Buying a Mac from the US from the UK

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Skiniftz, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. Skiniftz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    #1
    I've been comparing the cost of G5's in the UK and the US - check this out.

    In the US a dual 2Ghz G5 costs $2999

    In the UK a dual 2Ghz G5 costs £2299

    The thing is, £2299 = $4247 (!!!)

    So in other words, if I were to buy a Dual 2Ghz, I would be paying over $1200 too much! (Yes I know new models are rumoured etc etc)

    I am seriously thinking about buying a Mac in the US and having it shipped over. I have a very trusted friend in LA I could call on if neccessary to handle the transaction.

    What do people think? Is it simple to get the G5 working on UK power? (240VAC)
     
  2. tsk macrumors 6502a

    tsk

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    I highly doubt you would have any problems with power issues. I'm sure someone can tell you for certain.

    I'd be more concerned with the customs issues. The problem is you'll be sending in new hardware and you can't fib as much. I suppose you can totally repackage it and claim it as used but it's a pretty big gamble. And I also don't think a "gift" declaration does all that much. I honestly gotta believe a $2k gift just makes the customs people look more closely.
     
  3. Pseudonym macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    Old Blighty
    #3
    You might want to have a look at this thread.

    Your issues are:
    the warranty/AppleCare probably wont cover you in the UK.
    you're liable for VAT when you go through customs.
    For voltage you should be OK, check the tech specs you can get from the G5 page on the US site (there is a pdf link on the right hand side about halfway down).

    In principle go for it. Just be aware of all the issues before you do!
     
  4. numediaman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    #4
    That's right, the dollar is in the tank. Welcome to the Third World!

    Why not come over yourself? For the amount of money you will save you can have a vacation and a new Mac at the same time? I suggest someplace warm -- like Cupertino. ;) Head north to San Francisco & Napa, south to Monterey & Carmel. (Come to think of it, maybe I should do this myself.)
     
  5. Skiniftz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    #5
    Heh - I was just thinking that. I'm going to be visiting friends in LA in August anyway, but for $1200 that's like a plane ticket and spending money right now...

    Just been looking at import duty - as far as I can see there is no import duty (apart from VAT) on computers.

    Tempting.
     
  6. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #6
    if you get it in CA, there'll be tax. if it's 6%, that's additional $180 you will have to pay for that. you may be able to claim it back, however...

    what's the VAT for UK? 10%? if you declare it at $3000, then that's $300 you will be paying to the customs.

    how will you ship it? insurance and shipping cost for a $3000 computer could easily top $100. (i wouldn't trust the airline to handle it if you were thinking about bringing it with you. i'm not sure how big the box is - it may not be possible to carry it on board.)

    finally, credit card will give you something close to but not exactly the market exchange rate. for $3000, you could easily "lose" $100+ of your savings depending on the exchange rate.

    i'd think twice before you do this. you probably won't save $1200. you may save $500+, certainly a lot of money, but not as much. of course, if you were going to the U.S. anyway...
     
  7. Skiniftz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    #7
    VAT in the UK is 17.5% (Yes, 17.5)

    While we are on the subject of price difference, we pay over $8 a gallon for petrol here.

    People laugh at me in CA when I tell them that, but it's true! The petrol companies started charging by the litre so the price doesn't sound as high.
     
  8. Pseudonym macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    Old Blighty
    #8
    Man, let me sell you petrol! Even at 80p a litre (I pay about 77p) that works out at £3.64 per gallon. That's about $6.72.

    OK that's still a lot (about 73% of what you pay is tax), just not quite that much;)
     
  9. Skiniftz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    #9
    Oops me bad. Remember US Gallons are bigger than UK gallons too.

    (edit - UK gallons!)
     
  10. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #10
    yeah, i've lived in switzerland/france for a few years so i know how expensive VAT is in europe. i just forgot. :D the difference is that consumers don't usually see the VAT in europe - prices usually include them, no? in the U.S., sales tax is added to the price, so it's kind of annoying.

    yeah, i remember gas prices in switzerland. it looked just like the U.S. - like 1.50 SF - but it's per liter so it's more than 3 to 4 times more expensive!
     
  11. Pseudonym macrumors regular

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    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    Old Blighty
    #11
    Never knew that. Life's getting too complicated now;)
     
  12. Skiniftz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    #12
    lmao - that should of course have read US gallons are bigger than *UK* gallons.

    Doh. Never drink and post!
     
  13. Pseudonym macrumors regular

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    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    Old Blighty
    #13
    Let's just settle on the fact we're getting ripped of for petrol and quit while we're ahead :D
     
  14. Pseudonym macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    Old Blighty
    #14
    Actually that's how I read your original post, and I've had nothing to drink!
     
  15. Skiniftz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    #15
    Well there is a simple cure for that!
     
  16. firedrill macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    #16
    buy in e.u.

    I've always been tempted to buy from usa to have a cheap mac in italy, as like in uk, we in italy also are more us$ over than apple store usa prices.
    I do know, if it helps, that here in European Union we have to pay an "extra-E.U." import tax, that's not vat, it's a variable tax more expensive than vat, it's about 34% for advanced electronic/computer equipment...
    If you add shipping, you'll obtain exactly those prices as shown in european apple store, so in my opinion (if you want to do it legal) go and buy in european stores; else buy from ebay and declare it to be a used sample gift...
    ciao
     
  17. evoluzione macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #17
    actually, yer still wrong, a UK Gallon is bigger than a US gallon. ;)
     
  18. Skiniftz thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 18, 2004
  19. Pseudonym macrumors regular

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    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    Old Blighty
  20. D.Shelton macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #20
    I've lived in Germany for about five years now and I brought my PowerBook back with me on my last visit to the US. I just carried it back with me as though I had had it forever and there were no problems with customs.
    I can highly recommend this route. I don't think I would have one sent to me though. Every time I have done this, even declaring it as a gift, I've been tagged with big bills. Here in Germany these items are hit with 16 - 40 % of not only the declared value, but also the cost of shipping the item.
     
  21. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #21
    it's not quite so discreet though with a G5 box is it... :p

    UK customs are wising up to this kind of things, so be prepared to get laden with costs if you get caught.
     
  22. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #22
    The red ‘something to declare’ channel

    Just having a look at http://www.hmce.gov.uk Trying to work out exactly what you would pay if declare your purchaes. But found this....

    Customs duty and VAT (if due) is payable on goods that you buy over the Internet and import into the UK from countries outside the EU unless their value is below £18
     
  23. Skiniftz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    #23
    I kid you not when I say if I put a G5 into a BIG suitcase / trolly it would still not be as large as some of the hand luggage I have seen americans taking on planes!

    Regarding VAT, yes I've been stung with this before. It's the courier that has to pay it on import, and they then reclaim it from you.

    Would be amusing to buy one in the US and try the "but I had it with me all the time" excuse through customs...
     
  24. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #24
    Re: The red ‘something to declare’ channel

    I am going to start getting my DVDs from the US now then, I did not realise that. It only takes a week for it to come here and I get it before the UK shops anyway. :)
     
  25. Skiniftz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    #25
    Re: Re: The red ‘something to declare’ channel

    I've been doing that for years, however mainly because the US DVD's are always better than the UK - more special features etc.

    For example, The Matrix US version has a commentary by Don Davis, the film's composer, while the UK one does not.

    Go figure.
     

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