I want to buy a Mac with a British keyboard layout in US. I don't have a US address.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iLightspeed, May 29, 2014.

  1. iLightspeed macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    #1
    So I'm thinking about getting myself a Mac for uni in September but I'm away on holiday to New York for a bit just before then. It dawned on me that Macs are much cheaper in America and, right enough, I can get the 13-inch model I want for $999 (£600) + Tax as opposed to £849 here in Britain.

    Originally I was planning on purchasing it from the US store before I leave (that way I can customize it with a UK keyboard layout and an additional 4GB of RAM) and picking it up when I arrive but I have since learned this is impossible as you need a US billing address!

    I thought maybe you could buy a British gift card and redeem it on the US store but no luck there either.

    I really would like a British layout and also the additional 4GB RAM (I anticipate the latter to be less of an issue, I'd hazard a guess that they would have some extra RAM models in store - could somebody confirm this maybe?).

    Is there anything else I could consider or will I have to accept an American layout if I want the American price?

    Oh, and I know about the whole UK customs thing where they will slap me with a large tax bill if they prove I bought it in the US and don't declare it. That won't happen though :)
     
  2. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #2
    Quick heads up if you're a PC user moving to Mac: the Apple British keyboard is basically a US keyboard with the '#' sign over the 3 changed to a '£' and the '| \' key moved to accommodate a different shaped return key - unlike British PC keyboards which have several punctuation symbols (including quote marks and @) juggled around c.f. the US. Practical upshot: if you're used to British PC layout, using Apple British is only going to be marginally less annoying than using Apple US, until you get used to it.

    Not if you're going for the Macbook Air (which I guess you are, from the price): that has factory-fitted RAM, you can't upgrade it in the shop.

    Also - if you're at Uni you can probably get a student discount in the UK which (by the time the US shop assistant has added tax and any other surcharges they can think of) may be as good as, or better than the US price. (There's a link near the bottom of the UK App Store page).
     
  3. theloon macrumors member

    theloon

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    #3
    [
    Oh, and I know about the whole UK customs thing where they will slap me with a large tax bill if they prove I bought it in the US and don't declare it. That won't happen though :)[/QUOTE]

    Just don't bring it back in an Apple box and bag as you walk through customs.

    I used to live in the US, so all my Mac's are US keyboards (I'm a brit) It's really no bother to have a US one.

    Advice from 'theluggage' is sound on eductional discount. You normally need to be in the Campus network to order it online as the Apple ordering systems checks the source IP you are coming from as a link to the educational institution you are claiming to be at. I'm sure in store they would just ask for uni ID.

    For air, get max spec you can afford as cpu/memory is on the board and not upgradable. SSD should be, however a neat solution for more storage will be available soon, see this previous macrumours post

    http://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/23/transcend-jetdrive-lite/
     
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #4
    Since only goods with a value up to £390 are tax free, you will have to pay 20% VAT when you enter the UK with that laptop, or be guilty of tax evasion. You will have the enjoyable task of finding someone willing to refund the US sales tax that you paid. Buying a Mac with a British keyboard in the USA is impossible. You need an adapter for the charger. You don't have any EU consumer protection since that applies only to goods purchased in the EU. It's your decision.
     
  5. craig45 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    #5
    If you will be doing a little traveling outside NYC, you might think about visiting Delaware (3 to 3.5 hours) where there is no state income tax. That might save you enough money to buy a replacement keyboard when you return home?
     
  6. theloon macrumors member

    theloon

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    #6

    That is true, however. Apple will honour your warranty worldwide. I had a macbook logic board go whilst I was in Tokyo last year, which I had bought in the US. Went to an Apple store and they swapped out the board quoting that company policy was to honour the warranty worldwide.

    The same goes for Apple Care protection on top of the warranty.

    Great service.
     
  7. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #7
    On Apple's US online store you have 11 keyboard choices for a macbook air.....including "British"
     
  8. iLightspeed thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 29, 2014
    #8
    Thanks for the RAM info. I will need to think about the practicalities of that.

    Yeah I can get a student discount but it's still cheaper in America. Off the top of my head I think student discount takes the British price down to about £780. Still a pretty big saving if I get it in America. About the taxes - am I right in thinking it's just going to be $999 + Sales Tax (I think it's about 8% in NY)?

    I'm fully aware of the legal risk I'm taking which in my opinion is extremely minimal. I won't be bringing any of the packaging home - I'll be bringing it home in a laptop bag. Nothing to suggest I didn't have it before I left. A $5 adapter for the charger isn't going to be a huge problem and Apple still honor their warranty regardless of what country you bought it in.

    So - I've decided to drop the issue of a British keyboard. I spoke to my friend (also British) who now lives in Australia and he has a Macbook Air with a US keyboard. Took about a week to get used to apparently.

    Thanks for your responses everyone, now hopefully I can find a way to get that extra 4GB of RAM.
     
  9. Macky-Mac, May 29, 2014
    Last edited: May 29, 2014

    Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #9
    8.875 percent

    Purchases above $110 are subject to a 4.5% NYC Sales Tax and a 4% NY State Sales Tax. The City Sales Tax rate is 4.5%, NY State Sales and Use Tax is 4% and the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District surcharge of 0.375% for a total Sales and Use Tax of 8.875 percent.

    as somebody pointed out, that's a factory upgrade and not something you can do yourself after its purchased.....how long will you be in the US? currently the US store says shipping in 1 to 3 business days, so in theory you could order it when you get here and have it shipped to the store for pickup.....if you're here long enough
     
  10. Sheza macrumors 65816

    Sheza

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Location:
    Croydon & London At The Same Time
    #10
    Warranty, maybe. But EU consumer protection law? Likely not.
     
  11. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    #11
    If you want to option it out. Just order it online for In-store pickup. Should only be a few days before it was ready...

    Depending on where all you plan to visit. I would research Sales Tax rates and pickup at the location with the lowest sales tax.
     
  12. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #12
    Definitely not, because EU consumer protection law gives you rights against the seller, which doesn't work if the seller is not in the EU. Even if you had rights, you'd have to go to the seller, so if you buy things in another European country while on holiday, your consumer protection laws might be less helpful in practice.
     
  13. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #13
    Pretty sure you have to provide a US billing address for in store pickup.
     
  14. NukeIT macrumors regular

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    Mar 20, 2013
    #14
    Really?? That blows!!!

    I would have figured that you would only need one for shipping.
     
  15. NukeIT macrumors regular

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    Mar 20, 2013
    #15
    Looks like Apple Online U.S. store only accepts Credit Cards with basically a U.S. Zipcode. However they do also accept U.S. Apple Gift Card.

    So I wonder if you could get your hands on one of those if you could order??
     
  16. Zcott macrumors 68020

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland
    #16
    You can reportedly use the address of a hotel you're staying at.
     
  17. dukeblue219 macrumors member

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    Dec 18, 2012
    #17
    As a billing address? Does Apple not need to match that information to the user's British credit card?
     
  18. Zcott macrumors 68020

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    Oct 18, 2009
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    Belfast, Ireland
    #18
  19. KPJLK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    #19
    There are third-party resellers in NY that hold in stock the popular BTO CPU/RAM/SSD configurations. Google them then call around when you arrive (or even just before you leave the UK) and they'll keep yours for you.
     
  20. anothermacman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    #20
    A suggestion

    Apple gift card has a limit of $2000. So you can withdraw cash put it a card to purchase no address required. Since the delivery address would be in the US, it should be ok.

    For accurate info you can call 1-800-692-7753 to speak to an Apple store specialist once you get to NY.
     
  21. yellowplum macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    #21
    To be honest why would you bother buying it in the US, if you can obtain a UK academic discount then it is more prudent to purchase from here - one thing to remember is if you purchase online in the UK from the Educational store you will get the full 3 year apple care thrown in at no extra cost.

    The only time I would say it is viable to buy in the US on this occasion is if you can obtain US academic discount.

    The lowest spec 13 Air - is £729.60 with apple care
     
  22. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #22
    The US academic discount is relatively insignificant and doesn't include Applecare, though you do get a sizable discount on Applecare itself.
     
  23. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #23
    Can't believe it took so long to point this out. I totally missed the fact he's off to uni even though its the first line. :eek:
     
  24. flipshot macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Hertfordshire, UK
    #24
    I've just come back from New York and intended on buying the top end 15" model. However even with educational discount in the US, when you add Apple Care and Sales Tax on you only save about £150 vs UK with Edu discount and 3yr warranty as standard.

    Plus I get the UK sales of goods act as additional protection by buying in the UK and I'm not performing tax evasion either.
     
  25. AaronM5670 macrumors 6502

    AaronM5670

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #25
    It appears in the comments that:
    Not entirely sure if this is still applicable. I'm heading to Washington D.C. in 2015 so I may purchase a mid-cycle iPad Air 2 when I'm there, as my iPad 2 is slowing up quite badly and the lack of RAM is really frustrating.
     

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