International Customer trying to buy from US Apple Store

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dfelix, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. dfelix, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    dfelix macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2011
    Hi guys,

    I'd like to order a custom iMac, base model plus ssd, and a factory unlocked iPhone 4 32GB. It will be way cheaper for me to buy this from the online US Apple Store rather than a local one. They will have to ship it to my American reship address. Obviously I don't live in the US.

    What I haven't figured out yet is the payment: how do I pay for the stuff I would like to buy? They would not take my PayPal since my US address is obviously not verified. They don't accept my international credit card either. What I have not tried is a wire transfer which I believe they should accept, but I have heard some horror stories about others trying to order stuff the same way from Lenovo. I know, different company and all, but I fear sending $3K out there just to not get my stuff and not get my money back.

    So, have any of you international macrumors forumites tried/done this? If yes, how, and if not, do you have any tips which will help me in my predicament? I would like to do this all by myself, i.e. not rely on others (who may or may not take my money and run) nor use shopping services such as shipito (which is probably going to cost me roughly 50% more for no reason other than them acting as middleman). Thanks!
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    It will not work. Buy from your country's store.
  3. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    This is the best answer you will get. The only other option would be if you have a friend in the US that can order it for you and ship it, but you still probably will get hit with taxes for importing it and the price won't be much different that going the easier way of buying in your country.
  4. dfelix, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    dfelix thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2011
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Here is the thing though: an iPhone 4 32GB in my local store costs the equivalent of ~$1200, and a BASE iMac 27 is ~$2300. DUCY I'm looking for alternatives?

    Computer equipment is import tax exempt. Phones count as computer equipment as well. The freight charges are a nonissue. So importing is basically the only way to go.

    On Amazon I can't get one with an SSD built in, and while I'm handy with computers I fear having to open one up to install my own SSD in it, as I understand it's missing the required bracket and there are no third party ones available atm? Having it built in is obviously much easier.

    Also on Amazon, a black iPhone 4 32GB factory unlocked costs 849. $100 extra just because someone else sells it to you. This is why I want to buy directly from the online US Apple Store.
  5. GeekGuys macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    I have done this many times in the past few years from the UK. Both for me and for presents for family in the US. It is all legit and can be done.

    In the UK you still have to pay import duty and VAT which brings the price to be similar to the UK in store price anyway.

    With laptops, it was around 20-30% saving after everything.
    Desktop was around 5-10% saving due to heavier shipping costs and insurance. Spending $2000 on a desktop and then skimping of $100 of insurance is just madness !!!
    Desktop warranty is also complex. UK stores tend to be 'awkward' when problems arise with US desktops. Laptops have been fine.

    If you can ship, without marking up the full price on the AWB then you can reduce your import duty/tax but this is illegal and I would never recommend this of course. That is for you and your blood pressure.

    Smaller items can be upto 50% cheaper via this method though, especially if you can get a few at the same time and ship together.

    Generally, I use my relative to accept delivery, package and ship. She gets the odd iPad out of it as a thank you present so she is happy !!!
  6. GeekGuys macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    One more thing.... I could not buy the equipment from the UK or US online store with a shipment in US and a UK credit card.

    I called the US store phone line and not a problem at all.
    That is the way to do this. Just state it is a present for a friend/family if they ask why your card is not registered in the USA.
  7. dfelix thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2011

    are you for real or just trollin'? If you actually did it can you please describe exactly how it is you did it? Thanks.
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    He already described EXACTLY what he did.

    1. call
    2. mention xyz
  9. wackymacky macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2007
    38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
    For this to work you need luck on your side depending on who you get on the phone. Also not sure how it would work if you tried to claim on warranty on the item once it was outside the USA
  10. luc007 macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    I paid in the US store a month ago with my European Visa card with no problem at all. I don't understand why people say it won't work. I just made a new Apple account, gave them a US billing address and that was it.

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