India is the largest supplier of chess boards in the entire world. If you would prefer to buy a chess set directly from an Indian supplier, beware of the associated shipping costs when purchasing your set from websites such the eBay and Amazon websites. Whilst India has built a reputation for their hand carved chess sets it seems that materials and expert craftsmen are just not enough and some suppliers have some unethical business practices.
One unscrupulous practice that some Indian suppliers have is to sell off their “seconds” this might be a folding chess set or a solid board, either way they these are usually not fit for general export. While these seconds are in good working order, they have blemishes or nicks. If you knew what you were getting, this might be acceptable. However, some sellers based in India advertise the seconds without any mention of cosmetic flaws and list them at the same price as all of the other sets — as if they were not any different. This is an unacceptable practice that, fortunately, is not as common as some other unethical practices of some online sellers.
Additionally, beware of trick photography when buying your chess set online from India. When it is shown at a different angle to hide any nicks or scratches, a chess set can look brand new. Websites such as Amazon are also littered in fake testimonials. Beware of testimonials that all begin very similarly.
Many sellers list chess sets on the eBay website. If you do not live in India, ordering a set from that country could become quite costly with shipping charges alone. It is important to be aware of that additional cost before checking out of your online order. While a solid-wood chess set is a beautiful conversation piece and terrific for display, its heavy weight could increase your total price significantly. Also, the sheer distance of travel for your coveted set could play an important role in determining your total price. The best way to prevent most of the pitfalls of online buying is to purchase your chess set from a well-known website that has a great returns policy.