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Buying a TV from Bangkok - Step by Step Guide

tanmayj

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#1
I'm typing this out at 3 AM, just after landing from Bangkok and coming home & starting up the TV because it's all fresh in my mind :)

Model: Sony 42 Inch W Series KDL-42W674A. I originally wanted the W800, but they didn't have it in stock. Figured I wouldn't get another shot at getting the TV so cheap, so settled for the non-3D W670 series.

Shop of choice: Indra Sound, Indra Square Mall, Pratunam, Bangkok. Contrary to what was being said about this shop, this shop seemed quite legit to me. First of all this is not some sleazy dealer in a back-alley. This is a huge 'Vijay Sales/ Sony Mony' type dealer out there. He has two properties - one showcasing multi-vendor TVs on the ground floor and another exclusive Sony showroom inside on the first floor. As many people have mentioned, he does speak fluent Hindi! And he really sells TVs by the dozen! In the 35-40 minutes we were there in his shop, he must have sold around a dozen! BTW he does not issue a 'Kaccha' bill. It's a genuine receipt.

Cost: THB 19500 + THB 390 because I paid by credit card = Total THB: 19890

The shopkeeper issues a proper invoice along-with a smart-card which has your passport details loaded into it. The smart-card is for VAT refund. The invoice clearly mentions the VAT amount.

BTW there are other non-electronic (non smart-card) vat-refund forms as well. Some vendors use those.


The VAT refund amount was THB 1275 as per his bill.

At the Bangkok airport:

Enter the Suvarnabhoomi airport through gate no. 4. Just inside there's a VAT refund for tourists material inspection counter. You need to go into that office and show the smart-card and your passport. They will check out the material and make an electronic entry against the smart-card that the material is duly inspected. If you are using the non-smart card VAT refund form, then instead of electronically tagging it, they will stamp it.

Proceed for check-in as usual.

Now Jet Airways charges for overweight (if you exceed) + the 1000 THB TV handling charges. They DO NOT check for over-sized baggage - simply because the folks at the check-in counter don't have a way to measure the dimensions of the TV (they can measure only the weight). In my case I was not exceeding the permissible weight, so they didn't charge me anything above the 1000 THB. The counter folks will put the baggage and fragile tags on the TV and tell you to take it to another 'over-sized baggage screening' counter. There they will scan the TV and take it in for loading to the aircraft. Then you pay the 1000 THB at another dedicated Jet Airways check-in counter, show the receipt at your original Jet Airways check-in counter, and they will issue the boarding pass.

After passing through passport control, look for the VAT refund for tourists office. Go there and show them the smart-card. They will check the system, and refund the amount (deducting 100 THB as their service charges) in cash on the spot. I got 1175 THB as VAT refund.

At the Mumbai airport:

This is where I found the most ambiguity. The customs folks' singular focus seems to be to extract as much money as they can. Rules are bent/ twisted to their liking.

Here's what happened:

1) Seeing a 42 inch TV, I was instructed to go to the red-channel counter.
2) An official there checked my passport.
3) They have a TV price list. They disregard the BKK prices completely. They go by the price-list, deduct 30% and consider 70% as the price of the TV. Out of that they will then deduct the 35000 Duty-Free allowance and charge duty accordingly.
4) They had the 2012 Sony price list with all the HX models. They didnt have the pricing for the W series models yet. So they arbitrarily took the price my TV as 56000 INR ( :clapping: ) (The actual Indian MRP I think is 67000 INR). 70% of that comes to 39200 INR. Deducting 35000 from that, the taxable cost of the TV came out to be just 4.2K INR. The duty amount was Rs. 1779, all white and with bill.
5) They scanned the baggage and found a couple of cameras. I'd have had to haggle on about these as well, but I had anticipated that. So I had declared all those (including my laptop and cellphone with serial numbers) on my way out. I showed them that form, so that chapter was not opened.
6) I paid the duty and was out.

Considering everything, I paid INR 41200 for a KDL-42W674A!

Now here's the caveats. The rule says that you should be out of the country for more than 4 days. In my case, that was technically true if you consider the Indian customs inward and outward stamps, but if you'd check the flight timings I was actually in Bangkok for less than 72 hours. It appeared as 4 days due to time-zone differences and flight timings etc. Now the customs official I dealt with didn't get into flight timings etc. and I went through. But another customs official flatly refused to give any duty free allowance to a friend of mine with me (also with another identical TV). They told him, they'd consider the flight departure times and those should be 4 days apart. They also told him that the liquor he'd got counts against the 35000 limit, which I'm pretty sure is wrong. I carried in liquor with the TV without hitting that particular rule. This is what I mean when I say they twist facts around to their advantage. So my two cents while dealing with customs: Bring Electronics if you're indisputably out of the country for more than 3 days. And, don't carry in any other dutiable stuff - don't give them room to twist rules around.


Cheers!
 
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jsmithe

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#3
Wow! Well-written and detailed guide. Thanks.

They also told him that the liquor he'd got counts against the 35000 limit, which I'm pretty sure is wrong. I carried in liquor with the TV without hitting that particular rule. This is what I mean when I say they twist facts around to their advantage. So my two cents while dealing with customs: Bring Electronics if you're indisputably out of the country for more than 3 days. And, don't carry in any other dutiable stuff - don't give them room to twist rules around.
Cheers!
Actually the liquor does count toward the duty-free allowance as do any "non-personal effects" if it is outside some limits or the other Baggage Rules, 1998 - CBEC You got lucky , your friend was snagged :sad:
 
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manzb

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#4
This is a great guidance for anyone who is looking for getting a TV from Bangkok. This will help a lot of people considering that there are huge number of people gets TV and other electronic items from there. :thumbsup:
 

ak47

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#5
This is where I found the most ambiguity. The customs folks' singular focus seems to be to extract as much money as they can. Rules are bent/ twisted to

Now here's the caveats. The rule says that you should be out of the country for more than 4 days. In my case, that was technically true if you consider the Indian customs inward and outward stamps, but if you'd check the flight timings I was actually in Bangkok for less than 72 hours. It appeared as 4 days due to time-zone differences and flight timings etc. Now the customs official I dealt with didn't get into flight timings etc. and I went through. But another customs official flatly refused to give any duty free allowance to a friend of mine with me (also with another identical TV). They told him, they'd consider the flight departure times and those should be 4 days apart. They also told him that the liquor he'd got counts against the 35000 limit, which I'm pretty sure is wrong. I carried in liquor with the TV without hitting that particular rule. This is what I mean when I say they twist facts around to their advantage. So my two cents while dealing with customs: Bring Electronics if you're indisputably out of the country for more than 3 days. And, don't carry in any other dutiable stuff - don't give them room to twist rules around.


Cheers!
I've been through the rule bending before. In my case the TV's I got were over valued by the officers by 150%. I had to pay them under the table and hated that experience because I ended up paying more than what should have been the custom duty on my flat screens. So, I've made it a point to carry a print out of the customs rules whenever I travel abroad to give them lesser room to bend the rules in their favour.
 

AmitKumar

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#6
congratulations tanmayj!

i bought my sony 42 inchs led from the same shop in indra square. That shop is quite famous and they almost sell one tv per minute. you can observe that all the buyers are indians at that shop.

Customs part is purely luck, i saw person ahead of me paying 5k as customs duty for a samsung tv priced equal to my sony tv. And i could manage with 2k.
 

shrey7

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#8
Thanks for the Great Thread and congratulations.
Heard TV prices are cheap in Bangkok.. in India this TV is costing around 50k.

How much did you pay with customs?
 

tanmayj

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#9
Thanks for the Great Thread and congratulations.
Heard TV prices are cheap in Bangkok.. in India this TV is costing around 50k.

How much did you pay with customs?
No in India this model costs 67k. I paid 1779 to customs
 

just4kix

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#10
Thanks tanmayj for a detailed guide. This should help many.
 
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Hey Great insight....In case of a friend of mine the customs guy started arbitrarily using their own price list and dismissed the original bill, but then my friend showed him the VAT refund reciept etc. to prove that the original bill was geniuine. The customs guy finally accepted and this friend didnt have to pay any duty on his 42inch Sony.

Anyone tried buying a 55 inch from abroad - Was there any issues from airlines/customs etc.
 

just4kix

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55 inch will get clubbed as oversize baggage. So there may(?) be lot of excess baggage charges. Customs will treat it like any imported object.
 
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#13
I'm typing this out at 3 AM, just after landing from Bangkok and coming home & starting up the TV because it's all fresh in my mind :)

Model: Sony 42 Inch W Series KDL-42W674A. I originally wanted the W800, but they didn't have it in stock. Figured I wouldn't get another shot at getting the TV so cheap, so settled for the non-3D W670 series.

Shop of choice: Indra Sound, Indra Square Mall, Pratunam, Bangkok. Contrary to what was being said about this shop, this shop seemed quite legit to me. First of all this is not some sleazy dealer in a back-alley. This is a huge 'Vijay Sales/ Sony Mony' type dealer out there. He has two properties - one showcasing multi-vendor TVs on the ground floor and another exclusive Sony showroom inside on the first floor. As many people have mentioned, he does speak fluent Hindi! And he really sells TVs by the dozen! In the 35-40 minutes we were there in his shop, he must have sold around a dozen! BTW he does not issue a 'Kaccha' bill. It's a genuine receipt.

Cost: THB 19500 + THB 390 because I paid by credit card = Total THB: 19890

The shopkeeper issues a proper invoice along-with a smart-card which has your passport details loaded into it. The smart-card is for VAT refund. The invoice clearly mentions the VAT amount.
........


unts against the 35000 limit, which I'm pretty sure is wrong. I carried in liquor with the TV without hitting that particular rule. This is what I mean when I say they twist facts around to their advantage. So my two cents while dealing with customs: Bring Electronics if you're indisputably out of the country for more than 3 days. And, don't carry in any other dutiable stuff - don't give them room to twist rules around.


Cheers!
Can you post a pic of International Warranty card, that Indra Sound gave you ?

My parents are buying 55" & 40" led tv from there.

Local dealers like Sai AV, Singh LED, etc... say, they will mention serial no. on Bill, but won't give International warranty card, that clearly proves, they are not authoirized....

55F6400-
Indra Sound: 45000 baht
SAI led: 41500 baht

40F5500
Indra Sound: 18000 baht
SAI led: 16300 baht
 

tanmayj

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#14
There is no International warranty. And its not about the dealers in Thailand. Sony India doesnt honor international warranty.
 

AmitKumar

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You need to check about the vat refund with the dealer. i remember checking with one dealer whose price was the lowest but there was no vat refund, i felt it was a grey market product. after vat refund the price from Indra Sound was almost equal to the price quoted by other dealer where vat refund was not applicable.

Sony gives only local warranty in thailand. but i have seen many dealer mentioning an international warranty just to boost their sales. It is better buy from a reputed dealer even if the price is little higher.
 

just4kix

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#17
Oversize baggage is to be collected from a separate counter. They do not come on the conveyer belt. Once I was travelling with a group of musicians. Their big cellos and guitars were checked at the oversize counter and collected separately.
 
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#19
Correct, Now Even Indrasound, doesn't have International warranty card, for both samsung & Sony.

I guess, Both Co's must have threatened him, NOT to give any more warranty card to customers, & must have taken back from all dealers, & only then they must have announced, this '
"No warranty" Policy in India...

Bought, SAMSUNG
55F6400 @ 41200 baht.
40EH5000 @ 13300 baht.

Vat refund @ 7% is separate from this amount.

Now just have to deal with Customs, Customs comes to about 13000 for 55" tv.
for 40" is zero customs duty.

Any idea, how to avoid 13000 duty ?
 
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