postal

Mail Deliveries To Be Reduced ?

It appears that Canada Post is considering a reduction in mail deliveries, down to 3 days a week.

The crown corporation is facing a $327 million dollar operation loss due to advances in technology, like e-mail and online bill payments, and like most national postal services they are trying to adapt as fewer letters and parcels make their way through their system.

Most Canadian consumers these days have their parcels delivered either via courier or to stores for pick-up so reductions in service are likely unavoidable. But I suspect they might need to have a full five day schedule during the Christmas rush in November and December.

Rural residents will likely be the most affected by these reductions, especially those with little to no internet access. But Canada Post is also considering a reduction in postal outlets, so many city residents will also be inconvenienced.


Sears Canada

Madness Free Black Friday

Though Black Friday is recent to Canada it has been a tradition in our media to review the many videos of the insanity happening down south.

Most Canadians usually watch these, amazed and confused as to why this madness happens, especially since the commercialization of the internet.

The last time I stood in line for hours for a sale was in the early 2000’s, on boxing day. And I eventually got what I wanted later on in the day, when the stores where less busy.

These days I usually spend my boxing days surfing for deals instead. And today I’ve found a few online at the stores I had listed in a blog entry yesterday night.

I also browsed some of the American sites, calculator at hand, to find deals there on CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays.

The major drawback in ordering from the States is that their shipping and handling fees are high and they rarely offer free shipping to Canadians. But sometimes the reduction in price offsets the shipping and handling costs, making a purchase worthwhile.

I’ve taken advantage of deep discounts from Alibrisicon, Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobleicon, J&R Computer/Music Worldicon and The Space Store numerous times, generally for purchases valued at $20 to maximize the savings.

Purchases valued at under $20 are not subject to duties and taxes. And this is quite important if your purchase is being shipped to you via a courier like UPS, whose customs brokering fees can gobble up some of those savings.

If your order’s value is higher than $20 I recommend that you try to have it shipped to you by the United States Postal Service, that way the customs broker will be Canada Post. This reduces the costs considerably.

Another option would be to order from the U.K , from companies like Alibris UKicon, Amazon UK, and , whose postage fees are more reasonable because they use Royal Mail. And Royal Mail parcels are also handled by Canada Post.

You will of course note that many DVDs and blu-rays sold in the U.K are incompatible with our equipment. Region 2 DVDs and Region B Blu-Rays are not compatible whilst Region Free DVDs and Blu-Rays are. And these companies do sell the occasional Region 1 DVD and Region A Blu-ray, which are the formats that are common to North America.

BTW, our dollar is stronger than the American dollar at the moment and a pound is approximately 60 cents higher than the Canadian dollar at the moment, not including the credit card foreign currency fee.

No New Postal Import Duty Allowance ?

The duty free allowances for cross-border shoppers will rise on June 1st, 2012. But the duty and tax exemptions for postal importations remain intact.

The 24 hour duty allowance will rise from $50 to $200 whilst the 48 hour duty allowance will rise from $400 to $800.

On postal importations, the duty and tax exemptions remain at $20, $60 on gifts.

Canada Post Delays

Canada Post has reported significant delays in their processing of mail. The postal strike had resulted in a backlog of mail, according to their customer relations site.

Postal Services To Resume Tuesday

Canada Post has stated in an email to customers that postal services will be restored Tuesday, the 28th of June, including mail delivery.

“Canada Post has initiated the process to resume operations following the passage of back to work legislation (Bill C-6, An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of postal services). In accordance with the Act, employees will begin to report to work for their regularly scheduled shifts on Monday June 27 and on Tuesday June 28.”

All of the mailboxes will be unsealed on Monday but local post offices will open on Tuesday.

Postal Update : Back To Work Legislation Passes

Bill C-6, the “Restoring Mail Delivery for Canadians Act“, has passed Parliament. 158 members votes for the bill whilst 113 voted against the bill.