It will cost around $5,000-$7,000 for a shipping container from the U.S. to India. This includes loading, unloading, insurance and around $1,000 for customs duty.
What I concluded is that unless you can make up that cost in saving, it is not worth it to ship a container. We have purchased a lot of new furniture, two big HDTVs (including a 55″ 3D HDTV), a music systems (including 7.1 speakers), and many other items. We thought a lot about not shipping a container, but once we decided that it would be worth it, we made a list of what we would need to take versus what we would buy once back in India. By doing this, we were able to save $3,000-$4,000 in electronics alone when compared to the cost of buying them in India.
We had been in the U.S. for 12 years so instead of taking our old furniture from U.S., we bought almost all new furniture including 4 Italian leather sofas, queen and king size bed, mattresses, dresser, night stands, center tables, computer table, entertainment center etc. We are going to live in Indore, and it would have been possible to have gotten the furniture we wanted in the big cities, but it would have been a lot of hassle. We would have had to see in which big city we could buy our furniture, then where in that city to buy our furniture, and then we probably would not have been able to find what we wanted. I am pretty sure that the deal we got from Macy’s in the U.S. was better than any deal we could have found in India. In addition, already having the furniture would save us a lot of time and hassle, not to mention that we had gotten what we wanted and had grown accustomed to it too.
Here are the main item we shipped in our container:
2. 40″ Samsung HDTV
5. 1 New Lenovo laptop and 2 Dell netbooks
7. Toys and cloths for our 2 year-old son
8. PS3 and Xbox 360 with lots of games
9. Dinnerware (for formal and daily use)
11. HP wireless printer
12. 4-5 beds in a bag
13. Picture frames from michaels
15. Exercise/boot camp DVDS
16. Speaker cables, ethernet cables, bannana plugs, etc from monoprice.com
18. Rice Cooker, Cusinart griddle, KitchenAid oven
19. 2-3 digital picture frames
20. Bathroom and cleaning supplies for a few months
21. Professional fabric steamer from costco
22. 2 Area rugs from Costco
23. Above-mentioned furniture
24. 2 wireless N routers, one to be used as a wireless bridge
25. 2 Spike protectors
26. PAL HDMI-NTSC converter ( depends on if you need it)
I hope this post and list of items will help you in deciding whether it is worth shipping a container.