I was glad to discover a ‘come and collect your parcel’ notification in the mail box yesterday but wondered why they hadn’t just left it for me. I discovered the reason when I got to the post office.
If I buy from amazon.com, they pre-collect any Canadian taxes. If I buy from Createspace, they don’t. So I owed a whole $1.24 in taxes.
But DHL charge a ‘fee’ of over $7 for collecting those taxes.
Now, in principle just about anything shipped to Canada is charged GST. So I’ve paid them to ship a parcel to Canada, but then I have to pay them again to pay the tax that will almost inevitably be charged? This is the same BS as airline ‘fuel surcharges’: “your ticket to fly across the Atlantic costs $500, then there’s a ‘surcharge’ of $500 for fuel.” As though I’m going to be flying there without fuel?
But it gets worse. To pay the $8.50 to DHL, Canada Post wanted a fee of $6.50 to accept my cash or credit card. That means, to recap, $1.24 in taxes on about $20 of books, plus $15 in ‘fees’ to collect that money.
Worse, there was nothing on it other than DHL stickers. Was it my books? Or had someone mailed me a box full of junk? Who can tell. I had to take the DHL number home and poke around on their web site to verify that it actually was my parcel from Createspace.
I eventually discovered that I could avoid the extra Canada Post fee if I paid by cheque, which bringing back my chequebook so I could pay them. What a pain in the ass.
In summary: if you’re Canadian and you published PoD books through Createspace, expect a thorough rogering with ‘import fees’. And find a bank that issues free chequebooks.