Getting a MacBook in America -questions

GoneDrinkin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 5, 2014
108
68
I've a relation going to San Francisco next week, and I'm thinking of asking her to pick me up a mid-range 13" retina.

I'm wondering what is the best course of action.

-I'm an Irish college student, so I'm wondering if I can avail of the education discount.

-Where's the best place to pick it up? Apple Store or Best Buy, etc, for the best deal.

-I know I'll get an American charger with it, but can I get an international or UK keyboard instead of a US one?

I think that's everything to think of. Anything else to consider would be appreciated.
 

Sifinity

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2014
322
1
Texas
I've a relation going to San Francisco next week, and I'm thinking of asking her to pick me up a mid-range 13" retina.

I'm wondering what is the best course of action.

-I'm an Irish college student, so I'm wondering if I can avail of the education discount.

-Where's the best place to pick it up? Apple Store or Best Buy, etc, for the best deal.

-I know I'll get an American charger with it, but can I get an international or UK keyboard instead of a US one?

I think that's everything to think of. Anything else to consider would be appreciated.
you can get a UK keyboard but you would have to order it from online , they also have education discount for people in the UK .
 

GoneDrinkin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 5, 2014
108
68
you can get a UK keyboard but you would have to order it from online , they also have education discount for people in the UK .
That's not a problem. I've a cousin living there and I could send it to them, and my aunt could courier it back to me. I know there's an education discount from the Irish store, but it's so much cheaper to get the laptop from America, even without the discount. Is my European education discount still viable in the US education store?
 

GoneDrinkin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 5, 2014
108
68
Have you included sales tax, which is not included, in your calculation?
Yes, and it's still much cheaper.

I was hoping to order on a day where there is reduced or no tax. Not sure if it applies online, but if it is such a thing in San Fran, I might ask her to pick it up in an Apple Store.

Is an American rMBP exactly the same as a European model, or does it run at a different voltage? Just to be sure.
 

GoneDrinkin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 5, 2014
108
68
Are you also calculating the cost of duty to bring in into Ireland? Or are you expecting your relative to lie to customs and not declare it? Are you prepared to pay for any fines, etc if they were to be caught?
Are you going to answer my questions regarding the machine, or are you going to ask questions which don't concern you? I've only interest in the former.
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,845
842
Manchester, UK
I bought my 2006 MBP in Florida when on holiday. Apple store is the best bet, RRPs are essentially fixed.

All MacBooks are dual voltage. The charger plug is replaceable, you can just use a standard figure-8 lead to replace the US plug.

US Keyboard is only slightly different. Bigger left shift, smaller enter key and a couple of the symbols are moved around. Shift+3 is # instead of £. Just change to the UK key map. I didn't find a problem adjusting. Differences in this thread.
 

dejo

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 2, 2004
15,725
447
The Centennial State
Are you going to answer my questions regarding the machine, or are you going to ask questions which don't concern you? I've only interest in the former.
Just thought I'd point out some potential issues in your belief that the MBP is cheaper in the US. Anyways, I'll answer some questions then:

Is my European education discount still viable in the US education store?
No. Irish students only get a discount in the Irish Apple Store for Education. If you want to use the educational discount for US, you must be a US student (or faculty, etc.)

Is an American rMBP exactly the same as a European model, or does it run at a different voltage? Just to be sure.
Well, they're not exactly the same, but it will run on 100V to 240V AC.
 

GoneDrinkin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 5, 2014
108
68
I bought my 2006 MBP in Florida when on holiday. Apple store is the best bet, RRPs are essentially fixed.

All MacBooks are dual voltage. The charger plug is replaceable, you can just use a standard figure-8 lead to replace the US plug.

US Keyboard is only slightly different. Bigger left shift, smaller enter key and a couple of the symbols are moved around. Shift+3 is # instead of £. Just change to the UK key map. I didn't find a problem adjusting. Differences in this thread.
That's great, I'll look into it further anyway.

Really handy I wouldn't have to replace the entire charger!
 

friedkimchi

macrumors regular
Aug 13, 2011
182
95
Are you also calculating the cost of duty to bring in into Ireland? Or are you expecting your relative to lie to customs and not declare it? Are you prepared to pay for any fines, etc if they were to be caught?
You don't really have to declare the laptop at customs if it's not in the original packaging. Just slip the laptop into a generic laptop case and you'll be fine.

I recently got a relative to buy me a refurb rMBP from the UK and bring it over to where I live. No issues at customs.

And personally, I've travelled with 2 laptops and faced no problems at various int' airport customs.

You can 'purchase' a .edu email in the US i think?
The chargers will work just fine, you might need an adapter for your wall socket.
 

afseale

macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2014
9
0
That's not a problem. I've a cousin living there and I could send it to them, and my aunt could courier it back to me. I know there's an education discount from the Irish store, but it's so much cheaper to get the laptop from America, even without the discount. Is my European education discount still viable in the US education store?
Better yet, have your cousin order it for you, avoids the issue of paying credit card billing address not matching the delivery address.

Buy from the Apple Refurb store, great discounts.

Have your cousin set it up for you (you're Apple ID) so your Aunt can at least enjoy it while she's bringing it home. Customs can't argue if she can login etc. like friedkinchi said, a non issue.
 
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GoneDrinkin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 5, 2014
108
68
You don't really have to declare the laptop at customs if it's not in the original packaging. Just slip the laptop into a generic laptop case and you'll be fine.

I recently got a relative to buy me a refurb rMBP from the UK and bring it over to where I live. No issues at customs.

And personally, I've travelled with 2 laptops and faced no problems at various int' airport customs.

You can 'purchase' a .edu email in the US i think?
The chargers will work just fine, you might need an adapter for your wall socket.
Great! I'm hoping I can order a sleeve along with it and ask her to put it into it then. I'd rather it be sealed so I can open my first mac myself, but I won't care. Is it ok if the plastic cover is still on the mac in the sleeve? :p

I thought you could avail of the student discount no matter where you were in the world, like if you were a student travelling somewhere and decided to buy a mac. Could be mistaken on that.

Better yet, have your cousin order it for you, avoids the issue of paying credit card billing address not matching the delivery address.

Buy from the Apple Refurb store, great discounts.
I'd really rather not. I'd feel it was an imposition, and I'm grateful for the chance to use her address for a start.

Does it matter if my billing address doesn't match the shipping address?

And I'm sorry, but no way am I letter her use it. She's ridiculously uncaring with electronics and I'd trust her to bring it home safely if it was pretty much still sealed.
 

afseale

macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2014
9
0
No worries mate!

Bill/Shipping addresses. It really depends, you know very quickly as Apple would let you know when you place the order on their website.

I totally understand, having someone molest my new Mac would be very distressing! :)
 

GoneDrinkin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 5, 2014
108
68
No worries mate!

Bill/Shipping addresses. It really depends, you know very quickly as Apple would let you know when you place the order on their website.

I totally understand, having someone molest my new Mac would be very distressing! :)
I'll chance my arm and see. Hopefully it all works out. It'd be very handy if I could avail of the $100 BTS promo too!

Worst thing I've started doing is reading about dodgy batteries and displays. Mine won't be covered under warranty should something be off, so I'm really hoping I get a perfect machine over anything!
 

afseale

macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2014
9
0
Don't worry your machine is covered by warranty no matter where you buy it or where you end up.

Just buy AppleCare locally if your worried.
 

MattZani

macrumors 68030
Apr 20, 2008
2,552
96
UK
Fairly sure you have to be able to turn any electronic device on at the airport checks now, so at the very least it would need to be set up to have a user account with a password so they can see it boots. It's to do with anti-terrorism but not sure if it's all airports etc.

My advice, buy a refurb and a case. Maximum savings. Ditch everything but the laptop itself and charger (Refurbs are brown box so no fancy packaging, and they no longer come with restore discs etc), put laptop in case with user account setup, put charger in suitcase. Will pass checks and no way for them to sting you with any form of import tax.

Don't bitch and moan, your family are helping you out to save money, don't make it any more awkward than it has to be for them. Your aunt isn't going to get you a laptop, she's most likely going to enjoy herself, she doesn't want to be running around after you.

If you don't want it opened or setup or 'in her hands', suck it up and buy from the IRE store.
 

iDuel

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2011
771
94
Greece/USA
Fairly sure you have to be able to turn any electronic device on at the airport checks now, so at the very least it would need to be set up to have a user account with a password so they can see it boots. It's to do with anti-terrorism but not sure if it's all airports etc.

My advice, buy a refurb and a case. Maximum savings. Ditch everything but the laptop itself and charger (Refurbs are brown box so no fancy packaging, and they no longer come with restore discs etc), put laptop in case with user account setup, put charger in suitcase. Will pass checks and no way for them to sting you with any form of import tax.

Don't bitch and moan, your family are helping you out to save money, don't make it any more awkward than it has to be for them. Your aunt isn't going to get you a laptop, she's most likely going to enjoy herself, she doesn't want to be running around after you.

If you don't want it opened or setup or 'in her hands', suck it up and buy from the IRE store.
Just a friendly suggestion


Honestly, this guy here has a point. You're relative would not be able to bring the MacBook sealed to you as she would be required to turn it on at security to show that it is a real working computer. I'm not sure how comfortable you would be about that considering your earlier post stating that you would not want her using it.
 

MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
756
221
Belgium
No worries mate!

Bill/Shipping addresses. It really depends, you know very quickly as Apple would let you know when you place the order on their website.

I totally understand, having someone molest my new Mac would be very distressing! :)
I can confirm no issues there. I have ordered from Apple store HK and had it delivered to a friends house while my credit card details are in another country. Within 10 minutes of my order I received a call from Apple to confirm that I really placed the order myself, asked a couple of security questions and that was it.
 

ogremoustro

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2011
626
28
Los Angeles, CA
Yes, and it's still much cheaper.

I was hoping to order on a day where there is reduced or no tax. Not sure if it applies online, but if it is such a thing in San Fran, I might ask her to pick it up in an Apple Store.

Is an American rMBP exactly the same as a European model, or does it run at a different voltage? Just to be sure.
No tax holiday in California.
 

joe-h2o

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2012
998
443
Are you going to answer my questions regarding the machine, or are you going to ask questions which don't concern you? I've only interest in the former.
The potential cost of importing the MBP is something you will have to consider. If she gets stopped at customs then they will be able to see that it is a brand new US laptop and she will be liable for VAT/import duty.

Given your attitude, I hope she gets stopped and you end up paying the 20% extra.
 

Hustler1337

macrumors 68000
Dec 23, 2010
1,765
1,487
London, UK
I think it's quite likely it'd be stopped at customs if your aunt couriers it back to Ireland. There's a lesser chance of you being sniffed by customs if your aunt brought it back with her to Ireland with the box/wrapper and everything thrown away except the Macbook and the charger. When asked, she can say it's hers and show them if required. But there's no guarantee that you'll get away scott free.
 

GoneDrinkin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 5, 2014
108
68
I think it's quite likely it'd be stopped at customs if your aunt couriers it back to Ireland. There's a lesser chance of you being sniffed by customs if your aunt brought it back with her to Ireland with the box/wrapper and everything thrown away except the Macbook and the charger. When asked, she can say it's hers and show them if required. But there's no guarantee that you'll get away scott free.
I'll buy a sleeve along side it and get it delivered so she can discard the box and just bring the charger back. That's grand.

I'll be travelling to North America for college next year and I'd just throw my laptop into my suitcase. I'd fail to see how that could look different to them, but as you said, to make it look like it's being used.

I plan on upgrading my iPad 3 next year too, but I'll be using it there too, so customs wouldn't be able to stop me -which is ironic, because it'd be doing the same thing in principle as I am here, just I'll be using it personally at the time.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,598
380
Redondo Beach, California
.
You can 'purchase' a .edu email in the US i think?
The chargers will work just fine, you might need an adapter for your wall socket.
Of course it is fraud. Same goes for trashing the packaging and plaint a new computer in a generic case. But in both cases you'd likely never be caught.

You don't need to buy a .eu mail. Apply to just about any community college or university and you get the email even if you never actually attend the school. Signing up for the .edu email is many times an rely part of the application process. community colleges accept everyone and have low or zero application fees.

But it is quite a lot of work, is blatant fraud and only saves you $100. You can save a lot more by ordering a refurb, shopping at a third party reseller like Best Buy or Mac Mall. or even Amazon.com