Buying in US for UK Use

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by boy-better-know, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    boy-better-know

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    England
    #1
    Hey

    Long story short, I am going to NY at the end of November - early Dec and want to pick up the new MBP in the US but have a few questions for anyone with experience.

    Do I just need a new adapter for UK plugs and nothing else?

    Would customs potentially have an issue with this being brought over? Could I be charged any hidden fees?

    Is the proce on the Apple US site what I would pay in store or does tax get added at checkout?

    The exchange rate is really favourable at the moment so I am really keen to do this.

    Thanks. Appreciate any input
     
  2. ssong macrumors 6502a

    ssong

    Joined:
    May 3, 2015
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    Depends on where you buy it but if you have it shipped to / buy it in NYC then you would be eligible for 4% NY State Tax, 4.5% NYC Tax, and an additional .375% District tax. Source

    Normally, when coming back to the UK you should be fine as long as it's unboxed and used. You could probably just chuck the box as well if you don't mind about the minor decrease in resale value.

    The new rMBPs don't come with extension cables so you might as well just buy the UK extension cable once you're back and you're good to go.

    To add a bit more info RE Sales tax. If you have time for a day trip, it might be worth it to grab an Amtrak or Greyhound to Delaware or New Hampshire as they don't charge any sales tax.
     
  3. Barnfather macrumors regular

    Barnfather

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Yep, all good advice - factor in Sales tax depending on the state you are buying in. And bin the packaging and put the laptop in a laptop bag and you shouldn't have any problem bringing back to the UK (I doubt customs officials are especially clued up on the differences between US and UK machines) just go through the 'Nothing to Declare' channel.

    If you have it boxed and get stopped in a random check (which do happen) then you would be eligible for 20% VAT, potential customs duty AND a fine, if you have not declared. It's unlikely, but it would be wrong to say it is impossible.

    As for the machine itself, you would need to buy a UK power adaptor. And be aware of the differences between the two keyboard layouts (the US keyboard doesn't have a £ key, and has a different shape RETURN key etc) - that may not be an issue for you but worth mentioning.

    Depending on the date you are there, the biggest challenge may be finding a MBP of the spec you want in-store. Be flexible and you should be okay. If you want something specific, it may be better to order online instead.
     
  4. boy-better-know thread starter macrumors 65816

    boy-better-know

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Thanks both, great advice. Think I should be set even with those additional costs it still beats the price in GBP.

    Much appreciated
     
  5. Brookzy, Oct 30, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016

    Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Go for it if you're happy with the compromises but in addition to the great info above, I would add:
    • Having a US keyboard layout could impact your resale value in the UK (I know I wouldn't buy one).
    • I'm not sure how much experience you have with US vs. UK keyboards, but if you've used a UK Apple keyboard for a long time, prepare to start hitting "\" instead of return for a while while you get used to the new layout. And typing a £ symbol is a pain.
    • If you have any issues with the device, once in the UK your only warranty option will be to wait for a repair. Exchanging for a new retail unit won't be possible (which is what most people do if they get a Mac that dies in the first two weeks).
    • Whether you leave the packaging behind or not, you are breaking the law by not declaring the item on your return to the UK (I'm not judging, just making sure you know!).
    • With the up to 10% tax you can face in the US the price difference might not be much, and could just be offset by lower resale value.
     
  6. Baron015 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    #6
    $4,200 fully spec'd from US site (usually before sales tax).

    So £3,458 at today's rate + 20% UK VAT = £4,150.

    Same machine from UK site is £4,050.

    So you've got a theoretical discount buying in U.K.

    Obviously if you evade tax in both US and UK then it will be somewhere between 6% and 20% cheaper. But then criminal enterprises often come unstuck one way or another.
     
  7. Barnfather macrumors regular

    Barnfather

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I think the point was that buying in the US would incur Sales Tax, which is considerably less than VAT, hence the saving.

    Illegal to avoid the customs/VAT element when returning to the UK, but thats another story.
     
  8. Marshall73 macrumors 65816

    Marshall73

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2015
    #8
    My colleague picked his MacBook Pro up in the states, just bought a laptop bag and stuffed it in there and carried it on the flight when returning. Saved 20% vat charge. As far as customs were concerned he had taken it out with him.
     
  9. Sparced macrumors regular

    Sparced

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #9
    It doesn't take much effort to get a NUS card and wouldn't a student discount still outweigh the saving of buying abroad? It takes usually a few hundred off one of the higher up models.

    Another huge slap in the face earlier this year was the higher Education store losing the free three year warranties.

    No three year, brexit and the price increase has killed off a lot of students considering a MacBook.
     
  10. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Probably because of people abusing it like you have recommended.
     
  11. Z3man macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Glad i read this thread, didn't know they had dropped the free 3 year AppleCare. I did notice that they had cut the student discount from 14% to 10% though. This all helps me to make up my mind not to purchase one of these new MacBook Pros, will definitely be sticking with my 12" MB for a few more years now.
     
  12. tim0409 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #12
    I've bought my Macs in the US over the years and brought them back to the UK (normally when there is a sale on at BB), but at the moment with the poor exchange rate it's just not worth it. You need to factor in the warranty - a US bought Mac comes with a 1 year wordwide warranty whereas a U.K. purchased Mac benefits from U.K. consumer protection which extends beyond a year.
     

Share This Page