100% Canadian Owned and Operated

Buying Arborist Supplies From U.S. Online Retailers


Things to keep in mind when you buy from U.S. retailers online  

Shopping for the best price is a natural part of being a customer. Everyone wants to find the best value for their money. When browsing our website, you may notice that some of our prices are higher than those of our American competitors. You may wonder, "Why should I buy my arborist supplies from you? Can't I buy my gear from them and get the same product for less money?" 

When you buy arborist supplies or equipment from a US retailer online, there is a chance you won’t know the full cost until well after the product arrives at your door. Sometimes, it can take up to two to three weeks from the time you receive the product until you get the full invoice! Also, you may have to pay added brokerage fees, duties, and taxes.  

Picture Of A Man Smiling

To explain, let's use an example. This is John. He is an arborist in Ottawa, Ontario, and he is looking for a tree climbing saddle. After doing his research and settling on one, he finds that we are selling the one he needs for $459.00. He also finds an online retailer in the US is selling the same product for $399. He then creates this table to compare the two options.


US Retailer

Universal Field Supplies

Original cost of item

$399 USD

$459 Canadian


$27.21 USD

$25.00 Canadian

Brokerage fee

$48.66 USD


Conversion between USD and CAD needed?



Total before conversion

$474.87 USD

$484.00 Canadian

Conversion fee charged by credit card company for currency conversion (2.5%)

$13.26 Canadian


Taxes (HST)

$70.67 Canadian

$62.92 Canadian


$614.21 Canadian

$546.92 Canadian

Although the list price of the saddle is lower on the US retailer's site, hidden fees may contribute to John's total cost. Even after it leaves the seller, the Canadian government can apply taxes before the package ever gets to John's house! These costs are out of the vendor's control, but must be paid by John if he wishes to receive his gear. Talk about a headache!

If you buy arborist tools or supplies from us, you can be confident there are no hidden fees. What you see on the final checkout page is what you pay, in Canadian Dollars.

Arborist supplies - beyond the price

Besides the price, there are other benefits to buying from Universal Field Supplies instead of a US retailer. Let’s go back to our example. John isn’t happy with his saddle because he accidentally bought the wrong size. It fits him, but the saddle just isn't comfortable. If he were to buy his arborist gear from us, he could get in contact with us. It is as simple as an email, a phone call, or a visit to our store in person.  We have industry experts on staff that can help you resolve many product related issues, as well as make recommendations.

If John were to buy from a U.S. retailer, his experience might be different. To ship the saddle back to the U.S., he would have to pay freight and customs broker fees for his package to pass customs. It might also take a long time for returned US products to come back to Canada. This means John is without his saddle for a longer period. This could present a problem if he needed his tree climbing gear for a job and doesn't have a backup! 

At Universal Field Supplies, customer service is our focus. We give our customers a personal approach and professional advice. That is something you won't find just anywhere online.

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  • Ernesto Stasiak
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