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Buying iBook Accross Border
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ryju
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Jan 27, 2004, 01:22 PM
 
So..here's the thing: It's my birthday in a couple weeks and I was planning to drive to the Apple Store in Buffalo (I live in Ontario, Canada) in order to buy an iBook. Rather than paying %15 tax in Ontario I wanted the cheaper 4% tax in NY state, plus exchange rate differences. My dilemma is: is this a possible feat or will I still end up paying the same amount as if I bought it in Canada (which would be hard to find since Mac stores are minimal)? Also what kind of duty would be charged on this and would I be able to claim I bought nothing and just drive on through the border? I've bought many things in NY before and don't recall being asked the details on what I bought, or if I bought anything at all.

Is it a good idea or am I just wasting my effort doing it? Thanks!
     
Mastrap
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Jan 27, 2004, 01:26 PM
 
If you get away with it you'll save money. If they catch you then you'll lose money.

I don't know about the warrantee scenario either. Is it North American or is there a difference between the US and Canada?

The choice, as they say, is yours. If you insist on doing it take a CD with you, with your current home folder burned onto. Ditch all the packaging and mail the documentation to your home. Copy the CD onto the drive and when asked show it to the authorities.
     
residentEvil
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Jan 27, 2004, 01:32 PM
 
i live in detroit and buy things all the time in Canada. in the last 7 years, i've never declared anything bought within Canada. i realize this is just the opposit for you (buying in US and bringing it to Canada) but i wouldn't say anything. the box is small, just hide it. unless you give them a reason to search, they won't.

but if anything, they will simply make you pay the duty/taxes...they won't keep the merch.

during xmas time though, they have asked if bringing anything into Canada. i always say, bringing xmas gifts. they ask for the value, and i make up a number. (less than $250). never been stopped. in reality, values have been over $1000 before. am i always lucky? i don't know.

i've been in cars before when people have been stopped. say nothing, then get tagged. if found, they simply make you pay the duty.
     
winwintoo
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Jan 27, 2004, 01:39 PM
 
Have you checked the prices in Buffalo and worked out the exchange??

I bought a Graphire III in Texas and when I checked the charge on my CC, it was only a few cents less than I could have bought the same thing at London Drugs right here at home.

Our money is worth a lot more lately and cross-border shopping is not nearly as attractive.

Unless you have some other reason to go to Buffalo (hungry for some ribs maybe), stay home and order the iBook from MacWarehouse (or whatever they're calling themselves now) You'll have it the next day and no worries about warranty etc.

Figure in the cost of the trip - gas, meals, that new shirt at the men's store next to the Apple store -- adds up.

m
     
ryju  (op)
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Jan 27, 2004, 02:20 PM
 
I've done what calculations I could in terms of tax and the exchange rate and I'll most likely save at least $200 (I think).
     
mitchell_pgh
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Jan 27, 2004, 02:34 PM
 
Naturally this depends upon which model you buy, but here goes with the base model G4 (nice system)

$1,499.00 - CA ($1,723.85 with tax)
800MHz PowerPC G4
256K L2 cache @ 800MHz
12-inch TFT Display
1024x768 resolution
256MB DDR266 SDRAM
30GB Ultra ATA drive
Combo Drive
ATI Mobility Radeon 9200
32MB DDR video memory

$1,099.00 - US ($1,142.96 with tax)
800MHz PowerPC G4
256K L2 cache @ 800MHz
12-inch TFT Display
1024x768 resolution
256MB DDR266 SDRAM
30GB Ultra ATA drive
Combo Drive
ATI Mobility Radeon 9200
32MB DDR video memory

1723 CAD (Canadian Dollar) = 1311.730 USD (US Dollar)

You would save around $212

If you can make the trip, and make it through customs (shouldn't be an issue) for under $200, then you should be fine. REMEMBER, the warranty on your computer is void once you leave the USA (if purchased there). Apple may not be such a ass about it, but some companies are.
     
ryju  (op)
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Jan 27, 2004, 03:31 PM
 
Thank you very much for making it clearer for me. I figured it would be around the $200 mark. I kind of wanted to have a warranty on the iBook (and yes it would be the base model) but saving money would seem good. Getting across the border is the only thing I'm worried about now.
     
mitchell_pgh
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Jan 27, 2004, 05:22 PM
 
Why does the border make you worried...

1) take a bunch of school books...
2) nake a few notepads
3) take a backpack

If they decide to pull you over,

and if they decide to search your vehicle,

and if they open up your backpack,

and if they question you about the iBook...

Just say "I was doing homework"

and nothing more...

You will get an "Oh..." and that's about it...
     
shabbasuraj
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Jan 27, 2004, 05:25 PM
 
you will most likely have to ditch the box, if not you will raise their suspicions...

I am not advocating you break federal law, just giving you a tip...
blabba5555555555555555555555555555555555555
     
ryju  (op)
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Jan 27, 2004, 05:42 PM
 
Originally posted by shabbasuraj:
you will most likely have to ditch the box, if not you will raise their suspicions...

I am not advocating you break federal law, just giving you a tip...
Ugg I really wanted to keep the box and take pictures when I open it at home...
     
Yose
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Jan 27, 2004, 08:34 PM
 
It's insane to void your warranty on an Apple Laptop... do you know how pricey they are to fix? Nuhuh.... get it in Canada and buy AppleCare.

Know a student? You'll save $150 bucks right there.. it's 1350 for the G4 iBook from an educational discount... IN FACT... Just apply to a college and get yourself a student number, it's all you need!
Yose.
Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
     
The Ginger Rat
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Jan 27, 2004, 08:48 PM
 
If you buy Applecare, you get global repair coverage on portables (but not on desktops). So you can get it repaired in Canada even if bought in the US. I do not know if the standard 1-year limited warranty also covers this.

If you are going to buy in the US to save money, don't declare it. I would ditch the box, although it is certainly possible they will not check your car.

On a 15" PB, with the current exchange, I would save over $300 Cdn before taxes and GST. Particularly nice as I would be buying in Oregon
( Last edited by The Ginger Rat; Jan 27, 2004 at 08:59 PM. )
     
Eriamjh
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Jan 27, 2004, 09:29 PM
 
Buy it, fire it up, customize it, stop at a post office and mail the box to yourself (empty box, no duties) and put the iBook in your duffelbag/backpack/whatever. When asked just say you brought your trusty iBook across when you came in along with some cds to listen to, whatever other junk you have in your car.

Remember that customs tracks how long you were in the US by your license plate. If you're gonna say you were visiting friends, it should be for a few hours and not 30 minutes. Buy something small (like a $10 to $50 item) and say you picked it up for your girlfriend or mom or something and you'll be truthful when you declare it (almost).

Oh, and be sure to keep the receipt hidden on yourself or mail that back too. You never know if you may be randomly searched.

Works in Detroit

I'm a bird. I am the 1% (of pets).
     
ryju  (op)
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Jan 27, 2004, 09:39 PM
 
Originally posted by Eriamjh:
Buy it, fire it up, customize it, stop at a post office and mail the box to yourself (empty box, no duties) and put the iBook in your duffelbag/backpack/whatever. When asked just say you brought your trusty iBook across when you came in along with some cds to listen to, whatever other junk you have in your car.

Remember that customs tracks how long you were in the US by your license plate. If you're gonna say you were visiting friends, it should be for a few hours and not 30 minutes. Buy something small (like a $10 to $50 item) and say you picked it up for your girlfriend or mom or something and you'll be truthful when you declare it (almost).

Oh, and be sure to keep the receipt hidden on yourself or mail that back too. You never know if you may be randomly searched.

Works in Detroit
Thanks for the suggestion. I considered just buying a CD (or something else at the Apple Store) and declaring that without mentioning anything about an iBook . I'd probably be there for at least an hour two looking around.

Oh yeah and I have already applied to my college of choice and whatnot, the discount almost mirrors how much I would save buying in the US.

Decisions decisions...
     
dreilly1
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Jan 27, 2004, 10:41 PM
 
Sales Tax in New York is more like seven to eight percent, depending on where you buy stuff. The state and local governments both recieve part of the tax.

IIRC, The state portion of it did not used to apply to clothing, which is why on your last trips to the Galleria you probably have a pile of reciepts with only 4% tax: That was Erie County's portion. They charge the full tax now.

However, if you're nostalgic for that 4% tax, the State is runnign a "sales tax exemption on clothing" week sometime soon. Won't help with your iBook, I'm afraid...
( Last edited by dreilly1; Jan 27, 2004 at 10:56 PM. )
     
stevesnj
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Jan 27, 2004, 11:37 PM
 
You know what, stay home were full here.
MacBook Pro 15" i7 ~ Snow Leopard ~ iPhone 4 - 16Gb
     
quandarry
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Jan 28, 2004, 12:21 AM
 
i may be mistaken but there shouldn't be any duty on computer equipment at all.

i've never paid any whether brought across or shipped fedex.

but is 200 bucks really worth it

a/ wear and tear on car

b/ guzoline

c/ time

d/ going to the states and possibly getting hit by a plane or worse mugged.

e/ the possibility of running into george bush

but you will get the relief and auxiliration i always get when i hit canadian soil again.
     
ryju  (op)
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Jan 28, 2004, 09:40 AM
 
Well if it's actually 7-8% sales tax I might just be better off ordering online with my edu discount.
However I'll still go to the store and maybe get a wireless mouse/keyboard and check out the iBook models.

Thanks for the help boyz.
     
shabbasuraj
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Jan 29, 2004, 07:25 PM
 
i bought my PB in the US, and left the box there... i saved about $300 CDNdoing so...

I am in the US often, and when asked by the customs officer that particular time, I told him I bought a computer, and he said ok, and let me go through, no questions asked...

I guess my proile indicates I cross often, and it raised no suspicions...

lucky me...

if you wish to take pics of your "box" then you most likely will have to pay tax on that thing... or risk getting caught, not declaring items...
blabba5555555555555555555555555555555555555
     
Eriamjh
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Jan 29, 2004, 09:26 PM
 
So what did you decide?

I'm a bird. I am the 1% (of pets).
     
ryju  (op)
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Jan 29, 2004, 10:36 PM
 
Originally posted by Eriamjh:
So what did you decide?
I am going down to Buffalo in a couple weeks to buy it, if they ask if I declare anything I'll tell the truth and pay whatever needed, if anything.

Thank you all.
     
   
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