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comment How do custom officers determine if the imported goods of a passenger are old or newly bought?
It's also the duration of your trip that might set off red flags for the customs officers. For instance, Canadian's going to the USA to do cross border shopping usually stay more than 24 hours but less than 7 days so they can buy up to $800 (CAD) of stuff without paying duty. People traveling by car or bus are usually checked more than those traveling by plane or boat, as people usually don't want to worry about their stuff breaking on the plane or by baggage handlers. There's also the time of year (especially Christmas season) that can set off flags.
comment Ski Resorts during the Northern Hemisphere's Summer
Also note, that because the temperature is a bit warmer during the summer, the ski runs are probably icy and more dangerous. Always wear a helmet and its also a good idea to carry some sort of GPS locator (even if your just skiing in bounds).
comment Preventing theft in Western Europe
It seems they like to prey on the train stations so the best thing is to stay away from the train stations. I heard a similar story where the thief acted like his ticket wouldn't scan so he asked these people if he could go through the gate with them and not knowing, they said yes. As he went through with them, he grabbed him and pick pocketed him. Another story involved people going down an escalator, they stopped the escalator and everyones bags and items went flying. Within minutes, they had stolen everyones wallets and purses.
comment Preventing theft in Western Europe
Well, I'm hoping there's no theft on the ship too so I'm talking about on land
comment I am bringing some wood brackets on my luggage. Is that allowed?
I know this question is a few months old now but I just wanted to add that the problem might not be bringing the brackets in but your intentions on what you're going to do while in Canada. If you don't have the proper visa to show your immigrating to Canada, then the border agents might turn you away (or monitor what you do) for coming to Canada to do business and work.