Why your Pickup option is so 'Limited'?

    Based on our business pattern, 95% of our orders come with shipping option, and shipped from Toronto to all USA, and Canada.

    Even many customers from within Toronto area, opt for 'shipping' option - considering the traffic, time, effort, inconveniences, and implied cost for driving.

    Moreover, we do not have required manpower to always accommodate a pickup-time that is convenient for a customer.

    What if I still want to pick up?

    • No text or phone call necessary.
    • Order before 6 pm on Saturday. Late orders will be processed on the week after.
    • Minimum cart value $100 before Tax
    • Use Discount code "PICKUP" at check-out. Shipping charges will become zero.
    • Pikup on Sunday morning (9-10 am). No exception.


    Why are you so expensive?

      Perhaps you've asked yourself what, when, where, and how you are getting these items, and still could not justify it. Then, please read on…

      All our items come (or Shipped from Kolkata to Toronto) by Air-Cargo. We'll never ask you, or anyone to bring a few packets of this and that - in personal luggage - for free - when returning from Kolkata. Then sell at a higher price and make money...That's not how we operate.

      For every $10 you spend, $6 had gone to the Airline carriers on an average, to get the items from Kolkata to Toronto.

      Apart from real (net) items, the cardboard cartons used for packing & shipping the items – everything is weighed and to be paid for.  

      This charge has to be paid to Air-Cargo - even if an item is Free in India.

      Then there are incidents of damage, breakage, loss, spillage, leakage, delay (expiry) issues.

      Remember, these are all "nice to have" items; and value proposition is not adequate for everyone. Substitute products are much cheaper in local markets. Even, we do not touch certain items for personal use. It’s exclusively for them who can justify the price.

      After all that, we want to stay in operations - and try our best to keep the price reasonable for all of us.


      Why don't you bring your items by sea then?

         Expiry dates, and quantity - are the reasons.

        Many of our items have ‘very short expiry’ dates.

        Bringing by sea would take nearly two months. After that it would have to sell, and reach you.That will not give us enough time to consume the products.

        To be economical, Sea shipment needs much larger quantities (in Metric Tons) of “Every Individual Item”.

        Our items are so specialized; bringing a container-full of a few items is not feasible at this point.


        Why not distribute these items to Indian and Bangladeshi grocery stores?

           Our items are known to, and wanted by a very specific group of people - like you.

          Very few people from other parts of the world have heard of, or adore these items. They have their own favourites.

           Retailers also need time to sell their items. They are not interested to stock items which would expire in a few months or weeks.


          Can you work with manufacturing companies to make products with longer expiry dates?

             We need a mega-investor and risk-taker for that.

            Companies will produce export specific items - only when the order is in ‘tons’, and paid in full. Then the whole risk is on us. If we cannot sell it, items will go to landfills upon expiry.

            A-Bong’s core business is retailing (not distributing or wholesale – at least for now).


            Are your items cleared by Customs and other Authorities?

               Any shipment that crosses a boarder has to be cleared by customs and other authorities. Our items are cleared in India and Canada. When we ship items to a US customer, the package again goes through US Customs, and border services.

              Please do not order anything that you feel can be questionable in your country of residence.


              Can you get me some special items, or a small package for me?


                Air-Cargo is very different from carrying something in personal luggage. It's much, much difficult for Liquid Items.

                We need to declare each and every item, provide composition, description, safety-data - for cargo-handling, and customs-clearance in India and Canada.

                Finding a specific item also needs time, effort, and money in India. Sourcing an item of special request could be a whole day job for someone there.

                We fly-in items by the cartons (in volume). Therefore, it should be wanted by many, and sell quickly - well before it expires.

                We welcome your suggestions about new items that can be added to the website.


                Why are your Shipping Charges very high?

                  Our shipping/delivery is handled by other companies (like UPS, Purolator etc.). We try our best to select companies that would give you great service at a competitive price.

                  Being a small operation, our negotiating power with shipping companies is next to nothing – compared to Amazon, Walmart, or other Big-Box companies. Simply, anything and everything you pay for shipping - would go to UPS/FedEx.

                  Larger order means, heavier the box, and heftier ($50) the shipping charge. The $20 (collected from Flat-Rate Shipping) does not siffice. But we gladly do it with a mindset that it’s more of a service to our Bengali Community – than a business.


                  Why don't you offer FREE shipping like Amazon, or Walmart?

                    Free shipping means, someone pays for it. Shipping companies will not deliver it to your address for free.

                    Making up for that shipping cost (Free Shipping for you) - out of a sale, would mean increase price, and HIDE the 'Free Shipping' cost - in item prices.

                    For those of us looking for attractive-deals, it will then look like a really expensive deal.


                    Then why you are in the business?

                    We have difficulties calling this a Business. It is more of a passion to make impossible things possible. That is - getting these hard to find special things from West Bengal. It’s much harder than you think. That is why we have not seen or known anyone doing this ever.

                    Most of our customers become our life-long friends, and consider this operation as their own. They appreciate our efforts, tenacity, transparancy, and willingness.

                    After all communications, procurements, inventory control, preparing orders, shipping, website maintenance, administration, and finding ways to bring more value for your money - we barely can keep anything - if anything at all.

                    Yes, this is an after-work operation. We have other regular jobs like most of you.

                    We know for sure that you can appreciate this.


                    If you have more questions, please contact us.