Any Canadians charged by Fedex for customs declaration on Levenger? Int'l buyers watch out!

I'm rather pissed off by my experience with buying Levenger. I just received a bill from fedex for customs declaration for my 1st order from Levenger, $82 on my $200 order. In which about $60 was their agency fee. I'll check with FEdex later, but got the feeling that I'll have to swollow it. There was no mentionning about this when I checked out online. Isn't it outrageous for fedex to charge me that much for customs handling, in addition to $37.55 s&h on each order (to whom that money goes, we don't know). Can anyone who have had the same experience kindly explain to me a bit?

What makes me more upset is that the 2nd order I received from Levenger, sure delivered by fedex, came in in a hardly half-filled box with no air bags or any cusion! The results: one corner of the notebook cover was broken! Plus a naked zip folio packed in ziploc bag!

I haven't got time to contact Levenger before I got this fedex bill. I should be expecting another one for my 2nd order. I myself can hardly believe that I've spent this much on so few items. Here is the list:

[One Circa zip folio letter had to be returned because the measurements are not as described on website, missing 1", problem with A4]

Desktop punch;
Circa zip folio junior green, without notebook (the green color is quite different from the pics);
Circa leather jacket letter, with notebook (whose cover was broken due to transport.);
4 sets of rings;
1 set Tab dividers junior;
1 Business card holder junior.

These totaled $329.34. Plus $82 to pay to fedex and another $100 or so on the way!

People might say I have only myself to blame because nobody forced me to buy. I do regret!
If Levenger had more shipping options... If I had thought about the customs...

And frankly the quality of levenger leather doesn't match all the praises on this site, and the end price we have to pay. I won't buy anymore.

Thank you everybody for reading up to here. I hope this will of a bit help to any int'l buyers. I don't mean to blame levenger for everything. It's anyhow a personal choice. But have the above mentioned in mind when you hit the checkout button.

p.s. Don't forget you'll have to pay the shipping & insurance for anything returned.

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Most online sites put a note

Most online sites put a note about international buyers taking care of import duties, etc., but I don't see it on the Levenger site. Levenger just asks Canadian and international buyers to call for more info. And when you do, the person you speak with may not have all the info.

I remember having to pay some duties during my early days of Levenger purchases, but not for recent ones.

BTW, I'm in Malaysia.

I don't mind paying duties.

I don't mind paying duties. That's expected. You know how much duty I'm supposed to pay with this bill: $9.71. Also I was charged 6% GST by Levenger, and let me quote the note regarding canadian shipments: "GST/HST tax will be billed when the order ships. No additional charges are required at time of delivery." Then Fedex charged me one more time 6%, because, according to my understanding of the papers I received, the 6% I paid to Levenger was nowhere to find on their invoice for customs. I'll have to get that clarified tomorrow. Guess the americans are lucky in some way LOL

I was to be expected

Unless Levenger decides to have a contract with Canada Post, in which case the import duties will lessen, this is to be expected. That is why I waited to go to the US to order. I do the same when I buy Daniel Smith watercolors. I order them and have them delivered to my hotel, wherever I'm staying. If you have a friend in the US, have the stuff delivered to them and then have them mail it to you as a gift. The duties should be slim to none then.

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs

Ah! Should I know it

Ah! Should I know it before...

This was not my experience

I ordered from Levenger a few months ago (I live in Toronto, Ontario). My Levenger order was probably around $65 US and I paid around $32 US for Fedex shipping. The box arrived directly at my door with no extra custom charges by Fedex as Levenger had already included it in their fee. The box was well packaged with no damaged items. I'm not sure what went wrong in your order. Perhaps contacting Levenger will help sort the situation out? Sorry for your frustrations.

Anonymous, I haven't got


I haven't got time to contact Levenger before I got this fedex bill.

Consider your voice heard. I would like to help determine why this happened with your order. Please drop me a PM through my Contact Form

Either way, perhaps we can learn how better to inform customers of these sorts of charges.

I'm sorry this happened. I'd appreciate any suggestions for what you think we could do to ensure any others do not go through the same negative experience.


Really appreciated all your

Really appreciated all your messages. I contacted Levenger customer service today. They are going to send me another notebook. As for the charges from Fedex, the lady who answered my phone was also surprised. She's advised the finance depart. and I should be expecting their call sometime next week. Hope we can figure it out.

I have to say that all the communication with Levenger customer service has been hassleless. I'll look forward to seeing the problem solved. Will keep you posted.

p.s. Thanks, Ryan. I'll see

p.s. Thanks, Ryan. I'll see where it goes next week. If I ever need your help, I won't hesitate. (Sorry I don't know how to contact you through contact form. What is PM? Personal message?)

Don't laugh at me the rest of you guys!

everyone is new at one time

no worries Hukkle... just click the names next to the "submitted by...." in anyone's post. there should be a tab that says "contact" ... some people may not have it activated tho.

:o) Hope everything works out for you... circa is such a joy to utilize. :o)

my artwork | my blog


Thanks, Sara. I love the system too. I even had my scratch papers bound, you know those one-side printed ones. I always have one pile on my desk. Love to see those rings holding everything together.

Cross border shopping can be

Cross border shopping can be tricky. I ordered a bunch of things for a family event years ago, and received surprise charges for some things but not others. Nobody could seem to tell if, why or how much when I asked in advance. Getting a relative or friend to ship a gift can help, as can stocking up on paint from Daniel Smith when the dollar exchange is in your favour. Many suppliers seem to setting up Canadian branches to work around this, but that may not be feasible for some specialty companies.

The Joy of Duties

In the end it was the potential customs costs that put me off buying from Levenger. They are no different though to any other supplier that I buy from in the US though in that they have little control over what you will get charged in customs charges.

Recenly though I bought myself a new fountain pen for a US supplier and it still worked out cheaper with customs duties added, probably due to the cheap US$.

In the end I chose Filofax. At least I could buy it locally. I would have prefered Levenger, but with no UK retail outlet they are going to be less attractive.

Andy Hayes

Something all Canadians should know.

I got burned by this about 15 years ago. It is a total and blatent rip-off that UPS and FedEx both do. When ordering from the US, make absolutely sure it's sent by United States Postal Service, as they don't rip you off with those fees.

The only thing I would suggest here is you refuse delivery and demand a refund from levenger or that they reship it "properly". Because of NAFTA, there is no duty on things from the US, you're only responsible for sales tax so the $22 part sounds about right. Also become of NAFTA there's no work that FedEx is doing for that $60 other than billing you.

Also you should avoid FedEx in general because they are proud of the fact that they go out of their way to open packages without a warrant at the request of the MPAA/RIAA to check if you have CD or DVD copies you're shipping. The blatent disregard they show for their clients is very telling.

Straightened up

Just to keep everyone informed, my billing problem with Fedex is solved. Apparently, according to Levenger, it was a mistake that I received that bill for customs fees. This happens a few times a year. So I was the lucky one ;-)

Anyhow, happy ending. Keep enjoying your shopping.


I just wanted to add for UK

I just wanted to add for UK members who are considering buying things from the US that Royal Mail will also charge an £8 ($16) handling fee for any international orders that incur a customs charge.

They are really cracking down on enforcing the customs charges as well. The threshold is just £18 (£36) and I stupidly bought something for £18.50 and was charged £11.38 on top of that, including the £8 Royal Mail fee. Very annoying!