Buy in US, ship overseas?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by blkdogb, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. blkdogb macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2009
    I currently do not live in the US, but suppose the logistics of buying and receiving a mac in the US is not a problem, because I can have it send overseas to me by a family member, what are the considerations of doing so?

    1. Some e-tailers (ex. MacConnection) in the US are offering discounts or rebates ($240 for MBP 15") that are significantly more than the US$70 or so for the international shipping + insurance.
    2. I don't mind waiting for a week or 2 longer.
    3. Apple warranty is worldwide.

    My only concern for the moment is say if I received something defective and need to have it returned immediately. I've read some e-tailers don't accept returns anyway?
    Any other considerations? Or would you advise against doing so? It would be a MBP, btw.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    What about import duty? Just because you can get it cheaper in the U.S., you will still have to pay import duty or VAT depending on your country. They're not going to let you just ship it and let it slide through like a pair of socks.
  3. gazfocus macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2008
    Liverpool, UK
    I believe, no matter where you buy it from, you can take it to an Apple Store to get any problems sorted.
  4. steveza macrumors 68000


    Feb 20, 2008
    Assuming that you live in a country that has Apple stores then you should be fine from a support point of view. Countries without Apple stores have authorised resellers which may have their own Ts & Cs for returns.

    Your biggest issue is import duty and sales tax or VAT which will probably be applied to imports wherever you live.
  5. feri macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2008
    London, UK
    Educational discount

    I prefer to use Educational discount when I buy from US Apple. finding a students or even use the website to order, is easy as 3 click. And they don't ask you for any proof on Apple Store website. As the pricing in US is totally different than other countries, you will win. Here an example:

    Macbook Pro 17" Educational: 2599$
    Virginia Tax: 129.95
    Total: 2728.95 $ = 2139 Euro

    Macbook Pro 17" in Belgian Apple Store: 2499 Euro

    You may win 360 Euro

    You can imagine 6 months ago with the dollar much more weaker than today, the diffrence was even more interesting.

    That's why if you live in EU, I suggest to buy it from UK:

    Macbook Pro 17" in UK: 1949 Pound = 2100 Euro
    Macbook Pro 17" in Belgian Apple Store: 2499 Euro

    Yo may win: 399 Euro

    Of course the best way is to bring it with your self if you travel there, or ask a friend to do that. I do normally remove it from the box to avoid any possible taxation.
  6. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    I am having an issue too. I am in the US Marines and stationed in Japan and Apple does not ship to APO/FPO addresses. Which is pretty much lame. But they do allow for some outside company to ship it to me.... weird.
  7. rickiac macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2007
    Buy in US, ship overseas?

    You can buy and ship, but, this can create problems, most warranties will not be honored on US systems permanently used in other countries regardless if there is a store or not in that country. Most computer companies have an International Dept, this is for several reasons.
    1) No US company can ship a product to an embargoed county. When I was in the computer business this was known as the "Seven Deadly Sins" (at that time there were seven countries on the US embargoed list, now there is more) If anyone shipped a system to one of these countries it was cause for immediate termination.

    2) Export restrictions on software that uses encryption.
    3) having the CORRECT power supply to work in your country
    4) Some products may need to be licensed to be used in other countries. If that company does not have a license it can not be put on a system that is permanently leaving the US.

    If your country has an apple store, it would be better to buy it there or online from the apple website designated for your country or through the international department.
  8. dhemp macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2007
    Would you still have to pay UK import duties if the machine's been opened, set up, etc.? I ask because I've just ordered a Macbook Pro from the Canadian store, am having it shipped to a family member in Canada (who is going to put some software on it for me), and then am having it sent across as a gift. I'm in the UK temporarily and didn't want UK plugs, thought I'd get it a bit cheaper via the Canadian store, get the software I already own back home put on, etc. etc. etc. I didn't think, and my family member doesn't seem to think, that this should be a problem, VAT-wise...
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    All Mac power supplies are capable of handling 100-240v 50-60 Hz AC. If you run into a situation where those ranges are a problem... I have no idea where you are, but the majority of the world sticks to either 120 or 220v. You usually just need the plug adapter, not a separate PSU.

    I do not recommend this. The import duty is going to be massive, and you will end up losing hundreds of dollars. I had to pay a 230 euro duty on my new XTi when I had it shipped to me in France two years ago. It stands to reason you'd be paying significantly more to import a computer.
  10. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    You're a Canadian temporarily living in the UK? Having it sent as a "gift" is likely an invitation to pay VAT. Your relatives should probably send it to you as "personal property" because in most countries a temporary resident is allowed to bring personal property into the country as long as it's for their own use, not for resale, and with the intention to take it away with you when you leave.

    In any event, in most countries the value of what is allowed as a tax free "gift" is way below the cost of a computer
  11. blkdogb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2009
    Hmmm.. okay. Thanks for all the replies.
    I apologize for not mentioning the import duty in my original post. I currently live in a place where there is NO import duty for most goods, except for the few things such as alcohol, tobacco, automobiles and fuel. There is an online apple store, plus a couple of authorized retailers locally. Their discount is only like 5% though. Oh, and the local currency is at a fixed exchange rate to the US dollar too. That's why I am more worried in case when the return/exchange must be done in the US.
    Anyway, I'll think more about it. The hefty discounts from the US e-tailers are very tempting.
  12. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Before you decide on an e-tailer, check them out to see if they are reputable. There are quite a few that offer amazing prices, but you may actually get a refurb machine, or no machine at all. Just because the price is great doesn't mean it's real or worth it.
  13. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    for repairs you should be ok, but for a return, i dunno. I wouldn't be surprised if you have to ship it back to the country where you bought it, especially if it has to go to Apple instead of an e-tailer that doesn't take returns
  14. johnanderson365 macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2012
    I use a forwarding company. You still have the warranty issues. You need to check the shipping cost before you buy but if you make all of your US purchases at once and ship them together it is much cheaper. The company I have been using is called
  15. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Thread Necromancy! :D
  16. lapeno macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2010
    Shipping rates seems a little high...:(
  17. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    That and the other June 2012 newbie post are both spam.
  18. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Depends what country you're from IMO. If Canada, then ok. USA and Canada have similar keyboards and such.

    European keyboards are different.

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