Sending Used Household Goods to India

In the last 8 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 a lot of things to hold on to. But, I still have some things I wanted to send home, back in India, from the USA. In this post, I will share my Experience of Sending Used Household Goods to India from The USA.

so, first question, Can I Take TV From 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 not available 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 which will be charged by Indian customs, on top of that there is no warranty on that thing. I felt it was not worth the risk.

Anyway, although, it was not a financially wise decision, I took the decision 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 2 recommendations. Both previously used by my coworkers. So, I got some firsthand feedback. Virtually, there is no difference between these 2 companies. In terms of what they charge per box. I sent 2 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 own peace of mind. One of my friends packed the box 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 own double-walled box. Here, let me tell you, I have 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 strong walls.

You cannot pack more than 25kgs in one box. Convert that to lbs., if that is what you are comfortable with. You should buy a weight scale for shipping boxes from Amazon so that you do 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 extra kg.

Now, you can take insurance, but there is a deductible and a premium, so depending on the things 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 all set to ship. FedEx comes over to pick up the boxes. FedEx does not tell you when they are coming, you just 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, Till today I see my boxes are in consolidation- that means they are yet to board 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 pleasantly surprised to see, finally there is another line entry that says I can expect the boxes in Kolkata by 20th December, so around 1 month. I will add again on or after 20th December.

SFL global

Here is the update on 24th December on Sending Used Household Goods to India from The USA

I checked the status again today, and looks like the customs clearing is still on –

Here is an update on 17th January – I checked with my friend, who sent his boxes, in 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.

So I received my boxes 2 weeks back. The delivery people asked for tips. For the record when I sent my boxes off in USA to when I received those in Kolkata took, more 4 months. We paid the delivery boys only 50rs. You can pay as much as you wish to.

Now let’s come to 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, no major 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, which were searched by the customs and the customs were simply reckless, they broke locks of a box I had. That gave me the clue that the boxes were inspected.

Timeline –

The boxes waited 1.5 months in their warehouse to be loaded in ship

The boxes took 1 month in ship to reach Mumbai port.

The custom clearance took around 2 months ( may be ittle less) and then to be 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 sheet, blankets etc and had no issues at all.

Can I send medicine from USA to India while Sending Used Household Goods to India from The USA?

I have travelled with medicines in my check in luggages to and from USA. Never had any problem. To be on safer side you can keep a prescription.