Buying from the US when in the UK

dannnyh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 9, 2005
105
0
Manchester, UK
Wondering if anyone on here from the UK has purchased a Powerbook online from the US?

I've given up waiting on the Ibook updates and would love to go with a Powerbook but I can't afford the UK prices and i'm starting to look at the possibilty of getting one from the US.

Anyone done that?? Any tips would be greatly appreciate.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,493
16
London
Also most US based stores (that sell PowerBooks at least) are unwilling or unable to ship to the UK. I looked into this a while ago and basicalyl gave up. The best way to save £££ I have found is to buy your technology fix when flying somewhere. Dixons at the airports (check your local airport has one) sell to everyone at VAT free prices. So all you need is a really cheap ticket to somewhere (to get past the security checkin to the shops) and thats 17.5% off. You can even get Dixons to ensure that they will have something in stock before hand.
 

munkle

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2004
2,580
0
On a jet plane
It's not as easy as you think, you can't just log onto the US Apple store, pay with your UK credit card and get it shipped to your UK address. Won't work.

And if you do manage to find a way to get it shipped over then like jaffacake said, you'll have to pay hefty import taxes.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,493
16
London
dannnyh said:
The airport is a good idea but won't I have to pay VAT when returning through customs in the UK????
I never have. I've never bought a laptop this way but I (and others) have bought iPods without issue. You don't even have to leave the UK (let alone the EU). Dixons offer the VAT free price to those travelling within the UK! If you do that I cannot see how you could get into trouble.
 

javiercr

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2005
419
0
London
dannnyh said:
Wondering if anyone on here from the UK has purchased a Powerbook online from the US?

I've given up waiting on the Ibook updates and would love to go with a Powerbook but I can't afford the UK prices and i'm starting to look at the possibilty of getting one from the US.

Anyone done that?? Any tips would be greatly appreciate.
if saving > £200 then fly to NYC and buy it there (and don't declare it on the way back :eek: ), otherwise it's going to be hard to avoid import duty.
Apple won't ship it to you, Adorama.com will, but you will most likely have to pay import duty

why don't you think people still pays UK prices? :cool:
 

javiercr

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2005
419
0
London
robbieduncan said:
Also most US based stores (that sell PowerBooks at least) are unwilling or unable to ship to the UK. I looked into this a while ago and basicalyl gave up. The best way to save £££ I have found is to buy your technology fix when flying somewhere. Dixons at the airports (check your local airport has one) sell to everyone at VAT free prices. So all you need is a really cheap ticket to somewhere (to get past the security checkin to the shops) and thats 17.5% off. You can even get Dixons to ensure that they will have something in stock before hand.
Dixons is usually very expensive, taking the taxes out usually only brings the prices in line with UK internet retailer and ofter not even that.
Not sure for mac since the price of macs varies very little (because apple doenst allow big variations), but the selection of macs in the airport is small, usually only a 15 or 17 PW.
 

Cloudgazer

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2005
480
0
RSA
I purchased my mac online from the US.

Luckily SA does not have import duties on electronic goods, but I did have to pay VAT on the item, but it still worked out much cheaper than buying it here.

If you're considering purchasing online i'd suggest giving www.bhphotovideo.com a look. I thought they were great.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,493
16
London
javiercr said:
Dixons is usually very expensive, taking the taxes out usually only brings the prices in line with UK internet retailer and ofter not even that.
Not sure for mac since the price of macs varies very little (because apple doenst allow big variations), but the selection of macs in the airport is small, usually only a 15 or 17 PW.
For iPods their price is exactly the same as everywhere else so the savings are real. When I bought my PowerBook (1.5 years ago) they had not updated their prices with the new machines at that time but they were selling for Apple RRP so once again you saved 17.5%.
 

Graeme A

macrumors 6502
Aug 6, 2003
265
0
Melbourne, Australia
javiercr said:
if saving > £200 then fly to NYC and buy it there (and don't declare it on the way back :eek: ), otherwise it's going to be hard to avoid import duty.
Apple won't ship it to you, Adorama.com will, but you will most likely have to pay import duty

why don't you think people still pays UK prices? :cool:
Better still would be a cheap BA flight to Boston, and a small trip north across the border to New Hampshire's Rockingham Park mall. They dont have sales taxes so you avoid that whole city and state tax (at I believe 13%!!!!) nonsense that NYC has. The Apple store there are really friendly (well, Sarah who served me was) and you might be able to call ahead and make sure that they have exactly what you want in stock.

Or if you can't be bothered driving up, then Boston has a store in Cambridge (add 5% for MA sales taxes). I went to both stores, and I really enjoyed the experience with NH as Boston's was very busy and you were just another buyer.

Oh, yeah... Don't declare it on the way back to the UK. Post the empty box back to your home address via USPS and walk through the green channel as if you have had it for ages though it might be an idea to set it up using the hotel internet or something in case you are asked to turn it on.. don't want that embarrassing Welcome to Mac coming up in front of a UK C&E guy.
 

kerpow

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2004
332
0
London
javiercr said:
Dixons is usually very expensive.
No, they often sell slightly older models at very good prices.

I was in exactly the same position as the thread starter a few months ago and found my PB (see spec in sig) in Dixons for £760. Quite a bargain. You won't find it cheaper in the States.
 

Cue

macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2005
218
0
Edinburgh, UK
robbieduncan said:
For iPods their price is exactly the same as everywhere else so the savings are real. When I bought my PowerBook (1.5 years ago) they had not updated their prices with the new machines at that time but they were selling for Apple RRP so once again you saved 17.5%.
Don't they still do a price match? :/
 

bigfry321

macrumors newbie
Jul 11, 2005
2
0
I'm a student

I ama student coming there next month. I have not yet bought my iBook, waiting for the update which I hope comes. What should I do buy it here and not declare it or do I have some sort of leniency because I am a student.
 

mpw

Guest
Jun 18, 2004
6,364
1
munkle said:
It's not as easy as you think, you can't just log onto the US Apple store, pay with your UK credit card and get it shipped to your UK address. Won't work.

And if you do manage to find a way to get it shipped over then like jaffacake said, you'll have to pay hefty import taxes.
There's no import duty just VAT @ 17.5%. Oddly there IS import duty on iPods @ 2% and Cinema Displays @ ~14% with VAT @17.5% on-top for both.
 

deebster

macrumors 6502
Oct 21, 2004
276
0
Olde Englande
bigfry321 said:
I ama student coming there next month. I have not yet bought my iBook, waiting for the update which I hope comes. What should I do buy it here and not declare it or do I have some sort of leniency because I am a student.
Where is here? :)

Whether you are going to or from the States, buy there. UK retail prices are not nice.

Warranties for portable products (specifically meaning those that can run on battery power, without a mains cable attached, so excluding Mac minis) are worldwide, and AFAIK, all portable Macs are multi-voltage too.

Other than the States, Hong Kong (as munkle will vouch for I think) is just about the cheapest place in the world I know of. Bit of a hole though.
 

dannnyh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 9, 2005
105
0
Manchester, UK
Called Dixons at the Airport today and they have 15" Superdrive for £1341. Looks like my quest is nearing its end!

Cheers for the tip Robbie.
 

Jaffa Cake

macrumors Core
Aug 1, 2004
19,801
6
The City of Culture, Englandshire
mpw said:
There's no import duty just VAT @ 17.5%. Oddly there IS import duty on iPods @ 2% and Cinema Displays @ ~14% with VAT @17.5% on-top for both.
My G5 got shipped in from the States last summer so I looked into it – it's a very confusing system (I went to art college so I've no head for figures ;)) but if I remember rightly it's a bit of a lottery.

I think I'm right in saying that our friends at HM Revenue and Customs don't check every shipment that comes in – if they pick up yours and it's got pricey computer equipment in it then you may find yourself out of pocket. I was actually lucky enough to win my G5 in a competition run by a US company – part of the terms and conditions of importing it into the UK was that if it was taxed or whatever, I had to pay that bill. Luckily it just sailed through, literally and metaphorically.

mpw – forgive my ignorance but isn't Jersey different from the UK in terms of certain tax laws?
 

twinsen

macrumors newbie
Apr 26, 2005
13
0
I have a friend that is going to study in the US and he has agreed to let me order a PowerBook, a printer ++ to his adress and ship it to me in the UK. I'm going to become an ADC member so I'll shop in the ADC discount. I have to questions:

1. He is going to study in Vermont. Do I have to add tax or something on the prices in the Apple Store?
2. What is the cheapest way to ship to the UK?