Canadians ordering fabric from US

missflippinsFebruary 29, 2012

Have any of the Canadian quilter here ordered fabric from the US? I would love to place an order with Connecting Threads but I'm leary about how the customs (brokerage) charges work out. I once ordered a book from the US and the cost doubled with the brokerage charges. I don't mind paying a reasonable fee as the fabric cost is so much less in the US. I also wonder how they can keep the prices so low and still have quality fabrics.

I would appreciate hearing from anybody in Canada who may have ordered fabric from the US.

Many thanks, Corinne

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I have ordered a few times from Keepsake and have never had an issue with customs or brokers. And I have also ordered from Hancocks. That was interesting. The first order came with no problem but I had to pay duty on the second order. I was told it was because it was over $1oo.oo. So if I had broken that one into 2 orders I would have been fine. My sister has ordered from Connecting Threads and I don't think she paid duty either.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 7:29AM
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I hope you can make it work! I've been pleased with my fabric orders from Connecting Threads and am now addicted to their cotton thread, too. Good luck!


    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 9:06AM
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Is shipping less if ordering from a U.S. company and it's shipped to a U.S. address then your 'friend' mails or delivers it to you? I've seen this done on a few forums and couldn't figure out why they were doing it this way unless it was for cost or customs issues.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 12:06PM
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Missouri Star has different shipping rates for US, Can. and international.
$5 for US, $15 for Can. But both are free if over $100-150. Sometimes the "deals" aren't worth it when you factor in the shipping.
When my son lived in Michigan, I would order from Joanne's (they don't ship to Can.) and have him bring it over or we would pick it up there. And I don't remember ever paying any duty.
I think some folks had problems when their order was shipped by UPS. They added on all kinds of charges.
So check it all out and good luck.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 12:31PM
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It varies by company, but shipping usually is cheaper for Canadians if you can get your order shipped to a U.S. address. Some companies increase their profit margin with shipping costs (especially to Canada), and then, as previously stated, brokerage fees can add to the cost. I've had a couple of things sent to my brother and my aunt, only because I was going to visit them, but they live in North Carolina and Maryland, respectively. I've had costs of around $60 added at times, and I've never had a very big order. I almost had a heart attack the first time!

The other day my other brother suggested I look into the idea of a "drop box" to have U.S. orders delivered to as I'm so close to Buffalo. I'm going away for the weekend (Maryland), but I'm going to look into that when I get back.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 1:40PM
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I'm not far from the border here, and the US post office is not far from the border. I will check out getting a box there if it's possible for Canadians to rent one. I do have a son in the US, but just didn't want to bother them to have to re-send it on. I suppose they could as a gift though. It's not that I'm anxious to save a lot of dollars, it's just that they have some really nice looking fabrics, and the price is unreal $6.00 a yard vs $15.00 a meter here. Connecting threads states that they truck to the border and put into the hands of Canada Post, but there is a brokerage involved which is what worries me. It seems they can charge whatever suits them on any particular day.

Maybe I'll have to take a nice drive one day for lunch and Quilt fabric shopping in my favourite town in Washington, Lynden. I think they have 2 quilt shops there.

Thanks for your replies. I'll let you know if I decide to throw caution to the wind and just go ahead and order.

Best wishes, Corinne

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 4:19PM
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But a drop box is different from a post office box, I think. It's my understanding that you don't rent it on a continual basis, you just pay a small fee to have something delivered there. I need to find out for sure, though.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 4:52PM
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There is a place in Niagara Falls NY at the first exit off the highway at the Lewiston bridge that charges $5 per package. My friend uses it for her longarm supplies and her husbands vintage carparts. They looked into a PO Box with the USPS but some companies will not ship to a PO Box# and the rent on the box is higher than the $ they pay to the "physical address" company. I can get the information from my friend if you want.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 7:17PM
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Thank you all for the information. Mary, thank you so much, but I think rather than put you to that trouble, I'll check with the US post office closest to us first. It's not far from where we live so I'll just take a little trip on a sunny day. Thanks again all. This border stuff is crazy - I think you can travel across Europe, country to country and no border nuisance. Personally, I think quilters should be given special privileges when it comes to shopping for quilting necessities! LOL....

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Somehow I thought you were in Ontario....

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 9:27PM
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Missflippins, you're so right that the governments should give us a quilt supply shopping free pass! ;)

It's also true that shipping costs from Europe or Asia, as we often do in our family, are much cheaper.

Mary, would you mind sending me that info? Niagara Falls is about 1/2 hour from me, and that would be very useful for me. If I don't respond, I'm leaving this morning for a weekend trip, but I'll be back Monday night.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 8:00AM
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Susan...I will get the information from my friend and post it here. Have a great weekend away!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 9:59PM
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Here is the information for a US street address for Canadians. It is located in Niagara Falls, NY. It costs $5 per package if you pick it up within a week and then they charge for storage after that.

I am sure there are similar businesses located near all of the border crossings.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 10:08PM
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