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I live in India, and I'm visiting the US soon. I'm thinking of buying a telescope in the US, and checking it in, in its original packaging. The hope is that if the telescope survived the domestic delivery from Amazon or B&H in its original packaging, it will also survive the international transport.

The shipping weight of the telescope is 14kg, which is less than the 23kg limit I have, and the box dimensions are 30.5 x 17.0 x 8.6", totaling 56", again within the 62-inch limit.

This telescope is not available in India, or available at an exorbitant price, like 3x the US price.

Another alternative is international shipping from Amazon, but that's too expensive, for example ₹22K for delivery to India as opposed to ₹10K for delivery to the US. B&H's international shipping is priced the same or slightly more. I'm not willing to pay more for shipping than the price of the telescope itself.

In this context, is checking it in a sensible risk to take?

One downside I can think of it that I can't return the telescope if, after reaching India, I find it to be defective, but does that happen often?

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  • The telescope may well have been shipped by air (more likely by sea) from China in the first place. It will be packed in a box designed to withstand some mishandling. – Calchas Jun 22 '15 at 7:34
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Amazon ships this item in a Frustration-Free Packaging, and out of personal experience with this specific packaging method, I think it will survive. Make sure to wrap it in protective plastic at the airport to avoid sharp objects from puncturing the packaging, also make sure to put a "fragile" sticker on it as an extra measure just to be sure.

From Amazon:

It Protects Your Product

You deserve to have your product arrive in the right condition every time. Items in Frustration-Free Packaging are lab tested to ensure your product is well protected all the way to its final destination.

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  • A "fragile" sticker will achieve nothing ... just a month back I witnessed a handler drop a "FRAGILE" marked box from an aircraft cargo door onto the tarmac. He picked it up and --- no joke --- threw it onto the waiting lorry. – Calchas Jun 22 '15 at 7:36
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    @Calchas You're probably right, but it's not that costly to put the sticker. Maybe there are still some conscious luggage handlers out there :) – nsn Jun 22 '15 at 8:45

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