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How many laptops can I import at one time?

by Mike Bellamy in 'China Sourcing Information Center'

I want to import used laptops from China, and I’d like to know how many pieces I can bring in at one time. I am a reseller of used laptops in India. Thanks and best regards.


There are two sides to your question. One aspect is about how to Import into India and the other is how to find sources in China of used laptops.

  1. I afraid that the China Sourcing Information Center doesn’t have information about the rules and regulations of the Indian government for these products, but I suspect that if you contact a freight forwarder in India who is well versed in these products, I am sure they could answer your question about the Indian laws. For your reference, here is a link to an article I wrote about how to find a good logistics partner to help you with the importation: Qualifying 3rd Party Logistics (3PLs). You may also want to contact the service desk of an Indian airline as they may know as well.
  2. Now let’s take a look at the sourcing side of your question. I know there are Indian buyers who make a living bringing small quantities of laptops and other electronics from China into India. BUT, they tend to fly to China on a buying trip and bring the goods back to India as part of their luggage (perhaps to avoid paying import duties). It is very hard to buy online in China a used computer, without inspecting the goods first in person, because generally the suppliers are going to ask for full payment in advance and if something goes wrong, you the buyer don’t have much leverage. That is why going to China in person to buy your used equipment appears to be the popular mode of operations for small Indian buyers. BTW, if you are going to make the trip, go to HK rather than mainland China because there is less tax on electronics there and you will most likely find better products and more reliable quality. Don’t rule out Dubai either. Every time I am in that airport I am amazed at the number of computers and even large flat screen TV’s heading to India as luggage. It makes sense because places like HK and Dubai have low tax on these items and are just a short flight away.

Wishing you successful China sourcing!

Answer written by Mike Bellamy, an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center. Mike is also the author of "The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing" and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.

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