Macbook Pro through customs?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tylerdurden9, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. tylerdurden9 macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2007
    Hi guys, I was just looking for some advice. I have decided to buy a macbook pro for college. With the macworld expo in january i have to decided to wait till then to go through with my much thought about and stressed over purchase. Anyways im from ireland and am headin over to San Fran for a week in the end of Jan and it is at least 500 cheaper to buy over there! My concerns are

    1. Will i be able to purchase it and get it home through customs? Has any one done or head anyone doing this?
    2. What differences will there be between the U.S and Europe ver. besides the power plug?
    3. I will probably get it in a retail store and am unsure of the protocol there?
    Do i go in and order it and return to collect it? Will they have a few varietys of kits built and i can sellect one?

    Any help would be muchly appreciated. Thanks.. :D
  2. GStreakT macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2007
    No other differences I can think of, apart from time and European English:)? By the way, all Apple notebooks are of universal voltage. I didn't buy any voltage convertor or anything, although you might have to get an outlet adapter so the pins fit in the wall.
  3. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    This has come up a few times before,the usual things apply,ditch the packaging etc. It'll have a US style keyboard but that's no real problem and you can stick a Irish plug on the power adaptor lead,if you want a plug to fit directly to the power adaptor Apple do a nice but expensive kit to do this.Worldwide guarantee,if you get stopped by customs (highly unlikely ) you'll only be charged VAT on it. Most likely a retail store will only have stock models on hand i.e. not build to order.I did it no problems.
  4. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Yes but bear in mind that you may have to pay duty on it since the value is way outside your duty-free limit. Of course, that depends on whether you're unlucky enough to be called over and searched but I know a colleague at work who got caught.

    One other thing to consider if you're going through a UK airport, is to buy it from Dixons tax-free. You get about 15% off and you don't have to fart about with plugs or worrying about customs etc.

    You should also speak to your college and see what kind of educational discount they have with Apple. You've missed the free iPod deal for this year but you can get some good deals - and you get 3 years parts/labour warranty free if you buy from the HE store.

    There's a slightly different keyboard layout. The £ sign won't be on the keyboard and the return key is a different shape. Depends how much you touchtype; using a friend's US iBook I regularly hit the wrong key when I aim for return but YMMV.

    You won't be able to do BTO. They'll have the stock models in the store and that's it. You could get them to upgrade RAM but cheaper to buy 3rd party and do it yourself. One thing to bear in mind is that you won't be able to buy US Applecare for it, you'll have to do that back in the UK if you want it.
  5. tylerdurden9 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2007
    Thanks a million guys thats a great help! Yeah my college is covered in the HE Store but with the funds i have at the moment i can barely afford a good macbook! If i get it in the states i can afford the pro and im doing design in college so could really do with the good graphics card! But that 3 years warranty seems very appealing. Apple products have a habit of imploding in my presence!
    I was looking at getting the 2.2ghz stock model with 160gb and a glossy display? Will this not be possible now that im buying it retail? I had already thought about upgrading the ram myself.
  6. Jasonbot macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2006
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    The US keyboard had a $ sign on the 4 key and the UK one has a £ sign on the 4 key.
  7. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    AFAIK laptops and desktop pcs are zero-rated for duty; you might just get caught for VAT.
  8. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Actually, the UK keyboard also has the $ on the 4 key: The £ is on the 3 key where I think the # is on a US keyboard
  9. Jasonbot macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2006
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    Same difference... I knew there was some sort of inconvenience of some sort caused by using a UK keyboard...
  10. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    You'll probably only be able to buy it with the 120GB drive and matte display, but there is a chance they'll have gloss as well, but not the drive option.
  11. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I've never been stopped when bringing a laptop through customs, but if I were you I would do as has been suggested, ditch the packaging.

    Also, mail the receipt home, carry the laptop in a laptop back, take some personal data (documents, mp3s etc) on a thumb drive to copy over to the hard drive, and swear blind you had it when you entered the country.
  12. aviddk macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2007
    SW Oregon
    Could he buy the the proper 3 key with the £ sign? Might make it look more official.
  13. cmm macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2006
    You won't get pulled into secondary and they aren't going to care. Don't declare it and ditch the packaging (mail it home and mark it as a gift).

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