In the last eight years, I gathered a lot of memories, but not many household goods, mainly because I am not married and I moved around a lot. While the rolling stone does not gather moss, a moving person does not get many things to hold on to. But, I still have some things I wanted to send home from the USA back in India. In this post, I will share my Experience of Sending Used Household Goods to India from The USA.
So, the first question is, Can I Take TV From the US to India? Yes, but, let me tell you, there is no way it was a financially wise decision. There is no good here in the USA that is unavailable in India (which you would want to ship back). And yes, that includes TVs, it is not cheap to take a TV back. You pay for shipping, and then there is a converter you need to buy, and there is a tax that Indian customs will charge; on top of that, there is no warranty. I felt it was not worth the risk. But I had many coworkers who brought back their TV to India. Shipping from USA to India of televisions is not rare; many people do it.
Although it was not a financially wise decision, I decided to send some items back home. I had to ask around for a shipping company. Well yeah, they send it through the ocean, using an actual ship. I found two recommendations—both previously employed by my coworkers. So, I got some firsthand feedback. Virtually, there is no difference between these two companies in terms of what they charge per box. I sent two boxes and had to pay $225. I believe, from wherever you send it from the USA, the price does not vary. Although, it might. One of my coworkers sent stuff from Arizona, one from New Jersey, and I sent from Boston, and all of our shipping or shipped to Kolkata, India, the price we paid is the same.
Anyway, you will have to use standard boxes 18*18*24. You can use a double-walled box for your peace of mind. One of my friends packed the container with plastic from Outside. Is it needed? I do not think so. Even the plastic can increase the dimensions of the box, and that might create complications. There is a double-walled box available in Lowes. I do not think Home Depot has them. By the way, you can buy single-walled boxes and then use glue and play/cardboard to make your double-walled box. Here, let me tell you, I had not heard anything like the boxes were trashed or destroyed when they reached home in Kolkata. But, it is always better to have boxes with solid walls.
You cannot pack more than 25kgs in one box. Convert that to lbs., if that is what you are comfortable with. It would be best if you bought a weight scale for shipping boxes from Amazon to not go above the 25 marks. My tips would be, do not go beyond 23kgs. You never know; maybe your scale is not as good as theirs. And any extra weight is chargeable. I believe they charge $25 for every additional kg.
Now, you can take insurance, but there is a deductible and a premium, so depending on what you are sending, insurance might be overhead, and you might want to avoid it. By the way, do not send any electronics, else the customs might come asking for tax. And the total value of your stuff should not be above $3000; otherwise, again, the folks from customs will come running for money. And we don’t want to see our cousins in customs, do we?
My Experience With SFL:
Anyway, you have to schedule pick of the boxes once you pack, weigh, and are all set to ship. FedEx comes over to pick up the boxes. FedEx does not tell you when they are coming; you know the date. Well, FedEx picks up the boxes, with shipping levels sent by the shipping company. This is like, they take the boxes and take those to their warehouse before they put them in a container and ship them off. So, there are no additional charges for this FedEx ride. You pay one flat rate, and that is it.
Here let me quickly mention that there is federal insurance, which is 0.50/Kg. that means for a lost 50 kg box, you will get $25, which is nothing. But you should know that that is there. And one more suggestion, if possible try to pay using a credit card, although I had to pay using cash transfer. The shipment should reach your address in India in 3 – 4 months.
How to Track Shipment?
Sending Used Household Goods to India from The USA With SFL:
8th November 2020: While Sending Used Household Goods to India from The USA, I see my boxes are in consolidation- that means they are yet to board the container. FedEx collected my boxes from my home on 25th September 2020. It reached SFL’s warehouse in NJ on the following Tuesday or Wednesday. Here is the current status-
Update on 12th November 2020 evening – I checked the status today and was pleasantly surprised to see. Finally, another line entry says I can expect the boxes in Kolkata by 20th December, so around one month. I will add again on or after 20th December.
Here is the update on 24th December on Sending Used Household Goods to India from The USA
I rechecked the status today, and it looks like the customs clearing is still on –
Here is an update on 17th January – I checked with my friend, who was shipping from the USA to India, at the beginning of September has already received everything, and all the items were ok. Here is my status – still stuck with customs.
Here is the update on 21st January about Sending Used Household Goods to India from The USA
Today is 28th January, and we have another update. We are almost there. My boxes will soon start their journey from Mumbai towards Kolkata. The shipping from USA to India saga will end soon.
So I received my boxes two weeks back. The delivery people asked for tips. For the record, when I sent my boxes off in the USA to when I received those in Kolkata took more than four months. We paid the delivery boys only 50rs. You can spend as much as you wish to.
Now let’s come to the condition of the boxes and if the customs opened the boxes. The boxes were in good shape. Those were covered with dust, but otherwise, the boxes were fine, with no significant damage to them. I had packed glasses, cups, etc., they reached here just fine. I was not charged with any customs duty. I had some US coins searched by the customs, and the customs were simply reckless. They broke the locks of a box I had. That gave me a clue that the packages were inspected.
The boxes waited 1.5 months in their warehouse to be loaded on the ship
The boxes took one month to ship to reach Mumbai port.
The custom clearance took around two months ( maybe a little less) and was delivered in Kolkata from Mumbai.
Can I send clothes to India from USA while Sending Used Household Goods to India from The USA?
Absolutely. I had sent books, clothes, bed sheets, blankets, etc., and had no issues at all. Shipping from USA to India of any fabric material, kitchen utensils, plastic materials should not cause any trouble.
Can I send medicine from USA to India while Sending Used Household Goods to India from The USA?
I have traveled with medicines in my check-in luggage to and from the USA. I never had any problem. To be on the safer side, you can keep a prescription.
Ship TV To India From USA
If you want to bring just your large screen TV, I suggest checking the cost with Airlines; you will need to pay extra for the size and excess baggage. If you can bring the TV on the flight, you will not have to wait for it. I am not entirely sure if it will be cheaper than sending in the ship. But, it is a faster option. If you want a cheaper option and you can wait for your TV, then send it in the container.