Today I'm rather miffed about customs charges. I ordered a Windstone Mermaid for myself a few weeks ago. I do allot of my shopping online as I live in a tiny little coastal town that really has no room for the types of stores I enjoy shopping at. I enjoy collecting fantasy figures, and I enjoy reading. The gift stores out here are catering to a large number of 30-65 year old Christians with a Celtic background. So most of the products they carry are geared to this demographic, If you are ever in need of a kitchy green plaid souvenir from your visit to Cape Breton there is no lack of supply. If your looking for that perfect Christening gift or religious motivational plaque then you will be in luck!!. Or if your only interested in reading the titles on the most recent best seller list then shop 'Cole's Books' and your life here in small town Nova Scotia will be complete.
If however your a pagan who enjoys collecting and reading fantasy items then your only option really is to order the item and have it shipped to your doorstep. For my books I generally shop amazon.ca, but allot of times a title I'm really looking for will be sold out, unavailable or ridiculously priced used by third party merchants on the .ca site. Now if I search Amazon.com I can generally find the title in stock and reasonably priced despite the exchange rate, so if it comes down to spending over inflated prices on a book or a moderate amount of inflation due to exchange rates then I'm fine with it.
As for my fantasy figurines I get a little bit choked..... These items are not cheap, I'm not talking dollar store dragons here!! but well sculpted, finely painted collectors items with a large following of serious collectors worldwide. These items sell from anywhere between $50.00- $2500.00 depending on the amount produced the size and whether they are limited edition, retired or in production . If I manage to pull together the money to buy one its usually coming from the country they are produced the United States. So when the list price is $150.00 I have to convert that amount into Canadian $$ which generally means tack on an extra $20.00-$30.00 at least. Then these items are needing to be shipped to me, and they are not lightweight porcelain but a hefty gypsum so I can count on paying an extra $30.00 U.S dollars at least (convert to Canadian $$$ again). So after all the extra money I spend to get my item I just want it to arrive quickly at my doorstep so I can enjoy it.
Is that what I get??? NOPE!!!! I have to wait an extra 3 days for my parcel to be delayed at customs so "big brother" can nose through my shit and then I have to pay those assholes an extra $20-$30.00 Canadian for the inconvenience, not only is that amount what the gst/pst would be but it also includes the $5.00-8.00 brokerage charge just for the luxury of having my item nosed through!!!!.