe it's because the flux pen is considered 'chemical' so they need to ship apart? I need to contact them to clear this up... it wasn't clearly indicated this would happen.

I did a quick calculation and supposing component prices are equal at DigiKey and Newark, taking into account exchange rate and shipping cost differences, Digikey is cheaper for orders less than about 60$ CAD.

EDIT: Oh yeah about how much where the brokerage fees, was it fixed or a percentage?
 
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Actually, Newark sent 9 line items in one shipment (12$) and a flux pen in another box by itself so i got charged another 12$ for the 4$ flux pen! Maybe it's because the flux pen is considered 'chemical' so they need to ship apart? I need to contact them to clear this up... it wasn't clearly indicated this would happen.
This happened to me also, only with a $4-5 roll of fluxed desoldering braid and an additional $8 for shipping, man I hate that. Newark should have an item description that declares an extra charge for drop shipping from their supplier. The heck with the MSD (hazardous material) sheet, next time will order from China where they could give a rip.
 

RadioRon

Well-Known Member
I'm a longtime fan of Digikey, but I think some of the others are catching up a bit, here and there. For example, I recently ordered some parts from Richardson Electronics and they delivered into Canada without any additional fees (too bad it took several days though). It didn't seem to matter if I ordered in Canadian or US dollars so I wasn't aware that the type of dollars you use has anything to do with the shipping charges. I want to reiterate how, like others, I've been burned several times with brokerage fees from couriers and now I always check carefully with the distributor to see if they are covering that or not. Sometimes it is very difficult to tell and you have to phone them to ask. Even after ordering a few times over the years from Newark and Mouser, I'm still not clear on whether they cover the brokerage or not. Most of my orders go to a receiver on the US side of the border and then I drive across and import the items personally, so my experience is a mix, hence the confusion. Shipping inside the US is pretty cheap compared to having it come up to my house in Canada.
 

peufeu

New Member
I'm french... and I order from DigiKey because their parts selector is great.

Last week I got free shipping (yes to France) on a $100 order... nice.
 

adamey

Member
Hi Adamey, did you pay your problematic orders in US$?
**snip**
EDIT: Oh yeah about how much where the brokerage fees, was it fixed or a percentage?

I never paid any brokerage fees. Ordered from Digikey.ca and all I paid was the prices of the components plus tax and $8 shipping (for overnight). This is why I mentioned they must have some arrangement with UPS since UPS usually charges some type of brokerage fees. I've paid up to $80 brokerage fees before on an item that was less than $100 with UPS, which is why I don't really like using them.

I've found Fedex better on the brokerage side, but now when shipping stuff between the US and Canada (or the other way) there's so much paperwork with the "commercial invoice" crap.

Haven't tried Newark or Mouser, but since my experiences with Digikey have all been excellent I see no reason to switch. The first time I ordered something and it arrived the next day with no brokerage fees sealed the deal for me.
 

canadaelk

Active Member
Digikey only. No hidden charges, over-night delivery (even the UPS guys in the brown-dog vans comment on the service quality). Jameco, Mouser and Newark experiences and unexpected expenses have left me cold to their services. I hope someone in these companies is reading these posts! Digikey values the customer, big or small.
As Bill Gates once said (so I was told): Be nice to geek, s/he could be your boss one day. Digikey knows that one-offs could leed to larger orders town the road.
E
 

Gordito

New Member
(snip) It didn't seem to matter if I ordered in Canadian or US dollars so I wasn't aware that the type of dollars you use has anything to do with the shipping charges.

Well, at Mouser the shipping is 20$ CAD for Fedex international priority... really fast, i placed an order at 4:29pm, got it the next morning at around 10am in Montreal. They ship overnight via airplane from Texas. If you pay CAD they cover brokerage and duties (duties i think is 0% anyways). I've attached a picture of the currency selection pop-up with the details. And didn't pay GST.

Newark has a canadian site (canada.newark.com), using the CANADA UPS shipping option is 12$ CAD, no brokerage but they charged GST. I placed an order at 2:39 PM, they shipped the following day and i received the morning after. Also attached pic of the detail.

I compared prices between Digikey, Mouser and Newark. Digikey is more expensive, some components are twice as expensive. A 1lb roll of Kester solder i saw for 86$ at digikey and about 41$ at Newark. Hopefully that was just a fluke. Some SMD caps are 0.02$ elsewhere and 0.05$ at DK. Doesn't make a big difference for those unless you're buying lots.

Still, i'm ordering a small quantity of SMD components from digikey tonight because they have all the parts listed in the BOM generated by National Semi's truly wonderful WEBENCH tool... Newark and Mouser were both missing some, so i guess we pay extra for their better stock.

Seeing how expensive brokerage is (80$ for 100$ order, is it a flat rate not even related to the value of the product?) i think i won't risk it and stick to ordering in CAD.

To recap all my blabla:
Mouser = fastest (overnight, 20$) but more expensive shipping
Newark = Cheaper shipping (12$) but 2 days
Digikey = Cheapest shipping (8$), most expensive components but better stock... don't know yet how long it'll take.

Hopefully the screenshots are helpful
 

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DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
Mouser changes shipping options every once in a while. They used to have a sweet $5 shipping via USPS. I believe they still have a cheaper USPS option. It's really slow shipping, but actually paying duty is intermittent with USPS, so that helps.

Still, Digikey most often, but sometime they don't have stuff that Newark or Mouser has.
 

Gordito

New Member
Mouser changes shipping options every once in a while. They used to have a sweet $5 shipping via USPS. I believe they still have a cheaper USPS option. It's really slow shipping, but actually paying duty is intermittent with USPS, so that helps.

You are right, they have an 8$ USPS option, but no delivery time estimates are given. Maybe one day i'll be patient enough to use that service :)

Also regarding the 8$ USPS option: Large orders will be switched to FedEx International Priority due to lack of trackability by USPS. No mention of what constitutes 'large'...
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
I live in the US but will comment on the parts cost between DigiKey Mouser and Newark.

Digikey always seems to have the highest price but the best selection.

Newark falls between Digikey and Mouser for most item. But are much cheaper on some parts like PICs and maybe all microchip products. Once in a while they have a promotion on products at a ridiculously low price but I have yet to find a way to query for "all things that are cheap today".

I buy mostly from Mouser because in general they are cheaper and I get one day delivery for standard UPS rates due to my proximity to their Texas warehouse.

Unless Newark has changed their evil ways expect your orders to weigh more. One order had 2 SMD resistor reels with 100 resistors on each! Almost everything is packed twice, bag in a box, or box in a box. Some days I think their goal is to ship all the waste cardboard and paper they generate.

In the US the line between the USPS and Fedex are starting to blur. USPS has a contract with USPS to handle some of their packages. A package of furnace filters I received was shipped USPS by moved via Fedex and delivered to the post office.
 

chemelec

Well-Known Member
I Agree, Digikey and Newark are both Good, Both for Pricing and shipping into Canada.

Once I ordered some parts from a US Company and they sent them by "UPS".
It was PrePaid and Shipping Cost Was Included in Price.

However, when I recieved the parts, I was told I needed to Pay another $30.00 to cover the Taxes, Duty and There Fee for Calculating these Taxes.
Actual Taxes were UNDER $2.00. A $28.00 charge, Just to Calculate it.
I Refused the Order.

BE CAREFUL! You Might want to AVOID "UPS" into Canada.
 

Gordito

New Member
Newark falls between Digikey and Mouser for most item. But are much cheaper on some parts like PICs and maybe all microchip products.

I agree, way cheaper pics made me place my order at Newark in the first place.

Unless Newark has changed their evil ways expect your orders to weigh more. One order had 2 SMD resistor reels with 100 resistors on each! Almost everything is packed twice, bag in a box, or box in a box. Some days I think their goal is to ship all the waste cardboard and paper they generate.

LOL! I noticed that too... i had one little pack of 20 ceramic caps all bubble wrapped by itself while all the other ones where in another bag. I had a few sets of sub-d connectors shrink wrapped on foam but one set came into it's own flip lid box :) I guess many people are working on the order simultaneously. Because i used the all included 12$ shpping option weight was not an issue for me.

Once I ordered some parts from a US Company and they sent them by "UPS".
It was PrePaid and Shipping Cost Was Included in Price.

However, when I recieved the parts, I was told I needed to Pay another $30.00 to cover the Taxes, Duty and There Fee for Calculating these Taxes.
Actual Taxes were UNDER $2.00. A $28.00 charge, Just to Calculate it.
I Refused the Order.

What happens when you refuse the delivery? Do you need to convince the seller to reimburse you or do you call the credit card company and ask them to cancel the transaction because it was supposed to all be prepaid (the seller didn't respect the terms i suppose would be a good reason)? Good to know if that happens to me.
 

DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
Just don't order from anyone that ships UPS cross border. UPS is just terrible to deal with cross border. Digikey changed to UPS, but all the shipments I get have been national shipments. Only issue I have with them is that they just toss the package on my doorstep. No knock or doorbell or anything. I work at home, so I go out for lunch and the box is sitting somewhere on my porch from where they threw it.
 

chemelec

Well-Known Member
What happens when you refuse the delivery? Do you need to convince the seller to reimburse you or do you call the credit card company and ask them to cancel the transaction because it was supposed to all be prepaid (the seller didn't respect the terms i suppose would be a good reason)? Good to know if that happens to me.

Well in this one, They took it back.
In the mean time I contacted the supplier and Complained about this.
And rather than actually Losing the order and All Future Business from me, They finally agreed to Pay that $30's and have UPS Re-Deliver the parts to me.
Sorry I Can't remember Which Company it was, But all worked out OK in the end.

NOW If a US company want to send me stuff by UPS, I tell them I will only accept deliver by US POSTAL Service. (Regular Mail by USPS.)
 
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Gordito

New Member
Ok i just got a UPS shipment from Digikey. I placed the order (Digikey Canada website, shipped from the US, CAD currency) on Thursday morning before business hours, i got the shipment notification in the afternoon and go it now at 11:25 am Friday (i live downtown in Montreal so local delivery is quick).

So far on both UPS deliveries (Newark:"UPS saver" on box sticker, had picked the 12$ option, Digikey: "UPS Express" on box sticker, had picked the 8$ option) i haven't had any extra fees.

Same with multiple Fedex international priority (20$) deliveries from Mouser.

The suppliers have probably improved their shipping methods since the bad experiences mentioned above...

RECAP based on my recent experiences (less than two months):

- I will keep ordering in CAD rather than US as i've had no problems with brokerage or customs... the suppliers take care of it.

- I've had no problems or extra fees with either UPS or Fedex international express (overnight).

- In case of a rush, Mouser seems the quickest to prepare the order. Enter in the late afternoon and still it gets send to Fedex that night.
EDIT: Dav es tech says he receives orders entered up to 8pm the next day, would make Digikey the choice for rush, under 50$ orders.

- Digikey for shipments less than maybe 40-50$ (60$ is the the point at which Digikey's 12% exchange rate makes the cost+shipping more expensive than Mouser's or Newark's but since the components are more expensive there i lower the threshold).

- Over 40-50$: Newark or Mouser depending on component price + shipping or if i need it yesterday.

Hopefully this will help others with supplier selection :)
 
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Gordito

New Member
If you order online Digikey up to 8pm is next day.

So, if you order late (suppose 7pm), would you receive it next day in the morning or in the afternoon? I'm asking because you mentioned that "Digikey takes 1/2 day longer since they switched to UPS".

I am wondering if ALL orders in a day (suppose one at 7am and one at 7pm) arrive at the same time the next day. My pre-business hour order was flown during the night according to the tracking info. I suppose that orders entered up to 8pm would've been part of the same flight?
 
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