03/16/2020 at 8:24 pm #75189
Hello from a lurker.
We cross the border 2-3 times a week to ship USPS. As you know, Canada Post is prohibitively expensive. I live nowhere near a Chit Chats, or like operation. My question is, are people like me considering closing shop for awhile? Are you going business as usual? What do you foresee happening?
I know the border US is staying open for commercial and the Canada border is not rejecting Canadians, for now…0
03/17/2020 at 8:16 am #75205SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Considering how serious and unprecedented this thing is, you should probably consider temporarily changing all your shipping to Canada Post. Once restrictions are lifted, you can change them back.
Right now, my sales have suddenly died. If I suddenly changed all my shipping to a more expensive method, going from zero to zero isn’t going to change much.0
03/17/2020 at 9:04 am #75206
I see you are in NJ and may not understand the cost difference. For example, something that ships for $3.20 USD first class will cost me $16.00+ CAD to ship. Buyers won’t buy at that rate and I can’t afford to cover the difference, so Canada Post isn’t an option. Also, my sales have not dropped off and this is how I make a living.
I understand the importance of the situation. Still, it seems kinda pointless to throw everything you have worked for away when you live in a small border town with no cases and would be going literally across the street to a small border town with no cases. We would be at a safe distance from border guards, then to the post office and back again. I want to do the right thing, but financial destruction is a high price to pay.
03/17/2020 at 10:04 am #75211JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
There are some other Canadian sellers here. Hopefully they’ll chime in.
I think Sharyn is juts saying that instead of completely closing your store, offer buyers to ability to buy through Canadian Post (even if ore expensive).
Completely closing your store guarantees zero sales.0
03/17/2020 at 12:15 pm #75218SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Oh, yeh, I’m only saying that if there is an issue with border crossing, whether it be just spotty or the possibility of being stuck in the US, you could go with the more expensive shipping. This is really an unusual situation, and even other Canadian sellers may not know what is going to happen. This has never happened before, so we really don’t know what to expect.
The governors in NJ, NY, and CT have closed places like schools (so kids are moving to online instruction), gyms, restaurants (takeout only), government buildings such as municipal courts, and so forth. Who knows what will happen at the border, especially if you are driving into NY?
Midwest locations, like CO, might be better.0
03/17/2020 at 11:20 am #75213AmatinoParticipant
- Location: Texas
On the news this morning, they stated that Canada has closed its borders. Is that correct? I guess that answers the OP’s question. Now the question is do you stay open or go into vacation mode?0
03/18/2020 at 9:41 am #75260
Canada has partially closed its borders. It has not closed its borders to Canadians (me), Permanent Residents (my husband), Americans (also my husband) or Caribbeans. Also, both borders are not shutting down for commerce. We cross the border commercially. We are a tiny Civic flanked by Logging trucks.
This was our conundrum. They say they don’t want people to go out, except for work and they want non-service industry types to keep on working. So, in that regard, it seems we should continue, but there certainly is a lot of pressure to stop. Our biggest fear is that this is not ending soon. We can close our store for a couple of weeks no problem, but they are predicting this will go on into the summer and beyond. We cannot withstand that.
For now we have increased our handling time, so we only go once a week and will play it by ear.0
03/18/2020 at 9:47 am #75261debitendcreditsParticipant
- Location: Albuquerque, NM
Isn’t part of the issue with the high cost of Canadian Post that you have to pay import fees? Is it legal to bring goods across the boarder to sell? I would worry for you that boarder crossings are going to be more stringently monitored.
I am by no means an expert (or even remotely knowledgeable) just want everyone to stay safe. Comments from Canadians?0
03/18/2020 at 1:09 pm #75266VintageTreasuresParticipant
Sharyn: If you were saying CO for Colorado, we are in the same boat as you are. Colorado has the same restrictions as NJ. Not as bad as San Francisco (yet), we haven’t been ordered to “shelter in place” but everything that closed in NJ is closed here too, as of yesterday.0
03/18/2020 at 1:13 pm #75267
We cross commercially. We fill out all of the relevant forms. It is perfectly legal. If they decide to make it more difficult for Canadians, my husband is American.
The issue with Canada Post is not import fees. It is very expensive to send things within Canada also. For example, a simple stamp is $1.07.0
03/18/2020 at 1:53 pm #75272
Well, it looks like we are closing up. We will do one last run tomorrow and then call it a day. They just made a new announcement that says industry and essentials can cross in border, otherwise it is closed. Not sure we are big enough to be called industry. They say it is for a month. I hope that is all.0
03/18/2020 at 2:13 pm #75274JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
That’s unfortunate. I hope for all of us that these isolation wont last for months.
But Im confused: why close up shop completely? I understand that Canadian Post is more expensive, but yu may still get some sales. Shutting down your store guarantees zero sales.0
03/18/2020 at 2:13 pm #75275workhorseParticipant
- Location: California
Based on my experience living near the border some years ago and going through the border (American going to Canada), I would think the most important thing is documentation– bring copies of invoices/receipts proving you are going across for business purposes to ship goods, and nothing else. It will benefit you that you are at a small town border crossing for sure.
Bring a business license or other paperwork showing this is legitimate to show border agents. You may want to consider doing one shipment a week so you have a bunch of stuff to offload at once. I was always surprised that my experience was worse coming back into the States then going into Canada. But then again Canadians are probably nicer to each other than Americans are 🙂 Unless things get really irrational, I am hoping that our countries governments will remember the US/Canada relationship is a close one and even unique in the world.0
03/20/2020 at 5:59 pm #75324
I do the same. I cross three times most weeks to ship and am also near a tiny crossing.
I last crossed on Wednesday (18th). I was concerned things might tighten up, and have changed my handling time from one day to three days just in case.
I have a few back-up plans if for some reason things close entirely:
1. Use Canada Post, and temporarily end all of my listings under say $30-35. Leave my shipping settings as is, and eat the difference in shipping costs. Some sales/income is better than none.
2. I asked my local USPS post master if I could send pre-packaged, pre-labeled shipments to them in bulk via UPS. If I go this route, I’d package all of my ebay/poshmark sales, put them all in one big box, and send them across to USPS via UPS once or twice a week. Post master would then open the box, and ship the individual packages for me.
As of this moment, I’m confident that informal commercial entries will still be allowed through. I’m planning a trip for Monday.
Out of curiosity, where are you located and which crossing are you using? Your situation sounds very close to my own.0
03/21/2020 at 10:39 am #75330
Jay, in order to change our shipping to Canada Post rates we would have to relist all of our inventory on ebay.ca. Currently we only list on ebay.com. To eat the difference, we might actually lose money on some items. I set the store to 30 days shipping and handling, but it looks like that may not be enough with the current talk I am hearing.
Winchester, we cross into Maine. That is a great idea about the postmaster, it is awesome how friendly and accommodating they are. The only issue is we tend to sell large, clunky items. We sell the items that are too awkward for others to bother with. IF we sold smaller items…
We got across okay on Thursday. The US side said “no problem” the issue is that the Canadian border told us to self isolate. I guess we can try again Monday. I really want to, my husband wants us to close the store, he feels defeated. The province said they are planning on taking legal action against those not self isolating. I just don’t know if we fit into the category of “trucker” which exempts us. Do you consider yourself a “trucker”? We cross through trucking lanes and pay our $13.40 crossing fees.0
03/30/2020 at 10:28 pm #75676
Winchester, any updates? We went on Thursday and were given a confusing response. We were told if we came in as commercial it was up to us whether we were to quarantine or not. We don’t plan on trying again until Friday and things change rapidly, just wondering what others are experiencing.0
03/31/2020 at 1:58 pm #75700
I crossed yesterday, and am planning to go again later this week. I don’t pay the per-crossing fee. I purchased a transponder at the start of the year that’s good for unlimited crossings for the calendar year (Jan-Dec).
So long as you’re submitting the required paperwork, and crossing for commercial purposes, the border is still open. The Canadian border recommends self isolating for 14 days, but from what I’ve been told, it’s not a legal order since it’s technically international trade.
Where are you crossing into Maine? Houlton? Calais?0
03/31/2020 at 6:39 pm #75707
Calais. Are you Calais too? It seems we have a sort of similar story. I quit my job and moved here from Toronto at the end of 2018.0
04/02/2020 at 1:36 pm #75769
I was denied access today. I was with my husband and they said I was not essential, but he could come through. I am now barred until this mess is over. Just thought you might want a heads up.0
04/02/2020 at 8:32 pm #75784
Thanks for the heads up. I can understand that. I can’t see them being too keen on passengers at this point.
I went on Wednesday, and am planning to cross again tomorrow. The closest thing I’ve had to an issue is the Canadian side recommending I self-isolate for 14 days each time I return. At this point we’re isolated for the most part anyway. Made a contactless grocery pickup today, but that was it. My wife, the border agents, and the worker at USPS are the only people I’ve had any interaction with in weeks.0
04/19/2020 at 11:50 am #76416
Well, my husband was quarantined coming back on Friday. He was told he was not essential commercial and therefore was being “served a quarantine order”. Since the US barred me awhile back that means we are kinda screwed. Winchester, I was wondering if it is the Calais Post Master/Mistress you had that arrangement with? At the very least we could get our small items out the door with that scheme.0
04/28/2020 at 8:56 pm #76815
Sorry for the delay getting back to this.
I cross at a small crossing further north than Calais, and have developed a friendly relationship with the USPS worker there.0
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