I've bought many items from the US in the past 5 years or so - vintage radios, SACDs, vintage clocks - mostly from ebay. Customs most often will not charge duty fees or sales taxes unless it is an expensive item & it is worth their while to extract those fees.

For me, if the vendor will not ship via US Postal Service, I will not complete the deal. They are the only shipper who does not charge those 'fraudulent' brokerage fees; however, USPS rates are about triple to Canada vs what would be the shipping internal to a US customer, but still a better deal than the UPS & Fedexes of the world. These couriers inside of Canada are great though as the international border doesn't come into play.

BTW, beware of 'Free Shipping' from a US vendor - 99.9% chance that it will be to internal US customers only...