Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Free Trade, My A** II

Time for some grumbling.
So many of the items I use for Yarmouth Model Works are sourced from US based companies. And I'm not just talking about actual model parts.
Boxes, plastic baggies, printer friendly labels, etc. I source these from the US because the items I want are not available from Canadian suppliers.
The white mailer boxes that all my kits are shipped in are a basic box design, but that particular size is not available from any Canadian supplier and the closest size to it is twice the price. So I use a US packaging supplier for such items. The company I dealt with was recently bought out by another, the website changed and the phone numbers changed as well. The only phone number listed is a toll free number which doesn't work from Canada. So I had to email them to request the regular number. To the companies credit, they contacted me straight away and I could place my order.
Now before you go and tell me I should have just ordered online, the websites of most US based companies will not process orders with a Canadian based credit card, or let me use a different shipping address, such as my Port Huron address.
Frustrating but the company offered a work around.
Avery labels from Staples are another matter.
The size I require are available up here for laser jet printers only, which means I have to take them to the local Staples store to have them printed and the machines constantly mangle my expensive sheets of labels.
The ink jet version of the same size is only available in the US. To order them from Staples I have to present myself in person at the store in Port Huron, (an hour's drive), pay for the items and then return in a few days when they are delivered. The Staples website would not process an order for a non US resident. Grrrrrrrr.
Fortunately a friend who is sending me some stuff offered a work around. He will buy me the labels at his Staples store in Florida and mail them to me along with the other items he's sending to me.
I realize that Canada and the USA are different countries with many different laws and customs, but surely in this era of NAFTA and other such hokum, we can do better. I've never had to work so hard to spend my money.

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