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Buying from the USA advice please

Camairish 12 1.4k Scotland
13 Dec 2009 7:15PM
I want to buy a new compact camera that is available on amazon.com but not yet on amazon.co.uk

I'm thinking of buying it & getting it delivered to my brother in Boston so he can bring it over when he visits for Xmas the week after next. I've bought plenty of kids pressies etc from amazon.com & had them delivered to him before no probs.

Can anyone see a flaw in my plan?

Many Thanks, Ian.

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User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
13 Dec 2009 8:23PM
I envy you Ian.... Wink

Go for it. It's a genuine present - family to family - so I can't see how HRMC can have any say in the matter (taxation-wise)...

That said, the question of Warranty occurs though... just be aware of that.

bppowell 16 2.2k 2 England
13 Dec 2009 9:00PM
Anyone know what sort of costs you would incur if you bought an Item for around 560 and had it posted to the UK, ignoring postage.

I have had a look on the customs and exceise site but it just tells me I would be liable for import duty but not an amount.

wing 14 456 United Kingdom
13 Dec 2009 9:53PM
6.7% import duty on lenses iirc, 0% on digital bodies "unless the rules have changed". You can't ignore postage, as you add it all together on top of your purchase than add vat on the total amount.
bppowell 16 2.2k 2 England
14 Dec 2009 9:11AM
Thanks Paul,
The camera is body only and is a factory refurb so it is classed as second hand, is this likely to incur VAT charges?

wing 14 456 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2009 9:57AM

Quote:Thanks Paul,
The camera is body only and is a factory refurb so it is classed as second hand, is this likely to incur VAT charges?


Yes it will Barry. Don't forget to factor in the U.S sales tax on your bill also. Often not mentioned before checkout and should be about 10% depending what State you are purchasing from.

I'm not trying to put you off, as it can often still work out a fair bit cheaper to purchase from the U.S, even after you factor in all the hidden extras, but you have to be aware, on digital bodies your warranty will be as good as useless over here and will have to be returned to the U.S for repair if it goes wrong, Leaving you to pay postage both ways.
One other thing to be wary off. If the seller doesn't specify exactly what type of item is in the package, you are still likely to be hit with an import duty tax, leaving you with the lengthy task of trying to get your money back from HMR&C.

Good luck

Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
14 Dec 2009 9:58AM
A factory refurbed from US.....hmmm.... Maybe not such a good idea, considering warranty and all that.
Camairish 12 1.4k Scotland
14 Dec 2009 10:13AM
The camera I'm hoping to get my brother to bring over is a new Olympus - from what I gather from the Olympus website they offer a worldwide guarantee for a year if purchased outwith the EU, 24 months if within the EU - does anyone know any different?

Robin_TB 8 204 9 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2009 10:26AM
I've brought cameras, video and still, back as presents from the US without any dramas at all. Amazon.com used to deliver to UK but I don't think they do anymore, the Boston address will do nicely though. Haven't needed to use warantees though so can't comment on that.

One tip though - you'll need a foreign to UK adaptor, as the charger will have standard US 2 pin plug. Easy to find at Boots/Post Office/stations/airports etc.

bppowell 16 2.2k 2 England
14 Dec 2009 10:30AM
Thanks, very useful info but I am not able to mark it so.

Ian, sorry for hijacking your thread for a while.

Camairish 12 1.4k Scotland
14 Dec 2009 12:35PM
No worries Barry - good info for both of us here.

cabinfever 11 21 Scotland
14 Dec 2009 4:26PM
Ian, I'm a UK national who maintains a residence in the US and I do the transatlantic trip every month or so. Stuff that I buy in the US tends to go backwards and forwards across the pond with me. I've brought all sorts of stuff over without problems.

The best way to do it would be to get your brother to purchase the item from Amazon so that he has a receipt in his name, paid in dollars from an American bank account or credit card and shipped to his US address. If he is visiting the UK on holiday then the item is essentially his, for his use, as would be expected from a visitor on vacation.
Nothing to stop him from gifting it to you after he gets over. You can always square up using travellers cheques for him to put in his bank account when he returns.
I would suggest that he ditches the packaging though and carries the camera as hand luggage along with any accessories, discs, manuals etc.
We pay sales tax at 6% in Pennsylvania but so far Amazon has never charged this to anything I've bought from them so you might be lucky and not have to pay sales tax.
If you have an international warranty on the product, so much the better. I guess if anything goes wrong with it then the postage to return would be outweighed by the savings on the purchase price
Camairish 12 1.4k Scotland
14 Dec 2009 4:37PM
Thanks for that - I'm making a saving of 180 by going this route so yes, sending it back over the pond if there is a problem still leaves me substantially in pocket.
It's a PEN EP2 - 720 including viewfinder and 14-42mm lens and that includes delivery to my brother.
The same camera/lens combination from Warehouse Express is 899!
And it probably won't be available until after the New Year.

My only concern is that despite the website saying that they are in stock & available, they are short and it won't reach my brother before he leaves - tension!

It does p*ss me off a bit though, a 180 difference simply because of where I live for the same product.

cabinfever 11 21 Scotland
14 Dec 2009 4:56PM
Just added it to my shopping basket to check shipping etc for you.
I'll be deleting it of course - LOL

Anyway, I chose the two day shipping option for delivery Wednesday December 16th and there were no warning messages. Two day shipping is $14.94.
Maybe it's different from a UK account/billing address. Where did you see that they were short of stock?

Current exchange rate at $1.60 to the pound would mean a total price of 697 GBP.
Camairish 12 1.4k Scotland
14 Dec 2009 4:59PM
I didn't - I was just worrying about the possibility!

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