Buying a PBG4 from USA to use in UK

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mumbles27, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. mumbles27 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Does anyone know about buying a Mac PBG4 from the states and using it in the UK..? Aplle USA tell me the machine are identical so i assume that i can buy one from the states and use it here in the UK by buying the powerpack from the UK..?

    one thing bothers me is if something goes wrong i probably need to send it back to the states but i suppose thats the risk i need to take...

    (and before anyone asks, i'm going/coming to the USA for a long weekend athought i may as well pick one up as the top PBG4 is around £600 less)
     
  2. cube macrumors G4

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    May 10, 2004
    #2
    Is the video out switchable between PAL and NTSC?
     
  3. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

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    #3
    The powerbooks and software are identical, in everyway.

    NTSC/PAL macht nichts (doesn't matter).

    I too was thinking of doing this. On the matter of support, i believe the year included is 'Worldwide support' but don't quote me on this.
     
  4. mumbles27 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    thats a good quesion... a very good question... just the type of question i could do with... and i dont know, Apple USA said it was the exact same machine... so... er...?
     
  5. mumbles27 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    cube/space magic... you know about powering the PBG4...?
     
  6. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

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    Atlanta, GA
    #6
    The keyboard is physically different, for example the Enter key is a different shape and I believe certain characters are in different places on the keyboard.

    The included powerbrick will have a US plug attachment but that can be resolved with an adapter or as you say, simply purchase a UK one.

    As for repairing you will not have a problem as its a portable, which enjoys Global coverage under the applecare plan. If you look up the Terms & Conditions of applecare you will find the following paragraph:

    2 (e). Apple’s obligation to repair or replace shall extend only to Covered Equipment located in the country where the Plan is purchased and enrolled/activated, except for (i) portable computers, meaning those that can operate independently without a power cord, for which Apple will provide global repair and replacement service, and (ii) Covered Equipment covered by a Plan purchased and enrolled/activated in the U.S. or Canada, for which Apple will provide repair and replacement service in either country.

    Just a thought, but once you have taken into consideration US tax pertinent to whichever state you actually buy it in, plus the cost of a UK powerbrick is the cost difference worth doing it this way rather than just buying it in the UK?

    Vanilla
     
  7. mumbles27 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Gggggreat, thanks Vanilla..


    it does seem worth it, the spec mac i want is £2350 and only $3300 in the states. Do i need to pay tax on it? only if i declare it at customs i believe, which i planned not to.. The prices quoted are from www.apple.com, do they include any taxes? do you have state taxes on stuff you buy in, say, New York..?
     
  8. pinks macrumors regular

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    #8
    Buy the Apple World Travel Kit - this provides you with 6 AC plugs which can be used on iPod, PBG4 and iBook power units. Only £29 in the UK or $39 US.

    Edit: this is significantly cheaper than buying a whole UK adaptor, which retails at £65.
     
  9. mumbles27 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    very helpful comments.. cheers people..

    i know its a long way to go for a lappy but does anyone know where you can get PBG4 cheaper in the UK than at Apple UK its self, USA is the only place i can find, and while the dollars still giving $1.83+ to the £1 its quite good value...
     
  10. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

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    Atlanta, GA
    #10
    1. The prices on the Apple.com website do NOT include states taxes as they are different for each state.
    2. When you buy an item in the States you will pay the base price PLUS local and state taxes. I believe you can then claim the tax element back at the airport, with your receipt as evidence. (Note: I THINK it needs to be in original packaging as well, but I cant be fully sure whether thats a US requirement or another country I've been in)
    3. Upon arrival in the UK you are then obliged to declare the item at customs and pay the UK VAT tax element (which is why its important to reclaim the US tax at the US airport)
    4. If you reclaim US tax and do NOT declare it at UK customs, clearly that is illegal and the risk is all yours. All I would suggest is not bring it back in its original packaging etc. to help look like its your usual laptop rather than a brand new one, which if I'm right and you need it in original packaging when reclaiming the US tax, could mean an interesting time in the gents loo after you get your refund. Again though, original packaging does help when you come to sell it on in the future, so its a difficult one.

    ADDITIONAL NOTE: I am not sure where you arrived at the currency conversion rate but be careful as the rate a credit card company will use could well be substantially different.

    PLUS of course you must also add the cost of your flight, presumably hotel accomodation, food & drink to the calculation.

    Personally I wouldnt bother, but thats just me.
    cheers
    Vanilla
     
  11. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

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    #11
    Go to a state without sales tax. Don't pay any. Come back to britain. Under UK law you MUST declare it. However, and although this is illegal, one could get away with it easily - as the declaring is up to you. Safe bet is to remove packaging like Vanilla said above and it looks like your normal laptop. However, things sell better on eBay etc etc with packaging. In the end I personally wouldn't buy something as big as a laptop in the US, but iPods are cheaper... so ... ;)
     
  12. cube macrumors G4

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    #12
    Well, I'm used to American keyboards, and when I asked for an English keyboard they gave me a UK one, but the only difference I've noticed is that the pound key has a Sterling instead of a hash drawn on it. (Hm... Maybe the tilde is in a different place? I'm not an expert typist)

    Again, what about the video out? When I finally decide to buy a laptop, I don't want to get a German keyboard just to have PAL (sorry, ebay.co.uk is too expensive).
     
  13. davegoody macrumors 6502

    davegoody

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    Reading, Berkshire, England
    #13
    There is ANOTHER option

    I saved almost £700 by buying my 17" Powerbook at the Apple Store in Pallisades Mall, New York. I brought the laptop home (to England) in my old(ish) laptop bag, together with charger etc. I posted the nearly empty box back to myself in the UK and a week or so later, it arrived in immaculate condition. Well worthwhile doing this !

    Good Luck :rolleyes:
     
  14. mumbles27 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    thats the spirit davegoody... you reccomend this way then..? Anything i need to consider/watch out for/ask about..? what about the powerpack? does that need changing or can i simply stick a USA2UK adaptor on it?

    that sounds like a plan.. no taxes no nothing... I'm gonna phone the Apple NY store and see what the score is with ordering. I have had long thoughts about this, considering i'm also migrating from a 10 year PC background as i only need the mac for music, video, photos, a general office work, and can get a weekend in NY for the saving.

    Vanilla, your comments are appreciated and yes i know credit cards may have lower rates and high fees, i may use cash or draw out $3300 in cash from a travellers cheque or something.. i dunno yet... but will look into it


    and


    GENIUS... "there are only 10 types of person, those who understand Binary and those who don't !"
     
  15. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    No worries, if nothing else it'll be an interesting adventure ;-)

    All I ask is that you take into account ALL of your expenses involved in flying to/from the US when you attempt to determine what exactly you have saved. That includes Taxi fares, flight ticket, hotel accomodation, food & drink etc. basically everything that you would NOT have required to pay had you instead bought it in the UK. Add that lot up and deduct it from your gross savings to see what your net profit is of bringing in a laptop illegally into the UK.

    Additionally you mention NY as your chosen destination, but I believe New York state does in fact have sales tax (and I'm pretty sure there is a local and state tax combination), so you might want to look at an alternative state that doesnt have sales tax. Alternatively you can of course claim it back at JFK as discussed previously.

    Ciao for now and good luck!
    Vanilla
     
  16. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

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    Feb 25, 2004
    #16
    Hey,

    I live in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but was over in New York at Easter. I'm still at school, so buying a Powerbook over here at that time, with the higher price, was out of the question.

    So I bought mine in New York, and ended up saving 450 quid all in. I didn't bother declaring it on the way back, and wasn't stopped. Nobody asked anything, and I carried it in my hands (well, inside its Tucano skin, which incidentally, I bought before I went and took it across the Atlantic empty ;))

    Personally, I wouldn't worry about declaring. No doubt some people will feel different, but that's my belief. No one will hassle you for it, so don't worry about that. The PSU is 110-240V variable, as has been mentioned, so get yourself a UK adaptor and you're all set.
    Someone else also mentioned the different keyboard. That's hardly a dealbreaker though, and if you're a touch-typer, just set it up for a UK software layout and you're all set.

    Incidentally, I just paid cash for mine, on the day. I dunno what I wudda done had there not been any in stock. Just watch out for the sales tax that they don't add on for the American prices mate. They'll add 8% when you're in store, which I forgot about. Didn't put me off though, still made a killing with that price!

    Cheers,

    andy.

    Edit: Oh yeah, do as Vanilla says and dump the packaging! I left mine in the hotel room, you should - and probably will, it's bulky! - do the same. I'm sure you've already thought of that though. You could post the CD's and receipt home, but personally, I didn't bother doing that, and I'm sitting in Belfast with my shiny Powerbook jus' fine :)

    Vanilla, you said to take into account the cost of a UK powerbrick. To get my Powerbook working here, I bought a 2 quid adaptor at Heathrow on the way home. That was it! Hardly a cost worth factoring in. Go for it mate.
     
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Andover, MA
    #17
    My understanding is that mumbles27 is going to visit here anyway.

    FWIW, New Hapshire has no sales tax whatsoever; New York's is pretty high. I have no idea whether travelling there is feasible or not, given your (mumbles27's) travel plans.
     
  18. panda macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    #18
    buying in the us.

    here is my experience, but i think vanilla has covered lots of it.

    1) buying in the u.s. is cheaper, but, in nyc there is a city tax, this is 8% or more i think. YOU DO NOT GET TAX BACK AT THE AIRPORT WHEN YOU LEAVE. there is no tax refund ever from the u.s..

    2) in new york there is also a state and city tax, i believe... it is quite possible that when buying in nyc, this combined comes to about 13% on your purchase. i can't quite remember this, but will try to check it.

    if you buy it over the phone, or out of state, you can have it shipped (to your hotel?) for free and pay no state or city taxes.

    3) legally you should import it to the u.k., but i do not think there is any tax to pay, (not sure, maybe vat), if not conceal it as already suggested. this in no way effects any of the warranties...

    4) the adapter automatically switches to the diff voltages around the world, all that needs changing are the plugs, the travel kit is a great solution to avoid xtra non-apple add-ons. apple's are made for the adapter.

    5) buying at the apple store soho is great fun (giddy). their return policy is very strict. once opened, there is a return fee (10%?) and only within 10 days. in europe, if you buy online or by phone from the apple store, delivery is free and you can return it no questions asked, even when opened, during the first 10 working days.

    6) no problem with the worldwide apple care protection, including phone support. in fact you can register your computer in the u.k. with apple care, when you return. but... the e.u and the u.s. have different consumer laws and thus, in europe, i believe by law your computer is protected for 2 years after purchase. not so in the u.s.

    7) the price diff is huge and probably worth it, but there is an alternative for you... is there any way you can buy it thru a u.k. company? i find that the vat refund you get, nearly equals the saving of buying in the u.s. this is my preferred route.

    :)
     
  19. mumbles27 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    aye, vanilla, see what ya sayin... but i'm in NY anyway so thats why i may pick one up while there rather than ordering here...

    and New Hampshire... having a look on the map.. hmmm... Could be a little far..
     
  20. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

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    Feb 25, 2004
    #20
    It's 8%. You pay 8% extra, on top of the price of the product. That's what I paid when I bought from the Apple Store Soho. Panda's right - you don't get it back :(

    You pay the VAT that you miss out on by not buying it from the UK. That's 17.5%. You also pay an import duty. That's if you openly declare it, of course.

    By all means, go for the travel kit. IMHO though, an adaptor is an adaptor, and you wanna maximise your savings, just buy a regular adaptor at the airport on the way home. Mine has been running constantly for four months on a regular cheapo adaptor, no problems.

    Fun! Fun doesn't even begin to cover it. It's the most fun you can have with your clothes on OR off! It's like you've gone to mac-topia. Perfection. Even the surroundings - the Soho area - is very cool.
    I think the restocking fee might by 15% though, it is on most other US stores that I've seen. I could be wrong though, or just visiting weird sites. Feel free to correct me!

    Yep, worldwide protection. The consumer laws are different, but generally aren't something I'd suggest you worry about.

    Cheers,

    andy.
     
  21. davegoody macrumors 6502

    davegoody

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Reading, Berkshire, England
    #21
    Hi again.

    No problem with the Power Supply, the PSU is rated at 100 - 240volts, the ONLY difference is the Plug that slides onto the PSU - The Powerbook is supplied with two of these anyway, one is "just" a plug, the other is a cable - just cut off the USA plug and put on a UK Plug - that is what I did.

    Keyboard is US, though most of the time I use an external Bluetooth Keyboard at home (with the PB on an iCurve) and this works just fine for me.

    I have had one problem with the PB and Apple looked after me just as if I had purchased the PB in the UK - Portable devices have an international warranty.

    I am (hopefully) going back to the US early next year and will buy my Canon 20d Digital SLR there, should save enough for the air fare !

    Good luck !
     
  22. mumbles27 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    dont know if anyones still watching this thread but before i was quoting prices from the Apple USA website. Looking around the internet i see better deals on PBG4, some as low as $2200 ... http://www.us1camera.com ... which is £1200, almost half the cost... am i missing something here or are these the very same machines...? Are they not up to date stock or OS or something...?
     
  23. angelneo macrumors 68000

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    afk
    #23
    I believe that is the previous version of the powerbook. It's the 17 inch 1.33G. The current version of 17 inch is 1.5G
     
  24. mpw Guest

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    Jun 18, 2004
    #25
    17.5% VAT would be asked for on most(vitually all) goods but there's no import duty on a laptop (or desktop) computer. There IS an extra 2% import duty on iPods which incidentally have there own listing by brand with Her Majesty's Customs & Excise.
     

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