Advice for Brit living in France and wanting to buy in Canada

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by danielhayter, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. danielhayter macrumors member

    danielhayter

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Paris
    #1
    Hello, I have an idea and was hoping to get some advice from people on here about what is possible for me.

    My situation: I live in France and I use an almost 2yr old iBook G4 (1.33 ghz, 768mb RAM, 60gb HD). I treat it very well and have found it totally reliable but am considering upgrading for a few reasons - 1) I'd like a bigger, brighter screen, 2) it is getting on a bit and from my experience with laptops they tend to start getting problems around this age, 3) I just fancy something new and have the spare cash.

    My family all live in Canada. I am considering selling my iBook on Ebay UK, and buying a Macbook in Canada when I head over for holidays in September.

    The question is - is it legal to buy goods such as a Macbook and bring them back over into Europe? Would I have problems at customs? Do they come with worldwide guarantee?

    The option is simply to buy a refurb Macbook on the UK Apple Store. But it seems to be slightly cheaper to do from the Canada store.

    Thanks for any buying advice!
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Yes if you pay VAT
    Not if you pay your taxes.
    Yes.

    Though of course you could bring your new laptop back in a case without the box, and customs would be none the wiser, but that is illegal.
     
  3. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #3
    A better option would be to pop across the border into the US and buy it there (possibly somewhere like New Hampshire with no sales tax). Yes Mac laptop guarantees are worldwide. You may be due to pay VAT (in UK for instance) but if you ditch the packaging etc that is highly unlikely.
     
  4. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #4
    If you did buy from the UK, you wouldn't worry about getting caught at customs as you have already paid VAT.

    Although I know plenty of people claim they've managed to get a laptop through customs, but in the UK at any rate, officials are getting better at picking this kind of stuff up. I've also read on more than one forum even if you're bringing a laptop legally into the county, it pays to have a copy of the invoice (even if you bought it in the country you re-entering) to show this as the burden of proof is on you, rather than customs officials.
     
  5. danielhayter thread starter macrumors member

    danielhayter

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Paris
    #5
    So for it to be legal I would have to pay Canadian taxes (GST+PST=14% in Ontario) + UK taxes (VAT=17.5%)? The 14% I would pay on purchasing the item in Canada and then the 17.5% when I get to customs back in the UK?
     
  6. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #6
    I think I'm right about this but check,you should get the sales tax refunded in Canada as a visitor.
     
  7. danielhayter thread starter macrumors member

    danielhayter

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Paris
    #7
    I think that was the case until only just earlier this year when the rule was changed?

    Thanks for the tips everyone.
     
  8. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #8
    Refurb MBs currently range from £529 to £799 in the UK - would you make much of a saving buying in Canada?
     
  9. Denali9 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #9
    On a side note, what type of keyboard are you used to? I thought that most of Europe used an AZERTY keyboard? If you buy in Canada you get a QWERTY keyboard! Would that be an issue?

    Why would you want to buy in Canada rather than buy from Apple France or UK? Any savings because of exchange rate? Actually with the canadian dollar being so strong, it's almost worth it to just drive down to the US and buy it there. You would probably not have to pay GST and provincial tax and only end up paying VAT when you return..
     
  10. danielhayter thread starter macrumors member

    danielhayter

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Paris
    #10
    In France they use an AZERTY keyboard (I'm at work typing on one right now) and although I am used to it I still prefer QWERTY, which is what is used in the UK.

    The prices for refurb units in the UK seem to be about equal to the brand new prices in Canada. I've not bought anything refurb before. For an iPod I wouldn't have a problem but a lot more can go wrong with a used laptop and I'd be worried about scratches/marks and general wear if I were to buy a refurb laptop.
     
  11. Blueprint macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    #11
    UK is primarily QWERTY so I don’t think it would be a problem for him :)
     
  12. Blueprint macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    #12
    If your worried about things going wrong or it having scratches then go for a new one m8 - you will sleep better at night knowing it is :)
     
  13. Blueprint macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    #13
    Could you not get your family in Canada to post you the laptop as a gift so you don’t have to pay duty on it?
     
  14. amoda macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    #14
    I know that tourists can reclaim taxes when they're leaving the country. There is like an office where you go and show them recipts of everything you bought and they refund you the taxes. But i also know that there are some exclusions they don't cover (like food for instance), not sure about electronics. I'll check it out for you though.

    Edit: Guess not anymore. Apparently they cancelled this program on March 31, 2007. But..."However, there will still be no GST/HST charged when goods are shipped directly by a Canadian business to a non-resident consumer’s residence".
     
  15. danielhayter thread starter macrumors member

    danielhayter

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Paris
    #15
    Thanks for the advice everyone.
    Considering that to do this legally I either have to pay two sets of taxes or pay to have the item shippped across the atlantic, I think that getting the Macbook over here will be the better idea after all. I may wait until October so that I get Leopard at the same time, and who knows, there may be a hardware update between now and then too.
    Cheers again.
     
  16. cintari macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    #16
    you forget...

    The power is different so you will have to spend an additional... probably $20 on an power adapter/converter to plug the North American power adapter into your UK outlet. Not a big deal.. but something to consider. I'm not sure how that will affect surge protection and what not.
     
  17. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #17
    almost every country has a limit to the value of a "gift" that can be received tax free from overseas and it's usually way less than the value of a macbook
     
  18. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    #18
    Leave the box and they'll never know. It'll help you pay for your trip.
     
  19. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #19
    Just use an invoice from an earlier purchase!

    Or even more evilly, buy a MacBook locally, keep the invoice and return it, then use that invoice to claim your Canadian MacBook was purchased locally.
     
  20. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #20
    Okay, sure you can do that, but from my calculations, the saving on MBs is a couple of hundred bucks - sure, it would be nice to save that, but when solutions offered include nipping over the US/Canadian border, you have to wonder if it's worth it. No one likes paying tax, but like death, it's the only inevitable thing in life

    Now the invoice idea, sure that might work - but it would have to be a recent purchase. But again, it does seem rather lot of effort to defraud a smallish amount of money.

    The point there I was making previously was if you've travelling with a laptop that could be viewed as being new (i.e. a recent purchase), it can pay to keep a copy of the invoice because if Customs stop you, you can then demonstrate that it's all above board. If you got stopped by Customs and they're not satisfied that the laptop doesn't have any duty to be paid on it, if you can't demonstrate that there isn't - you've two options: let them keep it or pay the duty.
     
  21. danielhayter thread starter macrumors member

    danielhayter

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Paris
    #21
    I have just about made up my mind to wait until October. I will then probably buy a refurd unit. When Leopard is released will it be shipped with all refurd units? Thanks for the advice once again.
     
  22. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #22
    There was a thread about this the other day and the general feeling (from what I remember!) was that the refurb unit comes with the OS that orginally shipped with. However, one or two people suspect that an extra disc would be thrown in by Apple to keep you up to date - I would lean towards that point of view, but it might be worth checking out that thread (unless someone is in the know) as I can't remember the full details to be honest.

    Normally, when Apple releases a new version of OS X, customers who bought a new Mac within a certain period prior to the release can get a free copy (albeit after paying a 'handling' charge) - if a refurb unit was bought in that period and it came with Tiger, the buyer might be able to take advantage of the scheme to upgrade to Leopard but it would obviously be dependent on the T&Cs.
     

Share This Page