Just in case the title doesn’t sound obvious, let me tell you, this article targets those people who want to shop & order huge subsidized gadgets or other products but are residing outside the US. To keep it understandable and simple I will be documenting the procedure to buy a “Mobile Device” from the “US”. So, you may keep in mind that a similar procedure will be followed when buying any other products from the US or the UK.
Basically, there are two phases involved in this procedure:
- First, ordering the device from a website
- Second, getting the order shipped to India (or any other country)
ORDERING DEVICE FROM THE US
I decided to purchase a Nexus Device for the obvious reasons that Google allows accessing the US Play from within the US. And unfortunately, for not-so-obvious reasons that the payment restricts to Credit Cards with US addresses only. There’s no option for making payment through Paypal or International Credit Cards.
So what can be done in this case? Use a premium US-VPN service and don’t worry even the free VPN service will work fine. Note that this step is to bypass the restriction of US-Only IP address.
Even if you enter the credit card details of someone residing in the US itself, Google keeps throwing out weird technical errors. But later on, you can actually use your own international credit card like the Mastercard from Citibank. You just have to change your home & billing address to a US address. And trust me, the order goes through without any difficulty and you get the confirmation within seconds.
(Please Note: Mostly the International credit cards are accepted by online retailers like Amazon in the US. And most of them do not accept the international debit cards. You can use only Visa/ Mastercard/ AmEx credit cards. For those who do not accept, you can check out the service like “USUnlocked.com”. It provides you with a local credit card and billing address. This option is much reliable than providing a bogus US billing address.
GETTING THE DEVICE SHIPPED TO INDIA
I guess many people can relate to this headache. Mostly we keep waiting for our friends and relatives to return from the US and get the devices or products mentioned on the shopping list. Well & good if you manage to find someone for this exclusive shopping task. But what if you don’t? Just take the help of a freight forwarding service like “ShopandShip”.
ShopandShip is primarily a part of the Aramex courier service in India, Middle East & many other countries in the world. This service specializes in delivering the products ordered from the US, UK, and China to your personal shipping address chosen while ordering. Once they receive the details, products are shipped to your home address getting it all cleared by customs too. Interesting!
As far as charges are concerned, it costs a one-time fee. This fee is around $45 to create a ShopandShip account and the shipping charges are nominal. $7.50 are charged for the first half a kilo and $6.00 thereon for every half kg. And for just for a quick reference, FedEx charges around $99 for the same deal.
Coming to the customs, it depends on upon the country that the items are being imported to. Category of the product you are ordering also holds importance. For example, In India, smartphones have a nominal fee of around 7% while tablets incur around 16.85% duty.
Shop & Ship operates in the following countries:
Zone 1: US, UK, China, Hong Kong, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Singapore, Canada, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and Japan
Zone 2: Turkey, UAE, and India
If your country isn’t listed then you can look out for alternatives like comGateway /Borderlinx. If a premium service doesn’t bother you, check out DHL, FedEx or USPS. The procedures remain same for all Amazon US /Amazon UK or any other online retailer from US/ UK/ China. You just need to consider the shipping cost, incurred customs duty, and the USD conversion rate before selecting a product.