Hi all, I'm looking to buy a used convertible tablet pc from ebay.com. I'm looking at a whole lot of options from ones which are ~$200 to ~$400 USD. These haven't been ever released in India afaik. (For eg. Lenovo/Fujitsu tablet PCs, Microsoft Surface Pro, Samsung XE700T etc.)
I have a couple of queries I hope you'll can help me with-
A] Which of the following would you suggest would be the better (ie most accurate estimation of cost & reliability) route-
1. Seller who ships internationally on ebay.com itself. Charges seem to range from $50-60 USD for shipping & excludes customs. But the hassle of clearing customs remains.
This is frankly your best option. Ask the seller about all the various shipping options he is willing to use and choose the one that best suits your pocket and convenience. At $50-60 he must be using USPS Priority International which is very reliable and fast, but will definitely attract customs. Try and coax him into using USPS First Class International which is slightly cheaper and slower but has best chances of avoiding customs attention.
2. HopShopGo, PPOBox, iShopInternational etc. Read a few posts on how the charges are usually higher than the estimates. So how much higher can I expect them to be?
I'm calculating on the basis of PPOBox's calculator & using lxwxh as 30cmx25cmx5cm & weight as 4lbs. Is that in the ballpark for a laptop?
I have used not used any such services so I cannot speak for their markups on customs and other import duties. As for the dimensions, I think they are fine for a convertible/tablet PC, but actual dimensions after boxing and packaging will be significantly higher. A point to remember is that any dimensions are used for calculating the shipping volume which is the actual shipping standard.
3. Ebay GEB. This has limited options & seems to be pricier by 6-7k INR than the PPOBox calculator. So again, how accurate is that PPOBox estimate?
Again, I haven't used it and from I have seen they charge even more money than any other forwarding service. The reason why I haven't used this and other above mentioned services is because I find them to be a little opaque in their price calculations and handling methods.
B] Queries about customs-
1. Since this is a used product & also one that hasn't been launched in India, how will the authorities calculate customs? The launch dates of any of the options I'm considering are more than 2 years old & were ~$1000-1500 USD when launched.
Customs are calculated on the price of a new piece. So if your PC costs Rs. 45000/-, your customs duties will be charged on 45k. If the item was not launched in India then they use the price of the nearest compatible/similar model as a scale. Most of the cutoms officials are sarkari babus who have no inclination to do any extra work, be it a simple search on google.
2. Is Mumbai customs reasonable, generally speaking?
Mumbai customs are the friendliest and most easy going of the lot. Your best chances of not getting massive duties applied are at Mumbai. In descending order of friendliness - Mumbai > Delhi > Chennai (strictly as per my experience, YMMV)
3. Will ordering a scuffed/scratched piece be better vis-a-vis customs charged than a newish one? Or this won't matter?
Doesn't matter. They see a laptop/tablet and their eyes gleam with the prospect of charging tons of money.
4. Which parcel forwarder is honest/provides proof about the amount of customs actually charged?
Here is a thought on my experience with various services -
a) USPS + India Post - While USPS is generally reliable and quick it is the India Post part that is unreliable. They are slow in moving packages, they don't give any breakdown of the charges applied to your final cost and simply hand you a slip on which they wrote the final customs that are to be collected from you. In the end you have no idea that what % was used to charge you customs and at what amount. Having said that, they are also the least anal about customs. If the package is small enough, light enough, or from a country that has good bilateral ties, you might avoid customs altogether.
b) DHL/FedEx - While they are the most reliable services they are also thieves and swindlers. Every package I have ever received from these two has had customs and duties added on. The worst part is that apart from the legal duties these chors add on Rs. 500 convenience fee, Rs. 500 clearance fee, and Rs. 500 handling fee to every shipment. When I asked their customer service about these additional and frankly obnoxious charges I was handed the regular company BS about how my convenience is their priority and that all such charges are applied by higher ups and the poor soul at the call center cannot do anything about it. I try and avoid using these carriers as much as possible as my final cost of importing becomes almost double of what I intended.
c) I guess this is the same thing that SNS, HSG, PPOBox etc do.
C] Certain ebay.com sellers require a confirmed Paypal billing address as per their terms & conditions? Certain others also add that they won't ship to post boxes. Is there any way around this?
As long as your payment clears and the seller receives his money, I see no problem in him shipping to a particular address in the US. For example, I bought a limited edition watch and got it delivered to my friend in Portland. I explained clearly to the seller about my current location, why I am getting the watch shipped to my friend in the US, and assured him that his payment would clear. Once the payment cleared the seller shipped the package. It is just about clear open minded communication with the seller. During all this I paid with my Indian CC with confirmed address in India, while my shipping address (also mentioned in Paypal) was in the US. PO boxes are a slightly different story as there is confirmation of delivery on the buyer's side so sellers are little wary as the buyer can turn around and file a claim at any moment. It will be difficult to convince any seller to ship to a PO box but maybe to a friend's address shouldn't be that much trouble.
@rdst_1 @prateekS You both seem to be quite experienced in these matters. Any help would be much appreciated.
Hi, many thanks for that. It really is one of those ymmv tihngs, isn't it?Answers to all your questions have been posted in BOLD. I hope I could answer all your questions to your satisfaction.
As an addendum - You would be better off buying the device/gadget locally with warranty rather than go through the whole headache of importing and praying that nothing happens en route, no customs are charged, and paying heavy duties if they are. Import only when you really really want the product, there is no way that you can find it in India, and you have lots of money in the bank. If you absolutely have to import then hand-to-hand exchange through a friend, relative, associate, acquaintance is the best way.
aliexpress?[DOUBLEPOST=1447343259][/DOUBLEPOST]Been toying with the idea of purchasing resin model kits &/or action figures (mainly to serve as a reference tool for figure drawing). Does anyone know which are the best sites for these, in terms of prices? Thanks!
Works fine on my side.