Buying Macbook in the US as a foreigner

BeachChair

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 11, 2008
590
4
Copenhagen, Denmark
I'm travelling to the US next week (from Denmark). I'll be a week in Florida and a week in New York.

I guess I'll be going to either Best Buy or an Apple Store.

Is there any potential complications I should know about?

Are there state specific sales taxes added on top of the price you see on the online apple store?

Do I need to show passport?

Do they take cash? (Apple store in London doesn't)

Do they accept foreign credit cards? (a VISA issued in Denmark)
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Are there state specific sales taxes added on top of the price you see on the online apple store?
Yes.
Do I need to show passport?
No.

Do they take cash? (Apple store in London doesn't)
I've never heard of a US Apple Store not taking cash; I've seen customers make large purchases with cash.

Do they accept foreign credit cards? (a VISA issued in Denmark)
Shouldn't be a problem, although you're going to want to let your card company know you'll be making a large purchase that would otherwise be seen as suspicious.
 

mac-matt

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2009
45
0
canada
Thanks for the answer miles.

Seems like Florida has the lowest sales tax at 6%.

So a Macbook Pro 13" would cost $1100 + 6% (with student discount) ?
depending if they would give you a student discount or not... no reason why they shouldn't. also id recommend buying from an apple store not best buy unless your getting applecare, but when i bought my imac from best buy they said i had to take it into them if i had problems and im not sure if there are best buys in your country. also make sure to check out customs for your country because i know when you buy in the us and bring into canada you have to pay your province gst on it. in the end it may be more worthwhile to just buy in your country, or buy in the us and not claim it when going home, or ship it from the us to yourself as a gift... that could be costly. just a few things to check out
 

MathiasVH

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2009
146
4
Have you thought about the tax when you come back to the CPH airport? :D I'm curious 'cause I might do the same thing this summer.

Fedt at se en anden dansker herinde, btw. - Jeg har ikke rigtig noget indtryk af hvor mange vi er :D
 

mac-matt

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2009
45
0
canada
Well BestBuy lied to you. If you have AppleCare it's good worldwide in any Apple Store or Authorized Repair Center.
i never bought the applecare. they said it came with a one year best buy warranty or something like that. either ways its done now and never had any problems with it until a month ago
 

racketeer71

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2010
170
0
You will, of course, declare your new laptop to the customs when you arrive in CPH after your trip.

Efter paying Danish VAT (25%) and a small customs fee, I doubt you will have saved a lot (if any) money compared to buying it in DK.
 

mac-matt

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2009
45
0
canada
You will, of course, declare your new laptop to the customs when you arrive in CPH after your trip.

Efter paying Danish VAT (25%) and a small customs fee, I doubt you will have saved a lot (if any) money compared to buying it in DK.
25%. holy sh*t. as i said before, you could ship it out to yourself as a gift from the us and you shouldnt have to pay any tax or customs. but im not familiar with your countries rules
 

trees

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2009
19
0
25%. holy sh*t. as i said before, you could ship it out to yourself as a gift from the us and you shouldnt have to pay any tax or customs. but im not familiar with your countries rules
you still have to pay duty if you ship it as a gift and you won't get a student discount unless you are a student at a US accredited school. International students do not receive it in the US.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
...you won't get a student discount unless you are a student at a US accredited school. International students do not receive it in the US.
Are you sure about that? It works the other way around (Receiving an education discount for a US institution abroad), and I can't find anywhere in the Education Store ToS that says it has to be a US institution.
 

BeachChair

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 11, 2008
590
4
Copenhagen, Denmark

trees

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2009
19
0
Are you sure about that? It works the other way around (Receiving an education discount for a US institution abroad), and I can't find anywhere in the Education Store ToS that says it has to be a US institution.
In the US you must be from a US institution. If the store is following proper policy.

Those eligible to purchase from the Apple Store for Education Individuals include faculty, staff, students and parents as follows:

K12 - Any employee of a public or private K-12 institution in the United States is eligible. In addition, school board members who are currently serving as elected or appointed members are eligible. PTA or PTO executives currently serving as elected or appointed officers are eligible.

Higher Education - Faculty and staff of Higher Education institutions; and students attending, or accepted into a Higher Education institution are eligible to purchase. Purchases from the Apple Store for Education Individuals are not for institutional purchase or resale.

Higher Education Parents - Parents purchasing on behalf of their child, who is a student currently attending or accepted into a public or private Higher Education Institution in the United States, are eligible to purchase.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Higher Education - Faculty and staff of Higher Education institutions; and students attending, or accepted into a Higher Education institution are eligible to purchase. Purchases from the Apple Store for Education Individuals are not for institutional purchase or resale.
...this says nothing about being a US student or attending a US institution. Why would it be a requirement when in the other two instances it specifically mentions the "United States," yet in this one it does not?
 

Aboo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2008
770
12
In order to get the student discount in the US, you would technically need to be associated with a US institution. However, whether this is enforced or not, is largely dependent on who you are dealing with. A lot of Apple store employees will just give you the education discount anyway. If you are having trouble, and don't mind being a little unscrupulous, you could just mention that you are here on an exchange program (NOT THAT I AM ADVOCATING THIS...)

Anyway, if you run into problems at the Apple store, try best buy as they are a little more lenient with their education pricing (note that best buy will match Apple's education pricing so long as you ask for it nicely)
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
In order to get the student discount in the US, you would technically need to be associated with a US institution.
This is actually the exact thing we're debating. It's one thing to say it, it's another to provide evidence. I'm just genuinely curious now- not trying to start a flame war or anything. As far as I can tell there's no such requirement that you have to be affiliated with a US institution to qualify for the discount in the US.
 

Aboo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2008
770
12
This is actually the exact thing we're debating. It's one thing to say it, it's another to provide evidence. I'm just genuinely curious now- not trying to start a flame war or anything. As far as I can tell there's no such requirement that you have to be affiliated with a US institution to qualify for the discount in the US.
I realize that this is a grey area and hence my point on why its subject to interpretation at the level of the retail channel (be it through the tele-sales or the Apple store). Telesales usually just requires a .edu address to confirm your student/university affiliation status. The retail employees generally ask for student ID or something similar, and often can/will deny you if you present a foreign university ID. However, I have personally seen exceptions made to this "rule".
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
Go make your purchase and bring it back in a laptop bag as above. If you want to brin the box etc back flat pack it and put it in your partner/friends suitcase ot mail just the box to yourself. You won't have to pay import or vat this way. I've done it a couple of times many years ago with a vaio picturebook and my g3.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
I realize that this is a grey area and hence my point on why its subject to interpretation at the level of the retail channel (be it through the tele-sales or the Apple store). Telesales usually just requires a .edu address to confirm your student/university affiliation status. The retail employees generally ask for student ID or something similar, and often can/will deny you if you present a foreign university ID. However, I have personally seen exceptions made to this "rule".
It shouldn't be a grey area if it's an actual policy. If it's an actual policy it should be written down somewhere for people to see and understand. If I'm going to tell people in the future that they need to be affiliated with a US institution, I'd like to know that I can back up the claim.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
It shouldn't be a grey area if it's an actual policy. If it's an actual policy it should be written down somewhere for people to see and understand. If I'm going to tell people in the future that they need to be affiliated with a US institution, I'd like to know that I can back up the claim.

Just got off the phone to a friend who works in lakeside apple store and she said they will happily give edu discount to international buyers as it's not a country specific policy it's an international discount scheme.

Dunno if that helps but she's worked for apple for a good few years and lakeside has a high visit count for European shoppers.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Just got off the phone to a friend who works in lakeside apple store and she said they will happily give edu discount to international buyers as it's not a country specific policy it's an international discount scheme.

Dunno if that helps but she's worked for apple for a good few years and lakeside has a high visit count for European shoppers.
Ok, that's what I thought. The lack of a mention of "US-only" in the Terms and Conditions linked to from the education store online seems to confirm it. Thanks for doing the research.