Using UK student ID to buy abroad (Malaysia)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LanceHudson, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. LanceHudson macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2016

    I'm travelling to Malaysia next month - and looking to pick up a MBP. If I am not wrong, using this link (, the top-spec MBP price in Malaysia is equivalent to £2,008 at the current fx rate. A saving of over £500 compared to the UK education pricing.

    This is a great saving and I wonder if I walk into an Apple Reseller in KL, would they accept a student ID from a UK university?

    If not I will still buy anyway, due to the machine being significantly cheaper than in the UK.

  2. sweejin macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2011
    I'm not sure, but Machines (popular established Apple reseller) has been offering student discounts on their Macs for years, I don't remember but it's between 5-10%. You can contact them to enquire if they accept overseas student ID.

    However, 2 weeks ago I checked, Machines still didn't stock the late-2016 MacBook Pro's. Not sure if they'll arrive next month.

    If you'll be in KL/Malaysia for a good while, perhaps just order from Apple Malaysia online to take advantage of the education discount. I ordered with student discount in 2014; Apple Singapore contacted me to ask for a copy of my student ID, which I emailed to them. They didn't ask if it's was a local or overseas ID; I think they just wanted to see year validity on the card. I received my MacBook Pro from China via DHL in 4 days from order date to receiving the delivery. Shipping times are presently 3-4 weeks, but it was 4-6 weeks a week ago. So maybe it will be sooner next month.

    Even without the discount, it's still a huge savings over pricing in the UK; you save on VAT, which is basically the price of your flight to Malaysia. :)
  3. gnasher729, Nov 26, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016

    gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    You have several problems. One is that you will have to pay 20% VAT when you take this computer to the UK. The second is that the keyboard will be different. The third is that you need an adapter for the power cable. The fourth is that you lose all your statutory rights, so once the first year is other, you have no rights to repair (unless maybe if you travel back to Malaysia). Fifth, there's the question what exchange rate you will actually get. Sixth, the resale value will be a lot lower.

    PS. If you think about not paying the VAT, that _will_ make you a criminal. Whether you care, that is your decision. Your risk is high, since the blindest customs inspector will know you didn't buy it in the UK.
  4. sweejin macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2011
    Let me share some of my experiences, so the OP can yet make up his mind if the it's really too inconvenient or risk or repairs/warrant/VAT is justified or not.

    1. The keyboard has a minor difference (it follows USA layout); only the real difference you'll notice is the missing £ sign which is replaced by the # sign. It's zero hassle since instead of SHIFT, you hit ALT/OPTION to get the £ on the number 3 key.

    2. The power adapter & sockets, and voltage used in the UK & Malaysia are exactly the same.

    3. I'm not sure about no rights to repair, but I had an issue after 4 years after my purchase (ie. after one year warranty plus Apple Care expired). I called Apple to enquire if my product being purchased from Malaysia would prevent me from receiving software and hardware support in the UK. The guy said no after he confirmed from looking at my records that my MacBook was indeed purchased from Malaysia, and it isn't a problem.

    4. As for VAT, I'm aware from HM Revenue & Customs that one should declare and pay VAT for any item valued above a certain amount. I brought with me my old MacBook Air and brand new MacBook Pro, still in the box, and showed it to a customs officer at Heathrow Airport. He noticed that the MacBook Pro was brand new still in the box, and asked jokingly if I had intended to sell it. I said no, and told him I was a student studying in the UK and using it for that. He said, that's fine as long as it's for personal use, and was very aware that it was purchased in Malaysia from my boarding card and even mentioned that prices are much cheaper for computers there. So, I didn't have to pay VAT. :) Granted the customs officer I spoke to was really friendly and nice, so others may have different experiences.
  5. LanceHudson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2016
    Hiya, thanks for the advice Sweejin.

    As you've mentioned, the only 'potential' issues I could have are facing the customs back in the UK. I am travelling in just under three weeks, and as you've pointed out, it may be that there won't be any stock of the new models yet - I can't find the TB model on the machines website yet :(. However there are quite a few re-sellers in KL so I'll be sure to have a look around . I'm only there for a few days before, so ordering online seems too risky. I'll let you know how I get on!


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