mail in america
This post is sort of a public service announcement, of sorts, because right now Canadian Etsy sellers are facing a big problem! Canada Post has locked out it's workers, so there is no mail moving anywhere in our gigantic country. Having just gotten back from Calgary, I had a few packages that had to go out this week, lock-out or not. I'd heard through the Etsy Vancouver street team that mailing things in the US is easy and cheap, so I decided it was time to check it out. If you live near the border, especially here in Vancouver, this post might help you figure out how to send out your packages in the US until this labour dispute is figured out. By the way, Jeff is a postie so I support them 100%.
From Vancouver we drove to Point Roberts, where we crossed in the regular vehicle line up. The border guard in the booth just sent us inside to fill out a quick form and pay $10.75 USD to get a commercial entry permit. We then went to two different mailing places in Point Roberts, The Letter Carrier (which doesn't ship internationally) and TSB Shipping Plus (which does). I had quite a few packages to send out and discovered that even with the cost of the permit it probably cost me only 2/3s of what I would pay to ship here in Canada. Of course, that doesn't take into account the cost of gas and my time getting out there, but while we were in Point Roberts we also filled up on gas that was 20 cents cheaper per litre and bought some ice cream and a few other things that aren't available in Canada.
The only down side of our trip? Do not eat breakfast in Point Roberts. The café that we ate at was super lame. They're baked goods were great, but the rest was terrible. Baked eggs on romaine lettuce? No thanks!