Posted by Simon Jary 20 January 2014
How to buy the Fitbit Force in the UK now - buy from US or eBay
The Fitbit Force isn’t yet available to buy in the UK. The company has stated a very vague “spring 2014” Fitbit Force release date for international availability despite the wizzy activity tracker being on sale in the US for months. We presume from this that the Force won’t be available until March 2014 at the earliest.
The Force offers many of the features missing from the popular Flex wristband, including altimeter to measure the number of flights of stairs you climb and a full-face display that shows you an accurate count for steps, stairs, distance, sleep, calories and active minutes.
Read our full review of the Fitbit Force for more details.
Read the full details of everything we know about the UK release date and price for the Fitbit Force.
Will the US Fitbit Force work in the UK?
Yes, it will. We bought one from the US and it works just fine in the UK and syncs with your Fitbit membership and apps as if you’d purchased the activity tracker in the UK.
So can you buy the Fitbit Force in the UK now?
The answer’s Yes but it’s not as cheap as it looks.
The UK price for the Fitbit Force will be £99.99 – as confirmed by Fitbit when it allowed retailer Argos to publish that price in its 2014 online catalogue.
Cheapest Fitbit Force
The cheapest way you can buy the Force in the UK is to have a friend or colleague in the US order one for you and post it over as a gift.
You can’t access the US Fitbit store as the company redirects users from the UK back to the UK site that pretends the Fitbit Force doesn’t even exist.
So you need a buddy in the States to order one for themselves and then post to you as a gift.
Remember that you’ll need to refund them the price of shipping to the UK – or just buy them some fish ‘n’ chips on their next visit.
Fitbit Force from eBay
If you don’t have any American pals who’ll help you out then you can buy the Fitbit Force via online auction sites such as eBay.
If you scroll down to the bottom of this Fitbit Force UK review you’ll see the latest UK prices for the Fitbit Force via eBay. This is the best place to go for the lowest UK eBay Fitbit Force prices.
UK eBay prices for the Force wristband are around £105 to £110, but these do fluctuate depending on demand.
That looks pretty reasonable given the official UK £99.99 price tag.
But, be warned, there are always hidden costs.
First Shipping costs: these average just under $15, so about £8.50.
(Some vendors offer “free shipping” but the saving is usually swallowed in a higher start price.)
Again under a tenner shipping isn’t too bad to get your hands on the Force before all your other UK Fitbit pals.
But wait, there’s more.
Import charges: This amount includes applicable customs duties, taxes, brokerage and other fees, and is “subject to change until you make payment”.
Import charges whack an extra US$45 (at the time of writing), which translates to a hefty £22 surcharge on top of shipping fees from the US.
So the full price for the Fitbit Force via eBay adds up to about $240 – or around £145.
That’s 45 percent more than the official UK price for the Fitbit Force.
For some Fitbit users this surcharge is worth the money rather than wait for Fitbit to get its act together and start selling all its products internationally.
Don’t forget, though, that it will take a week or maybe longer to process your order and ship to the UK, so you might not get the Force too long before it goes on sale in the UK anyway! In addition even the US Fitbit store is creaking under demand for the Force and is suggesting an additional 1-2 weeks, so if the eBay vendor hasn’t yet ordered from Fitbit the order could take 3-4 weeks.
In our experience with buying the Force from eBay the whole order and shipping process took almost a month. We recommend you get a firm ship-to-UK date from the seller.
Others, more prudent, may wish to wait a month or two for the official UK Fitbit Force on-sale date.
The small print
Here’s the full eBay and PayPal import charges small print: "Programme Fee consists of charges associated with the customs service described above and is comprised of the following variable amounts: sales, goods and services, and value added taxes, duties, tariffs, excise taxes, and other amounts assessed or levied by any government authority in connection with the importation of goods into the applicable country of importation (but excluding income taxes) ("Commodity taxes"); third party brokerage fees (including advancement and disbursement charges and customs brokers handling and filing fees); penalties (but excluding any customs duties, taxes, surcharges, fines, penalties, or other charges which may be imposed on you by customs or tax officials after a GSP Item has successfully cleared customs and been delivered to, or made available for pickup at, the delivery address that you specify); classification charges associated with the assignment of a Harmonized System ("HS") classification code; charges for export compliance screening and verification and the assignment of an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN); and operational expenses associated with short-term loss recovery and the management of variances between the quoted Import charges and actual costs. Note: at eBay's discretion, applicable classification and export compliance charges, third party brokerage fees, and operational expenses may instead be included within the Shipping amount that is quoted to you."