When I first move into my house I had the same guy bring the
Enter the new Postmaster, the border-town entrepreneur. Anyone who has ever ordered anything from the States online has dealt with this problem:
|Image from here|
Just in Pembina, ND alone there are at least three places that will accept a parcel for you for a fee (generally $5 for smaller packages). I have been using Pembina Parcel Service for years (Mike's Parcel Pickup and Corner Bar Parcel Pickup are some of the newer players in the game). Hetty, who, bless her, seems like she should probably be living in a lovely sunny retirement community somewhere rather than running what is arguably a very flourishing business (they've just expanded). Since I've been using Hetty from back in the day when you used to pick up your parcel using the honour system - you opened the garage, took your parcel and put your $5 in the honour box! - I feel a sense of loyalty to her. Plus, she always seems to at least vaguely remember me which is a nice touch in a society where we're all just numbers. I've been tempted to use Menke's Parcel in nearby Neche, ND as his prices are better, especially for smaller packages but his hours are pretty limited.
A small drawback to these types of services is that they charge per package so if (and this seems to happen frequently with places like Amazon.com) the merchant decides to ship as product is available rather than all at once you might get dinged with multiple $5 fees. A couple of things that I have learned about online shopping that I feel worthy to pass on, as I have so little advice to bestow upon the world:
- Always google the company and "promo code" or "coupon code". Often if they are not already offering free shipping or sale prices you can cut your cost quite a bit. I saved $50 on a pair of boots by doing this. No, I won't tell you how much the boots cost in the first place to be able to save that much; let's just say I think they're made from happy cows and sewn by virgin peasants or something, or at least they'd better be. Ultimately, in that case, as much as I would have liked to shop local, I saved over $110 by doing it my way vs. shopping at The Shoe Doctor.
- If they will only allow you to pay with a credit card with a US address, change a less used card that you might have to online only statements and change your address to Pembina Parcel Service. I have a Visa that I only rarely use and almost always for that purpose. www.half.ebay.com is a great site for used books and music that only accepts US address - although beware of the "shipped from ML" as this means it may not all come in one shipment
- Before you shop ANY online retailer see if they participate in either airmilesshops.ca or the aeroplan estore (as a bonus, I believe all of those stores listed ship to Canada, but I can't speak to the shipping differences that may exist). I've found that the ebay store will default to ebay Canada, so an item you were looking at may not show up in the search, simply save it in you watch list on ebay.com and then find it again when you sign in to ebay.ca via airmiles/aeroplan.
Oh, and on the off chance you do have a regular mail carrier or newspaper carrier, don't forget that a card with a Timmies gift card or something is much appreciated.