Shopping trip from germany to NYC. Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dowjohnny, May 25, 2014.

  1. Dowjohnny, May 25, 2014
    Last edited: May 25, 2014

    Dowjohnny macrumors 6502

    Dowjohnny

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    Hey there,


    i'm from germany and will be going to NYC for a 7 day vacation in June. Of course i plan to do some shopping :D What i always wanted to get is a retina ipad mini to replace my ipad 1 i had to sell last fall. So why not take advantage of the EURO vs DOLLAR exchange and get it in NYC?

    But i have some questions, maybe someone from NYC can help me out.

    1) How about this omnipresent sales tax. From what i read online it is pretty high in NYC.. I learned that most stores display prices without tax, is that correct? So i would always have to calculate the tax on would i? I guess that regardless me being a tourist the same taxes apply to me like to any other shopper?
    The US apple online store has the retina ipad mini for 399$, would that be the same price at the store + taxes? Did anybody buy a retina mini in NYC and can confirm the final price for me?

    2) Are there any better places to shop the ipad that might have the ipad mini on sale? I have read here in numerous threads that people chose to buy apple stuff not at the apple store but at best buy or other third party dealers.

    Any help or other shopping recommendations are really appreciated :) I will be staying at the Waldorf Astoria if any location is needed.

    dowjohnny

    PS: I'm well aware that the wall adaptor from the ipad won't be fitting here at home, but that is no problem since i have a large collection of apple wall adaptors ;)
     
  2. Boyd01, May 25, 2014
    Last edited: May 25, 2014

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    Yes, you will have to pay sales tax of 8.875% for anything you purchase in New York, so be sure to add that to any advertised prices. You are correct that sales tax is not included in the prices you see online.

    The exception is if you purchase something and have it shipped to a location that is exempt. If you have a friend in another US state, maybe you could ship it to them? But if the company also has stores at the destination, you will pay their local tax rate. In the case of Apple, they have stores in almost every state, so it will be hard to beat that. You might be able to get them to ship it to your home in Germany, but then of course there could be import/customs issues. If you had a friend in New Jersey however (across the river from New York) you could ship it to them and only have to pay 7% sales tax with Apple though.

    If you are going to New York, you really must visit B&H Photo, there isn't another store like it. Huge, with almost any kind of computer, camera or gadget you can dream of. You will find that you "must have" things you never even knew existed when you go there. :)

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/HelpCenter/NYSuperStore08.jsp

    It is also an excellent place to buy a Macintosh - I got my 2013 MBA there last summer. They had the configuration I wanted in stock (11" i7/8gb/512gb) and nobody else in the region (including Apple) did. In fact, I'm not sure if any store in the US carried that model - it is usually special order.

    Apple prices are pretty tightly controlled, but theirs will be about as good as you will find, and they will sweeten the deal by throwing in extras, like a carrying case or software, at no additional charge. Now B&H doesn't have stores in other US states, so again, you could make a purchase and have it shipped to a hypothetical friend in New Jersey and not pay any sales tax at all.

    Have a great time in New York!
     
  3. Dowjohnny thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dowjohnny

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    First of all: Thanks for the kind and detailed help. Sounds like i won't be able to avoid the taxes :rolleyes: I don't have somebody in New Jersey so this is not an option, and shipping stuff to germany will destroy any price advantage anyways..

    What i wondered: If i ordered something online in advance (e.g. Amazon or the online apple store) and had it shipped to my hotel, would i also pay the full tax of NYC? Following your logic it sounds like i would have to because the hotel is in a state with specific tax..

    Guess i will really have to look into the prices of stuff and calculate precisely if there is any advantage compared to buying at home. From what i have learnt online clothing/shoes under 110$ each is exempt from the tax, so i got this going for me which is nice :cool:

    Thanks a lot for the B&H recommendation, looks great!! :eek: I think i will have to pay them a visit :D
     
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #4
    I've not actually found NYC prices to be 'cheaper' than elsewhere on this continent at least. Markups are markups regardless of where you are, and the rent is high in NYC. Unless you have local knowledge that is current you are going to be buying at the same places all the other tourists buy from. What you will find however is an amazing range of things for sale - and that is worth a shopping trip.

    Don't forget to factor in customs and duties. You will be hard pressed to convince them you brought if from Germany without the German charger....

    Though I suppose there are probably exemption amounts for a 7 day trip...

    Have fun... I really like NYC... I have relatives there and get to the city every few years. For me NYC is all about walking the streets.... listening and smelling and eating....
     
  5. hologram macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    #5
    If you buy it online from MacMall (http://www.macmall.com) and have it shipped to your hotel, you won't have to pay any tax. They only have stores in California and Illinois, so those are the only two states you'd have to pay tax in.

    You even get free shipping, but it might take a week or so. Just be sure to allow plenty of time for it to arrive. Or, you could pay for expedited shipping and it will still cost less than the tax would.

    Good luck, and have fun!
     
  6. Dowjohnny thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dowjohnny

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    Hey guys, thanks for your replies. You have a good point about the charger, but up to a value of 430 EUR there will be no problems at the border as long as i keep the receipts as proof. And with a retina ipad mini i should stay well under. Also this is the duty free amount per person, so if i bought more items i could distribute them within my family.

    I also will look into macmall, thanks!
     
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #7
    In the US, each state can make its own rules for sales tax, there are some places without a state tax - Delaware is one of them, so if you would like to take a "road trip" you can buy things tax-free there. Or go across the river to NJ where the sales tax is "only" 7%. :)

    New York is somewhat unusual because they have BOTH state AND city sales taxes, making it one of the highest (if not THE highest) rates in the US. The rules are such that if a company has a physical presence in your state, they must collect taxes even if you make the purchase online.

    It used to be that Amazon didn't collect sales tax in NJ, but now they have a distribution center so that has changed. Not sure about New York, but I suspect they will collect tax there too.

    The MacMall idea might work, but you really need to ask yourself if it's worth the trouble and possible risk if the order gets delayed, lost, etc. And also look at the shipping cost, often it will be a wash when compared to purchasing from a local store.

    Avoiding sales tax is a favorite passtime in the US, but those days are numbered with various new legislation under consideration along with the proliferation of distribution centers in different states across the US. And really, the tax codes state that you must voluntarily pay sales tax (called "use tax") when you purchase something from out of state if tax wasn't collected. This isn't really enforced very often though, so most people ignore it.

    Personally, I would not get too hung up on the sales tax issue and would consider convience of local shopping where you can bring the item back to the store for exchange if there's a problem. But there is nothing wrong with MacMall, I have used them for many years.
     
  8. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    #8
    Check the "Refurbished & Clearance" section on the Apple Store online site (bottom of the Main Store Page). You could have that item shipped to your hotel or, likely, to a NYC Apple Retail Store for pickup. 5 day shipping is free for items over $50 (click on the "Free shipping" tab on the left side for info). Typical savings are 15-20pct from original retail price. The "refurbished" store items are updated often so keep checking. I've purchased several "refurbished" items from the Apple Store this way with 100pct satisfaction and they come with the same Apple warranty as new items.
     
  9. Trvlngnrs macrumors 6502

    Trvlngnrs

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    #9
    One more option....
    Once you get their purchase from a private person thru Craigslist or the classified section of the newspaper. Meet at a public place that has wifi, check the iPad out, and if it works you are good to go. Cheaper & no taxes.

    Of course this option may not be for everyone!
     
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    When comparing prices, take into account that you will have to pay VAT (or lie to customs, which is up to you), that you won't have any benefits of EU consumer laws, because you didn't buy in the EU, that any device will require an adapter to plug it into a German power outlet, and that any laptop will come with a US keyboard.
     
  11. Meister, May 26, 2014
    Last edited: May 26, 2014

    Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #11
    ;) Please remove. I found out my post was wrong.
     

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