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View Full Version : Buying a laptop in the US for use in Australia



wokka59
21st January 2006, 11:28 AM
I'm going to the US in June. As you all know laptops are a lot cheaper there than here ( PowerBook almost A$1000 cheaper).

Is there any disadvantage to buying in the US and bringing back to use in Australia?

I'd particularly interested to hear from anyone who bought one in the US and now uses it in Oz

Regards

Wokka

aleks
21st January 2006, 11:40 AM
Dude!! I'm doing the exact same thing. I have a friend who works at an Apple Store and she's getting me a macbook pro with Apple Employee Discount.. He says that I'll end up paying about $1600 USD for the high end model.

I forgot to ask him about Global Applecare, warranty details, etc

the_OM
21st January 2006, 11:43 AM
Nah, so long as it's open when you bring it into Australia with you, then you'll avoid income tax. You really just need to buy the world adaptor kit from apple so you can change the connection type on the charger.

Applecare and warranties on notebooks are global, so if something bad happens you shouldn't have too many worries (except that you'll have to deal with Apple Australia, which isn't always good).

samuelowens
21st January 2006, 11:47 AM
The Powerbook is $1000 cheaper because Australian prices include GST, whereas US prices are tax exclusive. You'll need to add 7-10% State sales tax unless you buy online...

Also, you won't be able to salary sacrifice it, which is where the real laptop savings are made for Australians. Most larger employers will allow you to buy the laptop using pre-tax income, and refund the GST...

SRG
21st January 2006, 12:45 PM
Just remember that you may be subject to GST on your return to Australia.

I have found when I buy stuff OS if I declare it the allways just accept my overseas price and don't try and get the Australian price and then knock it down a bit. I delcared my Canon EOS 350D when I got back from Singapore and with all my lenses etc I still only paid $1800 aussie. They said nah we reckon $1500 then the disocunt for it being now second hand so only $1200 and I paid $120 GST. Still way ahead.

Have had friends who have been picked up and they were charged based on the Australian Price (which is still a good deal if you have to pay $300 to and you saved over a $1,000. Some have been dumb enough to have the overseas receipt on them when their luggage was searched (In Melbourne now all inbound luggage is Xrayed after you collect and they do look for undeclared goodies in the Xray). So if you are going to do the old I bought here post your recipt home from the states.

If it is posted in it seems to be luck of the draw if Customs pick it up or not. I suspect though a laptop being sent through would be picked up and you would need to pay GST before you collect (Not sure how that works has anyone every had it applied to a postal delivery or courier?).

As pointed out though the far cheaper way is to (if your employer allows it) to buy it here and salary sacrafice. The other advantage of that is you have it BTO and still sacrafice the lot (so all the extra goodies are paid for with pre tax dollars).

aleks
21st January 2006, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by minardifan@Jan 21 2006, 12:45 PM
Just remember that you may be subject to GST on your return to Australia.

I have found when I buy stuff OS if I declare it the allways just accept my overseas price and don't try and get the Australian price and then knock it down a bit. I delcared my Canon EOS 350D when I got back from Singapore and with all my lenses etc I still only paid $1800 aussie. They said nah we reckon $1500 then the disocunt for it being now second hand so only $1200 and I paid $120 GST. Still way ahead.

Have had friends who have been picked up and they were charged based on the Australian Price (which is still a good deal if you have to pay $300 to and you saved over a $1,000. Some have been dumb enough to have the overseas receipt on them when their luggage was searched (In Melbourne now all inbound luggage is Xrayed after you collect and they do look for undeclared goodies in the Xray). So if you are going to do the old I bought here post your recipt home from the states.

If it is posted in it seems to be luck of the draw if Customs pick it up or not. I suspect though a laptop being sent through would be picked up and you would need to pay GST before you collect (Not sure how that works has anyone every had it applied to a postal delivery or courier?).

As pointed out though the far cheaper way is to (if your employer allows it) to buy it here and salary sacrafice. The other advantage of that is you have it BTO and still sacrafice the lot (so all the extra goodies are paid for with pre tax dollars).
Some good points. I have taken my powerbook through the airport many times, even after 1 week old. Unless you bring manuals, the receipt, etc with you, they WILL NOT suspect you of not declaring.

My last trip to the states I left Australia with a half empty suit case, I came back with $1000+ worth of designer clothes. Ralph Lauren Polo's which are $99 here I got for about $45 AUD :)

aleks
21st January 2006, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by minardifan@Jan 21 2006, 12:45 PM
Just remember that you may be subject to GST on your return to Australia.

I have found when I buy stuff OS if I declare it the allways just accept my overseas price and don't try and get the Australian price and then knock it down a bit. I delcared my Canon EOS 350D when I got back from Singapore and with all my lenses etc I still only paid $1800 aussie.
Also, why did you declare it? You should've just post your receipt in an envelope and put your lenses/camera in a bag rather than the box?

The $200 that has gone to customs couldve gone to some CF cards :)

nard
21st January 2006, 02:22 PM
I don&#39;t think that AppleTalk is the place to discuss methods of unlawful tax evasion. <_<

As far as your warranty goes you&#39;ll be fine but retain proof of purchase. The World Travel Adapter Kit works a treat and you&#39;ll end up with a spare US adapter which is useful if you take an Airport Express to the US someday. :)

SRG
21st January 2006, 02:26 PM
I delcared it because I think it is the right thing to do.

Whilst rare you can face criminal charges for lying on a customs declaration.

Also I had recalimed the GST in Singapore when I left. To do that you have to hand over your passport and I suspect Australia and Singapore check that information.

Also the lenses etc I had purchased would have cost around 2800-3000 combined with the camera here. I would rather pay the 120 than pay the 300.

Apart from that why stand in line to be xrayed shitting yourself that they are going to push the point on the camera when for the sake of &#036;120 you can brezze through. Also when you declare they don&#39;t Xray so was heaps quicker.

Personal choice but I believe you should pay your taxes (as some here know I also hate piracy you gotta pay for things in life).

As I noted for a laptop I would sacrafice here (I also believe you can use the system). The other advantage of sacrafice is that you can still deprecite the full price (so after a year with depreciation in your tax and the sacrafice saving the laptop is paid for in full by the tax man.

SRG
21st January 2006, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by nard@Jan 21 2006, 02:22 PM
I don&#39;t think that AppleTalk is the place to discuss methods of unlawful tax evasion. <_<

sorry thought I was saying you should pay :blink:

nard
21st January 2006, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by minardifan@Jan 21 2006, 02:27 PM
sorry thought I was saying you should pay :blink:
No, it&#39;s me that&#39;s sorry. :( My comment was not at all directed at you minardifan but rather at those who were suggesting a course of action different to what you recommended. I&#39;m sorry if I gave the wrong impression.

I totally support you encouraging people to honestly declare goods that they have bought overseas. :thumbup:

SRG
21st January 2006, 02:55 PM
NArd

No problem, hopefully I have set out all the reason (number 1 being it is the right thing) why you should declare.

Following the Kerry Packer line I also don&#39;t think you should pay a cent more tax than you have to, however you should pay what you are required to. There are plenty of ways to use the Tax system legally and reduce your tax payable.

aleks
21st January 2006, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by minardifan@Jan 21 2006, 02:26 PM
I delcared it because I think it is the right thing to do.

Whilst rare you can face criminal charges for lying on a customs declaration.

Also I had recalimed the GST in Singapore when I left. To do that you have to hand over your passport and I suspect Australia and Singapore check that information.

Also the lenses etc I had purchased would have cost around 2800-3000 combined with the camera here. I would rather pay the 120 than pay the 300.

Apart from that why stand in line to be xrayed shitting yourself that they are going to push the point on the camera when for the sake of &#036;120 you can brezze through. Also when you declare they don&#39;t Xray so was heaps quicker.

Personal choice but I believe you should pay your taxes (as some here know I also hate piracy you gotta pay for things in life).

As I noted for a laptop I would sacrafice here (I also believe you can use the system). The other advantage of sacrafice is that you can still deprecite the full price (so after a year with depreciation in your tax and the sacrafice saving the laptop is paid for in full by the tax man.
I agree on some points there but I never claim my electronics gear at tax time. Declaring large amounts will lead to auditing and I would hate to deal with that :( Don&#39;t get me started on Australian taxes and interest rates here&#33;&#33;


Although, Im going for the idea of salary sacrifice... what&#39;s the rate 25 cents for every dollar? thats about &#036;750 for a &#036;3k macbook :)

msilsby
21st January 2006, 05:14 PM
I recently purchased my current powerbook from a mate of mine who works at apple, and I have had no problems what so ever. You don&#39;t need to actually purchase the extended applecare warranty at time of purchase, just as long as it is done before the normal 90 day warranty expires. In saying that, it doesn&#39;t matter where in the world you purchase it, as it is worldwide coverage.

If you are getting it shipped back into australia, as long as it is marked as &#39;gift&#39;, you don&#39;t pay gst. It doesn&#39;t need to be opened, or anything.

(for those of you out there who claim that this may be gst avoidance, sort of. My mate gave me his &#39;discount&#39; as my christmas present (20%). He sent it via fedex, and it arrived 2 days after postage&#33;

wokka59
21st January 2006, 06:29 PM
Thanks guys. Really helpful. This is the first time I&#39;ve used the forums.I&#39;ll be back&#33;

Regards

Wokka

wokka59
21st January 2006, 06:33 PM
Hey Aleks, I see you&#39;re going to get the MacBook Pro. Are you concerned that some apps like photoshop for example won&#39;t run on it until they&#39;re rewritten natively? Will all your apps run on it?
I was hoping for a 12 inch model. I&#39;ve got a iBook 15" and am thinking of going down to a 12" which is lighter.

birdseed
21st January 2006, 06:45 PM
The xray system that you go through after collecting your bags is for AQIS - Quarantine, not Customs. AQIS don&#39;t care about things like electronics, only animal / plant / soil products.

FYI.

aleks
21st January 2006, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by wokka59@Jan 21 2006, 06:33 PM
Hey Aleks, I see you&#39;re going to get the MacBook Pro. Are you concerned that some apps like photoshop for example won&#39;t run on it until they&#39;re rewritten natively? Will all your apps run on it?
I was hoping for a 12 inch model. I&#39;ve got a iBook 15" and am thinking of going down to a 12" which is lighter.
I&#39;m actually going back to the US later this year... not really going for the MacBook but to hang out with my friends and do a road trip :)

Hopefully the 17" Macbook Pro will be out by then and the powerbook will be declared EOL :) The only reason why the MacBook Pro is at that price is due to the availability of the Powerbook.

entropy
21st January 2006, 09:49 PM
Apple Australia are thieves.

Years before the GST I bought my wallstreet in the US. At the time it was about &#036;5900 in Australia from recollection, and I paid &#036;4100 AUD equivalent in Oregon (no local sales tax).
I got rid of the box, and used it in the US while on the trip (about a month).
Customs saw the laptop and didn&#39;t ask any questions, I guess as it was obviously used. I did claim a lot of other stuff, and sensed they were irritated that I declared so much stuff.

Laptops have world-wide warranty, unlike desktops (not that I ever used the warranty).

Off topic, but how about this. Last year I bought a HP SPC 2710 mf printer. In a severe thunderstorm last week, a power surge went thru the fax line and killed it. Even though lightning strikes are not covered under warranty, HP are giving me a new printer (although they said they won&#39;t do it again). Can&#39;t complain about that&#33;

And I have also invested in a new surge protector that also protects phone lines.

MizuInOz
22nd January 2006, 12:10 AM
OK... I have a 17" PB and a 12" PB that I brought in to Australia from Hawai&#39;i - absolutley no problems and all warranties work fine. I went to a local Apple reseller here in Brissie and picked up a couple Aussie power cords for the power adapters and everything works great. One was in my carry on bag and one was in my wife&#39;s carry on bag and neither were taxed or dutied. (She got more grief for carrying a little Hawaiian stuffed bear. They should have checked Chappell so closely. :P )

I also brought in a Dual 2.5 G5 and a 30" Apple Monitor - I paid &#036;700 duty for "used" equipment - suggested by the customs agent :) in boxes that only had the seals broken to install two larger HDs and addiitonal RAM and to check for dead pixels in the monitor. Did I save any money on the difference?

On the PBs almost &#036;2500 combines (I have a friend at the Apple store in Honolulu - employee discounts. About &#036;1900 on the G5 and Monitor. &#036;1200 on the RAM.

Yeah it was worth all the looks and stares because I had so much baggage - which the airline ddn&#39;t even charge me for additional bags or weight - must be because it was Christmas Day. :D

If you can do it - do it. Also buy a computer bag or napsack to carry it. Use it for a couple weeks, if you can, while you are in the States - it really will be used equipment - if they ask.

The key is to look like it travels with you all of the time.

my 20 p
:ph34r:

spargo
22nd January 2006, 03:36 AM
Despite what others have said - DO NOT buy the Apple country adaptor kit. For what it is it is a waste of money when other options are available. When you get back, pick yourself up a &#036;5 US->AUS adaptor from any travel goods store, and use that on the end of the US plugs. Or as suggested by others, simply buy a cheap black AUS socket 8 shaped cable to replace the slip-off American socket on the power adaptor box. This won&#39;t have an earth prong, but will work fine.

Here is a few previous threads where the same thing is discussed:

click here (http://forums.appletalk.com.au/index.php?showtopic=8378&hl=)

and here (http://forums.appletalk.com.au/index.php?showtopic=14605&hl=)

and here too (http://forums.appletalk.com.au/index.php?showtopic=9777&hl=socket)

and this one as well (http://forums.appletalk.com.au/index.php?showtopic=9847&hl=socket)


I did the opposite - I purchased my PB, iPod, and Airport Express in Australia just before I moved to the UK, and got all of the GST back at the airport. When I visited Brisbane for a short trip 6 months later, I did not declare it and simply got my missus to carry it through customs. Simple.

(And fotodivr is exactly right, "The key is to look like it travels with you all of the time.")

yitzyf
22nd January 2006, 09:28 AM
I&#39;m considering buying a MacBook Pro or whatever else they may have come up with by the time I get to the states in late April. My advantage, however, is that I&#39;m going to study on an F-1 student visa, so hopefully I&#39;ll be able to get it at an edu discount of some sort. So from the sounds of it, I&#39;ll be doing pretty well buying it there... What do you need to show for an edu discount in the US? Anyone done this before? (sorry if it&#39;s a little off topic...)

ialienam
22nd January 2006, 08:59 PM
So how much it would all cost (after tax)? (let&#39;s say New Jersey, cuz my folks are going there in 2 months).

I bought my Toshiba NB 5 years ago at Costco (or another big name warehouse).. Because I knew exactly what I wanted, and didn&#39;t want to buy it online.. Saw the same NB while did food shopping.

For the US adapter, I thought it was a none-issue anyway..
You could simple pick up a &#036;2 adapter from any local shop.. It just won&#39;t look as good as the Apple one.

My question is, would it be better off to pick up a Mac at Aus (with Edu price + claim GST back when travel oversea) than buy a Mac at US with retail price?

I will buy a MacBook Pro next time at Aus with my edu price, and depart within 30 days..
Then it would be 20% off~&#33;
There are not many Apple accessories here, I will do my upgrade oversea..

By the way, I am looking for Altec Lansing XT-1 (a portable speaker), anybody know where I can find it in a retail?
I just tried out JBL on tour today at Harvey Norman, the quality is pretty impressive.. But I don&#39;t like the batteries