I hope that I can reply and offer a suggestion as well. I looked into shipping apps and options as well, and found that using GoShippo was the better option for me. It links with Shopify and syncs all of your orders, including fulfilling items and automatically adding the tracking number when you buy a label. It allows you to link any third party courier, including Canada Post commercial and small business accounts. It's a free app, but they charge 5c (7c CAD) per label, which seems like a pretty good deal to me. It wouldn't be worth it for someone shipping thousands of orders, but it would take 575+ orders per month to meet the cost of the other app.
After Canada Post had their delay announcements, we looked into other couriers, so we have Canada Post and fedex on goshippo, it shows us all of the rates and estimations of delivery time and we can select different options based on the product.
It adds to our Canada Post account, unlike Shopify, so its great because GoShippo completes all of the steps in Shopify for you, and you get better discounts.
I sound like I work for them haha, but I just find it easy, and in these uncertain times I would prefer paying a few cents extra per label so that I'm not locked into an app subscription fee.
Taxes are the big issue now. I'm in Ontario, and the same package sent to Ontario charges the customer 13% tax on shipping (HST) but 12% if sent to BC, when using the integrated Shopify Canada Post rates with our contract number. This is presumably 5% GST and 7% PST, even though I'm the one who would be buying the shipping label, not the customer, so I am the one collecting the PST and would be expected to remit it, even though we don't have any relationship with BC's tax agency. This is a dealbreaker. CRA would chop off our heads if we charged PST without remitting it! (Apparently this started in February 2018)
@Kitscrubs I tested this today, and got the same price for the same parcel to the same destination (1) on the Canada Post website using our contract rates, (2) displayed to our customer, and (3) charged to us by Shopify Advanced (not on our contract). The Shopify (pre-tax) rate then appears on our monthly bills in US dollars. You might not get the same level of discount on a lower Shopify plan, and I only tested this with one parcel to one destination.
I'm also not sure if using Shopify's shipping will affect my contract, i.e. will I still be able to get pickups if I use Shopify's integrated shipping? I've spoken to four or five different people at Canada Post and they all keep directing me in circles.
I was very disappointed to discover this problem when we launched our store in June 2018 (and remain so) when all the Shopify ads and promotional material suggested we could ship with Canada Post using our contract rates right out of the box, but there were a number of issues. We've been manually entering our orders ever since and it's a huge drain on our resources. I'm going to have to look at those apps to see if I can find one that resolves all these issues, and am frustrated that we have to pay extra for that when Shopify led us to believe that it was built in.
Is it true that you can only link your Canada Post business account if you have anything BUT a basic shopify package? I'm just starting out and I see nowhere to connect my CP account. If I google it tells me to do it with 3rd party shippers but I then need to upgrade my plan in order to even have the option of doing this. Is that correct?