UK/US Price dilemma

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dante Cubit, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. Dante Cubit macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #1
    Hi there. I am going to NY next week (I live in the UK) and want to purchase a macbook pro (the lower end one). Now given the strength of the currencies at the moment - it is a good deal. However, my wife (who will be coming) is a full-time graduate student and so eligible for the education discount. Here is where is gets troubling...

    Could you use a UK education discount in the US? If you bought a computer in the US - could you get cheap applecare later in the UK? Could you get applecare in the US and have it apply in the UK?

    I just know know what works out as the best deal... Any input would be appreciated...
     
  2. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

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    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Lincoln,UK
    #2
    chances are if you buy a MBP Stateside you will save money - but no discounts for edu - and how will you explain the MBP box coming back through customs ?

    that will be 17.5% please sir :rolleyes: or maybe more
     
  3. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #3
    Few things to bear in mind.

    The keyboard and power plugs will be different. Not a big deal but the power cord Or converter will be an additional cost.

    I'm almost certain warranties don't carry internationally.
    I think you can buy apple care in the UK for the laptop.

    When you return to the UK you should have sent your packaging to yourself my mail - you don't want to make it appear you've bought it there as you will be charged VAT when you bring it back. So, you have to be sneaky and appear as though you brought it with you all along.

    I do think they will accept her educational discount. Just a guess though.


    I know the exchange rate + apple's tendency to screw its european market makes this very tempting.
     
  4. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

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    #4
    wow i would not of thought they would ? why would they diff country and all

    if so they could save a small fortune on Apple stuff:cool:
     
  5. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #5
    I'm pretty certain that iPods and laptops are the exception to this rule, what with them being portable devices and stuff. Probably best for our OP to check this out first though, to avoid potential problems later.

    It's also worth remembering that listed US prices don't include Sales Tax, which varies from State to State – it might be an idea to find out how much extra would be added, Dante Cubit.
     
  6. Dante Cubit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #6
    Wow people reply quickly on this board! I'm not complaining though...

    I know about the tax situation - I am going on a business trip with a ton of electronic gear anyway, I am sure I can stick it in a backpack and appear to have had it all along (posting the box and documents back to the UK).

    If I can buy it there (saving about £250 I think) I will. It would be nice if I could still get the applecare discount they offer here though for students. Anyone ever bought a US machine and tried to get the applecare later?

    Thanks for all your help so far.
     
  7. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

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  8. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #8
    Yes Laptop guarantee is worldwide,yes I've bought Applecare for a US purchased laptop in the UK,in the highly unlikely case customs give you a pull 17.5% is the maximum your liable for. I don't know how long your in NY for but if you can swing a side trip to New Hampshire you'll pay no sales tax.As far as I'm aware a UK student won't get educational discount in US.
     
  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    If you do this leave the box for the lappy in the US and get a nice carry case, bring it back through customs like you took it out there with you in the first place. you could always just mail yourself the empty box if you really wanted to keep it too ;-)
     
  10. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
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    Location:
    London, England
    #10
    Only reason I thought so was that a friend of mine studying abroad got her edu discount in the US despite going to school outside of the US. (home for the holidays)
    This was purely a guess on my part though, based upon the above.

    Ah yes, I think you may be right.

    Best to check with Apple on this stuff. :eek: :)
     
  11. nutts macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    #11
    I bought my current 17" MBP last December in Japan and saved myself about 400 pounds over the UK price. I also got Applecare and saved another 100 pounds. The staff confirmed it was worldwide cover - although it's all in Japanese :D

    Once I had paid (which involved a call to my UK CC company to confirm it was legit) I shocked the guy in the shop by requesting that he give me some scissors so I could cut the barcode section out of the box. I then gave him the box and stuff and asked him to throw it all away ;)

    I'd taken a 100gb portable USB drive out with me, containing all the data from my old machine, so I just copied this over before flying home to make it look like it wasn't new.
     
  12. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

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    #12
    looks like you can't stop us Brits grabbing a bargain :D
     
  13. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #13
    it's only fair considering the pounding we take on costs here.
     
  14. Dante Cubit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #14
    Damn, I was in Japan a few months ago as well... Spending all my money on noodles and studio ghibli tat.

    So if applecare is worldwide it might just be better to buy that in the US too and have done with it. You americans don't appreciate how screwed other countries are in buying electronics... You don't want to know what a 50" plasma tv will set you back here...
     
  15. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    Location:
    East Coast
    #15
    Yeah, but your healthcare system is more subsidized than ours. In the US, if you're low to middle class, healthcare can be a huge percentage of your disposable income.

    ft
     
  16. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    London, England
    #16
    Uh oh :p don't go there. I'm an american living in the UK... you cannot even compare the costs fairly, they are so astronomically higher here FOR EVERYTHING. (yes, seriously. everything.)
     
  17. Dante Cubit thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #17
    There are a huge amount of people here who pay rent and have no concept of this term! How does 4 or 5 people sharing a flat in London paying $1200 each sound?
     
  18. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #18
    Oh, I agree that the cost of living is generally higher in the UK and Europe than over here in the US. But it's not fair to look only at the cost of goods in the UK vs. the US. There are lots of things that Americans have to pay for that are subsidized (or even compeltely paid for) in the UK and Europe.

    Healthcare is one thing. Another is higher education. The cost of college in the US is getting ridiculous. I think (please correct me if I'm wrong) that college in the UK is paid for by the government, provided you get accepted.

    When I use the term "disposable income", I mean the money that is left over after paying for all of the necessities of life (e.g. food, rent, etc.) Paying for healthcare can eat into that ... and many families don't even have healthcare and either go to the doctor only in emergencies, or forgo medical treatment altogether.

    As for $5,000 to rent an apartment in London... that is pretty high. But even in the US, rent can be pretty high in the big cities. I'm sure you could find modest places in NYC that rent for $5k. Heck, I was renting a small apartment (1 BR) in suburban New Jersey for about $1,200.

    How is the retirement situation in the UK? Is there something similar to Social Security over there?

    Sorry for going way off topic, but I am interested in hearing about other countries. Thanks.

    BTW, if you do get the MBP in the US, you're probably going to get the one with a US keyboard. Not sure how easy it is to change to a UK one. If you're over here for a while, maybe you could get a custom one with the UK keyboard already installed.
     
  19. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #19
    Uniuersity hasn't been free for 9 years

    Uni, ain't free anymore. I'm stuck with £16,000 of dept. Healthcare isn't free either. You guys in the states get ripped off something chronic when it comes to education though. It does not cost anything like what you get charged.

    We pay a flat rate for most of the pescribed drugs many of which you can get over the counter for less. This goes to partly sudsidising the overall cost of our health service. Although some of the more specialised cancer and heart related drugs have to be paid for solely by the patient.
     
  20. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    Location:
    London, England
    #20
    tangent...

    The costs that surprise me most here are
    the taxes (over 1/3 of your income, poof, gone and never ever to be seen again.) Taxes also pay for the NHS - and while a lot of people in the US suffer with no health insurance, the NHS is sometimes boosted up for more than it is. It's really not fantastic. Better than nothing, but only just. My husband and I pay for private health insurance, by the way. (£90 per month, and worth it.) That should tell you something about the NHS.

    We pay council tax, (personally we pay £120 per month) which (for us) is really only paying for them to pick up our trash. It's a rip-off.
    You pay to own a television. (TV license) it's £135 per year. It pays for BBC and such but it's a surprising cost to face.
    Utilities. (gas, electric, water) In the US you pay literally 25% of what we pay. Seriously.
    Road Tax (similar to licensing) it's not cheap, it varies car to car.
    Petrol (gasoline) it is $7 per gallon.
    Food, clothing, cars, rent/home costs, entertainment, life... EVERYTHING costs more here. I could go on forever.

    </tangent>
     
  21. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

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    #21
    yep and they wonder why us brits are moving abroad
     
  22. thePhilster macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    #22
    Here's my advice: get it in the Dixons Tax-Free store at the airport: http://www.dixonstaxfree.co.uk/inde...computing&group=1012,1211,1212&pro_id=7000723

    You'll save the VAT (17.5%) there, and they can deliver it to your home address, or you can pick it up on your return journey. Buying it from the US will be no cheaper than doing it this way:

    Buying In New York
    US Price: $1,999
    Sales Tax: $79.96 (4%)
    Total: $2,078.96

    Which equates to £1,031.66 at the current exchange rates. But, you're gonna need to purchase a new power adapter when you get back, which will be £59, so that brings the total to £1,090.66 and then you'll have the postage costs of sending the box back home.

    Or, get it for £1,105.53 and have a UK MBP (with a UK keyboard layout & power adapter) and not have to worry about avoiding import duty on the way back from your holiday!

    Sure, you may get educational discount in the US, but you may not know 'til you get out there and it'll then be too late to go for the Tax-Free option at the airport...

    HTH
    Phil
     
  23. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #23
    :eek:

    In spite of what I've said, I'm not trying to diss :p I am really happy here. We've got the choice between the US and the UK and note where we stay. There's good and bad everywhere. The costs are just astoundingly high here, which is why I said what I said, but overall it's not bad.


    (again, sorry for the tangent here, it happens)
     
  24. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

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    Location:
    Lincoln,UK
    #24
    i've got no problem with that at all - in fact i'd love to live abroad myself - just never musterd up the courage to do it:eek:
     
  25. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #25
    Let's rephrase that a little more accurately: 17.5% is the minimum you're liable for.

    Smuggling is still a criminal offence, and yes, HMCE is not adverse to levying fines on the guilty.
     

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