Always expect delays at Canada Customs when ordering goods online

Ryan Weal

August 27, 2007

Recently I have refound my love of online shopping. It's true that one should shop locally based on principle, but some products are just difficult to find in Canada. Some printed t-shirts, for example, are sold here but marked up at unreasonable rates. Presumably this is because when you buy online you get direct from the seller as opposed to re-sale. Enough said.

Today when I reviewed my purchase of computer equipment from a company in California that focuses on tiny energy-efficent machines I found that the Canadian border was the holdup. My goods are sitting in customs. I learned this when I called Canada Post and they ran a lookup on the United States Postal Service tracking code I have. Nothing in the system... yet. The items are still in processing at a government facility.

It then dawned on me to check around online to see what my expectations should really be. It turns out my concerns were premature, things are still in processing and that's normal. The difference with this package seems to be that the parts are reasonably more expensive than the t-shirts I love to buy. Or perhaps the t-shirts travel by land? Whatever the case, such is life. When it does finally arrive, tax slip and review fee in tow, it will be great to use a tiny perfectly silent computer.

Fortunately I spent my vacation camping rather than configuring computers. The next few weeks make up some of the greatest weather Vancouver has to offer all year and as usual the city is busy with activity. When September eventually does roll around I'll be in good shape to configure these little boxes as the rain sets in for the season.