Why are Mac's so much more expensive in the UK?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by londoner888, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. londoner888, Apr 2, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012

    londoner888 macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2010
    Tottenham, London
    Why is there such a great price disparity between Apple UK and other countries?

    The US I can Understand, but I have friends in Hong Kong and Malaysia who also benefit from cheaper Apple products.

    I am looking to get a MBP and with my budget can afford the 13" i5 model with SSD.

    That works out about £1,160.

    The same model could be had for £880 from HK and Malaysia.
    Furthermore, a 15" model with SSD can be had for only £1,250. That's only £90 more for what you would pay for a 13" here in the UK, and £450 cheaper than a UK 15".

    Can anyone explain why there is such a huge price difference? £100 I can swallow, but we are talking about £3-400! It's outrageous IMO :mad:

    On another note, is it worth me getting my friend in Hong Kong to order one for me and ship it to the UK?
    I would much rather have a 15" MBP.
  2. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    It's your countries VAT, that adds 20% to any price. The prices in the US are before taxes, I don't know about other countries.

    Usually taxes are the reason for most of the price difference between western countries. The rest is a combination to cover for additional costs for selling in a different country, etc.

    However there is also another big factor, and that is the average income in the target country. In general, when you sell a product, you ask how much people are willing (or able) to pay for it. This is why Macs are cheaper in Asia, and for the same reason German cars are more expensive in Germany and cheaper in Spain, were people are less willing to pay a premium for a German brand.

    edit: Concerning the shipping: You will have a lot of fees and taxes when the Mac goes through customs. It might still be cheaper in the end, but expect 20%-30% of the product value in additional costs.
  3. Virgule82 macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2012
    Europe is more expensive because of taxes (VAT), better warranties mandated by law (which make Applecare a bit useless in Europe) and at least in some countries more expensive labor. What I don't get is why the UK is generally a little bit cheaper than the rest of Europe...
  4. Schonert macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2011
    South Africa
  5. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    you need to remember to divide UK prices by 1.2 to get the tax-free price before you start comparing. And as others have said, there's the price people are prepared to pay - comparing average salaries in each country can make for an interesting benchmark.
  6. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
  7. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    VAT in UK is much higher than the sales tax (not included in the prices) we have in the US. In Hong Kong and Malaysia, their taxes are much lower therefore their prices are lower. That say Apple also determines their global prices on future exchange rates (notice Apple does not really change their prices through the entire life of the product line).
  9. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    We're British. We love to get ripped off. Oh, and queue. We love to queue.

    But yeah, there's a lot to take into account, such as marketing budget for each region, support costs, shipping costs, maintenance costs. We're not paying horribly over the odds at the end of the day.
  10. macmastersam macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2011
    Essex, england
    Wirelessly posted

    Just for a side note: the prices apple advertise include the 17.5% VAT we have over here in the UK
  11. Mike Boreham, Apr 2, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012

    Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    Jigsaw has some very good prices.

    Sorry I just looked again, and the deals they had a few weeks ago have gone. Still cheaper than Apple for some.

    Otherwise look at refurbs on the Apple store. I have bought two in the past and been very pleased.
  12. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    If only it were only 17.5%, but the chancellor cranked it up to 20% some time ago.
  13. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Where have you been for many months?!?
  14. njean777 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2009
    You be paying those taxes that is why, the UK has a very heavy tax on all kinds of goods.
  15. Queen6, Apr 3, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012

    Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    Tax, Tax, and for good measure more Tax, I know this does no good; from the price in the UK, I saved over $1000 buying in Malaysia. Some countries see a computer a tool to help educate, and not a vehicle to generate revenue :rolleyes:

    I know what I would do and it has little to do with the UK ;)
  16. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2011

    Everything costs more in the UK.
  17. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    It isn't just tax (though that is a big part of it). Everything in this country is more expensive when it comes to trade, throughout the chain. Labour costs is also a large part.

    Apple's not at fault though, it's just the UK economy.
  18. phonitron macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2012
    The chancellor is a good for nothing, elitist, scum sucking carton of piss who cares nothing for the average person and looks after his own kind. It's not just VAT. Fuel is almost at £1.50 per litre and the cost of living in general is going up and up, however pay is either frozen, or going down. Unless your a banker, they still seem to be getting pay rises.

  19. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    There haven't been public uprising in the west for quite some time now, the elite is starting to act like back in the days again. Bankers will always do whatever they can to make as much money as possible as long as they can get away with it, and it's not like letting us (who get fudge packed by them in the first place) bail them out ("for our own good") is going to stop them from using our money to pay their own kind huge bonuses (because the bonuses are based on "earlier performance" and "only make up what's fair according to the contract").

    If they weren't already working at the banks, they'd be laughing all the way there.

    Why do the government hunt you down and make you pay if they think you've payed a hundred bucks too little in taxes, but give bankers not only carte blanches when they mess up, but also money to spend as they will? THEY JUST PROVED THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY, STOP GIVING THEM MORE OF IT!

    Countries should be more like Switzerland...
  20. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    Maybe so, but you don't want to be like America. I've watched this country turn into a third world crap hole.

    These pics are from "Poor America" broadcast on the BBC (bittorrent is wonderful).

    If you think this is "propaganda" then think again. I've seen worse in person and I can see a lot more without traveling a great deal no matter which direction I point my car. Michael Moore's "SICKO" captures the heart and soul of America.

    Attached Files:

  21. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    Poor America, you say? Thanks for the tip, will try to remember to check it out.
  22. MikeinJapan macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2010
  23. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    What about Brazil then?
  24. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    The more stuff like this I read, the less I want to come home. New York born and grew up there, have been seriously thinking of returning, but almost every day I read things like this and wonder. Friends back home tell me things are a lot better, and maybe in NYC they are...It was tough when I grew up there. I'd like to come home, I'm not getting any younger, and have few real ties here since my wife passed away, but this kind of thing makes me wonder if I would still love the country of my birth.:(
  25. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    I would assume most western expats reason more or less in the same way since we compare where we grew up today with when we moved, instead of with last year like you would if you'd stayed. The western society has been in a general decline for the past decades or so whilst other parts of the world is cleaning up quite nicely. It's like we're living on "old merits" in a way.

    Fewer have more, more have nothing, those who claim to have more more often than not have a negative balance sheet due to credits/loans, politicians decide who can enter a country without wanting to listen to and solve the problems that arises which in turn creates a pressure boiler for xenophobia...

    If I had more balls I would probably join those out protesting, but I've taken the decision to take care of me and my own instead, play by "their" rules until someone better than me makes sure it changes.

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