It’s dead simple to have U.S. companies that don’t ship to Canada ship to the border instead.
SHOPPING AROUND | Last week we ran a story on down sweaters and discovered that some of the best-value models come from the cheap-chic Japanese fashion house Uniqlo, which does not ship to Canada. Uniqlo will, however, take orders for anything in its online catalogue over the telephone from the store in Manhattan and send it to any address in the U.S for a flat rate.
This got us thinking about how we might use the services of any of the parcel-receiving companies that operate just over the border in Blaine, Washington. We contacted four of them—Automated Mailing Services, Mail Boxes International, Pacific Mail and Parcel, and Security Mail Services—and found out the process is simple.
All of these companies offer essentially the same service with slight variations in what they charge for receiving your goods ($2.50 to $5.00 for small packages); how long they will hold packages without adding late fees; how the arriving packages will be tracked and by whom; and when the company is open for business. One thing all of them suggest is that parcels be addressed to the recipient, and include just the street address of the receiving company not the company’s name (like you’re sending something to a private residence).
Who Gets Our Goods?
So which of these companies would we use? Probably Mail Boxes International. Here’s why. While Mail Boxes does have a mandatory annual registration fee of $10 (some of the others don’t), it offers enhanced services, like being able to register and track your own packages online, although you don’t really need to do this because Mail Boxes will send you an auto-reply you once your package has been logged into its system. Its prices are at the low end, and its operating hours are the best of the lot: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.: 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Wed.: 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sat.: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.—Annabel Lee
Mail Boxes International is located at 1685 H Street, Blaine, WA 98230, 360-332-7678; visit www.mbistore.com; Automated Mailing Services, 360-332-2500; Pacific Mail and Parcel, 360-332-1888; Security Mail Services, 360-332-4228.