Best way to Ship to Canada from US

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New Member
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Hi - Our clothing brand is looking to expand shipping to Canada. I know we can use canada post to do so, however, looking to this community if it is best to set standard rates or have shopify calculate it each time depending on where the person lives in Canada? Worried about the customer experience there.

Also, what is a decent standard rate to apply for returns? Dont want it to be so high that is bars customers from buying in the first place.

Any feedback from people who have done this before and haven't lost customers due to the charges, please share. Thank you!

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
193 17 40

 

Hi, @HOURSNY!

 

Julie here from Shopify Support.

 

It’s great to hear that you’re planning on expanding your business to Canada. This is a great way to grow your brand presence and boost your sales. 

 

How are your shipping rates currently handled? Are you using Shopify Shipping to purchase and print shipping labels? If so, you will need to stick with either USPS, UPS or DHL; if your business isn’t located in Canada, I’m afraid you will be unable to offer Canada Post rates through Shopify Shipping. However, if you have USPS rates enabled, the package will then be transferred to Canada Post once it crosses the border, at which point they will be responsible for the final delivery. This would likely be the most cost-efficient way to handle Canadian shipments.

 

If you’d like to get a general idea of how much shipping to Canada will cost, I recommend checking out our Shopify Shipping Calculator. This tool will allow you to calculate shipping rates based on the weight and dimensions of the package, as well as where it’s being shipped from and to. It’s a useful tool that should give you a rough estimate of what the average cost of shipping a Canadian order will be. 

 

Whether or not you want your Canadian customers to pay a calculated shipping rate or a flat rate is entirely up to you. This will just involve some research into how much it will cost you to ship the order, and determining whether or not the shipping cost (or even a portion of it) can be factored into the price of your product. 

 

As for your questions regarding a standard rate to apply for returns, are you referring to a shipping rate customers will pay to return the item to you? If that’s the case, this would really depend on the size of the package and where the customer is located. The Shopify Shipping Calculator will give you a general idea of what it could cost. We also have a great blog post called, “Return Shipping: How Do I Price and Implement a Strategy to Handle Returns?” I recommend checking out. This is definitely a common question and this blog post offers a few suggestions on how you can handle this. 

 

As a side note, did you know that you can generate a return label for domestic orders in the US? Doing so, you'll be able to then email the label directly to the customer, who can use it to return the product to you. If you haven't already taken advantage of this feature, I definitely recommend checking it out! 

 

I hope this helps answer your questions. Please don't hesitate to reply directly if you need anything else. 

Julie | Social Care @ Shopify
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New Member
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Thank you Julie, this is helpful!

In addition to shipping rates, what about duties and other taxes? How do those get factored in? 

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
193 17 40

 

No problem! Thanks for following up. 

 

When it comes to taxes, I would suggest getting in touch with a tax expert to find out whether you are required to charge Canadian customers taxes. As every country has different tax laws, seeking professional advice would be a good idea.

 

That said, I do know a bit from my Canadian perspective here. Usually, you would only charge tax in the countries you are doing business in. For example, if I have a location in Canada and a Canadian shopper makes a purchase, they will be subject to Canadian taxes. If I have that same Canadian location but a customer orders from the United States, there will be no taxes charged on the purchase. It will instead be up to the country of destination to charge import taxes and duties. We actually have a help doc on duties I suggest checking out. It goes over how duties are typically charged and how they are typically calculated; I think you'll find it pretty useful. 

 

I should also mention that when shipping from the United States to Canada, you may need to complete a customs declaration form. If you purchase international shipping labels through Shopify (either USPS, UPS, or DHL), a customs declaration form will be automatically generated for you and can be printed on any standard printer. Some mail types require that you print a separate customs form for your shipment, and others include the form on the standard shipping label. However, this is determined by the shipping carrier themselves and will be taken into account when the customs declaration form is generated.

 

We also have a great blog post called International Shipping: Everything You Need to Know to Deliver Beyond Your Borders. It sounds like this would be a useful resource for you and may help clear things up. Of course, it may also be a good idea to seek a tax expert's advice on this if you require any further clarity. 

Julie | Social Care @ Shopify
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