Cheaper to physically buy from foreign apple stores?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by steveOooo, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. steveOooo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    As we all know, us brits are undergoing a hard gruelling brexit for no apparent reason other than some old people moaned 'we don't like foreigners nicking our jobs' well aside from all that, now that the uk Apple Store is even more expensive and after reading that apple has opened a store in Taiwan,I wondered what the prices were like, whether they were dirt cheap or were pretty much the same world wide

    Maybe it would work out cheaper to actually fly to Apple Store Taiwan than buy in the uk lol
    I'd like to holiday in Asia soon so thought it might be possible - 'maybe posting the empty boxes back to avoid customs.

    Like this guy who traveled to London from Newcastle via SPAIN cos it was cheaper

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-40457453
     
  2. Stefan johansson macrumors 65816

    Stefan johansson

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    Sweden
    #2
    You will have to pay import fees,so I guess it's not that much cheaper,if you don't go to Asia or so,buy it yourself,and smuggle it in a suitcase through the customs line.
     
  3. canuckRus macrumors 6502

    canuckRus

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    #3
    Would be surprised if much in way of savings possible as Apple adjusts pricing in various countries according to foreign exchange rates. Technically, wouldn't the keyboard setup and electrical plug types be a quick give away?
     
  4. gnasher729, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017

    gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #4
    The prices in the UK went up because the British pound lost in value (strongly related to Brexit obviously, but the exchange rate is the reason), so your cost of buying anything anywhere in the world has gone up.

    Taiwan is definitely _not_ dirt cheap. if it was, then obviously everybody would be selling Macs from Taiwan. You could of course check on store.apple.com - but you need to be able to read Chinese. Actually, you need to be able to read Chinese (or know the Taiwanese flag) just to find the country's website.

    Whatever the price, you will have to pay 20% VAT when you arrive in Britain, except for very cheap items (I think total value up to £370)
     
  5. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Zurich, Switzerland
    #5
    Yep. The value of the GBP has been falling for years - but it got worse since the Brexit vote.

    Personally, I'd buy now. In six months, Apple might have to raise GBP prices again.
     
  6. MaxinMusicCity, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  7. steveOooo thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #7
    Yeah I checked the Taiwan site - only a bit cheaper - like £100 off

    Oh well, fleabay it is forever and ever
     
  8. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    The prices are higher in the UK due to two things: (1) GBP becoming weaker and (2) high VAT as compared to countries with no VAT or sales tax.

    There is no getting around #1. Your money is in GBP, its value has fallen, and you are going to have to convert it to local currency wherever you go.

    As for #2, it is possible to avoid VAT by buying the item in a country with little or no VAT or sales tax. Certain states in the USA have no sales tax for example. There are some countries with extraordinarily high VAT like Brazil where it actually makes sense. But I doubt that your VAT is so high that it would pay for the trip. I would say if you happen to be travelling anyway that you might as well pick up anything you need at the time, but a trip just for the item makes no sense. Apple products are cheapest in the USA, when in a state with no sales tax.

    Also keep in mind that even in another English-speaking country like the USA, the keyboard layout is different than the English UK layout. In Taiwan I'd expect a Chinese keyboard which would be very undesirable to me.

    There might also be issues with warranties moving across borders.
     
  9. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #9
    That would be illegal tax evasion. It's up to you of course, but don't try to convince yourself that it isn't illegal.
     
  10. ActionableMango, Jul 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #10
    It is probably a customs or duty violation of some sort--I don't live in the UK and I'm not familiar with their import laws, but OP talked about hiding the boxes so that's a pretty good indicator right there.

    OP is talking about doing it, not me, and considering that he talks about hiding the boxes I'm sure he already knows.

    In any case, it's clear that OP is just moping about Apple pricing and we're just having a speculative discussion.
     
  11. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    .. London ..
    #11
    UK here. Several years ago I was 'gifted' a newish second hand iPad and newish second hand Macbook Air 2013 in the USA. The prices were way way below what I would have paid in the UK. As I didn't want to fly to the USA to pick them up, and I didn't want to be stung on postage and customs charge aka "This stuff looks new, charge him accordingly" for what really was second hand stuff (warranty almost expired etc), I had them sent to a USA friend of mine who was flying over for a different reason. She brought them over on the plane and gave them to me. It helped that they were in her old carrying sleeves, and not in the Apple store boxes.

    Anyway with the decline in the GBP, the USA is not as good value as it used to be. However there are still certain advantages eg. 2017 MBP is £2700 in UK, and $2800 in USA which in theory translates to about £2180 in UK money. However in reality you will almost certainly pay sales tax of around 10% which brings it to about $3100 or £2400 so it's only about 12% cheaper in the USA, plus it will have a weird USA keyboard with the wrongly shaped 'Enter' key and no £ or € key. (Just like my USA 2013 MBA)

    Second hand stuff is still pretty good value if you can find a friend to bring it over or you happen to be visiting for another reason.
     
  12. SnowLucas, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017

    SnowLucas macrumors member

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    #12
    I've had Apple laptops from the USA fixed under warranty in the UK. I believe they have worldwide warranty still which not all company's offer and is an Apple perk.

    One thing to consider with all of this is that in the UK we are covered under very strong consumer law. If bought from Apple directly they as the seller are responsible for repairs within a reasonable period of time. On a laptop costing over £2000 this could be many years beyond the standard 1 year manufacturer warranty. If you can show the issue was a manufacturing fault they should sort it for free. It's not as simple as saying you get a three year warranty for free but It's not far off. I suspect this is another part of the high UK prices.
     
  13. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #13
    Any savings from buying abroad would have to be offset against the need to buy AppleCare+ because if any faults occur after the year's limited warranty ends you are on your own.

    Even if you manage to dodge customs, you are quite likely to be out of pocket if you end up with something temperamental.
     
  14. SaSaSushi, Jul 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #14
    That goes for any Mac purchased anywhere. In my opinion, AppleCare is always a recommended purchase anyway and it is always included in my budget.

    The one year warranty provides coverage globally, as does AppleCare and AppleCare+. Just because you buy a Mac in a different country doesn't mean you can't get it repaired by Apple locally under the warranty.
     
  15. canuckRus, Jul 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017

    canuckRus macrumors 6502

    canuckRus

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    #15
    In North America all Visa, Amex, MasterCard and Discover CC's provide 2nd year warranty coverage automatically.
    http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/compare-extended_warranties-1273.php#compare
     
  16. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #16
    Where? This isn't true of the UK. There is a purchase protection however.

    Yes. I think that may apply to all Apple purchases now. I remember threads from a few years ago where people found that the global warranties only applied to what Apple deemed to be portable products. Anyone buying an iMac was SOL if they imported their computer and had to ship it back to the vendor country to be looked at.

    At the moment, anyone buying an iMac from the UK, for example, can get it repaired under warranty within the EU and EEA countries free of charge including shipping. Elsewhere, they may have to stump up for carriage if they cannot visit a physical store.
     
  17. ChinkyBob macrumors regular

    ChinkyBob

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    #17
    I'm in Singapore. I can buy the 13 inch nth for 400e less than in the euro land, or save 900e for the 15inch. I could save more if I bought in the USA.
    Just the check the Apple store online USA, UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, and compare prices. Note that currency fluctuations vary daily, prices in the country are generally set for good.
     

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