The Most Frequently Asked Questions
on ordering music by mail or via the net

How do I use this site ?

You'll notice that a menu can be found on the left of your screen. Just click on what you're looking for. For example, if you want a full national listing, click on "In Canada", under the words "The Sources". And if you were looking for the sources in your province, click on the apropriate initials under "By Province". You can also explore any option in the menu and then return to the main index by clicking on the logo on top of the menu.

How reliable are the sources you've listed ?

I have only purchased material from a few of the sources i've listed so it would be impossible for me to guarantee the reliability of these sources. But you should note that all of the dealers i've listed have had their contact information confirmed by a Canadian telephone directory, the listings with c/o entries being that of small home based businesses that were listed under another business name or the proprietor's name in the residential listings of their provincial telephone directory.

Additional information on specific dealers may be requested on alt.music.canada and individuals wary about certain businesses may request a federal BN or GST registration number from the business in question and/or request additional information from the Canadian office of the Better Business Bureau nearest to the dealer.

How much does it truly cost to order music in Canada ?
(Information for Canadians)

Other than shipping and handling, some purchases are subject to the goods & services tax (gst) or a combination of both the provincial sales tax (PST) and goods & services tax (GST), these taxes having been replaced with the Harmonised Sales Tax in some of the Atlantic provinces. Most out of province orders are only subject to GST but provincial sales tax may be added or HST may be substituted (instead of PST and GST) in some instances (where the dealer's chain is registered in your province of residence). Always ask for your total with taxes.

How much does it cost to import CDs into Canada ?
(Information for Canadian Residents)

It depends on the value and origin of the CDs :

All shipments valued at less than $20 Canadian are exempt from duties, fees and taxes.

All orders valued at more than $20 Canadian are subject to taxes (GST/PST or HST) and a customs handling fee charged by Canada Post or the courier service you used to import the merhandise (Customs handling fees range from $5 with Canada Post to $10 for most couriers but UPS is known to charge more).

All CDs manufactured outside of Canada and the United States that are included in a shipment valued at more than $20 Canadian are also subject to a 7% duty.

Note that Canada Post does not use the commercial exchange rate to determine a shipments value in Canadian dollars. They use their own rate, determined by a system in which a rounded off rate changes only when a new rate has been stable for two days. (Postal Importation Information)

My Recommendations
Importing works best with foreign releases, especially CD singles, that aren't available in Canada. Chances are you're probably going to save more time than money, most imports taking a minimum of four to six weeks to reach Canadian dealers. But you can save a few bucks from time to time.

How much does it truly cost to order CDs from Canada?
(Information for Foreign Residents)

Other than shipping and handling, you will probably have to pay a customs charge and possibly other customs and/or postage/shipping processing fees once your order arrives in your country. These vary from country to country but the exchange rate may be so favorable as to offset these additional costs. Information on these fees can be obtained by contacting your country's customs authority and shipper/postage authority.

How much is Shipping and Handling ?

The rate depends on the dealer's location, your location and the chosen shipping method. The most popular shipping method in Canada is standard post or "Express Post" via Canada Post, but courier/delivery services are available for shipments to both Canadian and foreign addresses, some dealers offering excellerated shipping via Federal Express (Fedex), UPS, DHL, CanPar and Purolator Courier, thought it should be noted that these courier/parcel delivery services may not deliver to smaller communities and some foreign residents may be subject to customs processing fees. Ask the dealer for details on what shipping options are available to you.

My Recommendations
Canadians should use Canada Post's Expresspost. It is the most economical excellerated delivery service in Canada and they deliver to most Canadian communities within a few days, but insurance is recommended on parcels that are fragile or shipped in peak mail periods like December. Delivery status is available via an toll free number so always try to obtain the nessesary codes to access this information.

Foreign residents should use courier/delivery services like Federal Express and Purolator Courier but overnight and next day services would be a waste of money as it will not likely reach a foreign destination for a few days, minimum ; Use their two to three day services and consider insurance if the item is fragile. Always contact the courier's head office for details on any processing fee they might charge on importations.

What are Canada's audio/video formats ?

The standard audio formats in Canada are Compact Disc and Cassete but DVD audio/video is slowly emerging in our market and mini-disc and old vinyl albums are still available. Except for the occassional dance album/single, vinyl singles and albums, and cassete singles are rarely manufactured now in Canada.

Video compilations from Canadian and foreign artists are available from several dealers in Canada but the Video cassetes sold in Canada are in the NTSC video standard, a format compatible with video equipment in North America, though it should be noted that some NTSC compatible equipment is available in South America and Japan. Laserdiscs are still available in Canada but less are being manufactured.

Are there Canadian cd singles ?

The major labels have re-introduced domestic singles into the Canadian market in late 2002 by releasing a select number of CD and DVD singles through several major retailers and the industry plans to expand their catalogs in 2003.

Unlike imported cd singles from Australia, the U.k and europe, Canadian cd singles aren't likely to contain multimedia sections and may contain only one or two bonus tracks. The occassional maxi single is released with additional material but these are generally more expensive at $8 to $12 Canadian.

DVD singles, on the other hand, contain music videos and some bonus material but these will not likely contain all of the material found on its cd single counterpart and may be subject to regional coding, restricting its use outside of North America.

Imported CD singles are available from many retailers in Canada but Canadian residents should probably shop around for the best deal. Overseas sources like HMV Australia, Towerrecords.co.uk and Amazon France should also be considered if a shipment's value totals less than $20 Canadian (see "How much does it truly cost to import CDs into Canada - Information for Canadians")

What is the average price of a (...) ?
(domestic Canadian pressings)

Compact Disc - Regular
$19.99 to $24.99 (regular price)
$13.99 to $19.99 (new releases)
$ 9.99 to $17.99 (discounted sale items)
$ 7.99 to $13.99 (used)
Compact Disc - Other
$19.99 to $35.99 (double cd)
$ 6.99 to $12.99 (cd single)
Cassetes - New
$ 9.99 to $13.99
Records (LP/EP)
$ 6.99 to $ 9.99 (sealed)
$ 3.99 to $ 9.99 (used)
Video Compilations
$16.99 to $29.99 (new)

Rare Items and Imports will likely cost more.

Are Canadian CDs "Copy Protected" ?

Copy Protection appears to be making it's way onto some new domestic releases here in Canada but it is still rare here. Importations into Canada may be copy protected, especially if it originates from Europe. I will consider compiling a list of copy protected Canadian releases if demand warrents it. You may send me suggestions for the list by clicking here.

Warning to iMac users - Avoid Copy Protected CDs at all cost !.

What is "Copy Protection" ?

"Copy Protected" discs are non-standard discs on which corrupted information was added to a multimedia section on the discs to prevent their use on computers and computerized devices, to prevent copying of material from the disc. Unfortunately for the consumer, these discs will not play on computers and may not play on some car CD players, DVD players and older CD players. Click here for additional information.

What are "Enhanced CDs" ?

An "Enhanced CD" is a compact disc on which a multimedia section was added for computer users. This multimedia section features music videos and/or interviews and/or links to exclusive material on the web. This information is automatically accessed by most computers when the compact disc is inserted in the computer's cd-rom drive.

Tip for Windows users - "Autoplay", the program that activates multimedia on "Enhanced CDs" on Windows based computers, can be temporarily disactivated by depressing "shift" for a few seconds while inserting "Enhanced CDs" into your cd-rom drive. This enables you to use your favorite software to listen to these CDs.

What Credit Cards are accepted in Canada ?

The most prominent credit cards in Canada are Visa and Mastercard but some dealers will also accept American Express and Discovery.

How secure are transactions on the web ?

128 bit SSL will protect your credit card information but this protection is useless if your browser is not SSL compatible. Individuals without 128 bit SSL compatible software will likely still have access to online purchases with alternate payment methods.

Note: It is preferable to turn web accelerators off when purchasing online.

What are "cookies" ?

Cookies are small files that are placed on your computer by a web site that contains information about you as a consumer.

These cookies rarely ever contain information that could be used to defraud you but they may contain your email address and records of what other sites you have visited.

Most commercial web sites will not allow you to access your account without cookies but you may choose to control and/or delete them once your transactions are completed :

Internet Explorer Version 6+
-Click on Tools
-Click on Internet Options
-Click on "Delete Cookies"
-Click "Ok"
-Then click on Privacy Tab
-Set level to Medium
-Click Apply and then O.K
Netscape Communicator 4.7+
-Click on Edit
-Click on Preferences
-Click on Advanced
-Under Cookies, make sure the option
is on "Accept only cookies sent to
the originating server".
-Click O.K

Additional cookie control options are included in many firewalls and internet privacy programs. Consult your local software retailer for details.

What are "Spyware" and "Adware" programs ?

These programs are used to track your movements on the web and convey this statistical information to companies via your internet connection. But unlike cookies, they may also monitor your actions on your computer.

Spyware and Adware programs are usually installed during the installation of a shareware or freeware program, the consent for installation being included in the shareware/freeware program's user agreement. But some of these programs may also be installed without consent, in some cases after a user has refused an installation request.

These programs will not likely transmit credit card numbers and passwords to unauthorised parties. But information gathered from the registration of the associated program(s) may be collected in conjunction with the information obtained by the Spyware/Adware programs.

"Spyware" and "Adware" may be removed from your systems using Lavasoft's Ad-aware. Please use this software carefully as it may disable the shareware/freeware programs that were used to introduce the "Spyware" and "Adware" into your systems.

Do you know where I can order sleeves for LP/45s ?

You can purchase plastic sleeves for LPs and paper sleeves
for 45s/LPs from the following source :

Sheldon Frymerman
2892 Inlake Court,
Mississauga, Ontario.
Canada L5N 2A5
(950) 821-4203
candies@sympatico.ca

Sheldon is a regular at the Record & CD Conventions in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal
so you can save on s&h by simply visiting his booth there. He sells music collectibles as well.

Do you know where I can order CD shelves ?

CD storage units are available from Bestbuy.ca and Collector's' Choice Music.

What are Canada's largest chains ?

HMV, Music World, Record On Wheels (ROW), and A&B Sound are Canada's largest chains. There are also a few smaller regional chains like CD Plus, CD Warehouse, Dr.Disc and Records On Wheels. Only a few have web sites and/or 800 numbers.

What are the best dealers in (city) ?

I could only recommend some in Ottawa and possibly Montreal. Your best bet would be to ask on alt.music.canada. You can also access national dealer listings at Yellow.Ca

What DVDs are compatible with my DVD Player ?
(Information for Canadians)

DVDs sold in Canada and the United States are compatible with Canadian DVD players, who are all Region 1 compatible. Foreign DVDs may only be viewed on DVD players sold in North America if the DVDs are Region 0 or Region 1 and in the NTSC video format. Foreign Region 0 DVDs in the Pal and SECAM video format may only be viewed on a few North American DVD players and some of these DVD players may require PAL or SECAM compatible televisions or monitors to view the content of these DVDs.

Note that Region 0 DVDs in the Pal format can be viewed on most computers equiped with DVD-Roms. Consult your dvd player's software manual for details.

Click Here For Additional Information On DVDs

Are Canadian DVDs compatible with my DVD Player ?
(Information for Foreign Residents)

Most DVDs released in Canada and the United States are coded to play only on DVD players sold in those countries ; Players compliant to Region 1 coding. But many DVDs, including older films and music video compilations, are not coded (Region 0) and may be viewed on all DVD players ; And some multiple region compatible players are available in some countries. Consult your DVD player's manual.

Click Here For Additional Information On DVDs

What are Quicktips ?
Quicktips are specials certain dealers are offering to their customers that I list here.
I have additional Questions and/or Suggestions.
How does one submit these ?
You can submit your questions, suggestions and general comments to me by e-mail.I will try to respond to any feedback a.s.a.p. Thanks for your interest.

Copyright 2003 Rob McIntyre - Distribution unauthorised