Question for British Mac users...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macmama, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. macmama macrumors regular

    macmama

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    Hi friends, and Happy New Year!

    A friend of mine in England is contemplating making The Switch, and has been thinking of buying a MacBook in the US while she's on holiday in the spring. She feels it will be less expensive that way.

    Granted, our sticker price seems to be about $200 lower, but I'm wondering if there will be tariffs/taxes she'll need to pay upon re-entry to the UK, or how expensive power converstion kits are. Also, do we have a few different symbols keyboards (for example, I doublt you need "$" over your 4 key)? I'm tending to think she'd be better off just getting one in her country.

    So, what I'm asking is: if you're British, what was the best way you found to buy your mac?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    You can buy in the US, and you will only need to buy a US to UK plug adapter for about £2-£3, however when you come through customs you'll probably have to pay 17.5% VAT, unless you put the thing in an old laptop case and ship the box back separately (or throw it away).

    British keyboards do have a $ sign though ;).
     
  3. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #3
    The easiest way is to buy it from Apple.com/uk.

    If she bought one in the US she would have to put up with a US keyboard (but can set it as UK) and would have to get a UK plug to fit the charger.

    Upon entering the UK with the MB if she has it unpackaged and acts as though shes had it for a while then they will not likely even think about checking it for import tax etc. If its still boxed and brand new then they will notice it.
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #4
    And is the warranty valid? What happens if it stops working properly after 3 or 4 months?

    US prices are deceptive, they don't include local sales tax. At least with John Lewis, you get a two-year warranty, which is where I bought my home machine from.
     
  5. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #5
    What the other guys said, but with the addition that the actual socket on the Mac power adapter is a normal IEC type so you can stick a regular 'figure of 8' mains cable in it so you don't have to start hunting for a UK plug straight away.

    The warranty is I think valid worldwide for Macbook/Pros. And I'm fairly certain you can tack on UK Applecare on a US-sourced machine. Correct me if I'm wrong there anyone.
     
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I believe Apple's laptop warranties are international.

    EDIT Sesshi's already mentioned it.
     
  7. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #7
    What happens if your MBP goes tits up when on an important business trip to Mogadishu? You need to get it fixed right? My guess is the warranty is International ;)
     
  8. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #8
    Laptop and Mac mini warranties are international.
     
  9. SiR GadaBout macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #9
    The best way is to be a student, and buy through the Apple Higher Education Store. Perhaps you could get a friend who's a student to buy it for you if you're not? Not only will you get a reduction but there are other offers as well to take advantage of (such as rebates on buying a printer, an iPod or suchlike). Also, if you purchase in the UK, make sure you have a Nectar Card. If you purchase through the Apple Store using the link on the Nectar website you'll gain a bucketload of points (probably enough for £15 worth of vouchers for Sainsbury's or Argos).
    I think these two offers are mutually-exclusive. The Nectar website link only goes to the normal Apple UK store.
    HTH,
    SiR G.
    PS Though it's been alluded to, no-one's actually mentioned that the PSU with Apple laptops is rated for 50-60Hz and 100-240V - so no transnational concerns there, as others have pointed out.
     
  10. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #10
    All Apple computers sport international warranties.
     
  11. macmama thread starter macrumors regular

    macmama

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    Nov 26, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
  12. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #12
    The best is to be a Student Developer. Buy the computer from the developer store and buy the warrenty seperately from the Higher Ed store. $200's savings at the very least.

    even better, work for Apple.
     
  13. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #13
    Used to be, but it's only laptops (and apparently minis) now.
     
  14. buckyballs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    #14
    I've checked this in the past. I emailed HM Customs and they told me that you must pay VAT on re-entry to the UK but you can pay for it tax-free in the US though, since you are a British (foreign) citizen
     
  15. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #15
    Only if customs think it's new. Unpack it when you buy it, throw the box away, load some photos and music onto it and take it into the country in a regular laptop bag.
     
  16. BBC B 32k macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #16
    uk prices inc. tax at 17.5% but I notice that in the US with amazon and others that you do not pay any tax at all in certain circumstances and also they do discounts/rebates on the list price. You never get a discount on apple list price here in the motherland.

    cheapest place has gotta be in dixons/currys/comet when you get airside at Heathrow/Gatwick or wherever. There is no VAT so prices are much lower. Got iPods and other stuff that way. Just call to make sure they have one in stock for you.

    when you take taxes out of the equation Mr Jobs exchange rate is almost in our favour.

    Anyhow hope to be back over the pond soon for some real shopping. Vegas or New York? decisions...decisions... :)
     
  17. jordygreen macrumors 6502

    jordygreen

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    Well thats what im doing but in july im gunna put the box in the suitcase and put stuff in it and use the MacBook Pro when i there and be like ye i have had it for a while and i wont need to pay taxes and stuff.
     
  18. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #18
    oh? well better ditch the box then.....most likely they wont stop you at all as you go through customs, but if they do, then they're most likely going to look in all of your luggage and as soon as they see that box, they'll understand exactly what you're up to. Unfortunately for you, they can demand that you prove you bought it in the UK and they can impound it until you do.....if you cant prove wherer you purchased it, then you'll pay the tax plus a penalty to get back your brand new laptop

    and try not to look nervous as you walk through customs because that's what they're trained to look for!!
     
  19. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #19
    You have to pay VAT when bringing it into the UK, unless you hide it from customs, which is of course illegal. Her choice. I think there is little difference between the keyboards, mostly that the pound and euro symbol (shift-3 and option-2) are not printed on the keyboard; the should work if you select British keyboard in "International" preferences. You need an adapter for the power plug; I think Apple handles the 110V/230V difference but you better find someone who has tried it without frying their Macbook; any Americans who brought their MacBook to Europe should know. Modem plugs used to be different, but nobody has them anymore. Better read warranty conditions on the US store carefully to check what happens if you need a repair in Europe. Resale value will be bad if she wants to buy another Mac in a few years time.

    If she is going to pay the VAT, I'd say the money is not worth the bother.
     
  20. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #20
    I called the Apple store today....called three times actually, and all three people told me that NONE of Apples' computer have an international warranty as part of their basic warranty....you have to buy the Applecare warranty extension to get global coverage and even then it may not be available for imacs and mac pros

    I've always heard that laptops had a gobal warranty as part of the basic coverage so when the first person told me that wasn't true, I called back to talk to somebody different. As I said, I called three times and all three people told me there's no international warranty for laptops under the basic coverage.

    So to the OP, your friend's Macbook purchase would have to be shipped back to the USA to get warranty repairs should it need it, unless she also buys Applecare

    this was news to me
     
  21. jordygreen macrumors 6502

    jordygreen

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #21
    Ohh ye i know i have had plenty of practice going through customs, just i want to keep the box for warranty and such when i come back to UK because ill need the box.
     
  22. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #22
    Not to my knowledge and i doubt Apple would change their mind in less than 12 months
     
  23. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #23
    Interesting, I was just going by the information on apple.co.nz/support (prior to them redesigning the site, I haven't found it on the new site yet).
     
  24. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #24
    that may be what appleinsider says, but that's not what Apple itself will tell you

    appleinsider is confusing what's available under the Applecarre warranty extension with what's covered by the basic warranty
     
  25. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #25
    ......i dunno its very open to interpretation. The word word 'may' is very powerfull and vague. Anyway here's a screenshot of the standard 1 year warranty. I'll leave it to your discernment.
     

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