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Parcel Theft : Options

The media has been reporting on the theft of parcels lately so I thought i’d give you a few tips :

1. Signature required. If you’re shipping out gifts you should choose this option, which may cost you about $2 on most shipments. And this option is available from several online retailers, some of which are free.

2. Ring Doorbell Option. Some retailers offer this option or allow people to leave a note to their delivery person to ring the doorbell. Look for this option when placing an order online or consider a small sign instructing the courier to ring the doorbell whenever they deliver a parcel.

3. Delivery Notification. Some online retailers, shippers and courier companies offer this option, which can be sent to you by text and/or email. This will also give you a heads up if you’re at home or on your way home. And if you’re at work, you can always call home to get someone to bring it in after getting one of these notifications.

4. Drop-off / Pickup Points. Many retailers offer the option to pick shipments up at your local store, post office or a dedicated pickup point. In the case of Amazon you can either pick your shipments up at a Canada Post outlet near you or Amazon Locker in Toronto or Vancouver.

5. Security. Security cameras help but unfortunately it’s normal for people to wear balaclavas or other winter face masks during winter in some areas, so some people wouldn’t think twice seeing someone walk off with a parcel or two, even from apartment buildings. It can be a good visual deterrent though.

6. Insurance. Many shippers offer a basic amount of coverage but if you are personally shipping something out, you can always consider insurance on your shipments.

7. Package Guard. This device has been available from Amazon.com for a year or two and sends notifications via an app whenever someone places a parcel on the device. Placing a parcel on the device also arms a loud alarm that cannot be disarmed without the app.

8. Canada Post Options. If you’re going out of town and are expecting parcels via Canada Post, you can always place a hold on your mail, which can be done via this online form. You can also forward your mail and temporarily relocate your mail. And some of these options may be available from other shippers so contact them in regards to their programs.

If I think of any more tips i’ll add them to this blog entry.

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Still Waiting…

I had hoped for details on any change to the intellectual property provisions of NAFTA by the first of August but it appears too early, even for speculation.

A new council had been created earlier this month and there are concerns about privacy. But nothing yet as too what else the United Stated will want changed.

Unfortunately, our government has extended our copyright term from 50 to 70 years due to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement so now we’ve got to wait twenty more years for copyrighted works to enter the public domain, regardless of the fact that the United States has withdrawn from the agreement.

I certainly hope they will not go after our ability to make private copies of recordings for personal use or attempt to resurrect proposals to tax hard drives and flash media. But I am hoping they will negotiate higher exemptions for personal importations by mail.

As it stands most imported parcels valued under $20 are exempt from duties and taxes, as stipulated on the Canadian Border Services Agency web site. And I think this amount is way too low.

eBay had proposed a higher de minimis threshold for Canadians since July 2016 and had created an official Parlimentary petition that year and a petition for its users earlier this year.

They published a study (PDF) by the C.D Howe Institute and I’m guessing from eBay’s response to the renewed NAFTA negotiations that they will petition the government again on this issue.

According to a 2016 Nanos Research poll, 76% of Canadian respondents want a $200 exemption and over 15,000 Canadians had signed the official Parlimentary petition that year, so i’m guessing eBay will bring attention to this issue again durring the negotiations.

I will, of course, keep an eye out for new information and will update this site a.s.a.p.

Last Day For Domestic Shipping

Today’s the last day to get those standard shipping parcels out to Canadian addresses, if you want them to be received on December 23rd, 2016 :

Amazon.ca will be offering their Prime Members and Amazon Students free two day delivery until 9pm PST on December 21st, 2016 and paid one day delivery until 9pm PST on December 22nd, 2016. Prime members in Toronto and Vancouver can have same day deliveries up to Saturday, the 24th.

Microsoft Canadaicon is offering free expedited shipping on in stock products until Noon, today.

Newegg.ca is offering ground shipping on in stock items to Ontario and Quebec until December 20th, 2016. Express shipping to the Territories and Atlantic provinces ends on December 21st whilst express shipping to the remainder of the provinces ends on December 22nd.

Sears Canada is offering free priority shipping on orders over $50 to the cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatoon, St. Johns, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria or Winnipeg. This offer ends on December 21st, 2016.

And note that Gift cards are always available…

Canada Post Security Warning + Postal Strike Update

Canada Post has issued a warning stating that official looking emails have been circulating asking people to click on link for tracking information on parcels that are non-existent.

Clicking on this link results in the downloading of a virus so Canada Post advises people to copy and paste the tracking number of these parcels into the official site.

If you receive one of these emails and are not waiting for a package to be delivered, delete the email.

In regards to the possibility of a postal strike, the 30 day extension will end on the 8th of August and both parties are expected to enter into binding arbitration. The Union is planning a rally in Montreal on the 6th from Parc Saint-Alphonse to the Prime Minister’s constituency office on Jarry Street East.

eBay Wants Changes In Duties

A study published by the CD Howe Institute is the latest attempt by eBay to get the Canadian government to consider raising the duty free thresholds.

Most postal shipments valued at under $20 and gift shipments valued at under $60 (in Canadian funds) that are imported into Canada are not subject to duties and taxes. And this eBay commissioned report studies the possible effects of a hike of this threshold to $80, $100 and $200 (in Canadian funds).

Apparently the authors of this study have found “that an increase of the DMT in Canada will be fiscally neutral or even positive for the federal government” and that such an increase would “likely to yield a net economic benefit for Canada”.

The American threshold was raised from $200 to $800 (in American funds) last February so hopefully the government will consider a higher threshold, reducing a need for paperwork for eBay sellers and Amazon Marketplace merchants outside of Canada. But the study does not include information in regards to the impact of these changes to Canadian retailers so the government would likely need to commission a report on the issue as well.

For additional information on importing music by mail you can either click here to read my article on saving by importing films and music or click here for the official information issued by the Canadian Borders Services Agency.

Canada Post Warns Of Delays Due To Weather

Canada Post has issued an advisory stating that deliveries may be delayed in some areas due to severe weather. Click here for details.