Savings Tips, Small Business

OMG! Cheap Canadian Shipping

For you Googlers out there, this post is about “How to save on shipping in Canada”, and “Cheap shipping alternatives in Canada” and “ChitChats $5 coupon”.

My online sales career is long and illustrious. I’ve been at it since 2001 and have sold everything from art, jewelry, perfumes, household knick knacks, to – currently – skincare, both direct and via marketplaces (Ebay and others). It is at once a hobby, an addiction, and, in the early days, a safety net. And I’m always and forever trying to find ways to reduce the shipping costs. Even in pre-COVID times, shipping rates were getting out of hand and kept going up every quarter. Got to a point where to ship a 200g/0.5lb package to BC would cost about $25.

Yes, it’s true, even with Canada Post there are ways to save, like sending without tracking for smaller packages, but that wouldn’t work for fragile boxed items. Even for small flat bubble mailers it’s not worth the headache when a package gets lost. So many emails, “please wait another week”, “okay we’ll ship out a replacement”, “oh, the first one’s arrived 8 weeks late, great! what do we do about the replacement” and so on. Plus, Paypal and Stripe really like seeing shipment confirmation in case of a dispute. It’s rare, but can get unpleasant and it’s best to be armed with a tracking number.

Happily, last year I found FreightCom. I recommend it if you need a faster service with better rates. Their UPS rates for parcels going to the US save me at least $5-7 per pkg vs Canada Post, but the main advantage is the speed of delivery. To be fair, even in 2020 and now Canada Post has been great at getting packages to the border, but then USPS takes over and it can take a very long time. So that’s where UPS or Fedex come in, and FreightCom is a good option, highly recommend depending on your priorities.

However, if you don’t care much about timing and just want to save, save, save, go with my latest find – ChitChats! They pool the packages and then hand them off to either Canada Post or USPS in most cases. Still the same network, but for some reason, way better rates.

I’m somewhat reluctant to share this secret out of fear that I’ll ruin a very good thing. And then I think, the more customers they have, the better the rates they can offer. Probably. Hopefully. So here you you go. ChitChats.

I just created a shipment for a 100g package going from Toronto to North Carolina and it cost five dollars sixty nine cents. Canadian. Includes tracking and insurance. I kid you not. Canada Post would charge at least $12 for a tracked packet service. But typically you can expect something like $8-10 with ChitChats. Still very decent, almost like in the “old times”, in the “old normal” etc etc.