Grr! How can some tea companies charge me $30 to ship to Canada and others $8????

85 Replies

I see the exact same thing for shipments from USA to UK. They get away with it by saying it’s for extra materials and the time to pack for overseas orders but really it’s just so they can make a buck.

Adagio’s USA website is the only one to offer guest blends but shipment even for 1 2oz bag is $46.72!

That’s even worse, wow.

Lala said

I totally feel your pain. I put items in my cart on the adagio website but then did not complete the order due to high shipping cost. I received a $5 gift card code via email and encouragement to finish the order. I emailed back and explained that even with the $5, shipping is just way to expensive to Canada. And the response was that if I would order more, the shipping wouldn’t seem so much.

Sil select said

I pretty much wrote adagio off after seeing the shipping and trying a bunch of their blends that have an awful base. Pretty much at this point, for the most part, if your shipping to canada sucks, you clearly aren’t interested in my business. If i MUST have someone’s teas, i try to get my tea mule to pick it up for me lol

momo said

Actually in Adagio’s case it’s because they don’t seem to believe in first class shipping. Say a box is 7 oz total, with just one tea in it. It’s $42 just to ship it via Priority Mail, but $12.75 to send it first class. They never want to answer for it either. I mean it doesn’t affect me but it blows my mind why they’d do that, I’m pretty sure nobody international wants to pay priority shipping, especially for something as light as tea!

darby select said

You know Kitty, I can always get Adagio and send it to you.

Oh my, I could not ask that of you darby…you have already done so much for me. :)

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Well guys, sometimes it pays to talk to the tea companies. I asked Persimmon Tree on Facebook why they don’t have a more cost efficient shipping option for their Northern neighbours and commented that they are absolutely losing business due to the $30 fee to ship ONE ounce of tea (had it in my shopping cart and then wanted to check the shipping cost…yikes)…they offered me a one time use free shipping coupon and thanked me for my suggestion and said they would review their international shipping options…. They’ve since offered a $15 option too! (varying – bit depending on your order of course)….

So nice to know they listen and care!

Sil select said

That’s good. I tried to ask them about it a while back so I’m glad they’ve become more open to looking at that. They have some really great teas.

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teajoteas said

Shipping is probably one of the hottest topics on Steepster, so I’ll chime in. Yes, it’s expensive to ship to Canada for us, but we decided to take the hit and charge $10 flat rate. The way we look at, Canada is obviously a big tea market. We figure we can make a very tiny profit on Canadian orders that we otherwise would not get anyway. Besides, I love Canadians. They are by far the friendliest folks I have met in my travels.

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Dexter said

As a Canadian this is also one of my pet peeves. I wish the companies would clearly state on the web site how much shipping is. It’s really annoying to: create an account. put item in basket, go to check out, only to find out shipping is something ridiculous like 30.00.

I really appreciate companies like Butiki Teas and 52Teas that clearly state what their shipping is. I’ve ordered from both recently (still waiting for my 52Tea order – it has cleared customs – yeah – should be here soon), and as Stacy said above, they aren’t making any money on the shipping. I ordered 7 teas paid 10.50 shipping and the post mark says 9.15. That’s totally reasonable for me.

As others were mentioning above, companies like Fed Ex and UPS do charge custom brokerage fees even though the contents aren’t subject to duties or taxes. This only makes that option more expensive for us.

I guess my 2 cents is really that I will deal with companies who have fair shipping charges and not deal with ones who don’t. If you do have fair shipping prices, it would help us out if it clearly states what those charges are on a “shipping” page or somewhere that we can easily see it with out having to “check out”.

OMGsrsly said

Yes. I agree with clearly stating shipping policies on a shipping page. I just emailed one company to find out about their shipping costs, and had 3 emails back-and-forth to find out they don’t ship to Canada. :/ If they had a shipping page, I would have just stuck their site on my “no” list, and been done with it, rather than wasting their time.

Sil select said

agree with you dexter. even more of a pet peeve is when you have to create an account in order to try and check out.

I totally agree with how annoying it is that to see shipping charges you have to create an account and go through all the sign up stuff. I usually say forget it and move to another site. Just a “Shipping page” with estimates of shipping costs to Canada would be great.

I agree, it is much more helpful when a company will outright state their shipping costs and restrictions. Also with sales. I wish they’d all just say “US only” if that’s the case with promotions, so I don’t get excited for nothing!!

sherubtse said

Mellow Monk has had a detailed breakdown of shipping charges to Canada for some time. You can find it on the bottom of their ordering page:

Their rates have gone up recently as well, of course, but are still reasonable. And their teas are great!

Strangely, however, it now costs me less to have senchas shipped via air from Japan then to get them from Mellow Monk in the U.S.

Best wishes,

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Agree, I had a whole cart picked out from adagio and the realized they want 32 US dollars for shipping, noo thank you… David will ship to me for free and his teas ROCK!

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I just checked online to see if it is any better from my home (in the US) to an address in Canada, it’s not – $33 for a flat rate international 4 lb max envelope, no cheaper when I checked the other options. I think we have to blame the postal service in this case.

Dexter said

I don’t mean to disagree – but there are better options. I receive packages from the US all the time – both from companies and from swaps. Most of them have between 10.00 and 15.00 postage on them. There is a way. :))

I must be missing something on the usps site. If there’s a better option, I would be happy to forward things on to Canadians if you ship them to me.

Dexter said

I don’t know what the “name” of the service is, but I get boxes of tea from friends in the US pretty regular. I’ve had orders shipped to them (free shipping in the US) and then they mailed them to me – way cheaper for them to mail than to pay the 40.00 shipping that the company is trying to charge me.
Mandala’s website isn’t set up to ship to Canada – you email them your order, package it up and then send you an invoice with actual postage charges. My last order was pretty big – I ordered A LOT of tea and shipping on their invoice and on the box was just over 16.00.
I can only comment on my experience – and in both those cases I was provided with a tracking number….
There is a way, you just have to find the right option.

yyz said
With the amount of tea I usually by at a time and without a commercial rate the cost to send a parcel to Canada is @10.00. Using first class mail. I don’t mind if companies charge different prices based on weight but I would never pay 30 for my own personal purchase. I’m willing to wait and tracking is not a necessity for me.

I went back and read through all of the prior posts, it looks like it’s because you can’t buy 1st class online (so it’s not showing up), but you can get it if you go there directly. The offer still stands if anyone needs help.

yyz said

It’s listed as an online option in the International Price calculator.

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Yep there it is, but specifies at least where I am looking as at the post office: First-Class Package International Service® From $6.55 at the Post Office

Dexter said
From 6.55 is way better than 33.00 flat rate – LOL see it’s not so scary to send to us. :))
Cavocorax said

Exactly! I’d rather pay 6.55 and not have tracking, than pay $33. I tried to explain that to Adagio’s customer service but they’re not interested. :|

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Tea At Sea said

Canadian Shipping prices are ridiculous even for Companies located in Canada.

We just sent a 100g – 2 Tin order yesterday from Quebec to Ontario for 10$ (a driving distance of about 500km or 5 hours)
Same day we made another sale to someone in US (San Diego, CA) and the shipping for that was only $8.00
Makes no sense why Canada Post is so expensive.

Some companies absorb part of the shipping cost to avoid losing customers and hope that people will place larger orders in the future.

Dexter said

I feel for you Tea at Sea – I’m sure it is hard for small businesses to cope with the ever increasing postal rates. As a consumer, I do understand how expensive shipping is, and I’m willing to pay reasonably shipping charges. I just feel that some US companies don’t care enough to explore the various shipping options to find an economical option for their international customers.
Always nice to hear the companies point of view. :))

Agreed, it’s equally ridiculous to ship within Canada… Something majorly wrong there

Cavocorax said

I just mailed to packages for $8 each to the U.S., and shipped another one for $11 to a town 3 hours north of me (in Canada). It’s insane.

I think part of it is that Canada has so many rural places that are probably expensive for Canada Post to service (based on how many people live their vs. how much it costs to get mail there) so the prices are higher overall so we can subsidize services for those people.

When you consider that the population of Canada is similar to the population of California, yet we have 3.6% more landmass than the United States, I suppose that makes sense. (I got those numbers from Wolfram Alpha)

It still sucks though.

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Well again, if anyone in Canada needs help – for example Adagio is $3.75 to ship in the US, then plus whatever it would be to ship from here to you in Canada, it’s still lots better than their price. I’m happy to help with it, we ship things all the time anyway so it wouldn’t even be an extra trip.

Dexter said

Thanks Marzipan – I’m torn with about doing this – yes I’ve done it and yes I probably will do it again. I feel like I shouldn’t be giving money to companies who don’t care enough about their international customers to go through the exercise that you just did. If they don’t care about me, why should I buy from them.
On the other hand – there is some AMAZING tea from US companies – why should I not get to enjoy it because I live in Canada.
Like I said I’m torn. Thanks for the offer, will keep you in mind if one of those companies ever have awesome sales or an amazing new product. LOL I should stop BUYING altogether, but I’m addicted and not afraid to admit it. :))

It’s sort of funny, my husband has been to the post office TWICE in the last hour since we have been discussing this.

Dexter said

LOL My local post office tried to sign me up for a small business card – “You mail tons of stuff you must be a small business..”
It’s kind of embarrassing to admit that I’m NOT a small business that all those packages are just my hobby.

Cavocorax said

I’ll keep that in mind, thanks! :D More options are always better when it comes to getting my hands on Adagio teas.

Cavocorax said

Would they have given you a discount? Maybe you should have signed up anyway? :P

Dexter said

Oh for sure there would have been a discount – but I don’t have a business license… :))

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If I may to add my 2cents:
1. Some companies lower the shipping cost to attract more buyers if the profit margin on products is big enough to pay for it.
2. Some shipping cart software is not very well designed. While I like mine, it does have a problem calculating correct shipping weight. It adds the total weight of the products, there is no way to add the weight of the box and packaging if used. One of the solutions is to change the weight of the product from say 5oz to 7-8oz for calculations to account for packaging. The problem starts when you order a few items and suddenly the total weight is VERY incorrect and you are stock with $30 shipping fee. I decide to just stick with product weigh and add to shipping charge if needed from our account.
Some of the smaller stores like us, that can not afford full time programmer or tech support are left with basic programs that offer very little adjustment or features.
One thing to recommend is to contact the store and ask for confirmation of the shipping fee so they could check it manually. Depending what you order and how much, maybe they can change it or give you a better deal in order to make a sale.
PS: 99% of the time, store do not know something is not working correctly or stopped working unless someone lets us know. There is just too much to check to do it manually on regular basis :-(

Dexter said

I always appreciate hearing from the other side. Thank you Red Leaf Tea for giving me your perspective.
I didn’t understand that your shipping software only calculates on the weight of the product, not the weight of product and any other packaging. Interesting.
However, then this should be a problem for ALL your customers – I’m not picking on you (I actually think you have fair/reasonable shipping to Canada) – the US orders would also be estimated at either under or over weight depending on how it is set up.
I’ve put ONE item (usually either a 50g or 2 oz package) in a cart and had shipping calculated at 30.00. That’s not a programing issue – that’s a company using a flat ship to Canada rate of something astronomical. I’ve contacted several companies about their shipping policies and have been told “that’s how much it costs”.
My argument is that if some companies can mail me a package for 10-15.00 then all companies should be able to do that. The ones that choose to use Priority (or whatever the expensive option is) rather than First Class (or whatever the more reasonable option is) either A> don’t care about their customers or B> won’t look to see if there are other options.
Adagio is the perfect example. Several people on here have said that they have contacted them about the crazy shipping costs and have pretty much been told that’s just how it is. Me included.
If a company is willing to offer FREE or inexpensive shipping to it’s US customers, that means they are willing to absorb some of that cost. Even when they charge actually shipping costs – why do I have to pay full shipping costs when US customers get it free? Company absorbs ALL the US shipping costs but won’t absorb ANY when shipping international – that means I’m paying for shipping twice….
This is a hot issue, and those are just my thoughts as a Canadian who buys LOTS for US tea companies. :))

Dexter, you bring up valid points for sure. It’s rage inducing sometimes, especially when all you want to do is give them your business and your money!!

Red Leaf it is nice to hear your perspective from the other side, I also wasn’t aware of the way shipping calculators worked

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