Shipping sitar from Delhi to th USA...

#1 Mar 30th, 2009, 08:25
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  • Gero the Damaja is offline
#1
Is it a good idea? Land or air? Any idea what the cost would be? Thanks in advance.
#2 Mar 30th, 2009, 09:00
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#2
Is it a good idea? Yes

Land or air? Who's packing it?, How bad do you need it, what kind of wood/material is it constructed from?, what's your budget?

Any idea what the cost would be? No, what's the weight/volume of the package?
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

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#3 Mar 30th, 2009, 09:45
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post Is it a good idea? Yes

Land or air? Who's packing it?, How bad do you need it, what kind of wood/material is it constructed from?, what's your budget?

Any idea what the cost would be? No, what's the weight/volume of the package?
I am thinking land because I imagine it would be cheaper, and I am not in a huge hurry to get it. My budget allows for me to purchase a sitar, but I can not justify shipping it if it is some kind of outrageous cost, like if it costs more than the sitar itself or something. I really don't need it, but I really want it, enough to put a considerable amount of energy/resources into making it happen anyway. As for your other questions, I really don't know (I have yet to actually purchase the sitar) any suggestions?
#4 Mar 30th, 2009, 09:52
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#4
I highly recommend you ship the sitar by air... There's a very good chance the instrument will warp if you ship it by land.... too much himidity. It's defnitely worth the extra $$
my two cents
btw sitarsetc.com sell nice sitars
#5 Mar 30th, 2009, 09:59
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I would go for the air option as well - also it should be marked as fragile. I have in the past taken a tampura back for a friend with me, and took along with my luggage by air. It was well packed and protected and arrived perfectly in one piece inside it's strong case.
Every cloud has a silver lining!
#6 Mar 30th, 2009, 10:37
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#6
This is what I do for a living. I buy and sell Indian instruments. If you're buying a sitar - get it with a fiberglass case. Pack the insides so the sitar will not move around - but don't pack it overly tight. Bring it home on the plane. BTW - who in Delhi are you buying from? I can only think of one shop there that won't rip off a first time buyer. That would be Delhi Musical Stores across the street from Gate 3 at Jama Masjid in Old Delhi. All the other guys will screw you over and sell you overpriced crap. Especially Bina or Rikhi Ram. They're the worst. You only want to deal with Rikhi Ram if you're a very experienced player. They always sell overpriced mediocre junk to first time buyers and they're very smooth liars. They will bullshit you to death. Buyer beware. If at the end of your trip if you have too many purchases to fit in your luggage - ship your purchases home via Speed Post and take the sitar on the plane. Good luck and happy shopping.
#7 Mar 30th, 2009, 10:43
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by lammyboy View Post I highly recommend you ship the sitar by air... There's a very good chance the instrument will warp if you ship it by land.... too much himidity. It's defnitely worth the extra $$
my two cents
btw sitarsetc.com sell nice sitars
Can't say I agree. Sitars Etc. was a good company years ago when Lars Jacobson owned it. Then he sold it to a guy named Bharat. They were still very good - if a bit chaotic . . . then about a year ago, Bharat died. Since then, his kids took over the business. They have their heads up their butts. They have not bought any new stock in almost a year. They tried to sell me all their old sitars - but I found out that what little stock they had remaining was infected with powder post beetles. Now the business consists of a few family members sitting around occasionally answering the phone in hopes of selling whatever junk is still lying around. Trust me - I've done my homework. They tried to sell me the business - but they have nothing in the way of instruments that are worth buying.
Last edited by Keshava; Mar 30th, 2009 at 22:19..
#8 Mar 30th, 2009, 21:00
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keshava View Post Can't say I agree. Sitars Etc. was a good company years ago when Lars Jacobson owned it. Then he sold it to a guy named Bharat. They were still very good - if a bit chaotic . . . then about a year ago, Bharat died. Since then, his kids took over the business. They have their heads up their butts. They have not bought any new stock in almost a year. They tried to sell me all their old sitars - but I found out that what little stock they had remaining was infected with powder posts beetles. Now the business consists of a few family members sitting around occasionally answering the phone in hopes of selling whatever junk is still lying around. Trust me - I've done my homework. They tried to sell me the business - but they have nothing worth buying.
wow. I bought my sitar from them a while ago... thanks for the heads up. BTW I really love your store in NYC!
#9 Mar 30th, 2009, 22:22
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Hope you will come by if you're in New York anytime. Always happy to throw on a pot of chai for visiting musicians. Likewise there's an open invitation for India Mike-wallahs to drop by for tea anytime you're in the East Village.
Cheers,
Keshav
#10 Mar 30th, 2009, 22:41
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I think it might be expensive to take it as checked baggage, any 'well packed' sitar is going to have an over size baggage charge attached with it. A well packed sitar dimensions would be in the vicinity/approx of 55.00' x 20.00' x 20.00'.

There is another option and that is 'air freight' which will be cheaper than checked excess baggage but requires more leg work on both ends of the shipment .... and there is usually a surcharge(sometimes hidden) on the receiver's end to keep in mind for this method.
#11 Mar 31st, 2009, 07:31
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#11
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Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post I think it might be expensive to take it as checked baggage, any 'well packed' sitar is going to have an over size baggage charge attached with it. A well packed sitar dimensions would be in the vicinity/approx of 55.00' x 20.00' x 20.00'.

There is another option and that is 'air freight' which will be cheaper than checked excess baggage but requires more leg work on both ends of the shipment .... and there is usually a surcharge(sometimes hidden) on the receiver's end to keep in mind for this method.
You're talking about accompanied cargo. It's a bloody nightmare. You have to go to the cargo depot about three days before your flight. Figure you will spend a minimum of four hours being dragged around from clerk to clerk to clerk and you will need to pay someone bakshish to guide you from one office to another. It's a MAJOR hassle. Been there - done that. And in the end - it's not all that more economical.

Oversized baggage charge? Nope! Just two weeks ago I brought a sitar, a pair of tablas and one suitcase and there were no extra charges. All the extra clothes and books etc. that I bought - were sent home via Speed Post.
Last edited by Keshava; Apr 1st, 2009 at 21:21..
#12 Mar 31st, 2009, 07:57
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keshava View Post You're talking about unaccompanied cargo. It's a bloody nightmare. You have to go to the cargo depot about three days before your flight. Figure you will spend a minimum of four hours being dragged around from clerk to clerk to clerk and you will need to pay someone bakshish to guide you from one office to another. It's a MAJOR hassle. Been there - done that. And in the end - it's not all that more economical.
Yes, I recommend, in India, to hire a boy for that leg work. It's cheaper & faster at the end of the day(s).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keshava View Post Oversized baggage charge? Nope! Just two weeks ago I brought a sitar, a pair of tablas and one suitcase and there were no extra charges.
Excellent. Can you post the approx. dimensions of your checked baggage & carrier used? Many carriers have a maximum bag size (length+width+height) of 62 inches or apply a surcharge($100.00-$150.00) for baggage sizes between 160cm and 292cm
(63in - 115in). I may just use 'that' carrier next time around.
#13 Mar 31st, 2009, 08:15
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#13
I have a friend who went Keshava's route (#6) and it went easy as described. He had gone to the village maker to get his instrument. By the way Keshava I will make it a point to stop by next time I am in New York..
#14 Mar 31st, 2009, 11:10
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#14
When I brought back that tampura, I was also carrying a new set of tabla for myself,plus tabla skins for my teacher - and as Keshava says, this is the easiest way to go. I sent back two parcels of unwanted clothing, textiles, wall-hangings etc. by surface mail, and they turned up as expected. There were no extra charges on my baggage.
#15 Mar 31st, 2009, 18:28
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#15
Regardless of any individual success stories, my strong advice would be to inquire beforehand with your airline/carrier as to their policies regarding checked baggage - especially with regards to length/size in items similar to the OP's shipping aspiration.

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