Sweetwater Canada: How To Get It Shipped From The US (2023)

Based out of a small town called Fort Wayne in the US state of Indiana, Sweetwater is one of the top-rated online stores for musicians. The platform sells everything from instruments to mics, keyboards, DJ equipment, speakers, and more.

Unfortunately, Sweetwater does not offer shipping to Canada. The shipping and handling fees combined with long shipping wait times is a hassle that the online retailer doesn’t want to deal with.

That being said, there is a clever loophole you can use to get Sweetwater shipped to Canada from the US, despite there being no specific Sweetwater Canada division. If you don’t mind waiting a few extra weeks for shipping and paying extra shipping fees, then you can easily forward your package from a US address to your home in Canada. Below, I’ll show you how.

Does Sweetwater Ship Orders To Canada?

Sweetwater Sound was founded in 1979 by musician, traveler, and entrepreneur Chuck Surack. He started the company by selling musical gear out of the back of his VW van.

Eventually, he built a solid reputation for himself, and had a niche following of customers who knew that Chuck would never sell them a bad piece of gear.

Once the internet came into the picture, Chuck Surack wasted no time building Sweetwater’s website, which remains one of the top eCommerce sites for musicians today.

Although Mr. Surack stepped down from his role as CEO in 2021 (he wanted to pursue other ventures), he’s still the owner of the company, which is doing better than ever.

Some of the main reasons why people buy from Sweetwater Sound are:

  • The site has a used gear exchange
  • Free two-year warranty on all new purchases
  • Low-interest 48-month financing
  • 55-point guitar inspections, so you know you’re buying quality
  • Free shipping (in the US, at least)

With deals and quality assurance like that, it’s easy to see why so many people like Sweetwater Sound. While I’m not a musician myself, I have several friends who either DJ or play live music, and they’ve both mentioned Sweetwater to me on multiple occasions.

Like many other US-based retailers, though, Sweetwater Sound doesn’t offer direct shipping to Canada.

Companies like Sweetwater that offer warranties, inspections, free shipping, and other guarantees on their products often stray away from international shipping.

Anytime that items are shipped cross-border, problems and speed bumps can arise, which would make it hard for the company to keep their quality assurance promises.

How To Get Sweetwater Shipped To Canada From The US

Although Sweetwater Sound doesn’t ship directly to Canada, they have no problem shipping your order to a US-based address. You can then ship your order from the US address across the border to your home in Canada.

This way, you’re the one taking on the liability of international shipping. If something happens to your order in transit, Sweetwater won’t be held liable for damage or delays.

The process I described is called package forwarding and is a service that’s often used when purchasing from international distributors and specialty retail brands. I recently wrote a post about how to get ASOS (a UK-based brand) shipped from Europe to Canada by using a similar process.

If you’ve never used a package forwarder before, here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to use package forwarding to get your Sweetwater order shipped to Canada.

Step 1: Sign Up For A US-Based Package Forwarding Service

1. Sign Up For A Package Forwarding Service In The US

Before you start shopping online with Sweetwater, you’ll need to establish a “virtual address” located in the United States. Once you sign up with a package forwarder, you’ll be assigned a virtual address within the forwarder’s warehouse (kind of like a P.O. box).

Here, you’ll need to do a bit of research, though. Firstly, you need to select a package forwarder that has warehouse locations in the US. The closer the warehouse is to the Canadian border, the better, as it can speed up your delivery.

There are a number of US and Canadian-based package forwarders with US warehouses that ship to Canada. Some of the most popular ones I’ve used or have heard about include:

  • Planet Express
  • FishIsFast
  • MyUSaddress
  • NY Box
  • Global Shopaholics

For a full list of virtual mailboxes, check out my list of the best package forwarders that ship from the US to Canada.

Each company has its own perspective benefits and drawbacks. Some offer quicker shipping (at a cost), while others offer perks like free package storage and package consolidation. Do a bit of research and figure out the company that best fits your needs.

Step 2: Shop Online With Sweetwater’s US Website

sweetwater website

After signing up with the forwarding company and creating your account, you’ll be given a virtual address that you can use to ship packages to. The address is based in the US, so you won’t encounter any problems when trying to order from Sweetwater in Canada.

Now, all you have to do is shop online with the Sweetwater Sounds website. You can add any item on the site to your cart and get it shipped to your package forwarder. Since Sweetwater offers free shipping in the US, you won’t have to pay to get it shipped to the forwarding company’s warehouse.

At this point, I do have a piece of advice, though – I recommend that you only buy brand-new instruments and gear from Sweetwaters site from Canada. Although Sweetwater thoroughly inspects the used gear it sells, there’s still a possibility for some flaws.

If there is a problem, shipping the gear back across the border to the US isn’t a headache you want to deal with.

Do I Need To Use A VPN While Shopping With Sweetwater’s Site?

Some of the sites (like Kohl’s) I’ve given similar tutorials about require international shoppers to use a VPN in order to access the site or process orders. Sweetwater’s site doesn’t appear to have these limitations, though.

Some online stores implement stricter geographic zoning restrictions to prevent out-of-country orders from being processed.

This is often because the retailer could get in trouble by violating trade restrictions imposed by their manufacturers, which often prohibit the retailer from selling their items in other countries.

Step 3: Ship The Order To Your Package Forwarding Address

Once you have your order ready to go in your cart, it’s time to ship it. For the billing address, use your normal Canadian address. However, you’ll want to use your virtual address (provided by the package forwarder) as the shipping address for the order.

Since Sweetwater offers free shipping in the US, you won’t have to pay any additional shipping fees for this leg of the journey.

Step 4: Verify The Package Condition With Your Forwarder

Your Sweetwater order should arrive at the package forwarding warehouse within a week, provided there aren’t any delays. Once it arrives, your forwarder will contact you, letting you know that your package has arrived safely at the warehouse. Then, you’ll be prompted to ship it to its final destination.

Before you ship it internationally, though, I recommend verifying the condition of the package. Most package forwarders offer this service and may even send you pictures or videos of your package.

This ensures that it hasn’t been damaged before you waste time and money shipping it internationally.

Step 5: Ship The Sweetwater Order To Canada

As long as the package is in good condition, then you’re good to ship it to your address in Canada. You’ll typically have a few different shipping options to choose from, including lower-cost shipping (which takes longer) and expedited shipping options.

Here, you may also have the option to purchase additional shipping insurance on your package. If you’ve just ordered a significant amount of gear, I recommend paying extra for insurance. International shipping can often be destructive to packages.

How Long Does It Take To Get Sweetwater Shipped To Canada?

It depends on the shipping method you choose. While Sweetwater offers free ground shipping within the US, forwarding the package from the US warehouse across the border to Canada can take some time.

Even the most expensive, expedited shipping service will generally take at least 10 to 14 days to arrive. If you opt for standard, lower-cost shipping across the border, then your order could take anywhere between 6 and 8 weeks to arrive.

Conclusion – Should I Ship My Sweetwater Order To Canada?

Sweetwater Canada

Sweetwater is an excellent company to buy your instruments and music gear from… if you live in the US. Unfortunately, the headache and extra shipping fees to get it forwarded to Canada really aren’t worth it.

I’d recommend purchasing from a Canadian-based online music store like Tom Lee Music or Cosmo Music. The sites offer similar quality products and deals on shipping, and it will be far easier to make returns or warranty claims if the need ever arises.

Looking for a flexible job that will allow you to pursue your dream as a musician? Freelancing in the online gig economy could be the perfect fit. You’ll be able to work your own hours, set your own pay, and can work around your musical career.

To learn more, read my guide to getting started as a freelancer in Canada next!

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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