Have you ordered anything from a site in the US that does not have a store in Canada? If you do, you will pay high shipping rates and then gamble on an outrageous customs fee of 46-85 dollars on top of whatever shipping you paid. Yikes!
This has me leery of ordering anything from the states. (Don’t we have free trade?) If you order from Amazon.ca (not .com!) the shipping is low and you usually don’t have to worry about the customs fees.
Some sites that do a lot of business to Canada have worked out a deal so that they calculate the reasonable customs fees and add it to your order. This will will be much less than the silly UPS fee. Another thing I have noticed is that these extra fees only seem to happen when UPS delivers the package. Maybe it is a UPS scam? Not sure, but I have developed a fear of that brown truck arriving in my driveway if I have ordered anything.
A lot of my friends have ordered from US sites with no problems so maybe it is the (bad) luck of the draw if you get charged with large customs fees.
The general rule of thumb is to find an online retailer that has a Canadian presence. If they have a canadian store (.ca), you will probably not be charged customs fees.
Or you could just buy Canadian and never pay any customs fees ever!