Shipping Zappos shoes to India used to be a hassle, but not anymore. This post lays out a dead-simple process for getting your order from Zappos—or any other U.S. retailer—shipped right to your doorstep in India with zero trouble and minimal fees.
Zappos is the world’s largest shoe retailer. Originally launched as ShoeSite.com in 1999, it was renamed Zappos later that year after being inspired by the Spanish word for shoes, “zapatos.” In 2009, Zappos was purchased by Amazon.com for $1.2 billion, though it continues to operate more or less as an independent company even today.
Zappos sells thousands of different shoe brands, from Nike and Adidas to Ugg and Balenciaga. Zappos also sells swimwear, activewear, handbags, jewelry, accessories, and much more. As far as online retailers go, Zappos.com is a behemoth.
Entire books have been written about Zappos’ customer service and company culture, far more than we can capture here. But there are two blanket policies that will cover most of your concerns when shopping on Zappos.com:
- 365-Day Return Policy: If you’re not 100% satisfied with your Zappos order, you can return unworn items for a full refund within 365 days of purchase.
- 30-Day “Runlimited” Guarantee: Try out your new shoes for 30 days, and if you don’t like how they look, fit or feel, you can return them to Zappos, no questions asked.
Does Zappos Ship to India?
No, Zappos only ships within the USA, but I’ve designed a process for getting any Zappos order shipped to India with zero headaches. Here’s that process, explained step-by-step.
How To Get Zappos Orders Shipped To India
Since Zappos doesn’t ship to India directly, you need to use a package forwarder: a warehouse in the United States that will accept your Zappos package and forward it on to you in India. Here’s how to make it work.
Step 1: Choose A Package Forwarder
Choosing the right package forwarder is a big deal, because that decision will determine how quickly you get your shoes, and how much you have to pay for the service. I spent many hours doing some deep research on eight different package forwarders, scoring each of them on a wide variety of relevant metrics. Here are five of the main metrics I looked at:
- Service Fees: How much do they charge to provide their core service of accepting and shipping packages, plus ancillary services such as long-term storage, re-packing, package consolidation, and more.
- Monthly/Annual Fees: How much do they charge in monthly or annual fees, if at all.
- Pricing Transparency: How much do I know about their pricing structure before sending a product to their warehouse.
- Speed: How quickly will they process my package.
- Customer Service: How satisfied are other users with their service, and how thoroughly/quickly do they respond to my questions.
After reviewing the data I collected on these and other metrics, it became clear to me that Planet Express was the best choice. Their customer service team responded to my emails quickly and thoroughly, they have thousands of 5-star reviews online, and their fees were consistently lower than all of the other package forwarders I looked at.
Here are a few other things I like about Planet Express:
- Planet Express has a tax-free warehouse in Oregon, so you can avoid paying sales tax on your orders.
- Planet Express will consolidate multiple packages into a single box, saving you a significant amount on shipping when you make multiple purchases.
- Planet Express sends you free photos of your package as soon as it arrives at their warehouse.
- Planet Express offers extremely cheap storage for your packages. Every package receives 10 days of free storage, but after that, Planet Express only charges one cent per pound per day. That means storing a 1-lb pair of shoes in their warehouse for a month would only cost you $0.30!
Step 2: Ship Your Zappos Order To Planet Express
As soon as you’ve signed up for Planet Express, you’ll receive a unique mailing address at their warehouse. Once you find the shoes you like, just enter your Planet Express mailing address instead of your home mailing address and you’re all set.
Step 3: Forward Your Package
As soon as your Zappos order arrives at Planet Express’ warehouse, they’ll send you photos of the package to let you know it’s arrived. You’ll also be given a series of shipping options to choose from. I find that there’s generally at least 4 shipping options corresponding to 4 different price-speed combinations. Sometimes there can be as many as 10 or more shipping options—it just depends on the weight and size of your package.
My Personal Experience Shipping Zappos Shoes To India
I’ve used Planet Express a handful of times to ship Zappos shoes to India, and the experience has always been very smooth. Here’s how things went the last time I did it.
First, I found the shoes I want on Zappos.com. Sometimes I buy my shoes in-store locally, or somewhere else online in India, but Zappos’ mindbogglingly large selection is often the only place I can find the shoes I want in my size.
Second, I ordered the shoes to my unique address at the tax-free Planet Express warehouse in Oregon. Less than 24 hours later, I received an email from Planet Express letting me know that my shoes had arrived. This remarkable speed is partly due to Zappos’ extremely fast shipping, and partly due to Planet Express’ extremely fast processing. Some of the other package forwarders I tested took 2-3 days to process my incoming packages, so this is very quick.
Third, I filled in Planet Express’ super-easy customs declaration form with the four pieces of information required:
- The item being shipped: “Shoes”
- The number of items: “1”
- The value of the item: “$50”
- Whether the item contains batteries: “No”
Then I chose the shipping option I wanted from a list of eight. Prices ranged from $6-$35 USD, plus insurance at an additional $2 USD, so I chose the cheapest one ($8 USD, including the insurance), and I was done. My shoes were shipped out later that same day. When they arrived, I didn’t have to pay duties upon arrival, and the shoes were in perfect shape.
In my experience, the price I paid ($6 USD + $2 USD in insurance) is pretty standard for shipping Zappos shoes to India. I’ve never had to pay any import taxes or duties on my orders, though it’s possible that you’ll have to, especially if you’re buying multiple pairs of shoes or very expensive items.
Zappos + Honey = Greater Savings
Honey is a browser extension that automatically finds you coupon codes for thousands of online stores. It crowdsources coupon codes from users and the Internet at large to offer you the best deals every time you shop online. Honey is completely passive and completely free—just install the Honey plugin, and whenever you reach the checkout page of a store Honey has codes for, it will automatically apply every code in its database to find you the best deal.
On top of working on Zappos.com, Honey has discount codes for over 5,000 online stores, including marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, big-box stores like Best Buy, Walmart and Target, online titans like GoDaddy, Microsoft, Udemy and Adobe, and even offers the odd discount on Amazon. You won’t find a working code every time you try, but I can’t count how many times I’ve saved 10% or more thanks to Honey.
Sign up for Honey (free!) using this link and you’ll receive an extra 500 Honey Gold (worth $5) after your first purchase using a Honey discount code.
Overall, shipping Zappos shoes to India using Planet Express is extremely easy and smooth. The costs are low, and in my experience you’ll actually end up saving money, since Zappos’ prices can be lower than buying the same shoes from retailers in India. If you’re shopping on Zappos.com, or any other retailer that only ships to the USA, I highly suggest making use of Planet Express.