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Tired of getting ripped off

by hardware suppliers in the UK.

Anyone knows any good hardware suppliers that ship internationally?

I am looking for a new laptop and desktop, and with the dollar  at current levels, I am sure I will still come out on top.

Tapiwa
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Why don't you just deal with a brand name?
Like Dell UK or HP UK?

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Even the said brand names will charge more in the UK than they do in the US. Try customising your machine too, and you get to silly money very quickly.

Tapiwa
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I don't get it. You asked for good hardware sellers that ship internationally. You got several good suggestions. And then you complained about it? What is it about them that you find eficient? I thought you said the exchange rate worked for your benefit?

Please clarify request and resubmit
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

If you are buying parts to build your own - most suppliers have cut prices because of the dollar, it's too competative a market not to.  Try www.scan.co.uk as one of the more reliable.

Dell are reasonable in the £=$ equation. Remember that their business is based on quoting a very low price for the base model and then a huge mark-up on the upgrades and extras.  Buy the base spec and then put in bigger discs + more memory from someone like scan.

Also remember US prices seem cheaper but you are going to pay the 17.5 vat when the stuff is delivered.

Martin Beckett
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Tapiwa, if you import it you'll pay the VAT and import duty and pay a fortune in shipping.  I guess you could take a holiday in Taipei or HK and bring one back with you, that would work for a laptop.

If you can't be bothered building your own, and there's only about a 100 quid max you could save doing that, go to one of the smaller manufacturer/distributors.

Novatech, Evesham Micros, Watford, etc, etc.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Dell is a rip-off in Europe for peripherals. I wanted to get a large LCD monitor recently, Dell's 2001FP being one that had good reviews. In Europe it's 1140 euros *before* tax - that's nearly 1400 dollars. In the US it's listed at 1050. Add tax and the European price is 1400 euros, or 1680 dollars!

I bought a Samsung 193P in the end at 810 euros with tax (a very good LCD as well). Dell's equivalent 19" size 1901FP is 1000 euros.

And they say not using a dealer network makes things cheaper. Only for them obviously.

extra lite
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Please don't buy from Evesham, they're a bunch of spammers.

Peter Ibbotson
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Kelkoo, Dabs and eBuyer might work.. all of them have interesting deals, but your mileage can vary tremendously.

I was a bit startled myself at the prices here. Not slighting anyone, but it does add credence to the "the UK = Treasure Island" theory. Charge what you like, people still pay up meekly. Considering the £ to $ ratio, I'd guess prices should be a lot lower for hardware, but they arent.

The only serious purchase I'd consider making is a mobile phone, since those seem to be relatively cheap compared to other places. Everything else.. whew.

rant = off.

You might also consider quasi-ethical things like signing up with a shipping company in the US which will provide a mailing address for orders placed to US stores..

deja vu
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

"Please clarify request and resubmit " you seem to miss the point totally.

The poster was suggesting that I buy from the UK divisions of these companies. This is where my problem lies. They are more expensive than their US counterparts. The latter will not ship to the UK!

Dell has some really good offers going, but when you try and add more to the base unit, the price goes up madly. Ditto for most of the smaller firms. I like ebuyer, they are pretty cheap. I will take a look at scan....

Would I have to pay VAT on the import even if it was for personal use??

Tapiwa
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I've use both scan.co.uk and ebuyer.co.uk
Both seem to have good prices relatively speaking and I've not had any bother with my dealings with them.

nakedCode
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Get a friend in the US to buy it, then have them ship it to the UK for you.

T. Norman
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

+1 for what nakedCode said.  And yes, you'll be charged both VAT and import duty (anything from 0 to 85% but I think that electrical goods are about 14%) on the value + the postal costs (even if it's just for personal use).  There's quite a good summary here: http://www.sloanefox.freeserve.co.uk/importukduty.htm

R1ch
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

And yes you'd be liable for the VAT if its for personal use, if you're registered for VAT then you can claim it back in the regular way, but you still have to pay the import duty and there's no way to claim that back.

Oh and VAT would still be liable if it were sent as a 'gift'.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I suspect VAT is the reason the UK branches of US subsidiaries charge more. The bottom line is the the UK is a state that believes strongly in taxation to provide services for its citizenry. (there are other terms for this, but they have a lot of negative baggage)

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I suspect VAT is more of an excuse than a reason  -  VAT in the UK is 17.5% whereas in a lot of cases firms seem to use £1=$1 for determining exchange rates.  Nor would it explain the price differences between the UK and other EU countries, where VAT rates are often higher.

I imagine the real reason is because they can.

a cynic writes...
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I agree with the cynic. While VAT is indeed high, I really think it is just an excuse.

Most companies just seem to use a 1:1 ratio for the £:$ when it is closer to 1:1.76735 (ft.com)

Computer suppliers are the worst. Followed closely by books.Actually, I think books might be worse because a lot of them are zero rated..... NO VAT

<example>
Oreilly - Programming PHP 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565926102
Price::  £28.50
US $$ equivalent:: $50.36

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565926102
Price:: $27.96

</example>


How do you explain the discrepency.... Almost double the price. Why. Time to do a number six on somebody's *ss.

Tapiwa
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Software is more expensive in the UK because people are willing to pay it. I expect the same is true for hardware.

MilesArcher
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Dear Philo,
                The EU has VAT, diifferent American States have sales tax. Throw in the cost of private health care and you will find that you are likely to pay as much or more tax in the US than Europe.

                US web prices seem lower because they don't include sales tax or shipping. Also the sheer size of the US market means it is the cheapest place in the world for most things.

                  I check UK prices fairly regularly. In general they are competitive with American prices as long as you buy from the mail order tier of UK firms. The drop in the price of the dollare has not been reflected by an equivalent drop in the price of UK hardware, however. That is not unusual. Companies reckon that their customers won't notice their increased profit margins because their prices have stayed the same or gone down sharply.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I seem to have botched  the second link. It was supposed to be

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565926102


Stephen, I don't think Amazon US pays Oreilly less for their books than Amazon UK. They just know they can charge 1:1  prices and folk will still pay.

I realised I was a proper Londoner when I decided/considered it normal practice to pay £3.50 (close to $7) for a bottle of beer.

That and me thinking a day that is partly sunny with a 'just-shy-of-20-degrees' is a beautiful day.

We just seem to think it is normal to pay silly money, especially in London.

Do any US cities have BigCity Weighting (premium for living in an expensive city) built into salary scales? Did not exist last time I was there.

Amazon in the UK is not even based in London. It is in one of the smaller towns... can't remember which one, but the difference is quite stark.

You will pay about £300 per week for a two bedroom flat in London. In places like Birmingham (second most populous city in the UK), the rent is about £500 per week. Maybe it is time to get out of London..... can't beat the nightlife though :-(

Tapiwa
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

"£300 per week... in London... Birmingham ... £500 per week."
Eh??? Shurely shome mishtake!

Brummie Londoner
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Yes Tapiwa, San Francisco wages are 25% higher than in Sacramento (70 miles away). And about 50% higher than they would be in some of the rural states

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince
Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Actually, as far as books, I've found that those computer books which are commonly used as _textbooks_ are a lot cheaper from Amazon UK than Amazon US, even when you factor in shipping from the UK.  I had to buy a number of textbooks in the courses I recently finished, and Amazon UK's prices, even with shipping added, were often around half the US price.

(I tried explaining this to some of my classmates, but they preferred to get ripped off at the school bookstore.  You can lead a horse to water...)

Kyralessa
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I do apologise. Was tired last night when I posted. Birmingham is about 500 per month.

Tapiwa
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

http://www.easytorecall.com/importing_goods_from_abroad.htm
Seem to have most of the basics covered. For the most part rates are low and I believe for computers the rate is zero (The EU web site is VERY slow) so VAT is all you'll need to pay.

Peter Ibbotson
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Tapiwa hit the nail on the head. Very high rents are the cause of the high cost of everything in the UK, especially London.

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

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