•  
Home    Archive

News: Want to get your Webcomic Site reviewed by a professional? Volunteer your site for review in this thread!

00:00:30UncleRobotI know CPR...
18:39:34Chadm1nSpammers must die. Now.
16:56:16Chadm1nAs promised a few weeks ago, Webcomics Community has been upgraded!

Author Topic: Cross-border Shipping to a Convention  (Read 4351 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline LegendWoodsman

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
Cross-border Shipping to a Convention
« on: January 21, 2010, 09:12:43 PM »
I'm Canadian (I'm sorry) and as most conventions happen state-side, I have the pleasure of learning from my mistakes with customs. If you are shipping across the border, may I suggest Fed-Ex. They have their own customs brokerage and will charge you later for any duties (heh heh- dooty  :P). I haven't been charged for sending books, except for a $25 brokerage fee but I have received a huge bill once for shipping t-shirts across the border. Maybe pack those in your suitcase.

I was advised by a customs officer that some airport terminals are not equipped to charge duty (heh heh) as they are not designated "ports". So declaring goods to be sold in your suitcase may just end up with those items being confiscated. Recommendation, fly through a designated port airport or ship it by courier. I am in no way endorsing smuggling your t-shirts.

I still have a bit to learn about paying the duty (heh heh) for bringing goods to the states: Is there a way to be refunded for any of the goods that I didn't sell?

Does anyone have any experience with cross-border relations? 

Offline TTallan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 76
    • Galaxion
Re: Cross-border Shipping to a Convention
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010, 07:55:14 AM »
(*laughs that you are apologizing for being Canadian*  ;D)

Shipping your books ahead is probably the best way, unless you are driving, in which case it's a little easier to deal with customs. I find the whole customs thing a bit of a nightmare, myself. I did a lot of shows in the States in the '90s, and I fear that we got through a lot of the time by lying or misrepresenting our merchandise ("these are samples!"). Or counting on the agents not to ask if we had anything to declare (which they frequently didn't). I don't recommend that route, obviously.

I'm doing more shows in the States this year, so I'm going to have to deal with this problem myself, soon.

Offline Rob

  • Resident Dick!
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1324
  • Easily Confused, Feeble Minded Founder
    • Remedial Comics
Re: Cross-border Shipping to a Convention
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010, 06:21:41 PM »
As someone who worked in Immigration Law (over two years... my last job) I know that misrepresentation can be really tricky. A webcomics creator who will not be names contacted me after U.S. customs caught him in a lie about why he was entering the country (at first he said pleasure but then they got out of him that he was going to a convention at which he may benefit from financial gain) and the next thing you know he was barred from entry into the U.S.

We gave him some advice and he eventually worked it out but Canada and the U.S. don't have a visa program. Our citizens cross the border at their pleasure. It used to be with just a drivers license, now you need a passport or a passport card (the law changed last June). But since there is no visa program it can be extremely difficult to figure out how to appeal or reapply for entry into the U.S. once you have been barred.

Here is the best advice I can give you about getting items over the border. Don't. It's costly and a waste of time. Get some friends in the U.S. to agree to hold onto some product for you. When you order the items have them shipped to your friends house in the U.S. Then, once you are in the country you can either pick the stuff up, or have your friend ship it to the convention you are attending. No customs, minimal shipping fees (the shipping really does go up rather shockingly when you have to cross a border) and less wait.

You obviously want to be sure your friend is reliable. You also want to make sure that they have a safe/clean place to store your items. And it might not hurt to kick them a little green or maybe some free merch if they are also a fan. But all in all it is a better solution than a possible international incident.

Another solution, especially if you live close enough to the U.S. border that driving over into the U.S. isn't a huge trip/inconvenience; is self storage. You can get a small box at places like the UPS Store or Fedex Kinko's where they will accept packages for you and hold them until you pick them up. And if you get a lot of stuff; big boxes of t-shirts and books and what have you then you then you may want to consider an actual self storage unit. There are many different sizes to choose from. You can often set them up to accept packages for you as well (just be sure to choose a place that has an on site attendant during business hours) and they are affordable on a monthly basis and you can close them down at the end of con season and save yourself several months of rental each year.

Then you just pop over to your storage. Pick out what you need for the con you will be attending. Ship it out (if you have a box at Fedex Kinko's or the UPS Store then that will really be easy) to the con and be on your way.

Offline TTallan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 76
    • Galaxion
Re: Cross-border Shipping to a Convention
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2010, 08:31:35 AM »
Anybody living in Buffalo want to be my friend?  ;)

Offline LegendWoodsman

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
Re: Cross-border Shipping to a Convention
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2010, 04:21:27 AM »
(*laughs that you are apologizing for being Canadian*  ;D)

Aren't Canadians supposed to be apologetically apologetic?  ;)

That's good advice about having storage or contacts to hold merch for you. I wonder if any similar arrangements are done here when an American cartoonist is going to TCAF or the Calgary Comic Expo.

Offline Rob

  • Resident Dick!
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1324
  • Easily Confused, Feeble Minded Founder
    • Remedial Comics
Re: Cross-border Shipping to a Convention
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2010, 04:59:11 AM »
(*laughs that you are apologizing for being Canadian*  ;D)

Aren't Canadians supposed to be apologetically apologetic?  ;)

That's good advice about having storage or contacts to hold merch for you. I wonder if any similar arrangements are done here when an American cartoonist is going to TCAF or the Calgary Comic Expo.

Does that ever actually happen?  :D

I'm kidding of course. I'm sure it happens because that's what we are here for, to network, make friends and work out these sorts of things.

I can tell you that I'm in CT near NYCC, Connecticon, PAX East, Webcomics Weekend and pretty much anything else that goes on in NY or Boston (I'm about the same distance from both, less than 2-3 hours drive) and if anyone needed me to give them a hand, within reason, and as long as it didn't cost me anything, I would be happy to help out.

Offline LegendWoodsman

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 70
Re: Cross-border Shipping to a Convention
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2010, 11:34:18 PM »
Awesome. I may have to take you up on that.  :)

sjscomicpromo

  • Guest
Re: Cross-border Shipping to a Convention
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010, 01:03:51 PM »
Could anyone give the scoop on Americans entering Canada for conventions? Do the same suggestions apply?