Forum: Ask a Studio Owner

Costume Vendors - Int'l Shipping Cost (to Canada)
By DanceStarsAcadem
On Mon Jan 26, 2015 07:46 AM

We are Canadian studio and looking for an advise regarding a customer-focused costume vendor.

Some of the worse costume cost components are Custom Clearance, Duties, and Shipping. The choice of a shipping carrier has a significant impact, and sometimes may exceed the cost of costumes.

Our experience shows that the most costly shipping options for the buyers are: UPS, FedEx, DHL.

The most economical shipping option is USPS.

The delivery cost difference can amount to hundreds of dollars per season.

In fact, USPS shipment are delivered just as fast as FedEx/UPS/DHL.

Unfortunately, some costume vendors, do not care to listen to customers and refuse to extend the shipping options and include USPS choice.

We started to put together a list of Costume Vendors who have customer-friendly shipping options, and the ones who don't.

We truly hope that someday, some vendors, may wake up and think in terms of cost-to-customer outcomes of their actions and change their shipping options.

We will be updating this list as we go. Please share your experience as well.

Vendor: Costume Gallery
Int'l Shipping Options: FedEx - default, may do UPS. No USPS.

Vendor: Dancewear Solutions
Int'l Shipping Options: UPS - default. Smaller orders may ship via USPS, but larger orders are shipped via UPS. To ship via USPS must place order over the phone only.

Vendor: Weissman Costumes
Int'l Shipping Options: UPS - default. Ship via USPS if order placed over the phone only.

eBay Vendor: danceforsale, valo
Most eBay Vendors will use USPS.

More to come...

21 Replies to Costume Vendors - Int'l Shipping Cost (to Canada)

re: Costume Vendors - Int'l Shipping Cost (to Canada)
By hummingbird
On Mon Jan 26, 2015 08:34 PM
Here's another one, Costume Manager, they charge shipping up front and pay your duties so each costume has a known cost when you pick it.

I wish I could say it was cheaper to buy Canadian but the few costume firms based here are so expensive and their choice is limiting at best.

costumemanager.com
re: Costume Vendors - Int'l Shipping Cost (to Canada)
By stargaze
On Mon Jan 26, 2015 09:02 PM
I feel your pain! Are you a member of the Vendors to Dance Studio owners on Facebook? If so, PLEASE post this to that group!!

On top of exchange rates (which I've taken a hit this year, with almost $2000 in exchange alone), shipping/duty/taxes are another expense. I keep my costume prices relatively low (as low as I can) and I am no longer making much on them, despite the time consuming process. I LOVE certain companies (USA) and would also like to see an affordable Canadian company that offers the same calibre as the USA companies, but with decent prices. Unfortunately, as Hummingbird mentioned, there are few Canadian companies and I find them expensive/poor & bland selection.

I feel like my hands are tied and I have to "absorb" or factor these costs into the initial price of the costume for my clients. However, I have several low-medium income families and cannot justify charging $100 plus per costume, just so I make a profit. But it is a heck of a lot of work for a few hundred dollars.

I would love to see more companies indicating in their catalogues where the costume and accessories have been manufactured. If in the USA, we get a break with the NAFTA agreement, however, I have been surprised in the past (and this year) for the duty and taxes on costumes made in Brazil and other countries not under NAFTA. (Liberts Duty bills always shock me…) Hope that helps…
re: Costume Vendors - Int'l Shipping Cost (to Canada)
By hummingbird
On Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:05 PM
Revolution's duty bills are appalling too, we have been charged 60% duty on costumes from them before now.
re: Costume Vendors - Int'l Shipping Cost (to Canada)
By stargaze
On Tue Jan 27, 2015 09:25 PM
^Agreed Hummingbird!!! I tried them again for this season with ONE class of 6 costumes….$200 in charges. Brutal.
re: Costume Vendors - Int'l Shipping Cost (to Canada)
By DanceStarsAcadem
On Fri Jan 30, 2015 04:56 PM
Just got the shipment from Costume Gallery for a $650USD order. FedEx total charges for Duties and taxes $200 CAD. Revolution charged another $110USD for shipment to Canada. Total $350 USD is shipping and handling charges.... Vendor refuses to listen, and entertain an idea of using USPS as a shipper.

Revolution Dancewear uses FedEx to ship to Canada. But at least they don't charge shipping for orders more then $250USD. You end up with Duties and Taxes only.

Generally, all costumes from US to Canada incur 18% Duty, plus HST/GST tax, depending on the province. This adds up to 23-25% markup. Plus currency exchange of 20% (at the moment). And plus FedEx / UPS custom clearance fees.

However, we noticed that USPS is using different duty classification codes on their shipments, and their clearance charges are negligible. This helps a lot.
re: Costume Vendors - Int'l Shipping Cost (to Canada)
By DanceStarsAcadem
On Tue Feb 03, 2015 07:58 PM
I just can't help to post another reminder about Dancewear Solutions. Place orders to Canada over the phone only.

I just placed an order via website for one pair of $15 leggings. Got charged $35 for UPS shipping (exclusive of duty, taxes, and clearance). Called them to change to USPS or cancel, a few min after - and was told that orders placed via website cannot be cancelled and shipping can't be changed. Unbelievable...
re: Costume Vendors - Int'l Shipping Cost (to Canada)
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 07:12 AM
You'd probably be better off to find a friend in the states, have the costumes shipped to them, and have them ship them to you.

A few years ago, my husband left me instructions to ship a radar detector to Japan. I fill out the customs form, item purchased...that's going to be $850, mam...on a $40 radar detector. They let me declare it as a gift, brought it down to $100. :O Having a friend on the inside, as it were, may be really beneficial.

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re: Costume Vendors - Int'l Shipping Cost (to Canada)
By dancerkrPremium member
On Mon May 06, 2019 05:07 PM
Try Hamilton’s Theatricals in Toronto as well as Layla’s. Also Canadian. You can also check out Copy cat costumes in Halifax Nova Scotia They will make anything from a drawing or picture. They send you fabric samples that are available and you can create!

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