Shipping and customs

Hi guys. Pretty excited, unsurprisingly. I’m just over the border in Canada, and while the $600 shipping charge was hard to swallow, I get it.

But am I gonna get stuck with several hundred dollars extra in brokerage fees from whatever shipper you guys end up using? Ordering products from the US up here is kind of a mystery as to whether it’s something the manufacturer takes care of, or something the customer gets surprised with.


PS - you guys should totally start putting up more videos for us to watch while we wait. Seeing more of the design catalog would be cool, too.

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Only $600? Consider yourself lucky, its $1000+ to Europe. I can understand silly amounts for shipping to Chad/Angola/Congo, but come on, for $1000 it would not be that much more to come and pick it up myself and pay for oversized check-in (if its even that).

Which leads me to the question. Would it be possible to just fly over and pick it up when you say its ready for shipping?


Checked with SAS - I could get a ticket for $400 and they wouldn’t charge extra for the check-in if I estimated the size correctly.

What is the estimated size/weight including packaging?


I’m on a couple FB groups too and we’re all quite surprised on the shipping charges as well.

Can we all learn why so high??

We all already guessed it’s not coming thru the Postal service but even if FedEx’ed or UPS’ed… they barely charge that amount for similar big packages! What’s the deal?


Yeah but at least there there’s an ocean between you guys. I’m like just across the border from the States.

They did mention it’s so high because of oversized shipping charges, and that they are passing on the direct cost. If that’s how much it is, so be it. I’m just terrified of being hit with unknown customs charges and brokerage fees, which is something they could prevent if they wanted.

I dont think you can “prevent” brokerage fees nor custom charges unless you underdeclare the sale price…

Oh, you for sure can. It involves setting up an agreement with the shipper, finding the charges out ahead of time, if applicable, and getting an agreement to pay them. Assuming this is categorized as an American product (not sure), there won’t be any customs charges for importing it to Canada thanks to NAFTA - there will be sales tax, however, and shippers love to screw recipients over on brokerage charges.

USPS / Canada Post tend to be the best / most honest about it, while UPS tends to be the worst.

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I went through the back and forth with Glowforge and eventually decided to ship to a drop box company right across the border. It’s a 2.5 hour drive, but for the $400 I’m saving I can buy a lot of supplies to burn through.

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Yeah, I am tempted to have it sent to my buddy’s PO Box in Niagara (I’m in London), but I need to talk to him and see what he thinks about importing a 2 thousand dollar machine for me :v

Wow, I just realized that ordering the air filter raises my price by a stunning $800. Five for the filter and an extra $300 for shipping. Does it really cost $300 to ship the filter?

So sorry for the slow reply here! Things have been nuts at Maker Faire. We agonized over the international shipping cost. Unfortunately, for the preorder campaign, we can’t do anything fancy (shipping crates over and distributing locally) so this is the very lowest we could charge. If you check the #'s on Fedex and DHL you’ll see we’re just passing the cost on, exactly as we’ll pay it. And as you note, you’ll have customs to pay as well.

There are a lot of clever solutions to bring down international shipping, but we just don’t have the resources yet to make that happen. After this is over and we shift to normal pricing, we’ll likely have retailers who can arrange it locally. Of course, at that point the price may go up, so it’s not clear if that’s an improvement.

I wish I had a better answer - this is the best we could do with what we have.

Yeah, the filter box dims out so the charge is by volume and not by weight. The shipping charge is close to that of the main unit, which is a bummer.

Good suggestion! Will try to get some video shot and posted when things settle a bit.

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That’s totally fair; I don’t want to sound like I’m busting your balls too hard, I think a lot of people are just surprised, is all. Looking forward to seeing the videos!

Agreed the shipping charges seem steep, Especially considering I am in BC Canada only 250 miles from Seattle . You do know that after waiting who knows how long for my order to ship that I will not require or expect same day delivery ? It is the $800 CAD shipping cost that put the pro model out of my price range. I really do hope you guys consider options for lowering shipping costs… If so I may upgrade my order…

If you ship large boxes often it isn’t a surprising price. We pay $290 to ship a normal sized 25 kilo box to the USA and that is a “promo” price. It isn’t a big box. The Glowforge with packing is twice the size of the box we ship and it is overweight. I’m assuming it’s insured as well, which we don’t do. The filter is almost as big as the main box, so two double size boxes, one over weight, for $1,200 to Thailand is dead on what it should be. Sure, it could go with a freight company for cheaper, but then I would need to hire a customs broker for a couple hundred bucks to get the box in the country. With UPS, they do all the paperwork and handle everything. Any problems with the paperwork and they fix it. Our last shipment the UPS lady spent two weeks filling out forms and talking to customs for no extra charge. A customs broker charges extra for that.

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Exactly right ladyheather - you’ve clearly been through this more than once!

Will there be any chance at requesting a shipper when it does ship to Canada? As mentioned by others, UPS tends to tack on enormous fees, whereas this rarely ever happens with FedEx…

Unfortunately no, not on a per-person basis, but that’s great feedback as we decide who we’re going to use.