Shipping your Swappa purchases to Canada used to be a hassle, but not anymore. This post lays out a dead-simple process for getting your order from Swappa—or any other U.S. retailer—shipped right to your doorstep in Canada with zero trouble and minimal fees.
Swappa is a user-to-user marketplace for gently used technology. Founded in 2010 by Ben Edwards, a long-time software and mobile developer, today Swappa is the most reputable source for buying and selling used phones, tablets, laptops, video games, and home tech, directly with other Swappa users.
Does Swappa Ship to Canada?
No, Swappa sellers in the United States (where you find the best prices) generally do not ship to Canada, which is why I designed a process for getting any Swappa order shipped to Canada with zero headaches. Here’s that process, explained step-by-step.
How To Get Swappa Orders Shipped To Canada
Since most Swappa sellers in the US don’t ship to Canada directly, you need to use a package forwarder: a warehouse in the United States that will accept your Swappa package and forward it on to you in Canada. Here’s how to make it work.
Step 1: Choose A Package Forwarder
Choosing the right package forwarder is a big deal, because that decision will determine how quickly you get your order, and how much you have to pay for the service. I spent many hours doing some deep research on eight different package forwarders, scoring each of them on a wide variety of relevant metrics. Here are five of the main metrics I looked at:
- Service Fees: How much do they charge to provide their core service of accepting and shipping packages, plus ancillary services such as long-term storage, re-packing, package consolidation, and more.
- Monthly/Annual Fees: How much do they charge in monthly or annual fees, if at all.
- Pricing Transparency: How much do I know about their pricing structure before sending my Swappa order to their warehouse.
- Speed: How quickly will they process my package.
- Customer Service: How satisfied are other users with their service, and how thoroughly/quickly do they respond to my questions.
After reviewing the data I collected on these and other metrics, it became clear to me that Planet Express was the best choice. Their customer service team responded to my emails quickly and thoroughly, they have thousands of 5-star reviews online, and their fees were consistently lower than all of the other package forwarders I looked at.
Here are a few other things I like about Planet Express:
- Planet Express has a tax-free warehouse in Oregon, so you can avoid paying sales tax on your orders.
- Planet Express will consolidate multiple packages into a single box, saving you a significant amount on shipping when you make multiple purchases.
- Planet Express sends you free photos of your package as soon as it arrives at their warehouse.
- Planet Express offers extremely cheap storage for your packages. Every package receives 10 days of free storage, but after that, Planet Express only charges one cent per pound per day. That means storing a 1-lb purchase (eg. an iPhone and/or a light laptop) in their warehouse for a month would only cost you $0.30!
Step 2: Ship Your Swappa Order To Planet Express
As soon as you’ve signed up for Planet Express, you’ll receive a unique mailing address at their warehouse. Once you find a seller selling the device you want, just enter your Planet Express mailing address instead of your home mailing address and you’re all set.
Step 3: Forward Your Package
As soon as your Swappa order arrives at Planet Express’ warehouse, they’ll send you photos of the package to let you know it’s arrived. You’ll also be given a series of shipping options to choose from. I find that there’s generally at least 4 shipping options corresponding to 4 different price-speed combinations. Sometimes there can be as many as 10 or more shipping options—it just depends on the weight and size of your package.
My Personal Experience Shipping Swappa Purchases To Canada
I’ve used Planet Express a handful of times to ship purchases from American sellers on Swappa to Canada, and the experience has always been very smooth. Sometimes I buy my electronics from eBay as well, and this process works just as well. Here’s how things went the last time I bought something on Swappa.
First, I found the phone I wanted on Swappa. In this case, I was actually buying an older model phone, so it only cost me $50.
Second, I had the phone shipped to my unique address at the tax-free Planet Express warehouse in Oregon. Less than 24 hours later, after Swappa shipped the mobile phone, I received an email from Planet Express letting me know that it had arrived. The other package forwarders I tested took 2-3 days to process incoming packages, so Planet Express is extremely quick on this.
Third, I filled in Planet Express’ super-easy customs declaration form with the four pieces of information required:
- The item being shipped: “Phone”
- The number of items: “1”
- The value of the item: “$50”
- Whether the item contains batteries: “Yes”
Then I chose the shipping option I wanted from a list of eight. Prices ranged from $6-$35 USD, plus insurance at an additional $2 USD, so I chose the cheapest one ($8 USD, including the insurance), and I was done. My phone was shipped out later that same day. When they arrived, I didn’t have to pay duties upon arrival, and the phone was in perfect shape.
In my experience, the price I paid ($6 USD + $2 USD in insurance) is pretty standard for shipping Swappa orders to Canada with Planet Express. You also may not need to pay any customs or duties on your imports thanks to the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal that came into effect on July 1, 2020, which allows Canadians to import up to $150 CAD worth of goods from the US or Mexico without paying any customs or duties. This is a huge jump up from the previous threshold ($20 CAD), and means you may not have to pay any customs or duties on any of your imports moving ahead (depending on the total order value, of course).
Overall, shipping Swappa orders to Canada using Planet Express is extremely easy and smooth. The costs are low, and in my experience you’ll actually end up saving money, since Swappa’s prices can be much lower than those of Canadian retailers. If you’re shopping on Swappa.com, or any other retailer that only ships to the USA, I highly suggest making use of Planet Express.