Buying a MBP from the US

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RossMacca, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. RossMacca macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #1
    I'm from the UK, and as most of you know, Apple products cost a lot more over here than they do in the States. There is a possibility that I'll be in the US (New York, or California) around August/September.

    I'm thinking about buying a new MBP while over there, however I have a few queries if anyone happens to be able to help, or preferably, has bought one from the US as someone from the UK before.

    • I'm a student, would I still be eligible for an education discount?
    • Would there be any sort of tax applied when I bring it back into the UK?
    • Is the keyboard layout different in anyway on US MBPs?
    • Obviously the power adaptor will be different, but is the half of the charger than connects to the laptop itself, universal? ie I would only need to buy a UK one of those, not the entire thing.
    • If something were to go wrong with it, which is usually covered under warranty, would I be able to get it repaired in the UK?
    • Would I be able to get Apple Care on it? (similar to the above question)

    I think that's everything. If I think of anything else I'll add it later. Thanks a lot if anyone can help!
     
  2. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #2
    The power adapter has a removable plug, so you can swap that out with a UK one (or just use a separate pin adapter).

    I think the keyboard is slightly different; the shifted number keys are !@#$%^&*() whereas I believe that the UK keyboard has a £ sign in there somewhere (£ is accessible on a US machine by pressing Opt-3).

    AppleCare is worldwide. I've had my US machine repaired in NZ without issue.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #3
    1. Unlikely.
    2. Don't know about that - MRoogle?
    3.
    British: http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MC184B/A?n=keyboards&fnode=MTY1NDA1Mg&mco=MTMzNzkyMzM&s=topSellers
    [​IMG]
    English: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC184LL/A?fnode=MTY1NDA1Mg&mco=MTMzNzg5MDM
    [​IMG]
    4. Only the prongs are different, you only need to replace them, not the entire power adapter.
    5. Apple Care is world wide.
    6. Yes
     
  4. Xil3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #4
    - Yes
    - Depends how brave you are... you could walk through the 'nothing to declare' passage
    - A bit different, but not much
    - Yes
    - Yes
    - Yes
     
  5. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    If you go to NY City and plan on buying one there I would highly recommend B&H Photo. Not only are the prices slightly below apples, but they also have several BTO models in stock. They are one of the biggest and most trusted stores in the US for photographers and they have a computer department with numerous MBP's to play with. One tip, they are closed Saturday and Friday afternoons.

    Scroll down this link to see the models - also B&H has one of the best prices anywhere for Apple Care
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/searc...h6o3yde16f&ci=13223&N=4294250031&AID=10603278
     
  6. Blu101 macrumors 6502a

    Blu101

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    #6
    Do you even need to be here physically?

    Why not just buy from US online apple store?
     
  7. RossMacca thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #7
    Thanks for all the quick straightforward answers! The student discount still seems a bit uncertain but I think it's still cheaper without that anyway.

    As for paying import tax, I'd probably be happy unboxing it all and acting like I took it with me. I'd even send the empty box home too, cause I'd want to keep that. I don't see why the UK government should have anything to do with me buying a laptop abroad...

    Pretty sure they don't allow you to send it to a non-US address.
     
  8. Xil3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #8
    Because governments are greedy, but it's not just the UK that does that...

    They tax whatever they can.
     
  9. O.G.Q macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    #9
    i also live in the UK and was having the exact same thought the only problem is that i am not going to the US anytime soon and from the quotes i have its pretty expensive to ship using couriers and i dnt think apple US ship to the UK or UK pricing structure would be pretty irrelevant
     
  10. Xil3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #10
    It's actually cheaper to fly to NYC, buy the laptop and fly back rather than buying here in the UK.

    The prices here are just RAPE...
     
  11. RossMacca thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #11
    Yea, I looked into that too before I found out there was a strong possibility that I'll be there later; it doesn't seem worth the effort.

    Can anyone that's every bought one in the US and brought it home to the UK comment on the whole tax issue?
     
  12. Xil3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #12
    Yeah, I've done it twice... just unpack it and take it with you as if you took it with you from the beginning.
     
  13. bigjobby, Jan 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011

    bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    I would consider NOT buying it from the US because the price would probably be marginal by the time you take into account sales tax and import duties. Also when you buy an MBP in the UK as a uni student, you get a 3-year warranty (3-months phone support). Don't think you'll get this with a US purchase.

    Edit:
    Just to add some figures:

    Base 13" UK (w/ uni discount) = £877.20 = ~$1359
    Base 13" US (w/o uni discount) = $1199 (before any taxes)
     
  14. Xil3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #14
    Umm, have you even read what's been said in this thread? You don't have to declare it... just get rid of the packaging and walk in as if you've always had it.
     
  15. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    Yes I did read it thank you but I didn't want to respond to that as its up to the OP to decide whether to take that approach or not. Besides, if the OP cannot get student discount in the US but can do so in the UK, its still probably better to buy it in the UK anyway. See edit in previous post.
     
  16. RossMacca thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #16
    It's likely I won't have the money until then anyway, so I could try getting the student discount in the US (this seems to be luck depending on the person serving you in the store) and if I don't get it, just wait till i get back home.
     
  17. fibrizo macrumors 6502

    fibrizo

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #17
    If you're coming to NYC, it might be worth your while to head like 30 minutes into New Jersey and buy the macbook pro at the microcenter. I've picked up about 3 now for 999$+3.5% sales tax which is 1034.99USD out the door. No educational discount needed. Basically 646pounds... But this doesn't include apple care. So depends how how you want to take your chances. I know there are some microcenters in CA too.

    Now depending on how unscrupulous you are... You could just put it into a computer bag, toss your box and pretend it was your laptop just like previous posters stated

    Otherwise I know of a place in NYC to get it for 1049, but you'll have to pay 8.5% sales tax here.
     
  18. RossMacca thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #18
    Thanks for the useful advice!

    If going 30mins out of NYC makes it cheaper, I'm sure I could manage that. I totally forgot that tax in the US varies per state. Does the Apple online store include tax in it's prices?
     
  19. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #19
    No.
     
  20. george81 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
  21. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #21
  22. mikeytwice macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    #22
    I think what everyone else is suggesting re: customs is the way to go. Unbox and bring it along with you. If you get questioned, you could easily say that you bought it before the trip. Though I'm not sure what happens if you get nabbed... i.e., are there fines, or would you just have to pay tax? (Chances are nothing will happen, though).

    Regarding the student discount, if you have a US address, you can just get it mailed there. On the website all they make you do is enter your school, or at least that's what happened last time I ordered. I had thought they'd ask me to confirm my student status via my university email address, but that never happened.
     
  23. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Kirkland
    #23
    How much for a return ticket from the UK to New York?

    The prospect of a £650 MBP is very tempting.
     
  24. Pooki macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Location:
    Belgium
    #24
    Oh I wish I could just buy a MBP from the American Apple Store.. I live in Belgium and the base 15" i5 2.4Ghz costs €1799 here, which is $2,443..
    Oh AND we don't have refurbs in the store here..:(

    RIDICULOUS!
     
  25. jlc1978 macrumors 68000

    jlc1978

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #25
    You should be able to get the educational discount.

    Paying import tax is between you and Her Majesty's Customs. If the look at it they may notice a non-UK keyboard. While i would not condone avoiding paying duty, having a bunch of file son it that pre-date your leaving the UK and a UK keyboard cover with UK symbols may make it less obvious it was purchased in the US.

    If you buy it in a US Store, you'll pay sales tax (often 5 - 8%) which, unlike VAT, is not refunded if you export it. Some states have no sales tax, and mail order outlets don't as long as you ship to an address where they have no "presence" which means Apple, Best Buy, etc generally charge sales tax but smaller companies and Amazon generally don't.

    Depending where you go you may want to make a side trip to states with no sales tax. For example, Delaware and NH don't on the east coast of the US.

    If you know someone in the US you'll visit you could also have a machine shipped to them.

    While the key layout is different you can setup the keyboard as a UK one - all that means is the physical key may say # (the US pound symbol) but you'll get a £ when you do shift-3.

    Applecare is worldwide - you can get it pretty reasonably from Amazon in the US.
     

Share This Page