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Paul

Buying Apple products in the US

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We're off to Florida for Christmas this year and as I've been hankering after both an iPhone and iMac for some time, I thought I'd compare prices and see how much cheaper they are over there. It turns out there's quite a saving on the iMac - the 27 inch £1649 Quad Core one is 25% cheaper in the States at about £1250 at the current exchange rate. However, is it as simple as just buying one, sticking it in my case and bringing it home? Are there any import duties to pay? What about getting it home - could I bring it myself or would shipping be better?

 

Also, on the iPhone 4.0 is there any way around the US contract only sales model? It doesn't look like it, but I thought I'd ask.

 

Cheers.

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Guest davelfc

The iphone, no you're stuffed on that one.

 

Other goods including perfume and souvenirs

You can bring in other goods worth up to £390 without having to pay tax and/or duty.

If you arrive by private plane or private boat for pleasure purposes, you can only bring in other goods worth up to £270 tax and duty free.

If you bring in any single item worth more than your allowance, you must pay duty and/or tax on the full item value, not just the value above the allowance. You also cannot group individual allowances together to bring in an item worth more than the limit.

 

HM Revenue & Customs: Tax and duty on goods brought to the UK from outside the European Union

 

 

You could do what we all do and risk it though. Chances are there won't be anyone to check. If anyone tells you to try and blag customs then feel free to hit them, they're not stupid and you'll end up in a much worse position.

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Thanks for that link Dave (although trying to make sense of what I'd actually have to pay isn't easy).

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While I'm asking, do PS3 games and Bluray discs have a region coding like DVDs or can I buy them in the US and play on my PS3?

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Ps3 games are region free but I believe blu ray movies are region coded.

 

I think there's something about older tv's and US games with the 50 and 60hz thing but if you have an HDTV you'll be fine.

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Guest davelfc
Thanks for that link Dave (although trying to make sense of what I'd actually have to pay isn't easy).

 

If you go over your allowance you pay tax on the entire amount.

 

I think, and I'm by no means an expert on modern customs regulations that they may just look up the retail cost of your item on the internet and charge you the full UK VAT.

 

They could if you lie or cause them extra work, just take it off you.

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Guest davelfc

Have you considered finding a student and getting the discount from Apple UK that way, it would work around the same and you'd have no problems with carrying a large box home with the risk of vat anyway.

 

It's one of the benefits of having kids that are teenagers, (I got £177 off my macbook pro) although I've yet to find a single other benefit.

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Something my arl man done when buying an apple laptop in America that qualified for duty was to post the receipts and instruction books from the US to his house while he was there. He then got rid of the packaging and took it home in a laptop bag.

 

Not sure if he had to do all of that but he got through no problems and didn't pay a penny tax. Surely you can do same with your iPhone as well, how are they to know you didn't bring it with you if you have it in your pocket when you got the airport.

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Guest davelfc
Something my arl man done when buying an apple laptop in America that qualified for duty was to post the receipts and instruction books from the US to his house while he was there. He then got rid of the packaging and took it home in a laptop bag.

 

Not sure if he had to do all of that but he got through no problems and didn't pay a penny tax. Surely you can do same with your iPhone as well, how are they to know you didn't bring it with you if you have it in your pocket when you got the airport.

 

You cannot just buy an iPhone in the USA unless you are a resident and it is on contract.

 

The laptop will have a USA keyboard, in any case it takes customs seconds to locate where it came from. They do hours and hours of regular training on electronic equipment etc.

 

Trying to deceive a customs officer will get you into a lot of shit. When you say he got through no problem, you mean there were no officers present. Had they stopped him they would have known in seconds and he could have had the equipment confiscated.

 

People think they are so clever but customs have seen it all before. Truth is they're looking for bigger fish but they're prepared to burn the fingers of liars.

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Guest davelfc
Plus, have you seen the size of a 27" imac? it's an hernia in a box. I had to take mine back to the trafford centre, it nearly killed me.

 

That'll be just over 27" then?

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I've got no intention of doing anything illegal, by the way. I just want to see if it's possible to save some money.

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Guest davelfc
I've got no intention of doing anything illegal, by the way. I just want to see if it's possible to save some money.

 

In that case, it's impossible. After paying for it in the US (plus 6% Florida tax) you would have to declare it on arrival home and pay full vat. It will cost you more. Simple.

 

Anything else is illegal.

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In that case, it's impossible. After paying for it in the US (plus 6% Florida tax) you would have to declare it on arrival home and pay full vat. It will cost you more. Simple.

 

Anything else is illegal.

 

Cheers Dave. On the Apple student thing, do my 9 and 6 year old count?

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Guest davelfc

You need a teenager, college or university really. I think also any student with an NUS card will do. I'm sure there must be one on here that would help.

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Paul I think you'll qualify as a teacher.

 

Also there is now a nice converter to hook up HD gadgets like a PS3 to the imac.

 

Belkin AV360 HDMI-to-Mini DisplayPort Converter - Apple Store (UK)

 

I might be inclined to hook up a macbook pro to a 28-32 inch led tv

 

YouTube - How to connect a MacBook to a HD TV

 

then you can go to the states by the macbook pro and hook it up when you get back.

 

 

The i5 macbook pro is $1999 and £1649 over here £390 cheaper

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Paul, you do qualify for ed discount in the UK as you're a teacher. The issue with bringing an imac in is the power - at the very least you'll have to get another power lead, and I'm not sure whether the US machines will work on 240v without a transformer. I've bought Bose stuff before when I've been in NY and I've had to buy a transformer - and - not relevant here but - the MW radio receiver (annoyingly) goes up in 10's, so you can't get 909 or 693, you get 910 and 690.

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If you bring an imac back then in a suitcase then you run the risk of getting pulled and paying import tax. A macbook no, just ditch the box.

 

No issue with power you just need the right plug. My birds sister takes hers over regulary.

 

Apple laptops come with one year international warranty. Just ask in the apple shop when your over........ it's not like a CIA secret........ or do you just have that guilty look Paul.

 

Customs "Did you buy that in the US sir"

Paul "Erm No, Yes,..... Sorry, No" (Damm you Brain)

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Cheers boys - and woo-hoo on the educational discount!!! Does that extend to iPhones?

 

*Goes a bit giddy with anticipation*

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You can buy unlocked and contract free iPhones in the US. I purchased a 3GS in Orlando last year but I can't remember how much I paid. I'm over there in a week's time so I'll have a look for you and let you know how much they are.

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You can buy unlocked and contract free iPhones in the US. I purchased a 3GS in Orlando last year but I can't remember how much I paid. I'm over there in a week's time so I'll have a look for you and let you know how much they are.

 

Cool. Ta.

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Can't you just pretend your iPad is an iPhone by looking at it the wrong way down some binoculars?

 

Note: This will shrink your hands. Don't get freaked out by this.

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Can't you just pretend your iPad is an iPhone by looking at it the wrong way down some binoculars?

 

Note: This will shrink your hands. Don't get freaked out by this.

 

Very good. Is that one from your routine?

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