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Pick up at US border

Another cheap way for mail order is to ship the goods to US-Canadian border and pick them up yourself.  There are two obvious advantages.

  • Shipping cost is lower or often times free within US mainland.
  • You don’t have to pay the outrageous brokerage fees.

To do this, you need to find a parcel service shop near the border.  A UPS shop or any local mail shop will do.  They normally charge around $5 per delivery.

For instance, if you live in Ottawa, Brockville or Prescott, you can use “Roethel’s Parcel Service” in Ogdensburg a town in US just off the bridge between New York and Ontario on Highway 416/16, less than 1 hr drive from Ottawa. Your mail-order should be addressed to,

Your Name
CO: Roethel’s Parcel Service
1801 Ford Street
Ogdensburg, NY 13669
Phone: 1-315-393-4770
Hours: 9am-4:30pm

They like you to do a prompt pickup but delaying a week or so is acceptable, in which case do call to inform the owner, a very nice lady.

When you cross the border, let the border guards know that you are going shopping (do bring your passport these days). Open your package before you return and make sure all the parts are there and nothing extra. Declare the goods with value shown at the Canadian border and pay the GST/PST, and duty if the goods are not made in US/Mexico. Duty for Japanese electronics is normally 6%.

Shopping this way, people reported saving at least 40% buying a boat and a set of 4 winter tires.

If you live in other areas, you can use Google to search for UPS stores in the desired cities.  Most UPS stores are friendly and reliable.  For example, for UPS store in the Niagara Falls NY is:

UPS Store
1623 Military Rd
Niagara Falls, NY 14304
Phone: (716) 298-4461
Opening hours: 09:00 AM – 07:00 PM, closed on Sunday.

The store was rated “Very friendly and helpful” by other users.

Comments

41 responses so far. Leave a comment

41 Responses to “Pick up at US border”

  1. [...] We have found a different way to get a good bargain. You can mail order (usually cheaper than regular store price) and deliver to the border for pick up. Read our article here. [...]

  2. babinniNo Gravataron 07 Nov 2008 at 10:37 am

    Rre shopping cross border- Mailing to US address for pick up
    - this is great information!- do you have any UPS contact info for in Niagara Falls NY for those of us in the Toronto area?

    [Reply]

    GinaNo Gravatar Reply:

    There’s also a place, within 5 min. of the Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls, called CBI (Consolidated Business International). A lot of Ontario shoppers use this for a legal USA mailing address. There are 2 ways to go – a “per package” only rate ($6 US) or a yearly membership (about $100 US) which lowers your per package rate to $2 US (if you plan to receive more than 24 packages, this plan makes sense).
    Hope this helps:)

    [Reply]

  3. adminNo Gravataron 08 Nov 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Babinni,

    An UPS store in the Niagara Falls NY is:

    UPS Store
    1623 Military Rd
    Niagara Falls, NY 14304
    Phone: (716) 298-4461

    Good luck with your shopping and let us know how it goes.

    [Reply]

  4. Phil deCatanzaroNo Gravataron 08 Mar 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I have been doing business in Ogdensburg for 10 years. I have always saved a few dollars and have had very friendly business with Roethel Parcel Service. I have become a long term customer and I visit almost once a month. I like to give our American friends business and highly recommend any other Canadian to do the same. If you want to escape unreasonable brokerage fees, ship to the US and pay the taxes as you return to Canada. I guarantee that you will enjoy the experience. Just don’t ever (and I mean it) try to hide anything (and I mean anything) from the Canadian Customs agents, or you will be very sorry.

    The Canadian Customs agents are very friendly when you are honest, and considerate that they have job to do. Just remember your passport.

    [Reply]

  5. GerardNo Gravataron 15 Nov 2009 at 1:22 am

    Re: shopping cross border- Mailing to US address for pick up
    - this is great information!
    Do you know of a UPS store in either Penbina or Grand Forks ND

    Thanks, U maintain a very usefull site

    [Reply]

    OldCr8No Gravatar Reply:

    I’m in Victoria, so it’s not convenient to hop across to the US to pick up a parcel. So I’m interested in finding a depot in the US near the border (Bellingham?) that will receive a package, and then forward it to me by mail. That way, I can purchase from US vendors that won’t ship to Canada (Amazon.com and Woot). Hopefully, I could act as my own customs broker, and avoid those extra charges. Would UPS do this, or do I need to find a small independent depot? I tried to search for the latter, but I don’t know what to call the business I’m looking for. Thanks for any help you can give me!

    [Reply]

    RussNo Gravatar Reply:

    You would need a private company. If you use ups to forward mail to you in Canada they would rip you off big time in brokerage fees. To avoid these fees you need to use the us postal service.

    [Reply]

    AmandaNo Gravatar Reply:

    use Pacific Mail and Parcel in Blaine Wa

    http://www.pacifcmailandparcel.com $10 annual membership $2 per package pick up fee.

    They are fantastic and extremely friendly.

    [Reply]

    ValkeriiNo Gravatar Reply:

    I use the post office in Point Roberts. It’s a small portion of land just past the 49th parallel.

    [Reply]

  6. CherylNo Gravataron 21 Dec 2009 at 10:31 pm

    I’m looking for the best way to order items from u.s.a. that won’t deliver to canada as well – either windsor or wallaceburg/wallpole border crossings. Anyone with places or websites with info please?

    [Reply]

  7. DonNo Gravataron 20 Jan 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Go to ups.com and find closest US office to border. Order the goods and have them sent to “you” care of UPS Customer Counter, address, town. Get a tracking number form the shipper. Track it and go pick it up when it arrives. UPS will hold for one week no charge before returning. The vendor should supply your phone number outside the box and UPS will call you when to pick it up

    [Reply]

    NeilNo Gravatar Reply:

    See Neil below

    [Reply]

  8. sarahNo Gravataron 06 Mar 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Help! I want to special order an item.i’m in the states now for over 48 hrs, but i will have to come pick up item in 2 weeks. Can i claim it during this trip, and pick up later?

    [Reply]

    BoBNo Gravatar Reply:

    I think the personal exemption are for goods you bring into Canada with you. I’m not sure if you can claim it on one trip and bring it into Canada later. Most likely Not.

    If you find out more info, let us know.

    [Reply]

  9. babinniNo Gravataron 07 Mar 2010 at 10:07 am

    When you fly, one of the customs declaration boxes is ” I have goods that are not accompanying me, that will arrive at a later date ” or words to that effect. I asked someone that travels frequently how you go about declaring shipped goods and they indicated that it was quite a hassle. For what its worth. It does sound like an option though.
    Assumably you would have been to have been away long enough to qualify for the exemption, and I guess you would have to show receipts and proof of shipping instructions etc.

    [Reply]

  10. online upNo Gravataron 07 Mar 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Great article. I look forward to reading more in the future.

    [Reply]

  11. NeilNo Gravataron 26 Apr 2010 at 1:21 pm

    BEWARE. I had a item ($100.00) delivered to UPS, Ford St. Ogdensburg. It was confirmed received and logged in under my name. It was then stolen out of the store. That was 6 weeks ago and they refuse to talk to me about it. Apparently it is my loss for using their service. UPS corporate could not help me either. It is at the discretion of the store owner. Will be using Roethel from now on.

    [Reply]

  12. KathyNo Gravataron 01 Jun 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Re shopping cross border- Mailing to US address for pick up
    - this is great information!- do you have any UPS contact info for in US-Vancouver border for those living in Vancouver area?

    [Reply]

    DougNo Gravatar Reply:

    Hi Kathy. If your in BC near the border, or Van Island, use TSB shipping in Point Roberts. It’s $3 for small packages and no yearly membership or anything. Plus its a small border with hardly any traffic as that sliver of land goes nowhere. TSB is online. Google it and setup your account.

    My wife and i use this all the time.

    [Reply]

    JeffNo Gravatar Reply:

    Thanks Doug..new to the Island and was looking for a shipper/receiver across the way !

    [Reply]

    kamonycoleNo Gravatar Reply:

    Point Roberts is a waste of time, there is not even a place where you can have a bite with a kid on tow. It’s far and sometimes the line is very long. You can either go to Blaine (ship2blaine) or Lynden (lyndenmailbox). The price is $3 to $5 per package and they store it for two weeks, plus you can go to Costco, Bellis Fair Mall and have a nice lunch somewhere.

    [Reply]

  13. PascalNo Gravataron 07 Jun 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Hi, I find it really interresting and I want to try.

    Could you help me to find a place to send the package to, near Stanstead (Derby Line and Newport) in Vermont?

    The UPS store is far of the border..

    There is a US-Post-office but.. can i send the package there without having a P.O. Box?

    Thanks.

    [Reply]

  14. PascalNo Gravataron 07 Jun 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Nevermind my previous message.
    After research I found a website with some border pick-up point.
    http://shiptotheborder.com/ for those interested

    [Reply]

    ChrisNo Gravatar Reply:

    Pascal i’ve tried them too and it worked great. They have locations all over the place

    [Reply]

  15. JoanneNo Gravataron 19 Aug 2010 at 12:25 pm

    i am looking for a pickup company in Bellingham, which works like the ones in Point Roberts. It’s more convenient for me to go to Bellingham than Point Roberts, but there are more pick-up companies (and better price) in Point Roberts than in Bellingham. Any good suggestions?

    [Reply]

    kamonycoleNo Gravatar Reply:

    Lookup lyndenmailbox in Lynden

    [Reply]

  16. ShawnNo Gravataron 31 Aug 2010 at 6:34 pm

    The UPS Store in Ogdensburg, NY does hundreds of packages a week for Canadian customers. They are located in the shopping center across from Wal-Mart and they’re opening a larger store to accommodate the business!

    [Reply]

    NeilNo Gravatar Reply:

    Note, I found out the hard way, they also are not responsible for items removed / stolen from their store – even after they were initially received and accounted for by their staff.

    [Reply]

    TheoNo Gravatar Reply:

    The UPS Store is a franchise and if something was lost or stolen you are protected up to a certain dollar amount. Did you contact the center owner and see if he or she can help you?

    [Reply]

    NeilNo Gravatar Reply:

    One of the senior staff advised me the owner would contact me directly. He did not, and also did not respond to any of my attempts to contact him over the course of the next few weeks. I contacted Corporate UPS (Franchise Division) and although the representative seemed apologetic and sympathetic to my situation, ultimately was of no help, as she stated compensation would be at the discretion of the franchise owner. That was it for me.

    One set of Cabelas Trailgear molded Silverado front floormats, a gift for my son…$100.00…. gone…live and learn. I deal with Roethel’s now. Very nice people.

  17. JoeNo Gravataron 27 Sep 2010 at 3:46 pm

    The UPS Store in Lewiston NY is the closest location for the Toronto area. They have a lot of information about parcel acceptance on their website http://www.theupsstorelocal.com/6143
    They are only 5 minutes from the Lewiston Queenston and Rainbow Bridges.

    [Reply]

  18. DaveNo Gravataron 09 Nov 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Just wanted to follow-up after using the information from this article to make a recent purchase. I picked up a pair of skis this week that I had shipped to Roethel’s. Paid $5 (cash, credit, or debit) to the friendly woman behind the counter and was only required to pay HST at the border. A great experience overall.

    One additional small expense to be aware of is the toll bridge into Ogdensburg. It’s $3 each way.

    [Reply]

  19. Michael MacLeodNo Gravataron 03 Dec 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Any recommendations for large items that need to be shipped by truck. ie. Appliances. I can drive to a town in Montana to pick up goods in my own truck.

    [Reply]

  20. ShawnNo Gravataron 09 Feb 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Neil,

    At the end of the day the same shippers deliver to The UPS Store, Rothells, The Corporate Center and anywhere else offering parcel services for Canadians in Ogdensburg.

    Sometimes packages get misplaced… especially when you deal with the volume of packages that our store deals with. The thing that sets us apart from other companies is our dedication to our customers.

    Michael is available -any- Saturday for 1-on-1 meetings. If you email me your number I’ll ensure that he calls your cell to make this right. Throw your tracking number in there as well and I’ll see if we can’t locate your package. If we indeed lost your package, you can be compensated for your losses.

    store2946@theupsstore.com

    -Shawn

    [Reply]

  21. mahjongNo Gravataron 09 Feb 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Can I just say what a reduction to search out someone who really is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You undoubtedly know find out how to convey an issue to gentle and make it important. Extra people must read this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant imagine youre not more widespread since you undoubtedly have the gift.

    [Reply]

  22. MaryNo Gravataron 21 Feb 2011 at 4:42 pm

    My daughter purchased a wedding dress made in the USA and it is being shipped to a border store. Do you know what (if any) duties I will have to pay when I pick it up?
    Thanks

    [Reply]

  23. AlannaNo Gravataron 24 Jun 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Because of the current mail strike here in Canada, a parcel of mine being shipped from the US via USPS is apparently just sitting somewhere in JAMAICA, NY 11430. Is it possible for me to show up and pick it up there? I’m desperate for what is in the package!!! Thank you!

    [Reply]

  24. LenaNo Gravataron 06 Aug 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I want to order a double oven online and pick it up just over the border, in Niagara Falls. It weighs too much for the UPS store to accept it(250 lbs) Any suggestions as to who would accept this shipment for me?

    [Reply]

  25. TellingNo Gravataron 17 Dec 2011 at 9:24 am

    Wanted to let you know that service at Mail boxes plus in Blaine is horrible. They do not allow you to have 1 time pick up. They want you to sign up with them for 1 year $10 and every package is $2. It’s not worth it if you only have 1 package a year!!! Do not send your packages here!!!!

    [Reply]

  26. my.helpfulNo Gravataron 12 Jan 2012 at 10:22 am

    There is a great place across the rainbow bridge called CBI usa, i’ve used them before and they have been in business a very long time. They accept all packages big or small, oversized packages are charged a holding fee while others are charged a flat 5$ us fee upon pickup. check em out!

    [Reply]

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