I need help shipping something to India after their mail resumes. My friends are there and really really poor, and I saw them fighting over a 2gb laptop for work via video when we had a call. I want to just give them my old i7 Sony Vaio w 8gb so they can have a nice second laptop, but I don’t want it broken or stolen on the way there or at customs. How can I do this in a way that I reaches them safely without sending it through someone else? They’re in Kolkata and I’m in the US.

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As noble and applaud worthy that your decision is, If you ship it, you'll only end up making them possibly liable for paying customs duty. Best way out is to send it with someone or take it yourself.

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Insurance?

I have used garudavega before for sending things from here to India (mostly documents but a lot of them). They are the cheapest and best. You can probably try them.. not sure what specific rules will apply if you want to send electronics.

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