How to Ship TV to India

Electronic items are considered to be cheaper in the US than in India, which makes it a great idea to buy your electronics in the US and then ship to India. Buying a TV set in America can be a good idea, given that you can get many popular brands at about 40% less than in India. But after purchase, the common question is how to ship it back to India? There are a number of shipping options available, so let’s discuss them to decide which one is the most suitable for you.

If you have a large TV (like 55 inches and plus), it’s probably a good idea to take it to India, provided you can get a good shipping company that’ll take it safe and sound and not get you custom fees. The real advantage is only price. For 55 inch TVs and beyond, there is a significant amount of price difference between Indian and US TVs. Also, in some cases, you can get a better technology TV from USA (it is debatable whether you can use it in India though).

Price difference of TVs USA v/s India

How to Ship TV to India 1

If the TV is a new one, is bigger than 55 inches, then you’d get a TV from USA, cheaper than in India (debatable). But make sure that it’s a good idea considering the shipping and customs fees (which can go up to to 40% of the price of TV)

How to Ship TV to India 2

Options in India

The reality is that you can get pretty much any top brand TV in India for cheap. Especially, if you follow trends and get one for one of those special sale online. I rarely have come across a situation where the technology was only available in USA and not India. Also, keep in mind that most of the time, the same technology is called by different names in USA and India.

Agree that the same TV might be expensive in India, when compared to US prices, but always add customs duties and shipping charges, before you make a call.

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Custom duties for imported TVs in India

When you bring a TV from USA to India, it automatically attracts customs duties and it can go anywhere from 10% to 40% of the actual price of TV.

Community members have reported that they have been charged customs duties at various levels depending upon which port they’re in, which city they are bringing it to and “the mood” of the officers.

Here are the best ways to ship a TV from USA to India.

Air Shipping

This is the easiest and quickest shipping method but it is also a more expensive shipping method than most others. Apart from this, there are a number of factors that you need to consider before choosing this method, such as:

Clearance from Customs Department

If you ship your TV under relocation category, the Indian customs department will consider the shipment as “unaccompanied baggage.” This will make most shipping companies, such as UPS or FedEx, reject your shipment. If this happens, you will require the services of a broker who will charge an additional fee to clear it.

Time for Transit

Air shipping normally takes about 3 to 5 days for the shipment to reach its destination. But there might be some uncertainty at the customs, where clearance may delay the delivery.

Shipment Insurance

Since there is a high risk of damage or loss of the TV unless it is packed in a crate, getting insurance becomes necessary. Most shipping companies do not provide insurance if the owner or the manufacturer has packed the TV. The solution to this problem is to get your TV packed by a professional. However, this will add to the existing shipping charges, since there will be an increase in package weight. Also, the packaging service will cost you as well.

Check-in TV as Carry-on Luggage

This method can help save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on transporting the TV as a separate shipment. Keep in mind a number of things before you add the TV to your baggage.

Every airline has different check-in restrictions so make sure to contact your airline to know about such details.

Most airlines will allow you to carry a TV of a maximum size of 32 inches. If your TV is larger, they may refuse to check it in or demand an additional fee for oversized baggage.

Shipping by Sea

If you are not in a hurry to send your TV to India and can wait for 2 to 3 months, then this method is the perfect match for you. Shipping through sea is the most cost effective and hassle-free way to send electronics, especially large ones, to India. This is because the shipping charges are calculated on the basis of volume, rather than weight.

Sea shipments can be tracked properly, include insurance and include door to door shipping facility. Apart from this, there is also a facility to add packages apart from your TV, which makes it even more affordable.

Each shipping method caters to a different type of consumer requirement. The most important criterion to be considered while choosing a shipping method should be safety of the item, since it is a fragile one. Once damaged, it is very difficult to repair and can cause a lot of disappointment to the buyer.

How much does it cost to ship TV from US to India?

This is an often repeated question and does not have one single answer. Let me try and explain.

Shipping cost of a TV depends on the following things.

  • Dimensions of the box you’re wrapping your TV.
  • The weight of the box.
  • Location you’re shipping it from.
  • Whether you’re shipping only TV or other stuff as well.
  • Whether you’re opting for door to door shipping.
  • Custom fees.
  • Destination you are shipping it to.

So, let’s assume some of these and explain with an imaginary scenario.

Let’s say you are shipping your TV with the following details.

  • 56″ x 8″ x 36″ (Something like this)
  • Weight – 9 Pounds
  • Location – San Jose
  • Door to door shipping
  • Destination – Hyderabad
  • Time – 60 – 90 Days

For the above dimensions, the estimated price for shipping will be $395.
Customs duty will be $380 (38% assuming the TV is priced at $1000).

The shipping agency will pick up your TV from your house at San Jose and deliver it at your Hyderabad location.

There won’t be any insurance. If you want insurance, it will cost another $175 (includes wooden crate box).

Most shipping agencies have similar prices. They differ in the base price though ($395).

Some cases have been reported where the shipment has delayed beyond 90 days and they quote “unforeseen circumstances” and there’s nothing much you can about it.

Which are the best shipping agencies from USA to India?

Most companies we’ve seen in the community have received mixed reviews. However, Unirelo is popular among returnees. Earth relocation and SFL Worldwide are probably the second most favourite.

For a list of best shipping companies to USA, check out this link. (It is curated and voted by returnees, so it’s probably the most democratic one you can find.)

11 thoughts on “How to Ship TV to India”

  1. Did you take any furniture along when you moved to India ? What’s your opinion on moving furniture vs buying afresh in India ?

  2. Preethi, I didn’t take any furniture moving back to India. I personally didn’t prefer it because there weren’t too many in the first place, second.. I’d rather get better/newer ones in India according to the new decor. However, lot of folks take their furniture with them when moving back.

  3. When you mean “For the above dimensions, the estimated price for shipping will be $395.
    Customs duty will be $380 (38% assuming the TV is priced at $1000).” is it $395 +$380 = $775 total for a $1000 tv which means it costs $1775 to ship to india.

  4. Hi Mani,

    Thanks, for this article I am from UK, by shipping me a TV 55` they would charge a percentage fee so I decided to sell everything online. I would say that I got 50/ of the price I paid back.

  5. How about TV warranty in India ? Samsung doesn’t cover warranty if its out of US. Any idea / suggestions on other ways of getting international warranty ?

    • You are on your own on that Om. If you can get/buy an international warranty, that would be great. But they don’t offer it these days. I’d suggest you buy the TV from India for that price.

  6. I carried 2 Samsung smart TV(50” & 40”) couple of years old via QATAR both considered as checked in baggage, paid around 10k after negotiating for 2 hours, + purchased the stepup convertor 10K. I feel it was worth it instead of disposing TV for $100 in US & buying the same ones for $1200

  7. Is the customs duty / import tax for a used TV calculated on the price paid at time of purchase or on similar new in India? What about electronics that go with it like audio/video amp & speakers?


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