Buying Abroad

  bigwebbo 12:21 15 Jan 2006

Hi All

Hoping someone might have a word of advice....

I'm trying to get hold of a particular HP Pavilion laptop which is unavailable in the UK. It's an Athlon processor 15.4", which just aren't available here.

I have found it, via ebay, in Germany. Has anyone bought a laptop from abroad before? And am I correct in thinking that all documentation would be in German, but that I could change the language settings in XP?

Or ... are all HP machines in US mode by factory default?

Any help greatly appreciated.

  Hamish 14:41 15 Jan 2006
  spuds 15:20 15 Jan 2006

I have purchased a number of electrical items from Germany via eBay. Never had any problems except for the German standard 2 pin mains plug, which is easily converted via an adapter or UK replacement plug. Duty was paid by the German company's, and DHL made the deliveries (about 3-4 days).

Hamish's link is fairly good, but it doesn't cover eBay's auction procedures. eBay will not 'insurance' cover in certain European countries, but I think Germany is covered, so you could be fairly safe, but check on this to be sure. Nothing like having something go wrong, and you are stuck with the problem.If you are buying from a private seller, then send an email requesting further information, because some private sellers will not conduct business outside their own country.Safety of your funds, and the sureness of the product is paramount.If the item is new or secondhand, then warranties or spare parts could be a problem, especially if the machine is or was not destined for the UK market.

One word of caution, check the sellers details and where the item is actually coming from, if it is a new item. A short time again, the was a little bother with eBay and identity fraud. If you send an email, eBay may intercept and send you a word of caution.All sounds grim, but so far, I have had no reasons to complaint with any purchases that I made from Germany via eBay.

  spuds 15:36 15 Jan 2006

Should have perhaps explained more clearer on the identity fraud. German registration of three or fours years old, where being used by certain people located possibly in China. The main item being offered were GPS type of equipment.Not sure, but I think one of the forum members lost some money on that one.I was very suspicious about the offer and sent an email requesting further information. eBay intercepted the email, and sent me a cautionary note.

  dms05 16:43 16 Jan 2006

I've bought a few items, via ebay, that were sourced from China/Hong Kong. None were large value so I took the risk.

I can only praise the quality of the products and the service I received. The sellers communicated well even if their English was amusing at times!

In general the items arrived in about a week, were well packed and had the proper customs declarations. As the items were of low value no one asked me to pay any extra for duty/VAT into the EU.

If you buy from anywhere in the EU no duty, other than VAT, is payable. VAT is very complicated so expect to be charged UK VAT rates even if the rate in the sellers country is lower.

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