Thinking of buying an iMacG5 in the US

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by monty77, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. monty77 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    ...and bringing it back to the UK.

    Keyboard will be different, easily sorted. Main concern is the power supply. Apple site says specs are either 110v or 100-240v depending on country of purchase.

    Does anyone know which one gets shipped in the US? Guess I could replace the internal PSU with a european spec one, looks easy enough to do going on the apple support guide to replacing one.

    Price difference is ~£300 ($600) so well worth doing if everything else works out.

    Thanks!
    Adam

    Edit: Oh, and if anyone would be kind enough to measure the dimensions of the box for the 20" that would be cool too :)
     
  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    #3
  3. ncoffey macrumors regular

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    #4
    The power supply for the US/Japan/Canada models is 100-120 only. This is why I got a Mac Mini instead of an iMac because I'm likely moving to a 220 country in about a year. You could replace the power supply, but good luck finding one. From what I've heard they are pretty tough to come by. Maybe this is wrong though so I'd say look into it first.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Platform macrumors 68030

    Platform

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    #5
    Yes that was I tought that let's noy get more people into the trap ;)
     
  5. JRM PowerPod macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I wouldn't worry about it. New ones are due soon and the risks are too great in importing it. Power conversion, warranties, etc. By it for the extra cost, do yourself a great service and buy at home.
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    Yeah, I remember reading that thread. Its funny, because pretty much all of Apple's line-up had a dual voltage adaptor, particularly the flower-power iMac. If you're not a new Mac user, or not a new iMac user, you would just assume that the NEW iMac model is also dual voltage. Its not an unreasonable assumption. After all, this is standard on iMacs. Now the new one doesn't have it? Example: I wouldn't check if a dual voltage power adapter was standard (and not optional) for an iBook or Powerbook. I probably wouldn't check ANY of the specs that closely, except for CPU, graphics card, system bus, and RAM if I were to buy another Powerbook. Old iMac users probably wouldn't check for such things either, although I can imagine Apple switchers checking every spec and free program a system comes with.

    Lucky you checked it out first. The countries that ship with the 120 V adapter are Canada, the USA, and Japan.
     
  7. Benj macrumors regular

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    #8
    Don't forget that when you bring it in you are going to get hit up for VAT and import duty which will close the price gap considerably.

    If you were buying a laptop you could decide to slip it into an old bag and not declare it. (I wouldn't take the chance.) BIt more difficult with a great big desktop.....
     
  8. Badradio macrumors 6502

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    #9
    And sales tax in the US. You add it all up and it's about £100 more to buy it in the US. You could - if you were so inclined - maybe get a notebook back through UK customs without the packaging, but a desktop (I'd assume it'd be boxed as you were asking for dimensions) - there's no way they'd let that one slip.
     
  9. monty77 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    WOW ... thanks for all the responses.

    RE: Frying issue. I've already found a step down transformer here in the UK, 300W - £50. Apple site reckons 180W is the max power requirement for the iMac so that's that covered.

    RE: Paying duty/VAT on my return. I wouldn't declare it, naughty perhaps. Even better I'd get an Apple certified one at knockdown cost so even if I did get stung I'd still be up on the deal. I'm pretty sure it'd go in my suitcase in it's box, just wanted to confirm.

    Now I'm all for the 'buy it at home' scheme in the normal state of affairs and certainly wouldn't do this if it was a small amount of money but when the price difference is soooooooooo huge I'm all for it. There's no excuse right now for Apple to charge the prices they do in the UK, especially with the very favourable exchange rate right now - it's plain exploitation.

    There's a certified iMac on their website right now for $1649 ($1899 new), an identical new one from UK apple is $2500 - there is no justification for this price difference.

    ...lack of a warranty does worry me slightly, but not a great deal.

    A
     
  10. Mr MacNabbit macrumors regular

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    #11
    I can't see any reason why your warranty would be any different - many people buy Macs in the US and take them elsewhere, Apple would (or should still) support it wherever you take it! ?

    I am considering buying a 15" Powerbook whilst in the US soon, and since I will be using it over there anyway, and it is for my own use, I don't think I need to declare it when I come back through customs - technically I probably should, but that isn't totally clear on the HM customs site.
     
  11. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #12
    Personal use means nothing as regards Customs unless it's coming in from the EU. If you travel outside the EU, you can only bring back in 'other goods' (ie not listed within the wine/spirits/tobacco limits) up to £145. Otherwise you're looking at import and VAT to be paid on them (and possible prosecution) if Customs catch you. That's pretty clear if you click on the 'what can I bring into the UK link on the HM Customs site' and is prominently displayed around every baggage carousel.

    Incidentally, it's also up to you to prove that you have paid duty/VAT on everything you have with you. I have an 'unlucky' friend who got asked lots of questions about his laptop when on the way back from the US - and he had got it in the UK (and had to send them a receipt later to prove it IIRC).

    Bear in mind that the Apple US site isn't showing sales tax so you'll need to factor that in when you buy over there - otherwise you may get a shock when you get to the sales register. The online store may also not deliver to a hotel address (big fraud risk) so you may not be able to get a refurbed one.

    I suspect smuggling an iPod, iBook, Powerbook back into the UK is reasonably easy unless you get pulled over and asked about the US keyboard. The iMac I can see being a little trickier - it's a fairly large box after all and Customs officers aren't stupid.

    As far as warranties go, I know the portables are worldwide. Not so sure about desktops - the Apple retail store seems to have huge problems when faced with US receipts for iPod accessories, jumping through hoops to get paperwork sorted.
     
  12. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

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    #13

    Good advice there.. :) I am "smuggling" a PB back in a couple of weeks.. I imagine it will be no problem, I will have send the boxes back seperatly (mail) and carry the PB in a case, as hand luggage.

    Good luck in whatever you decide..
     
  13. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #14
    Incidentally, if you're flying to a UK regional airport via London, there are some practical 'holes' in the Customs procedures.

    Your baggage is checked through from originating airport through to regional airport which means you don't see it at Heathrow so the mini-Customs you go through at Terminal 1/4 don't see it either. It's supposed to end up on the non-EU belt (where there's a phone to summon a Customs official if someone wants to declare something) at the regional airport since it's got different coloured luggage tags but in practice, certainly at Edinburgh/ Glasgow/ Newcastle, it tends to end up coming out with the rest of the domestic baggage with nary a Excise officer in sight.
     
  14. mpw Guest

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    Jun 18, 2004
    #15
    17" 1.8Ghz is on Apple's UK website at £850.21. The same machine is on the US site for the $ equivalent of £784.10. That's a difference of 8.4%, hardly exploitation.
     
  15. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

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    #16
    Shame I'm coming into Heathrow.. :(
     
  16. Mr MacNabbit macrumors regular

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    #17
    Hmm - well I wouldn't fancy being questioned by customs and potentially prosecuted - the savings wouldn't be so clever then! - but, it's annoying, as even with US sales tax it will only add 5% to the Apple store price:

    Powerbook 15" Combo US price: $1999 = £1040 + 5% = £1092
    Powerbook 15" Combo UK price: £1379

    Still a saving of nearly £300

    So what happens if someone in the US buys it as a gift for you I wonder?
     
  17. monty77 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    They wont proscecute unless you're bringing back a shedload for resale and tax evasion on several counts, you'll just have to cough up for the duty and have your baggage examined thoroughly.

    The 'gift' loophole is a myth: http://www.hmce.gov.uk/channelsPort...ent&id=HMCE_PROD_010220&propertyType=document

    "£145 worth of all other goods including gifts and souvenirs" is all you can bring back tax free. Doesn't matter who bought them. The site however doesn't mention goods that are not new (i.e. a refurbed iMac), I suspect they would still say it has 'value' though .. after all you have to pay VAT if you import a 2nd hand car from the US.

    Now getting someone to mail goods to you in the UK and misquoting the value of the parcel to avoid tax - that _is_ an offence and will land you in hot water.

    Laptops generally are easier to bring back though and tend to be dual voltage and have international warranty.

    ..still considering it, it's a hell of a saving.

    Adam
     
  18. monty77 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Where are you getting those figures from?

    UK 17" iMac = £899
    US 17" iMac = £709 ($1299 + 5% sales tax)

    ...UK is 27% more expensive going on these figures, or US is 21% cheaper - depending which way you look at it.

    A
     
  19. monty77 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    ..Apple only offer international warranty for portable PCs. It sucks, but kind of makes sense.

    Adam
     
  20. monty77 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    ...would be shipped to a colleagues home address, only worry is them not accepting a UK credit card for payment.

    B*stards. US Apple store had no probs helping me out with my UK purchased iPod when I was over there despite not having a receipt .. they looked up the serial number to check when it was purchased - extremely helpful.

    A
     
  21. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #22
    Oh, they are very helpful but any replacements have to be treated as a Genius 'spare part' rather than straight exchange since the regular registers don't have access to the US database or something. And with the general busyness of the London Genius Bar, that makes it a lot less straightforward!

    Powerbook, iBook-wise it makes sense and as noted, it's a lot easier to slide into a sleeve in your handluggage. Heck, my mother did it last September! It's the iMac that I was thinking might have more problems!
     
  22. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

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    #23
    That could be a problem, AFAIK Apple only accept US billing for US orders, UK billing for UK orders, etc. - hence UK buyers not being able to buy from the US Apple store. I could be wrong, so correct me if I am!

    I've mentioned it several times before, but for the people posting on this thread planning to buy Powerbooks over in America and bring them back, I'll recount my experience.

    I went to NYC last April, and bought a 12in Powerbook while I was over there. Prior to leaving, I ordered and recieved a Tucano skin, and brought that across with me, empty. Bought the Powerbook (after I'd factored in the 8% NYC sales tax which I forgot about), dumped the box, and put it in the skin. I carried it in my hand through customs both in London and in Belfast, with the documentation / invoices / CD's all in my bag. Not a problem. Only person that seemed to care was a nice security guard at the warship we visited while we were over there. He told me he was buying a new G5 soon, and that I'd made a good decision getting a mac, lol :)

    Anyway, yeh so I didn't have a problem. Other peoples experiences might be different, though. You could try putting older files on the computer; a cursary glance wouldn't prove the computer was new, then. If they ask about the US keyboard, tell them you bought it previously. They might follow it up, or they might not.

    But an iMac... would that fit in a suitcase? Tbh mate, I can't see there being any way that's ever gonna get through. You've a better chance posting it and paying shipping, your virtually certain not to get caught, since they check so few packages.

    Tbh, I think the airports have more to worry about these days than customs preventing a few dollars from entering the economy via tax; terrorism et al. Just my .02!

    andy.
     

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