buying a mac as a tourist in an apple retail store

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by -paradox-, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. -paradox- macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #1
    i know the first one seems more like an issue i should ask in a forum dealing with traveling, but since the whole mac/apple world seems to be like an own microcosm i thought it was a good idea to also put that question here.

    i'm from germany but on vacation in NYC the second week of april.
    when i'm there i would like to purchase a macbook pro 17" (standard version but antiglare display) in one of the apple retail stores in NYC but there are two things i am thinking about over and over again :confused: :

    -since i need my credit card for paying other stuff i definitely can't pay the mbp by it. what other payment methods are accepted in the apple retail stores? are traveller cheques an option? if so what amount of money is ok for each cheque?

    -do you think i have to order the mpb to pick it up a couple of days later or will it be in stock, so i can buy and take it with me?

    thanks in advance
     
  2. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    Jun 19, 2007
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    Plymouth, MN
    #2
    You will not be able to get that in store, its a BTO option that you can only get online.
     
  3. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #3
    You might be able to try with traveller's checks, but I doubt they take it. However you can always cash them at a bank.

    You should do it early in your trip just in case. They might tell you to order online though for antiglare though. Someone you know should be able to order it. Depends on where you are staying, someone from the hotel might be able to order it for you for a fee.

    As to customs, you might want to remove from box for traveling home and perhaps mail yourself the empty box (if you want to keep the box).

    Also the European keyboard is slightly different than the US keyboard.
     
  4. Amdahl macrumors 65816

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    Jul 28, 2004
    #4
    And if that doesn't work, expect to pay VAT or whatever at your local customs or find out how much you are allowed free per trip.
     
  5. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

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    Mar 9, 2008
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    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #5
    I would pick which Apple Store you're going to visit and give them a call. Apple's US site has a store locator. Maybe you can sign up for a new credit card with a discount for first purchase?
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    I'd just cash the travellers checks and pay cash.

    I'd throw away the box and keep the cables, install DVD, etc.

    I'd write down the phone numbers of several Apple stores and resellers in NYC while you're at home. When you go to NYC, you can just phone each store to see if they have an anti-glare 17" MBP in stock. Otherwise, there's no point in getting your hopes up.

    If not, then ask if they can order one to the store so that you can pick it up from them. Otherwise, see if you can buy it online and have it delivered to the hotel? I don't know if that's a good idea, or even possible.


    That's not true.
     
  7. petermcphee macrumors 6502a

    petermcphee

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #7
    Mailing yourself the empty box is a great idea. If you were to ever have problems with the machine, it's always nice to have the box if it needs to be shipped.
     
  8. SecondDealer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    #8
    You may not be able to get it in most stores, but I would think that the huge store in NYC would have an incredibly large stock, so it's at least worth a try.
     
  9. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
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    Chicago
    #9
    You can always call ahead to be sure they have what you want in stock. You can Skype it from a few cents per minute. Worth the expense. You can also use this chance to ask about payment options.

    I doubt they will accept traveler's checks as those usually have a high rate of fraud. Probably cash, debit, or credit will be the only options.

    Many stores take personal checks too, but I don't think they will accept them from someone who isn't a resident in the US.
     
  10. f1 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2007
    #10
    I used to work for Apple retail not too long ago, and yes they do accept traveller's cheque.
     
  11. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502

    FieryFurnace

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    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    #11
    Why can't you still use your credit card to buy the MBP?
    I think you pay more fees when you get Traveler Checks in Germany and then cash them instead just use your german credit card (Credit card should be only like 3% foreign usage fee -> ask your bank).
     
  12. cYbernation macrumors newbie

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    Nov 28, 2008
    #12
    btw I guess you want to save a few bucks due to the current exchange rates.
    Just keep in mind the customs officers are not dumb.
    if you get picked out on your return they will want to see are receipt as a proof that it was in your possession before your trip and that you bought it in germany.
     
  13. allmIne macrumors 6502a

    allmIne

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    United Kingdom
    #13
    I got mine from Soho without a problem, actually got a refurb they had in stock. Leave the box behind, remember about the sales tax in NYC, bring it home, and yee-haw. Money saved.

    I did put a few CDs on it, Word docs etc., but that was it.
     
  14. allmIne macrumors 6502a

    allmIne

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    #14
    Sorry, but will they? They'll want to see receipts for everything you have in your possession then, surely? Clothes, suitcase, camera, phone, wallet, money, etc.?

    Nonsense.
     
  15. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #15
    • Buy the laptop.
    • Buy a case.
    • Load some random crap on to laptop to make it look like it's actually been used.
    • Post the (now empty) box back home if you really want it.
    • No import duties.
    • PROFIT!
     
  16. allmIne macrumors 6502a

    allmIne

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    United Kingdom
    #16
    edesign listed it as simply as possible, and is correct.

    The best bit is, when you go to sell it, you make less of a loss. When I sold my Powerbook, I lost virtually no money after 18 months, thanks to the great exchange rate at the time.
     
  17. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #17
    Is there someone there whom could make the order for you? As you could order off of a Website and save on the 8+% sales tax, some sites also charge less for the same model.

    This will only be a viable option when they are able to stock these though.

    However Base 17" MBP order
    Macmall: $2725 including overnight shipping before the mail in rebate. If you could qualify they also offer a $150 mail in rebate but I never trust those. So I listed the price without a rebate.
    NYC Applestore: $3022 assuming 8% sales tax I think NYC is actually higher

    MacMall will be offering both Antiglare and Glossy models in several different configurations of the 2.66Ghz and 2.93Ghz models. They also have the previous generation of MacBook Pros for great prices. Be sure they list as in stock if you make an order though. Unless you order ahead of time.

    Edit: By the time you arrive you may be able to order the MB Pro off of Newegg.com. At the same time order any upgrades you may want since they are about as cheap as you can go. They do carry the previous generation starting at $2200. If they do not carry it but Macmall does then I would still order any upgrades, cables, software, peripherals or accessories through Newegg.
     
  18. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #18
    As you say, customs officers are not dumb. And if they see a MacBook with US keyboard instead of a German keyboard, it will be pretty damned hard to convince them that you bought it in Germany.

    The US keyboard gives the game away. On the other hand, I've never, ever had my suitcase checked.
     
  19. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    London, England
    #19
    It gives away that it's a US laptop. It doesn't give away when it was purchased or by who.
     
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #20
    Yeah, it's not illegal for someone to buy it from the US and give it to you as a gift, or a purchase that was reimbursed when your friend gave it to you. Just because it has a US keyboard doesn't mean you bought it on THIS trip, especially if the Custom's guy doesn't know about Macs or release dates.
     
  21. cYbernation macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    #21
    I guess the custom officers heard that gift story a thousand times.
    They know their stuff.
    With the current exchange rates they are on alert for those things.
    of course they dont want a receipt for every little thing.
    but a high end device like a macbook pro.
    They will surely want to see some proof.
     
  22. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502

    FieryFurnace

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    Sep 19, 2008
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    Berlin, Germany
    #22
    I never had any trouble with tax/duties going from USA <-> Germany.
    And I brought a lot stuff from here to there (not for selling, just personal) over the years (1992 until today). Laptops, netbook, guitars, gaming systems,...
     
  23. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #23
    Business travelers go through all time with new laptops do they stop each of them and demand a receipt.

    Say you found it on craigslist and paid cash for it germany, you bought it from either an American foreign exchange student or American personell from Rammstein Air Force base. Assuming you actually get questioned. Though I doubt you would be questioned as long as you do not have everything that comes with the MB in their wrappers and twist ties. Ship the manuals, CD's and receipts seperately.

    Whats funny is that the craigslist Germany posts I viewed are in english, nicht auf Deutsch.
     
  24. nplima macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    1) go to ebay get the cheapest working laptop that you can find
    2) go to USA, declare "laptop computer" on entry
    3) buy Mac
    4) ditch old laptop
    5) profit :)
     
  25. jcb10 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #25
    I thought Apple Stores were credit cards only

    I thought Apple stores stopped accepting cash when they did away with the cash registers and customers started having to pay the sales rep (who had the little machine attached to their waists).

    (Revised: Never mind, I see plastic only was for iPhones.)
     

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