Quick shipping of personal items to India from US?
March 1, 2015 6:12 AM   Subscribe

Mrs. procrastination is traveling for work in India and has arranged to stay a few extra days to tour. In the rush to get her out the door, we forgot to pack our very nice camera, which she had hoped to use. I would like to ship it to her. She has a few days in a high-end hotel, so I am confident that there is a safe place to receive it. Does anyone have experience with this type of shipping? What can I do to keep it from being caught in customs? Will there be unforseen customs charges? Anything else I should be thinking about? I would have to send it out tomorrow morning.
posted by procrastination to Travel & Transportation around India (8 answers total)
How many actual days between now and when she leaves that hotel? What city will she be in? Call FedEx and see if it's even possible for a box to make it in time.

I'd actually suggest she just go purchase a nice-ish digital camera there. Between the price to ship the camera quickly and the likelihood of something going wrong (what happens if the box doesn't arrive before she leaves?) and the stress of it all, she'd be better off spending 2 hours finding the camera/electronics store and getting a decent option for her trip.

If she's returning to the same city for her departing flight, another option might be a high-end camera rental somewhere.
posted by barnone at 6:53 AM on March 1, 2015 [4 favorites]

I just did a search and there are quite a few companies that have DSLR rentals - you could arrange to have one shipped to her hotel. Some of this will depend on her departure plans and whether she'll have time to pack up and return the camera at the end.
posted by barnone at 6:56 AM on March 1, 2015

This is too stressful. I don't have shipping experience in India specifically but I've had high-value things shipped to me while traveling in other developing countries with a narrow window of time (specifically countries in SE Asia and South America) and I'll never do it again. Strikes, theft, and delays are all too likely. "A few days" in one location is not enough. Now, I only put myself in this situation if I have WEEKS to wait on my package and the contents are not irreplaceable or nearly-irreplaceable. Look into camera rentals or just buying something new as suggested above.
posted by horizons at 7:39 AM on March 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

My wife ships stuff to her parents to India frequently. It's expensive and there's great variation in how long it takes to get there. It would only make sense if you had reached your luggage weight limit and were doing it several weeks ahead of time. As others have said.

I agree with renting a DSLR locally and purchasing a SD card. Or buying a cheap digital camera.
posted by beowulf573 at 7:51 AM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm Indian and currently live in the US.

This is a really bad idea- it would be much simpler and quite probably cost less to simply by a reasonably good digital camera in India than have one shipped from here, with the added issue that as a (presumably White or otherwise obviously foreign) person she will already be a target for unsavoury sorts without adding a big old camera. She'd be much better off getting a small camera, or at worst renting a DSLR, than having you ship it.
posted by Tamanna at 8:25 AM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Agree with Tamanna - don't ship the camera. Buy a cheap one there.
posted by Toddles at 9:05 AM on March 1, 2015

In my experience it may take weeks to get there and she may have to travel to a distribution center on the edge of town to pick it up. Shipping in developing companies is a different beast.
posted by amaire at 9:52 AM on March 1, 2015

Thanks, everyone, for the quick answers. We will work out other arrangement. I particularly appreciate the suggestion to rent a camera - it never occurred to me that was possible.
posted by procrastination at 1:37 PM on March 1, 2015

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