Why are UK users disadvantage price wise?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by drdimmer, May 1, 2006.

  1. drdimmer macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2006
    Good morning all, while making this post I'll introduce myself to the forums. I'm a wannabe Mac OSX switcher, who is eagerly awaiting the coming of the new Intel iBook. I have been reading the forums for a while now but only just decided to register.

    Today i decided to compare US prices to UK prices, and I was amazed by the difference! I understand tax plays a role, but cannot it account for such a large difference?

    I apologise if similar threads have been made before.

    Below is what I mean, a US Stock MacBook Pro costs $1999, in the UK apple store (stock) costs £1429. I popped over to xe.com to convert the prices, to my horror to find $1999 = 1,095.16. UK users are charged £333.84 more!

    I understand that fluctuating conversions between the two currencys can make a difference, but seeing this really did surprise me. What i find most disheartening but short of going across to the US, buying it yourself, then coming back and being charged the extra tax while travelling back home there is nothing that you can readily do about it - except, except this how it works :-(.

    </rant> Sorry, just thought I would ask other members opinion of the forum.

    Edit: Did my maths slightly wrong ;)
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    UK Applestore prices include VAT @ 17.5%

    I'm pretty sure that the U.S. prices do not include any sales tax, but I might be wrong here.
  3. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    they don't, and sales tax varies from state to state. in los angeles it's 8.25% :rolleyes:
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    US prices are without VAT, UK (and most other European prices) are with. Deduct vat from the European prices and the difference is much less.

    Also there's a higher cost of doing business in Europe for several reasons, one being better customer protection through consumers legislation. That costs.
  5. drdimmer thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2006
    Sorry for the stupid question, does it not dishearten other UK users though? Or am I just being weird :D
  6. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    Blue Velvet is correct.

    US Store excludes sales tax (VAT) as it varies state to state.

    £1,095.16 * 1.175 (VAT) = £1286.81 So there's ~ £150 Extra on the UK prices which yeh is quite big but i put it down to things like unique power plugs, different keyboards, etc (basically localisation costs as the Uk market is smaller than the US market).
  7. drdimmer thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2006
    Thank-you all for your useful replies :) Lets just hope that the MacBook is released sooner rather than later, would hate to have to wait till WDDC in August.
  8. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Well I looked at a few Apple stores in a few countries and it looks like most of them are higher than the US. Ireland and Germany were even higher than the UK. It probably just has to do with currency fluctuations and import taxes.
  9. majorp macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2005
    UK !!!
    to be honest i would prefer to pay the extra £150 and be able to

    1. Free 3 year warranty (or full applecare for £58) for HE students
    2. Being able to return for ANY reason within 14 days with NO restocking fee.
    3. Replacements can be dropped off before the faulty one is collected.

    these have helped me many times:D
  10. drdimmer thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2006
    I apologise for changing topic, but regarding HE students, does that include if you are in High School - as I don't have a student card but I will be entering sixform. Technically i dont like in the UK but Isle of Man is close enough!
  11. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    17" MacBook Pro = AUD$4599 = US$ 3492
    17" MacBook Pro = US$2799

    That's a big, big price difference eh?
  12. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    Ireland 17" MBP €2929 = $3,698.38

    Even worse:( :( :mad:

    And our sales tax (VAT) is 21%
  13. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    You're right in your explanation of localisation costs, but the actual difference is a bit less than that. Instead of multiplying the US price to get the US+VAT price, a more accurate determination is to strip the VAT from the UK sales price by dividing by 1.175 (because the VAT on ~£1100 is less than on £1429, so you still have residual tax in your comparison) and compare the US and the UK-VAT prices.

    If you take the VAT away, you're left with a US-style (pre-tax) price of £1216 or so for the MacBook, which is £120 above £1095...or roughly 10%, which is a standard markup for overseas selling. Your example shows what a US computer would cost if we had a 17.5% sales tax and so slightly inflates, rather than isolates, the markup.
  14. skippy64 macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2006
    North West England
    Find out if you can become a National Union of Students member, I would have thought so if technically you are entering into 'Higher Education', even if it is a Sixth Form at your current school. Go to the NUS website, they may have the answer there
  15. assscat macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2005
    I think it unlikely – HE is university education. Further Education (FE) is technical colleges/sixth form etc. and that I think does not qualify.
  16. paddy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2005
    Maybe. I live about 5-6km away from Apples European headquarters up in Hollyhill. Irish consumers still pay the some of the highest prices in Europe for Apple gear even though they assemble some macs up there (I think)
  17. skippy64 macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2006
    North West England
    Sorry that was my mistake typing higher education, I did mean Further Education. Looking at Apples website it does state that if you are in Further Education you can qualify for Educational discount.
  18. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Britain is still a ****** place to live with regards to tax. Well in regards to anything really :mad: I plan to get out ASAP. Its going tits up and sinking fast!
  19. hob macrumors 68020


    Oct 4, 2003
    London, UK
    I just placed an order for a new iMac. I was going to do it at home, with my educational discount. But I found out I could go to university, which would let me on the applestore for higher education (you have to go through an institutions network (it checks through something like procureweb.apple.com )) - I think it was a couple of pence cheaper still AND I got the 3 year applecare for £58!! Score!

    I started a thread just like this one about 18 months ago... maybe it's still bashing around somewhere...
  20. erikamsterdam macrumors regular


    Apr 21, 2006
    we just go to the USA

    My partner has to go the the US soon, and he is buying a nice shiny Macbook Pro there for much less.
    Just stick it in an old laptop case and which person at customs is going to know that that is a new laptop? People travel with laptops all the time.
    And the warranty is worldwide anyway.
  21. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Good luck with the customs fraud there, mate.
    The downside of that game is painful.
  22. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003
    True. But the fact is so many people travel these days with laptops, that the chances of getting caught are minimal to say the least.
  23. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I remember when it was a lot worse. A computer costing $2000 would have been close to £2000.

    Some software is worse even now - Windows XP Pro is $300, but £289 = $450 after removing VAT (full price that is, you can always get it cheaper, but that's what MS charge for it)
  24. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

    Aug 10, 2003
    US sales tax is a convoluted system. VAT has its issues too, but check out this mess: Taxes by State
  25. hob macrumors 68020


    Oct 4, 2003
    London, UK
    Amen to that, not to mention the american keyboard + plugs...

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