Questions about importing a mac to britain from america...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by grimmstein, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. grimmstein macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Eastcote, near London
    #1
    I'm buying an iMac over the next few weeks, and have found that it is a great deal cheaper to buy one from the states than in england. I would just like to check that this will not pose any problems apart from the ones I've already anticipated.

    1) The AC power cable - I know that it will be different, I can buy a US/UK adapter easily.

    2) The keyboard language - I'm a touch-typer, so I'm not bothered about the actual keys being different, but I would like to check that I can change the overall system language to British English? I am an audio typist, and having to learn to adapt to a new layout would be a pain. I haven't properly used a mac before. I did have a borrowed ibook G4 but it broke after 2 days, before I could explore it properly. I am aware that in the top right corner there is a little flag changing the language, so all I really want to check is that it is possible for me to click on it, and change it from the American OS that will come with my mac, to a little union jack. I'm proud of my heritage ;)
    So if someone using an American mac (which is probably most of the people on this site) could just check that for me, that would be great.

    The only real difference I know of in keyboard layout is that where the US has a @, # and " sign, a british keyboard has a ", £ and @ sign, which are all things I type frequently, and hope to be able to change.

    Wow, I've rambled on a lot there! Sorry folks! Anyway, if someone could tell me firstly if the keyboard issue can be easily resolved, and secondly, if there's any other difference I have overlooked? Thanks!
     
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    #2
    You can set the keyboard to a British layout and it'll function exactly as a UKish keyboard – the only real difference I can think of is that the return key is differently shaped. I used to have a Mac that was originally from the States and the only issue with the keyboard was that I'd occasionally hit another key as I was used to the larger return we have over here. The main language of the OS can be altered from 'American' English to 'British' English easily enough too, in the International tab in System Preferences.

    One thing you have to consider when comparing costs is that US prices don't include Sales Tax (this varies from State to state, so do your homework here) and that you could end up paying some hefty customs charges to get your new Mac into this country. At the end of the day, the saving you make might not be that great...
     
  3. grimmstein thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Eastcote, near London
    #3
    I should have been clearer, I am ordering it from a website in the states, so customs charges should be included in the price, right? If that's all then I think I'll go ahead and order :)

    I never realised that US keyboard had a smaller enter key before... I thought that was just the design of the apple keyboard. Well, I'm sure I can adapt to that ok. In all honesty I'll probably get myself an English apple keyboard in the near future anyway, it's just not one of my priorities.
     
  4. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #4
    If you get caught by customs hes not going to go gentle on the 1st date.

    Consider either John Lewis or an independent reseller, both are more receptive to a bit of haggling.
     
  5. grimmstein thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Eastcote, near London
    #5
    I'm getting it from Small Dog Electronics, I saw a really good review of them. I've ordered large items from the states before, I've never had customs problems. So I'm pretty confident!
     
  6. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #6
    Will depend on what courier they use but the chances of it "missing" Customs is almost nil - and it may not be that much of a bargain after 17.5% VAT and clearance fees. Large things that come by post tend not to attract the same kind of attention.

    Have you seen the size of an iMac box ??

    As regards the plug - just cut the US plug off the end of the power-lead and fit a 13A plug.

    If you are touch-typing then I would swap the keyboard for a UK version.

    I bought a PowerBook from Small Dog many years ago but had to have it shipped to Florida and their web-site still says "We accept international orders, however, there are some exceptions and extra considerations for our international customers. We do not ship Apple Products internationally as we are restricted from doing so by our contract with Apple".
     
  7. Hates macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    In the past couple of years and on a big ticket item like this? Won't the value be declared on the item, which will lead to instant import duty? From what I gather they are pretty strict now a-days.
     
  8. grimmstein thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Eastcote, near London
    #8
    Damn! How did I miss that?!

    Well, there goes that plan out the window then :(

    Back to my search... since all this talk of customs charges keeps coming up, I guess I'll get back to searching in england then. Thanks for the help everyone!
     
  9. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #9
    Apple refurb store ?

    Know any students ?
     
  10. grimmstein thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Eastcote, near London
    #10
    I've tried the apple refurb store. As for students, I am one. However, I am a little confused as to the system.

    A couple of months back, if you went to the education store page, it said that if you're a student under 18 at a further education college or whatever, then a parent or guardian can buy on your behalf (I'm under 18). However, they appear to have updated the apple education store, and it no longer mentions this clause anywhere.
     
  11. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #11
    Are you at University or what ?

    Parents can buy on behalf of eligible students (whatever their age !) at the HE store (this is different to the Apple Online Education Store).

    Have you looked at this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=550712
     
  12. grimmstein thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Eastcote, near London
    #12
    I had a look at the thread, it covers buying from the education store if you're over 18, which I know is fine. I'm at college (doing an A level equivalent course), but I'm not 18 yet. Am I still able to just go onto the apple education store website and get the discount, since it doesn't ask for proof of age or anything in the booking process? Or does it require proof somehow?
     
  13. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #13
    The discount is lower on the Education store, the warranty is not as good but the "proof of eligibility" seems lower (ie none).

    The best deal is to "find" a student who qualifies and then buy that iMac (when the Back to School promotion starts).

    HE discount is 15% with 3 year warranty and when promotion starts (mid-September) a free iPod Nano or possibly a Touch.
     
  14. grimmstein thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Eastcote, near London
    #14
    I don't know any university students anyway, so the HE discount is unavailable to me. However, if the education store requires no id, then in theory I should just be able to order the computer from it... I think I've found somewhere in the uk that does them cheaper anyway, although I'll consider the apple store if the free ipod deal comes back.
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    Buy a USB keyboard locally if you want. The Mac can use any USB PC or Mac style keyboard. Maybe you already own a keyboard? Keep it if you like it.

    I know little about UK law but I've heard that you will have to pay VAT and possibly duty. This will add a bit to the cost. People in Canada have the same issues when they buy from the US.
     

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