Buying products sourced from the US in rip-off Britain

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by TGF, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. TGF macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2004
    Hi, I was wondering whether any of you guys could help me.

    I live in the UK and want to buy some apple products (esp an iPod), however the prices in Britain are HUGE, and with the decent exchange rate at the moment with USD I would like to buy one from the US. However, the US Apple store do no ship outside of the States and doesn't either. Can you guys suggest any reputable firms in the US who would ship an iPod to Britain?

    Also, an iPod sourced from the US - would this be any different from a British iPod? ie. would it be compatible with hardware here? and would the warranty still stand?

    Thanks guys!
  2. ts1973 macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2002
    I believe there are two problems :

    1) Companies are normally not allowed to ship new Apple gear abroad. For the same reason I cannot buy stuff in Belgium from the UK Apple-store. However : Powermax and Mac Connection do ship internationally, I just don't know if they ship the new stuff... though there's no harm in asking them.

    2) Power connections : I think you'll need an adapter to change the connectors from US ppower to UK power (for Belgium this applies in any case).

    Hope this helps a bit :)
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    if you have a store officially (i.e. not smuggling) ship you anything from abroad to Britain, you will be obligated to pay import duty on it when it clears the customs. this and international shipping/insurance costs will almost surely make the savings much less than what you are expecting from the simple currency conversion.
  4. MatMistake macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2004
    if you want to buy anything from abroad in the uk you have to pay import tax (usually between 5% and 9%) ontop of the price of the item and postage, then pay VAT on top of all that, so the equation works out at :

    ((ipod + shipping) + import tax) + VAT

    now the sums (which I hope I got right)

    20Gb ipod from the us apple store = $399, which = £224.91, rounded to £225
    shipping to UK: lets guess at £20
    so the first bit of the equation = £245

    now plus import tax, and we'll asume it'll be 5%, 5% of £245 is £12.25 so now we have a total of £257.25

    now plus 17.5% of what we have, 17.5% of £257.25 is £45.02 (two 2 d.p.) so the grand total is now £302.27. but as we rounded up a little at the start, lets round that down now to £302.

    now how much is an ipod from the uk apple store you ask? £299, plus no need to buy an adapter for the power supply...
  5. Danrose1977 macrumors regular


    Death and taxes...... I'm not happy about either of them.... :mad:
  6. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Gifts are not taxable from outside the EU. I might personally send myself an ipod from Japan with Happy birthday written on it when i go in september.

    Btw, you don't always pay an import tax, i buy things regularly from japan, online and i get everything cheap. I have even bought many things from America and not payed anything such as import tax. But then again, those items were always small and may not be worth the paper work.

    I heard Royal Mail inspect 1 package out of 500 or so. Anybody can correct me if I am wrong on this.
  7. MatMistake macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2004
    I think up to a value of around £20 or something like that you don't pay import tax, but apart from stuff under that limit I've only ever had one package get through unchecked from the US. but maybe I'm just incredibly unlucky.
  8. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    You're absolutely right. You only pay import tax on what is found on the way in - and mostly, stuff isn't found, because as you say, few packages are actually inspected.

    The company sending won't declare the product - it's not up to them. If it's not declared, and not found, you're home free. If it's found, you're obliged to play the outstanding amount. The worst that can happen is that you pay; it's only if you refuse that you get in real trouble.

    Or you could do what I did; go to NYC, and buy a Powerbook, airport ex. card and Sony digital cam and memory stick (forgot my own... ) and bring it all back. Without any questions at all.

    Anyways, yeah - I wouldn't be too worried, tbh.

  9. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    gifts are not "taxable" because the sender pays the tax in order to ship the gift. if the tax is not paid by the sender, the receiver will need to pay the tax. there's no way around this - someone pays.

    my friend's dad sent him a sweater from U.S. to france. he didn't pay the tax on it and my friend got a notice saying he needed to come to paris, pay the duty and pick up the gift.

    if you get "caught," you have to pay. period.

    anyway, it all comes down to how much risk you are willing to take.

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