ave you got attracted to some beautiful car item online abroad?
Do you want to buy?
Which is not available in India or in Indian automobile stores; even if available, double the price!
You are confused whether the Indian customs will trouble you?
Import, If so anything to incur as custom duty
How much value of import attracts custom duty in India & how much % extra?
Whether we can simply buy through our credit card or we need a special account like PayPal?
How do they ship – standard airmail or international courier
Whether shipping free or cost additional?
Will they ship to India, if not how to get it abroad?
Will it be safe? - I had all these doubts!
Those who have visited my primary thread
know how many things I purchased abroad.
Those who have not visited, might have thought that the thread is only for new Honda city owners, as the caption would have misguided them – My new Honda city –the Albus.
I invite you to my primary thread and I am sure, you will find many interesting information which would be useful & applicable to your interest.
want here to share my experience over online shopping for auto spares abroad & about the customs formalities with our fellow TAI_ns.
I have purchased more than 30 items valued 1.5 to 50 dollars for me and for my friends.
Almost everything reached me safely.
One time I had to pay custom duty as it was via ARAMEX courier from USA.
Two times I got it refunded by the sellers as things had not reached me even after 75 days.
One time I got it refunded as I proved the seller’s supply depot had sent me the counterfeit.
So far I have gone once to grievance as the seller has not responded to my proof that he had sent me something cheap & different than what he had advertised, though the value was just 2.5 dollars as I felt that I should not be get cheated.
Life will have uncertainties. That doesn’t mean that we should sacrifice simple pleasures by avoiding what we like to do with our cars.
Let us buy what we like, of course, carefully but ensure let it not pinch our pocket.
Start a purchase test with small orders valued below 5 to 10 dollars. And then go for more. Happy shopping! LET US SEE THE PROCESS:
1. Find out the item which you want
2. Find out the right price and shipping method & cost
3. Compare the prices with other sellers & online shops
4. Select the shop based on their selling price and creditability
5. Pay for it
6. Wait for it & Track shipping
7. Pay custom duty if any
8. Avoid problems with custom authorities.
9. Receive it
10. Revert to the seller, if there is a need for refund / replacement. 1. Find out the item which you want
You want to buy, say a Gear Knob for your car abroad. Search through Google web as well as through Google images, you will find number of images, shapes, sellers.
Or, you got the image of the item, you want to know who sells it - don’t worry, upload the image in Google image search bar and find out the sellers.
Prefer a seller who has got the product or which has almost what you want, go through their web site and note down the right words as described there. Say for example, you like the’ shunk2 type gear knob’.
Now type it the appropriate word in Google and search again, you will find the sellers for the specific item across the world. 2 . Find out the right price and shipping method & cost
Example one seller in Ali Express has the one you want, check the price of other sellers, there by typing the name of the item on their search bar in the top, to get the list of sellers for the similar item.
Sometimes you will be very lucky to find out the price very much less from some sellers who go with the concept ‘Minimum Margin But Maximum Transactions ‘
Note the price and see the creditability by looking into their profile, no. of sales and buyer comments. More transaction reflects their stability and creditability. Refer their shipping mode.
Prefer Hong Kong Regd. Airmail if available or China Mail which would be the cheapest and almost free.
Avoid buying items send through reputed courier like DHL unless it is expensive and you definitely need it. No doubt it is safer & faster, but necessarily make you to pay extra custom duties.
Buy always cheaper items, make order individually, and avoid bulk order.
If they do not ship to India -
You have to make use of ARAMEX ‘Shop & Ship’
facility and you will incur additional shipping charges. For example, you want to buy from amazon.com, they never ship directly to India. You have to provide them an address in the country which they agree to ship. ARAMEX provides their own address as recipient & repack / reship to India. It would cost you almost 250 %.
(Better, If you have your people there, let they bring to India for you when they visit their mother land.) 3. Compare the prices with other sellers & online shops
Do one more search whether such item is available in ebay.com, if yes refer the price? Many time I have found out, the item is still cheaper in ebay.com then select the eBay seller. (Or you want to avoid all these trouble, check up with Indian eBay (eBay.in), if it is available, may be priced 150 -200% more) 4. Select the shop based on the selling price and the shop’s creditability
Select the seller & the item and book mark in the wish list.
Now the item and the seller is fixed. 5. Pay for it
Place order through your credit card by registering into their online services. When you register, always prefer reputed platforms like eBay.com, Ali Express, Deal Extreme who are mediators and your money is secured with them until the transaction completes. Avoid unknown direct sellers.
Some eBay.com sellers insists for instantaneous PayPal payment, then you should have an account with PayPal, register with them, nothing cost extra for registration. Sometime PayPal services will charge you one dollar extra as service charges for the item you buy. 6. Wait for it & Track shipping
Order placed, you will receive confirmation email from them and wait for 4/5 days and you can now track the order with some sellers.
Ali Express provide you tracking facility to know the journey of the item ordered.
You have to give the Tracking Number provided by the seller In the China mail / Hong Kong mail site.
If you continue get a message ‘Success find: 0 items!’ even after 15 days of your order, contact the seller immediately to get the correct tracking ID.
Otherwise if everything in order, it will show the status as in the picture down
means customs has cleared without any doubts. Once it happens in India, you can expect any time delivery.
Sometime, it will indicate – ‘Retention reason: Other’
means they hold in India for security check up or to know the correct value to levy custom duty, then release. It would take extra 15 days to one month. 7. Pay custom duty if any
Generally, free shipping of low value items from HK / CHINA never attracts extra custom duty.
One can import in India goods worth Rs. 2000 duty-free. Furthermore, this duty exemption is bumped up to Rs 10,000, provided the item is marked as a "gift".
Sometimes customs authorities are clever, they hold items marked as ‘gift’ and give us trouble. They may ask us to provide the invoice details, if necessary.
Reputed couriers to avoid such troubles, pay the duty and get it reimbursed from the buyer. But from US, you will get either through EMS (speed post) or by reputed couriers –ARAMEX, DHL etc., which come through after payment of custom duty only.
Generally electronic items more than Indian value of Rs.2000 attracts a custom duty of minimum 30 -36.06%. Recently the law has become very stringent.
Value includes the shipping cost. 8. Avoid problems with custom authorities.
Items with batteries are generally restricted and attracts extensive check by them and delay.
You have to be very careful to avoid customs problems as you are not supposed to import certain banned items – animal skin products like cow hide / crocodile skin leathers. They may even send summon to threaten to penalize / fine us. CAUTION:
If you buy any other things other than automobile ones, better look at the list of items banned for imports in India before ordering online abroad.
CHECK HERE: INDIAN CUSTOMS PROHIBITED AND RESTRICTED GOODS 9. Receive it
Free shipping takes time to reach at least from one month to two months.
Hong Kong mail is faster than China mail.
Reputed couriers serve very fast, provided without much problem with the local custom authorities.
You have a facility to accept 'extending receiving time' with some sellers with Ali Express under genuine circumstances if there is delay at their custom clearance, before making a complaint about non receipt. 10. Revert to the seller, if there is a need for replacement.
Once you receive the item, see whether it is the same as you ordered.
If damaged, mostly it won’t happen, sometimes if so, you have to contact the seller immediately, before you bring to the grievance redressal / dispute facility of the mediators.
Most of the time seller response is good in genuine cases, either they refund or replace the item.
But you have to bring to their knowledge your displeasure with photo evidence, what you ordered and what you received.
Grievance redressal mechanism is very good in eBay, DX but it takes more time with Ali express.
Yes, start a purchase test with small orders valued below 5 to 10 dollars. And then go for more. Wish You a Safe, Lucky & Happy shopping! Dr. MUDHAN