A few words about
THE WAY WE SHIP
First and foremost understand that AFFORDABLE DESIGNS - CANADA is located... well... in Canada. This means that we are using CANADA POST to ship all of our parcels.
This means that we should not compare services, costs and/or processing time of a parcel coming from California, USA to Ontario, Canada to a parcel going in the other direction. The first will be based on USPS services/costs and the second on the CANADA POST services/costs.
The best thing to do is to trust that we are using the best possible way to ship to you taking into consideration the services available and the costs associated to these services by Canada Post.
The same understanding should apply to customs delays. A parcel coming from the USA into Canada will not be subject to the same customs office than the one coming from Canada into the USA. We make sure to document each parcel properly to minimize such delays if a parcel was to be selected for revision.
SHIPPING OUTSIDE OF CANADA
We try to offer the lowest shipping and handling fees possible. By combining the items in your order we take the time to package everything in order to mail the smallest/lightest parcel possible within the Canada Post constraint. The "handling" part of shipping and handling refers to a small added fee to cover shipping supplies and other overhead costs. We feel that applying those handling fees to your total order is much better than inflating the cost of each item.
As for "insurance" and/or "tracking" services. It is my experience that Canada Post is not very good at honoring the "insurance" or "tracking" on parcels going outside of Canada. Unless a very expensive shipping service is purchased there is simply no tracking available between Canada and the world.
Unless specified by the customer we will always quote the shipping/handling fees based on the least expensive service, without tracking, and without insurance.
For those who are willing to pay more we will be glad to quote you a series of options, based on the Canada Post available services to your country.
With Canada Post only true "paper items" can be mailed as a letter. Anything other than paper and/or thicker than 1/4" must be shipped as a parcel. Unlike USPS we cannot mail a doll outfit in a bubble envelope for a few dollars. It is not fair but it is so.
It is important to understand that shipping/handling is "cheaper" when you purchase more than one item. Shipping one pair of shoes will cost the same as shipping 6-8 pairs of shoes. ( Usually the base rate of $8.95 US ). Similarly, shipping one doll will cost you the same thing as shipping three dolls, or a doll with many pairs of shoes and a few outfits. ( Usually the base rate of $13.95 US )
SHIPPING WITHIN CANADA
Shipping WITHIN CANADA is even more expensive than shipping to the USA or overseas. Go figure. Canadian customers are to expect paying a few dollars more than anybody else... just because Canada Post says so. Do not shoot the messenger.