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    Avoiding Brokerage Charges

    2011 - 09.07

    Every year I do one of these Ace Race tournaments, and there are other times when I order significant quantities of Discs from Discraft whether that be for an event, or for Burnaby Ultimate & Disc Sports or some other reason.  Typically they ship using UPS, and realistically I don’t do a lot of shipping or ordering of things to be shipped, especially “internationally”.

    Each time I do it, I get annoyed.  What I’m buying are goods manufactured in the US, covered by NAFTA, and yet I always have to pay taxes and duty.  Ok, hard things to avoid (legally speaking).  But there’s always this extra charge “brokerage fee”, which tends to be about equal to the duty, which is just an irritating fee which doesn’t add any value to me.  In truth it feels usury.

    The thing is, I do it so infrequently, and it’s such a large area of legislation that I never have the motivation to look into it further until AFTER I’ve become annoyed by the most recent brokerage fee, at which point I no longer am motivated to look into it, as I’ve already had to pay.  I finally contacted UPS to see what I can do to avoid the brokerage fee, and it turns out there’s an option… it may not be a good option but here it is:

    Duties and Taxes apply on all shipments imported into Canada with a value over $20.00 CAD. The UPS Brokerage fee is applied on all shipments being sent Standard service. You can avoid this fee by requesting to have your shipment sent UPS Air.

    So then the question becomes is the brokerage fee going to be more than the extra cost of having it shipped UPS Air instead of UPS ground?  Maybe, maybe not, but at least with air shipping you’re also going to get it sooner, which means that at the very least you’re getting something for the money you spend even if it doesn’t necessarily save you any money.  I think I’ll request UPS Air shipping this time around.

    P.S.  The fact that the title goes ABC, not an accident.

    Endgame: Disc Sports

    2011 - 05.18

    Endgame, which we’ve talked about here a few times before as being good and chess themed as well as being shot in Vancouver has another claim to fame: in the same season it both references Ultimate Frisbee (and shows a disc) and Frisbee Golf (latest episode). Anyway, thought it was worth acknowledging. If you’re not already watching it, you should check it out.


    2011 - 03.20

    Karin already knows how to climb, and I suppose it’s maybe been a couple of years that she’s known how.  Now it’s my turn, I’m going to take the introductory course sometime over the next two weeks (while she’s off for spring break) so that I can learn how, and then we can go climbing together.

    Fortunately for me they did a GoodNews deal where I can take the into course for $35 instead of $77, so that’s a nice savings.  I also am able to climb for free for the week following the course which is why the spring break timing is particularly attractive.

    Back some years ago when we first started dating Karin was interested in playing Ultimate, and it became one of those physical activities which we could do together.  Over the years Karin’s interest in Ultimate waned and it’s now an activity that I mostly do by myself.  Well this time she started climbing first and enjoys it, I haven’t tried it yet, so we’ll see if this is our new “together activity” or not.

    For now at least we’ll be climbing out of Cliffhanger Coquitlam, which is where Karin first learned and where I’ll be taking my course.

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