buying from Apple USA in the UK

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by GonzoRob, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. GonzoRob macrumors 6502

    GonzoRob

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    #1
    hi
    A friend of mine is moving to the UK in a month so I'm taking this chance to get a cheap powerbook (hopefully just after the upcoming update). I have my friends US address. How would I go about buying a powerbook from Apple USA with an British billing address/VISA card .. and shipping it to a location in Iowa ......
    Perhaps making the order over the phone ?

    Any ideas ?

    Rob
     
  2. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #2
    It is very unlikely that you will be able to use a UK credit card and have it delivered to a US address. Your best bet would be to get your US friend to use his US credit card and then give him the money when he comes over to the UK, if it is only a month away then his credit card bill won't be due until he comes over.

    however if he brings it over in a nice new Apple Box then customs will want him to part with 17.5% VAT, which will destroy most of the savings that you would have got buying it in the states in the first place.

    Also be aware that it will have a US style keyboard, which even if you are not bothered by this, will push down it's resale value when you come to upgrade.
     
  3. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #3
    Also don't forget the US have a state based sales tax that I think varies from about 0% to 10% (5% being typical) depending on the state, I am sure someone will tell you what the Iowa tax rate is.
     
  4. Cybernanga macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Location:
    Essex, United Kingdom
    #4
    A simpler way

    Surely it's simpler to send the money to your friend and get him to order it?

    It's just that I've tried that sort of thing before, abeit not with the Apple Store, and have always had problems with the billing address being from a different country.
     
  5. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #5
    Agreed get him to buy it on his card and then give him the cash.

    If you don't plan on giving Customs the import and VAT on it (naughty, naughty :) ), then he's going to have to do some cover up - unless he can tell them that it isn't staying in the UK (and not even sure that will work). He might have to do the initial set up on it - otherwise it will look very odd to any examining customs agent, if the machine goes straight into 'Welcome' and initial start up.

    Having said that, my mother bought an iBook in the US. She carried the iBook in her handluggage (especially since you can't lock your hold baggage) and put the box, with other stuff in it in the hold bag.

    I know other friends who have posted the box with old clothes in it back to the UK and others who have simply dumped the box in the US.
     
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #6
    I vaguely recall someone on this board once saying they had power-supply problems (110 v. 220) with their US-purchased Mac...

    ...although I'm probably imagining it.

    Best to double-check, though. Just in case...
     
  7. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #7
    Think the power supply problems were with the iMac G5 which in the US models, doesn't have the capability to deal with other power currents.

    Portables, since by definition, are likely to end up in different places, do have the powerbrick that can switch voltages.
     
  8. GonzoRob thread starter macrumors 6502

    GonzoRob

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    #8
    Thanks for all the replies..
    As for tax, im going to try hard not to pay it :) My friend is moving all his stuff to the UK (Hi'Fi's TV's etc) so one box would slip though easily (fingers crossed)

    I guess i could transfer the 1,500 bucks to my friends account however it would be easier if i could just buy it all this end. Also bank charges :(

    What about BestBuy and other such places ? Are they so strict ? I used my VISA card loads when I was in the USA, so i know it works at least...

    As for the voltage problem... buying a powerbook from the USA saves me silly amounts of money, easily enough to cover a replacement charger :D

    So... any more ideas?
    Thanks again ..
    Rob
     
  9. erik1975 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #9
    Maybe I can help, I am an American and have been living/working in the UK for over a year. First of all, besides the G5 iMac case, don't worry about power supplies. All you will need for the Powerbook is a £5 US-UK mains adaptor. Problem solved!

    As for payments on US/UK sites. I have done this several times since my move. It is a bit messy on the Apple site but I have had no problems at all. Most of the time I use my US VISA card on purchases made while I live here in the UK. That is US VISA for UK purchases. When I order items from the Apple Store UK, I enter my US billing address for the billing details. This is easy to do, except for the Postcode box, which does not allow for US numeric codes. I simply enter my UK postcode and write my US postcode on the same address line where I list the State. None of my orders or charges have ever been questioned. I can not guarantee that purchases going the other way will work, but I hope this helps.

    It is also interesting that since I use a US VISA card that I can buy tunes off the US iTunes Music Store. Even though the IP address which I use to download the tunes is based here in the UK. Thus I save a bit on my tunes. Granted I do not get access to the UK artists, but I don't necessarily find a huge desire to buy any work from Busted or Will Young! :)

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. No, I am not breaking any laws with what I am doing. (I think)
     
  10. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #10
    Will your friend open a UK account for while he's over here? He will need UK cash - so you could just arrange to give him the $1500 in pounds in 3 weekly batches (so he doesn't feel uncomfortable with so much cash in one hit). Much easier and may help him out since he won't pay conversion rates on his US dollar account into UK pounds for that cash.

    Sure it works while you are there. The trouble comes when buying online (card not present) and shipping to a nonbilling address. That will flag up on every 'fraud' alert system that retailers use - particularly when the card is a non-US one. And not all sites will sell to non-US cards. Also you're better off buying it from Apple. That way their receipt will give you the date you are covered to warranty-wise - and saves a lot of hassle if you have a problem with it and need to take it to Apple here.

    You don't need a replacement charger - just a UK plug to fit onto the powerbrick. If you have an iPod, the UK plug from your iPod charger will slot onto the Powerbook brick and work fine. Otherwise I'm sure you can get one on Ebay - Apple sell a world conversion kit but it's a little pricey if you only need the UK adaptor.
     
  11. GonzoRob thread starter macrumors 6502

    GonzoRob

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    #11
    ok, I'll try and enter my UK address in the billing field when i order - hopefully that should suffice.
    As for my friend opening a UK bank account, the problem would be that the VISA card / billing address would still be english:( ...

    Thinking about it , i really have to buy the powerbook myself incase i ever need to claim it on house insurance if it's ever broken/stolen..

    *If* i can place the order - should I put my name on the Iowa postal address or my friends? If im in the UK and I put my name, then it probably wont go though , if i put my friends then it will look strange :)


    All this to save 300 quid heh
     
  12. GonzoRob thread starter macrumors 6502

    GonzoRob

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    #12
    also, do you guys think calling apple to place the order would be easier ?

    R
     
  13. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #13
    it might be if you are anxious about the billin adress

    but iv never had a problem, i use a philippine credit card to pay for things in the states to be delivered to the UK.
     
  14. TheMac19 macrumors regular

    TheMac19

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Pitt
    #14
    If your friend is moving all his stuff over here, is he going to send it in a container? If so the sure, I don't see why the computer wouldn't slip through, as many people pach electronics in their original packaging for safe transport. If he's planning on flying with stuff, particularly with your laptop, you might bear in mind that usually laptops have to be in carry-on luggage; I don't think they can be checked. (At least not in my experience.) So the whole apple box for a powerbook might be a bit cumbersome, plus it'll have to be opened to be checked, as all laptop computers have to go through the xray machines alone, not contained in any case or box. Often they'll have to be swabbed as well.

    And for your friend, I presume he knows what he's doing, but moving electronics en masse to Europe is generally more of a headache than it is worth, unless it's high end stuff he's really attached to. Voltage aside, the compatibility issues (e.g. pal/ntsc, rca/scart, fm banding etc.) make things annoying very quick. not to mention the cost...

    just my two cents, as I fly between the states and europe all too frequently, and always with my powerbook. ;)
    cheers,
     
  15. GonzoRob thread starter macrumors 6502

    GonzoRob

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    #15
    I hope my friend know's what he's doing also :)
    I dont think he's taking too much electrical stuff over to the UK, just a few boxes. should be enough to sneak a powerbook box into.
    Hopefully Im as lucky as virividox....
    Thanks for all your help guys - any other ideas/ suggestions please shout

    Rob
     
  16. atif.muhammad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    none of your business
    #16
    transfer the money over to your friends account
    get him to buy the powerbook
    bring it over to the UK and either dont bother declaring or say that it is a birthday "gift' for his friend
    that should do it.
     

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