A brit buying an air in New York

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mike.t, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. mike.t macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #1
    I'm working in NY for the next month, and a pimped 13" MBA is about 500 USD cheaper if I buy it there than in London. Apart from risking the wrath of UK import police, are there anything else I should think about? Applecare is international, the bloke I spoke to in the London mac store said it'd be supported here without any concerns and the keyboards are the same (I think) so it's just the power adaptor which is different.

    crazy not to, isnt it?

    and can I just walk into the NY apple store and pick up a 2.13/4GB/13inch machine or do I need to order it and get it delivered somewhere?

    thanks all!

    mike
     
  2. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Actually the keyboards aren't the same, so say goodbye to your £ sign.

    Other than that, go for it.

    If you want the 13" 2.13/4/256, they should have that in stock at any of the NYC Apple Stores.
     
  3. mike.t thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #3
    aah, hadnt thought of that.. can I change the setup somehow so shift/three still gives me a pound sign?
     
  4. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #4
    You could order a CTO from the American Apple.Com store to be delivered in the USA with a British keyboard.
     
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #5
    They had some of the 2.13GHz models in stock at the Upper West Side store over the weekend. Online it's taking a few days now so supplies may be tight. You do lose the £ key but there are ways to program that back in. Apple also sells a worldwide adapter kit at the stores so you can leave with UK and EU plugs.

    If you happen to be in New Jersey or Connecticut the stores will be less crowded there and you'll pay less in sales taxes (about 2% less in NJ). Not enough to make a special trip, but convenient if you happen to be there. If you order by Friday, you can also try MacMall from the Apple Insider link to get about $100 off the top model, though that requires delivery (and you will be charged tax when shipping it to New York).
     
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #6
    The only CTO options on the site are the following:

    # Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
    # Keyboard (Western Spanish) & User's Guide
    # Keyboard (French) & User's Guide
    # Keyboard (Japanese) & User's Guide
     
  7. Kenndac macrumors 6502

    Kenndac

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    #7
    If you tell the Mac OS X that you're using the British Layout, it won't matter what's printed on the keys - Shift-3 will still be £.
     
  8. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    Couldn't you just buy it...and put it in a bag--carry it with you as if you had it on the way there, and mail yourself just the "box"--or if you don't want it, just throw it away?
     
  9. stockscalper macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Location:
    Area 51
    #9
    Just go into System Settings and select International, UK and then UK keyboard.

    Also, you'll have to buy an adapter for the plug. A travel store at the airport should have them.
     
  10. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68000

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #10
    I've read of many people doing this. You have to give up the packaging and buy a laptop bag, but that's cheaper than import duties. I wouldn't mail myself the empty box though. Imagine getting home, then getting a $xxx import duty bill because the X-Ray machine sees an Apple box in your mail. :D
     
  11. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #11
    I agree with the consensus here that you should buy your MBA in the US because of the substantially cheaper prices here. I can't imagine that there isn't some way to setup your keyboard, which would allow you to easily type a pound sign. I haven't investigated thoroughly but imagine that the Language & Text or Keyboard section of System Preferences would have a way for you to set this up. OS X is remarkably configurable.

    By the way I highly recommend the 2.13Ghz, 4GB, 256GB version of the 13 inch MBA. I have had mine for four weeks and have been loving it. It's a tribute to Apple that they were able to pack this much power and performance into such a small package.
     
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #12
    Maybe it's different around Christmas, but I've never, ever, EVER seen anyone stopped by customs in the EU going through the "nothing to declare" line, even with huge suitcases.
     
  13. foiden macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    #13
    Some people are reporting that this thing is one of the easiest things to transport through customs. Still, the topic rocks. The title is pretty close to a 'Sting' song.

    [music] "Ohh oh! I'm an alien. I'm a legal alien. A brit buying an air in New York." [/music]

    As for whether you have to have it delivered. That depends on the store. The top end spec is often advertised right in the store. According to the folks at my local Apple store, they had all the store listed configurations in stock. However, it might be different for the one you end up at. Like my home-town, New York has more than one Apple store location.
     
  14. ukpetey macrumors regular

    ukpetey

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Durham, England
    #14
    Or, just buy in the UK using someone's Employee Purchase Program. I got my 11.6"/2GB/128GB with the British Keyboard (and UK £ sign) for £938.83 (normally £999) saving over £60!
     
  15. nazuk, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010

    nazuk macrumors 6502

    nazuk

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    England, UK
    #15
    Or buy it in the US store for £855 including 7% US Sales Tax

    .... £144 total saving, saving a further £83.83 on top of your saving.

    The Pound sign is no big deal, just change it in the Language Preference pane, or use the keyboard shortcut described above.

    EVERY single Macbook (and iBook) I have ever bought have ALL been bought from the States, and flown over in my suitcase!

    I have saved thousands by now.

    Use a UK adapter, and your all set.

    Anyone that thinks there's issues, is just scaremongering!

    PS: I have even bought two separate Macmini's, and Hard Drives (when they were expensive here) - and much more.
     
  16. Veinticinco macrumors 6502a

    Veinticinco

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #16
    Been tempted to do exactly the same given I'm in NYC fairly often and work round the corner from the Chelsea/W14th St store.

    But it's not just the £ key, or even the € also - you get words like 'shift' and 'command' with US layout instead of the more discreet symbols on UK, and not forgetting the different-shaped enter key, which aside from having 'return' on instead of the corresponding arrow, is also a completely different shape - say bye bye to the inverted L.

    Insane I know given the cost saving but I'm an OCD/pedant about keyboards and US keyboards bug the crap out of me. So unless the above store is willing to order me in a British keyboard as a BTO, then I'm buying this side of the Pond.
     
  17. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a

    jmoore5196

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest US
    #17
    I've done this many times, beginning with a 1.67GHz PowerBook I lugged across the pond a few weeks before the first MacBook Pros appeared.

    All you need to do is ship yourself the empty box. I'd highly recommend the Worldwide Power Adapter kit as well.

    Aside from the dwelt-upon keyboard issues, the only challenge you'll face is selling the computer on from within the UK. I've always listed mine on eBay or elsewhere when I knew I was making a trip, mailed the box to myself in the States, and shipped it on from wherever I landed.

    All in all, a good way to beat the UK Apple surcharge. Cheers!
     
  18. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #18
    See a few posts above yours:

    :)

    I bought a MacBook Pro in Japan in 2007, and I'm using it now. The box is still somewhere in Japan, but I don't need it.

    You might not even need an adaptor plug, it really depends what you have in the house. If you have a "figure of 8 lead" then this plugs straight into the transformer block (powerbrick), in addition, it's possible to hot-swap to one of the little 3-pin UK "plug-heads" that Apple give with iPhones, iPods, iPads... and all other portable Apple stuff.
     
  19. nazuk macrumors 6502

    nazuk

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    England, UK
    #19
    UK Adapter...

    Get a cheap one from Walmart or Target, not costly about $4 approx - look in the travel section or luggage.

    Or you may have one lying around if you have any other apple gear!
     
  20. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #20
    There's nothing insane about it. Many of us here, including yours truly, are OCD/pedants about a lot of things. But you probably knew that already.:)
     
  21. drxcm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #21
    Funny isn't it, how we're all different!

    I actually live in the UK but custom ordered the US keyboard layout, which I much prefer. Personally can't stand the return key on the UK keyboards.

    Anyway, £ is easily obtained, without changing layouts from the US one, by simple using option-3 instead of shift-3.
     
  22. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #22
    This is the one thing that might make me consider not buying in the US; the effect on TCO.

    However, there is one other choice which people have overlooked. If you fly from any of the UK airports with a Dixons inside (also includes Fiumicino in Rome) , you save the VAT on any purchase, and furthermore receive a VAT invoice to claim more back if you run a business. I try to buy my Macs this way whenever I can.

    I paid £850 for the new base iMac model saving £150, so the 128MB 11" Macbook Air will cost you the same. The only stipulation is that Dixons must have it in stock on the day you fly our or at any time until you arrive back. It normally cannot be ordered in advance or subsequently, although a glance at the soon to be relaunched website seems to suggest otherwise:

    http://www.dixonstaxfree.co.uk/

    One other thing: if you fly to an EU destination, Dixons will hold your purchase and you can collect it on your return from a counter in the airport, which saves you lugging it around. If not, then Dixons will offer to deliver to your home address but that costs an extra £5.

    You might even qualify if you fly internally within the UK although I have not tried this yet.

    Not normally a Dixons fan and have had run ins with them in the past but the staff at Heathrow Terminal 5 was top notch and couldn't be more helpful. All in all, you get a brand new Apple at a refurb/near US price.
     
  23. ChristianJapan, Nov 19, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010

    ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #23
    OT:
    I got several times stopped when using the French exit at airport in Basel. And they are not even very friendly there ...
    Used the Swiss exit later; they where much nicer ...
     
  24. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #24
    Fixed that for you.

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  25. Jim Campbell, Nov 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2010

    Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Location:
    A World of my Own; UK
    #25
    I'm not bitter, it's a fact: you're avoiding paying UK VAT that is legally payable, since you're importing a VAT-rated item into the UK.

    Now, there are lots of worthwhile arguments to be had about the UK tax system, VAT and duty, and the somewhat spurious USD to GBP conversion rate applied by many companies, that makes purchasing high value items in the US such an attractive proposition. I don't deny any of that.

    However, the fact remains that under the law as it currently stands, VAT was payable and you didn't declare it. Or maybe you did, but your original post strongly implies that you didn't.

    Cheers

    Jim
     

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