Buying a Macbook from the states

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  • Buying a Macbook from the states
  • Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    Mine was fine, used it for a couple of years and had it from the states when I was out there working.

    peterfile
    Member

    Are you planning on shipping it here or buying it over there?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Import Duty & VAT?

    wors
    Member

    Are you planning on shipping it here or buying it over there?

    Buying over there and bringing back. (well my bro in law will be)

    allthegear
    Member

    You can service it at any AppleStore Worldwide but remember you will only have the 1 year warranty, rather than the two year warranty you would get if you ordered from this country, especially in John Lewis…

    Rachel

    peterfile
    Member

    Buying over there and bringing back. (well my bro in law will be)

    Ditch the packaging.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    Anything with a battery in it is covered by their global warranty.

    You’ll need a UK plug adaptor for the power supply. For most of their power supplies, one of these can just slide on instead of the US one.

    Keyboard will be US, but there’s not much different (Apple have the @ and ” round the wrong way on the UK one), it’s really just different shaped enter key and no £ or € symbols.

    The value exceeds the £390 allowance for personal import, so you could get stung for import duty and VAT if stopped at customs. Chances of that are very slim though.

    Worth calling Dixons Travel (the ones in the airport) and seeing what price they can do. Compare against US price, including local sales tax; Apple prices are quoted without, and in NYC it’s 8.875%. IME there can be very little difference between the two, and from Dixons you get a UK model.

    I bought Mrs Wachowchow an iPad from the US while I was out there a couple of years ago. It turns out that it would have been £20 cheaper if I have bought it here in the UK.
    US border control went into my bag on the way back, snapped my padlock to get into it, which they kindly returned with the note to say that they had been rifling through my draws. No mention of fresh packaged Apple store hoard or the glass gun shaped tequila bottle that I got from Freddy Fresh as a souvenir. They did whip my Swiss army knife out of my case though, no mention of that.
    I wasn’t bothered about not making a killing at the Apple store as I was out there anyway. It would have been annoying if I had made a special trip though.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    The value exceeds the £390 allowance for personal import, so you could get stung for import duty and VAT if stopped at customs. Chances of that are very slim though.

    If you’re hand carrying it the chances are basically zero.

    tonyd
    Member

    I’ve done this a couple of times, as above the keyboard is a bit different but nothing earth shattering, and you’ll need to get a new plug adaptor thingummy.

    The travel packs are outrageously expensive IMO and you just end up with loads of plugs for countries you’ll probably never visit! Look on eBay for just a UK plug.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    Don’t buy before the 22nd. Updated MBP expected this week.

    wors
    Member

    Any issues?

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    You can service it at any AppleStore Worldwide but remember you will only have the 1 year warranty, rather than the two year warranty you would get if you ordered from this country, especially in John Lewis…

    Spend a bit of your saving on AppleCare extension.

    I did this with my last Pro, t’was fine. just need a US > UK adaptor, available from the 99p vendor of your choice or EBay.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Oh, and I did use the warranty, the ‘Super’ Drive packed up, which was not uncommon. No problems.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    What @peteimprezza says, announcement may be as soon as tomorrow (Apple press event), updated processor expected

    Chances of being caught are slim but not zero, as above duty and vat payable. Plug adapters are easy to buy. I believe I’m correct in saying that of your brother in law buys it mail order he’ll pay no local state tax, if stopped he can say its his new machine (either ditch packaging or at least throw the internal wrapping away, lots of people keep the box, make sure he knows how to turn it on etc)

    andeh
    Member

    So if you buy from the States it works out cheaper? How much are we talking, closer to double the price of a regular laptop, opposed to triple? 😉

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Don’t forget you can claim back sales tax at the airport when you leave, although there is often a queue…..

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
    Subscriber

    Don’t forget you can claim back sales tax at the airport when you leave, although there is often a queue…..

    Never seen this in the US. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist though, just never been able to do it.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    you are right:

    The United States Government does not refund sales tax to foreign visitors.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    So if you buy from the States it works out cheaper? How much are we talking, closer to double the price of a regular laptop, opposed to triple?

    At the risk of troll feeding, I’d say I paid slightly less than a similar spec Lenovo, HP, Sony or Alienware laptop (i.e. a decent quality branded laptop – the likes of ASUS weren’t really doing much then). This was sometime ago though, and there was a pretty small choice of discrete graphic card laptops in a normal laptop size form factor.
    UK price was around 3-400 more than the models I compared with.
    I think the differential is a bit smaller now, but if you want a Mac it’s still a pretty good way to get one. Especially if you’re going anyway.

    plyphon
    Member

    FYI/PSA:

    It is 100% worth buying expensive Apple products direct from an Apple shop (Rather than John Lewis/Dixons/etc) as 9/10 they will offer repair for free for buying straight from the manufacture under Consumer Law.

    Source: I am currently getting my MacBook Pro’s logic board replaced for free, which would of cost me over £450 quid as my MBP is over 3 years old (and thus my Apple Care has expired) – they said “They are taking a stance against consumer law and as you bought directly from us we are going to replace for free” (Or to that effect.)

    Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    If it helps check out the sales tax for the state you’re in. I got mine in New Hampshire where there is no sales tax.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    You’re going to save around £200 on a MPB 13″ 2.9Ghz.

    Assuming you (or whoever is picking it up for you) do not get stung for import duty you’re up (although personally I have tried to use a US keyboard and wanted to slash my wrists as the | is hidden and I do some coding so this hurts and personally I like a £ on my keyboard also).

    Bare in mind though *if* customs have a root through a bag and also a wallet and see a shiny looking MPB and a US sales receipt for the same you’re going to be down financial – unlikely but worth factoring in to the decision.

    Cheers

    Danny B

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    If Customs do pull you, they’ll spot the US keyboard and start asking difficult questions. Not happened to me but know of a few cases.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    If Customs do pull you, they’ll spot the US keyboard and start asking difficult questions. Not happened to me but know of a few cases.

    It’s very rare you ever see any customs people at Heathrow.

    Having said that, they once had a tip off about a plane I was on (back from Ghana) and we all had to line up once we got off the plane so a sniffer dog could work it’s way down the whole line. Didn’t spot anything, so we all just went off to baggage arrival and out through the as always deserted customs area.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    You don’t see them but trust me they are there.

    They know what they’re looking for, what flights to watch etc.

    People are more likely to let their guard down if the place looks deserted.

    As mentioned, you would be unlucky to get stung for duty etc of electronic equipment but its not impossible…

    wobbliscott
    Member

    I got an iPad 2 from the states not long after they were released. It was the same price in $ as £ (i.e. same number not same cash value), but I didn’t factor in the tax they add onto the advertised prices, so the saving in the end was not as great as I was expecting. But i’ve had absolutely no issues whatsoever in terms of compatibility – when you set it up you tell it your country and it downloads all the software relevant to your country.

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