How To Buy a Laptop or Smartphone from USA to India

Jump to How to ship iPhone from USA to India here.
Many people want to buy electronic products from USA and have it shipped to India because of price differences (and sometimes better quality products). I get it. But the process of buying something from USA to India isn’t easy. I’ve documented it here. For those of you looking to buy a laptop or smartphone from USA to India, here are the guidelines.

How to buy a laptop from USA to India?

First off, let me tell you that if you have someone living in the USA that is your friend or relative, then use them. They can be of big help. I’ll explain why.

My recommended way of buying a laptop from USA to India is via Amazon. They have international shipping on many eligible products and it makes the whole process so much easy. Why? Go read this article as to what kind of hurdles you have to face when importing something from USA to India. There’s all kinds of things such as shipping address problems, customs duties, delayed shipment etc.

With Amazon global shipping, these problems still exist, but Amazon will handle it for you, so you don’t have to worry over many things. You just have to order the product online, provide your international shipping address (Indian address), pay the customs duty and wait for the product to show up at your doorstep.

So, let’s say you found a nice laptop that you need to buy. Let’s see how you can buy the laptop from US and get it shipped to India.

Step 1 – Find “International Shipping / Amazon Global” eligible laptops 

How To Buy Laptop USA to India

You do this by choosing the “international shipping” or “Amazon Global Eligible” toggle on t he left hand side. (See picture)

Step 2 – Compare the price and check out

Step 3 – Provide shipping address to Indian and give your KYC number

In check out, change the default address and add a new one, that is your international one (India). Don’t forget to add your KYC number (Packages will not clear customs without the recipient’s valid KYC ID Number. Please enter a valid Driver’s License, Voter ID, 16 digit Aadhaar Card or 10 character PAN Card number. The ID Number will be shared with Amazon’s carriers who will use it for KYC and customs clearance. They may reach out to you to collect your proof of address when necessary.

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Step 4 – Checkout!

Once you fill in your details, you will be able to checkout like normal and make payment. During this step, Amazon will ask you for preferred shipping and tell you an estimated customs duty.

For example, Amazon Global has three shipping options and the price changes for each type. (See screenshot below)

– AmazonGlobal Standard Shipping (averages 9-12 business days)
– AmazonGlobal Expedited Shipping (averages 5-10 business days)
– AmazonGlobal Priority Shipping (averages 2-4 business days)

Buy_Smartphones_USA_India

So, there you have it. Just by paying some additional shipping charges + customs duty, you can get rid of all the problems you have to go through like I mentioned here > How to buy things from USA to India.

Restrictions on what you can buy from USA to India

Keep in mind that, some items are restricted from Global shipping. Like cell jammers, plant products etc. See the full list here. Also, there are restricted products by size. Standard shipping to certain regions are limited by the overall shipping size which include a maximum length or girth of 108 inches and maximum weight of 70 lbs.

How to buy iPhone X from USA & ship it to India?


Updated: Sep 15th, 2017

iPhoneX_shipping_USA-India

Now, that the iPhone X has launched, I know many of you will be wondering how to buy one and get it shipped to India. Of course, in India it’s going to cost you about 89,000 Rupees which is 24,000 Rupees expensive than what an iPhone X costs in the US. So, how do you buy an iPhone X in USA and ship it to India? Let’s look at the options.

Method 1 – Shipping it via traditional shipping agencies

The most obvious method is to buy an iPhone online and get it shipped via an agency like BorderLinx (see above), which will provide a temporary USA shipping address, and forward it to you to India. There’s a problem though. Their cost of shipping will include everything from tax and duty to insurance (optional). And for a single piece of iPhone X, you will need to shell out at least $450 additional to the price of iPhone.

Here’s the breakdown.

Shipping cost – USD 49.32
Delivery Time – 2-3 business days
DDP – Pay Customs Now
Tax & Duty – USD 434.95
Insurance – USD 100
Total – USD 584.27
So your total price of buying an iPhone X from USA and shipping it to India will be as follows.
Cost of iPhone X – $999 (will change on the version you are buying)
Cost of shipping – $500 (minimum)
Total cost – $1,500! (96,210 Rupees)

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So, the total cost of buying an iPhone X from USA and shipping to India will be more than what you will pay for it in India.

Pros
– You will get the iPhone before others get it in India.
– There are no additional custom duties etc, as they are already paid for.

Cons
– Expensive than getting the iPhone X in India.

Method 2 – Getting a friend to bring it with them to India

Now, the other method you have is to buy the iPhone X, ship it to a local address of your relative/friend in the USA and have it bring it down with him. There are different variables here. One, you need to have a friend/relative in the US. Second, he/she has to be willing to give you their address to ship the phone. Three, they have to be traveling to India, to be able to bring it down for you.

Provided you have all three figured out, this is the safest method for you. You don’t have to worry about taxes or custom duties. Only thing to remember is that you have to have the package opened and declare it as used at customs/immigration. Also, you cannot bring more than one or max two phones. But, this is economically the best way out.

Method 3 – Using a crowd-sourced shipping service

There are some crowd-sourced shipping services available today. Basically what they do is, find out if there are people flying out during the dates you want the item shipped, and have them carry along the item with them as they travel. They have online platforms like Manyship, that lets you find people willing to carry items with them during travel and it is easy using the service.
Also, it is very economical as the charges to such services are around $50 – $100 max.

The problem is, whether you will find willing people and on what dates. You will have to wait until someone willing to take your package is flying out. If you are lucky, there shall be takers around the time you want, otherwise you need to wait.
So, there you have it. Three ways how you can buy an iPhone X from USA and have it shipped to India. Let me know your questions.


Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC’s to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I’ve learned in life, through this blog. It’s read today by more than 150K people world over! I currently live in LA, California and visit India occasionally. Here’s my full story on who I am and why I blog. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). Happy to help! 🙂

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10 Comments

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  • Question about crowd-sourced services such as ManyShip and Proxymate.

    How do I trust that these people (carriers) wouldn’t just run away with my iPhone or laptop? Given that the iPhone X costs $1000 and the shipping fee I’d pay them to bring it to me to India is $100. I don’t see why wouldn’t they steal my iPhone and never call when they get to India?

    • You can check with their legal team. I’m not taking responsibility for it but I guess the risk is the same as in any courier service. Even though it’s a crowd sourced service, they have their support team and from my experience, they are responsive.

    • Hi Sushanth,

      If you don’t mind the cost and want an iPhone as soon as it is released in the US, then using a shipping company that can provide you with a temporary US address is your best option. (See above for recommendations).

      If you want to wait and find someone who is ready to buy the iPhone for you, then try wither your friends/relatives or a service like Manyship.

      If you can wait further, and don’t want to spend any extra money, then buying it in India is the best way out. But it’s the iPhone so we can’t really wait, right? 😀

  • Hi
    I have ordered a product from amazon.com to INDIA and forgot to add the KYC in the shipping address.
    Is there any alternate way to give my KYC details?

  • what is the percentage customs charge in India for laptops and is it worth using third party to ship to India and what will be the exchange rate will they charge more than the present conversion rate?

    • It depends on the laptop price. For regular laptops, say a Macbook Pro, you have to pay the shipping cost (which varies for each vendor) based on the weight and urgency. But you’d also have to pay for the customs duty.

  • Good to know that there is this option of international shipping..till not i am dependent on some one who comes back from US!!

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