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Vancouver Off-Topic / Current Events The off-topic forum for Vancouver, funnies, non-auto centered discussions, WORK SAFE. While the rules are more relaxed here, there are still rules. Please refer to sticky thread in this forum.

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Old 10-13-2010, 09:45 AM   #1
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Cross Border Shopping Thread

Not sure if there was a thread on this or not, but what the hell?

I find myself going south quite often now that I have my passport and the warrant for my arrest has been lifted (speeding tickets, LOL). Just day trips. Nothing wild.

I'd like to hear from others of their experiences and adventures.





Just this Monday, I headed down to Seattle with one of my kids. We left at 5 in the morning to avoid any border line ups and to avoid Seattle rush hour (really bad down there). Went to Public Market, ate at a couple of restauarnts that were recommended by Guy whatshisnuts on Drive-ins, Diners, and Dives, window shopped at the outlets, etc. Overall a great experience. So many fricken places to shop!

I went to the Old Country Buffet in Bellis Fair and pigged out before heading back. Filled up with gas at Costco, too.

Border line ups were OK late evening and exchange rate being almost at par made the trip easier on the wallet.

I get US dollars exchanged at HSBC before heading down (no need to have an account there - as long as you don't exchange more than 500 bucks). Exchanging money down there is like a major rip off. If I'm desperate, I go to Costco in Bellingham and order a hot dog and pop for $1.50 and get change back in US dollars. Their exchange rates are better than most other retail shops in the US.

Yesterday, I went on a 5 minute trip to Sumas, Wa. to pick up a parcel at Letterlock. Zero cars in the line up. Helps when you work in Abbotsford. Went on my lunch break, LOL.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:53 AM   #2
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Most credit cards will give you decent exchange rates, 2.5% over current which is better if not on par with what you get when you exchange hard cash at the bank. On our most recent trip down we used Visa gift cards for extra cash rather then changing over piles of bills and this worked very very well as well. Then what ever is left you can just spend up here.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:13 AM   #3
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^ true, and I make major purchases on plastic. For small stuff, I like to use cash.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:20 AM   #4
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its quite easy to open bank account in us, specailly handy if u shop alot. they give u debit/credit c, so online purchases are quite easy. and no need to carry cash. plus exchange when rate is good, put in the bank account and leave for when u head south.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:49 AM   #5
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how many people actually declare the correct amount


and how many ppl actually got busted for not declaring the correct amount
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:02 AM   #6
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we can use our canadian costco cards down in the states? oO

or do you just have a us acct
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:07 AM   #7
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I declare everything. The last thing I want is to have a black mark next to my name and be stripped searched every time I go............... wait............ hmm................. nvm.

I've recently rediscovered an old hobby of mine - scale model building. Any scale model, regardless of where it is made, is duty free. I believe this includes parts, like photo etch and whatnot. Anything just about anything made in the US of A is also duty free.

I declare the cost of items before taxes and I always get waived through if my purchases are under 50 bucks. I think the hghest was 80 bucks worth of items without being asked to go inside. If you go with friends, they ask for total amount purchased. I went with two friends and the total came out to 180 bucks. One of my friends' purchase was 125 bucks, but since it was total amount, he ended up paying nothing.

Really, not worth the risk. Just declare eveything.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:08 AM   #8
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Always declared the correct amount as well. Not even worth the risk.

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we can use our canadian costco cards down in the states? oO

or do you just have a us acct
They work worldwide.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:08 AM   #9
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I always have declared the correct amount. When I go on shopping trips down south, I always factor in duty on the big purchases. So even with duty included sometimes it's still cheaper down there than up here.


Yea, costco membership works world wide. I remember we would get a lot of international cards, and they would have to be swiped in differently at the cashier or something.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
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how many people actually declare the correct amount


and how many ppl actually got busted for not declaring the correct amount
past few times me and my gf would make a list saying hwo much each thing cost

last 3 times, never been taxes and we've bought more than 300
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:12 AM   #11
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we can use our canadian costco cards down in the states? oO

or do you just have a us acct
Costco card is good anywhere.

They sell good wine at US Costco and the selection of products is waaaay better.

If any of you cross at the 264th border station, make sure to get ice cream at Edaleen Dairy. Awesome ice cream. Not the best or anything, but good for the money. They're just minutes south of the border on the right hand side.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:13 AM   #12
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past few times me and my gf would make a list saying hwo much each thing cost

last 3 times, never been taxes and we've bought more than 300
You must have quite the girlfriend.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:14 AM   #13
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I haven't been down in a while. I'm debating a purchase of a new snowboard and boots on my next trip, but we'll see.

I used to go down weekly, but haven't been in a couple of months now. Remember, if you're gone 48+ hours, you reach your liquor/tobacco exemptions and can bring back your limit. Any 48+ hour trip I make, I tend to bring back some liquor. Yay for duty and tax free!
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:15 AM   #14
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I haven't been down in a while. I'm debating a purchase of a new snowboard and boots on my next trip, but we'll see.

I used to go down weekly, but haven't been in a couple of months now. Remember, if you're gone 48+ hours, you reach your liquor/tobacco exemptions and can bring back your limit. Any 48+ hour trip I make, I tend to bring back some liquor. Yay for duty and tax free!
Can you go into detail how the duty free shops work for those who don't know?

thanks...........
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:22 AM   #15
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Can you go into detail how the duty free shops work for those who don't know?

thanks...........
He meant when you go for more than 48+ hrs (but less than 7 days), you can bring back $400 per person without getting taxed at the border.


Time out of country...................................Exemptio n Limits
Out of country within 24 hours....................CA$0
More than 24 hours, but less than 48 hours..CA$50
More than 48 hours, but less than 7 days.....CA$400
More than 7 days.......................................CA$750


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If you have been outside Canada for at least 48 hours and are of legal age, you can bring back only one the following free of duty and tax as part of your personal exemption:

* 1.14 L (40 oz.) of liquor; or
* 1.5 L of wine; or
* 24 X 355 ml (12 oz.) containers of beer.
Anything more than the one, will just be subject to duty and taxes. So you can bring back as much for however long you go, as long as you pay duty and taxes.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:33 AM   #16
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The duty-free shop is just your last chance to buy stuff duty-free if you're over your time limit for exemption. You can just as easily purchase the same liquor/wine/beer in Bellingham or Seattle, but it's useful if you forgot, prior to getting to the border.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:36 AM   #17
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shit i was thinking buy a set of coilovers and not declare

because taxes and duty is nearly 20% more already


but now im gonna hesitate after reading this thread


but on 2nd thought i think i could use another strategy...


go down US for vacation 2-3 days

if two people than technically allowed to have $800 worth of goods

if coils around $1200 before taxes than seems like i have a higher chance being waived thru even if i declare everything


when you declare, is it before taxes and shipping etc or the total amount
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:48 AM   #18
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^ Should factor in cost to stay down there too though. One time I went down for a day ($50 limit/person) we calculated taxes to be around $70, there were 4 of us. We had stayed one night in a hotel already. The cost to stay another night was $80, but would bump up the limit to $400/person. The cost to stay was more than the taxes we would have paid, so we just went home, declared, and didnt have to pay. Just something to think about. Unless you plan on sleeping in your car for 2/3 days, lol.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:53 AM   #19
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we can use our canadian costco cards down in the states? oO

or do you just have a us acct
We used ours in the states with out any problems.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:56 AM   #20
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So who knows this super fine Asian halfer chick working as a Canadian border guard? Can't miss her. She's absolutely stunning and wears no make-up and works the counter when you pay taxes for your declared items.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:07 PM   #21
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should ask her if she is available
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:14 PM   #22
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So who knows this super fine Asian halfer chick working as a Canadian border guard? Can't miss her. She's absolutely stunning and wears no make-up and works the counter when you pay taxes for your declared items.
Which border crossing and most importantly, PICS??????

Your absolutely stunning may not be that, although I have low standards. LOL


If she's that stunning, I'ma gonna insist on paying some taxes to get some heavenly eye candy. Does she wear the full uniform and guns??????? Woo hoo!!!!
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:18 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mugen EvOlutioN View Post
shit i was thinking buy a set of coilovers and not declare

because taxes and duty is nearly 20% more already


but now im gonna hesitate after reading this thread


but on 2nd thought i think i could use another strategy...


go down US for vacation 2-3 days

if two people than technically allowed to have $800 worth of goods

if coils around $1200 before taxes than seems like i have a higher chance being waived thru even if i declare everything


when you declare, is it before taxes and shipping etc or the total amount


Better yet, get them installed down there and declare your old ones as used ones bought off eBay or flea market. Make fake eBay invoice. You can always ship your old ones to a US mailbox to be picked up later. LOLOLOLOLOL........
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:20 PM   #24
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lol dont know any shops down there
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:21 PM   #25
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Gotta get off my ass and get Nexus for me and the fiancee. We head down once a month or so. If it's a short trip, we'll stock up at Trader Joes and head down to Red Lobster.

Our strategy has been to go during the week, instead of the weekend. It's always a comatose crawl to the US Customs on the weekend. Too many FOBs that don't know how to get through the border efficiently. When I get to the guard, I just tell him I'm going to Trader Joe's and Red Lobster, and I'm waved through in less than 30 seconds. That C-lai driving vehicle that was before me took 5 minutes, including a walkaround of her vehicle. Guh.
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