bhphotovideo anyone? Buying from US

  fx_viper 23:16 20 Apr 2007

Hi all,
I was wondering if anybody has had any experience with buying goods from the US and getting them delivered in UK/Europe? anything I need to look out for? (aside from buying the US to UK socket adapter of course) I'm considering a new SONY AR laptop, and offer real nice prices!

  Totally-braindead 23:26 20 Apr 2007

The big bill from Customs and Excise is what would concern me. It might turn out not to be as cheap as you think and there might be warranty issues. If it breaks down or is faulty will Sony repair it here? I would check this out before going any further.
I bought a digital camera from the US and had to fork out £70 I think it was before I could get my parcel and thats a lot less than the cost would be for a laptop.

  fx_viper 23:35 20 Apr 2007

When was this?
I've found this about info about US to UK import VAT, strangely it mentions that digital cameras are duty free (or did you mean a digital camcorder) as are laptops?

"The duties vary in sometimes baffling ways. For instance, all cameras attract VAT; but digital cameras are duty free, while a camcorder attracts duty at up to 14% and a film camera attracts duty at 4.9%. A laptop is duty free; but a PDA attracts 3.7% duty. And duty on a plasma or LCD screen is 14% if you can use it to watch TV, but duty free if it only takes a computer signal." click here

Are customs duty and VAT different maybe?

  Stuartli 23:36 20 Apr 2007

I've bought goods from the US several times but they have generally been low cost, but difficult to obtain in the UK, items.

All have been delivered in around a week and no additional charges have been levied.

  wjrt 11:47 21 Apr 2007
  spuds 11:54 21 Apr 2007

Everything imported into this (UK)country is subject to one form of tax or another, as regulated by HM Revenue & Customs. There is no such thing as duty free on electronic goods like laptops and digital cameras.

Importing into this country 'could' uplift the price of a cheap bargain, by additional costs ie taxes and handling charges. There could also be an export tax (either state or national) involved from the country of origin.

The goods from the USA may have a recognised name like Sony, but it could be a grey import, in which case, you could have warranty problems. Sony may not offer any assistance, if their terms and conditions suggest this, either by regional zoning or UK agreements. UK consumer law, will be void, because you haven't obtained the goods in the UK.

I have purchased many goods from around the world,USA included, but in all cases I have made allowances for any possibilities that may occur after purchase. Always pay by credit card transaction, this will provide certain safeguards. A further point to consider, is the fact that some overseas seller will not deal with UK buyers, due to certain commitments and protection procedures.

  Kate B 14:40 21 Apr 2007

I bought a computer from Canada - an expensive one - and had to pay £500 duty.

  Totally-braindead 19:41 21 Apr 2007

It was an Olympus digital camera I bought. I had to pay £70 before they would give me the parcel. With that additional cost I ended up not saving much. I know that it says in PCA mag last month that no tax is due when importing a digital camera etc but I think they are refering to you buying the item yourself and bringing it with you. I don't know if that is the case but I do know I had to pay money to get my camera.

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