Buying an iMac from the German Apple Store

Discussion in 'iMac' started by butterwm, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. butterwm macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    We are in the military and moving over to Europe at the end of July. Like everyone else, we were hoping for a refresh when the new Mac Books came out and it didn't work out. Our next chance is the release of Mountain Lion but by that time our stuff will be packed and shipped and Apple can no longer ship to APO addresses due to recent changes in USPS shipping rules.

    That leaves us with two options, the first to buy a 2011 model and send it with our stuff. The other is to buy one from the Apple Store in Germany. I'm hoping there might be some folks who can help me with a couple questions. If I walk into the Apple store in Germany and order a iMac will that machine be the same as a US machine? I am being told that you can change the language in the OS so everything will be in English. Do MAC's (this will be our first) have a BIOS or boot menu that I might be stuck with in German if I ever have to use it? I realize the power plug will have the German plug on the end and I will have to replace that cord when we come back to the states. My other question is that sales tax is around 19%. As a military member we get to tax taxes away with a VAT (value added tax) form. Do Apple Stores in Germany accept VAT forms?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. BoomerJAG macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2012
    Most all German stores take VAT forms as long as the employees understand what is going on. If you are buying from a store near an American military installation this should not be an issue. Your other solution however is to buy the iMac from the PX when you get there. You will not be able to customize it but you will not have language/US warranty issues. Plus no tax at the PX. When we were stationed in Germany our PX sold many iMacs and it was not a large PX. Hope this helps. Good luck and have fun in Deutschland -- but not too much!!
  3. ds82, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    ds82 macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2012
    Berlin, Germany
    The language will be no problem, but the keyboard has a german layout. I don't know if you can get an US-Keyboard as BTO-Option in german apple stores (you can order it as BTO in the german apple online-store though).

    And I don't know where you will live here in germany, but remember we don't have apple stores at every corner, yet ;)
  4. David085 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 9, 2009
    You can pick up a Apple Keyboard before you leave or get the Logitech 750 Mac or either the Logitech K760 for Mac that one is shorter and no numpad and is still nice since it got out recently.
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    They also have english keyboards. Just ask them to give you one (persuasively). Last time I bough an iMac I told them that I wanted the trackpad and english keyboard instead of standard package and they ended giving me them free of charge (in addition to ones which were already in the box).
  6. Star Nuts macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2012
    Yeah, just buy from the BX or PX. That'll save you a lot of money in tax. If you do want to customize, then just order from Apple's website and have it ship to your APO address. I think they have free shipping stateside and an APO address counts as stateside. I wouldn't buy from a German Apple Store, though.
  7. butterwm thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    Thanks. Pretty sure we want to custom order. The 2011 we are looking at we want the i7 processor (3.4 GHz), 256 GB solid state drive and the 2 GB graphics card. I have found the i7 processor in stock at an apple store but I have yet to find the solid state drive or graphics card, they tell me I have to order. Unless they make those options standard on the new one. It's funny because I just bought my wife the new MacBook Air and I was able to find one with all the upgrades at the store.

    As far as ordering from Apple US, they can't ship to APO addresses anymore. That's why we are trying to get all our computer stuff squared away before we leave.
  8. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Yep, just buy a US keyboard of your choice and ship it out with your stuff...You would probably be better off buying at the PX if you can find the spec you want on base, but buying from a German Apple store shouldn't be a problem either.
  9. rmitchell248 macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2010
    Liebsthal, Germany
    Purchase from somebody other than apple and have it shipped to your APO. B&H photo comes to mind. Or buy it from Apple US and send it to a family member. Have that family member then send it to your APO. Many options along with buying at your exchange if you can settle for stock settings. With the current exchange rate and no taxes you'll face a very fair price if you buy local as well.
  10. butterwm thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    Thanks for the responses. Did lot's of research and realized there was no way to ship it to an APO address. Both FedEx and UPS deliver to German addresses but they wanted $1,100-$1,600 to ship it. The Apple store in Germany wasn't sure about using a VAT form so I would have to pay 19% sales tax which raises the price to $750 above the U.S. price. They said they would give me a tax form that I could turn in at the airport when we leave 4 years later and they thought we might get that $750 back but no guarantees.

    With all that, just ordering the current model made the most sense financially. I got a 27"/i7 3.4GHz/2GB video card/SSD+1GB HD. I also ordered a 16GB RAM upgrade kit from crucial. Hopefully going this route and with these upgrades I will get a few good years out of this machine.

Share This Page