Save money by buying from abroad?

Thread: Save money by buying from abroad?

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  1. #1
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    Save money by buying from abroad?

    I was just curious about something.

    Let's say you wanted to buy an expensive watch e.g. Omega Seamaster. If you lived in the UK... using the cash that you would have used to buy it, it would be about half price in America because of the currency difference. Obviously you have to pay for the travel but you can also treat the trip to America as a holiday.

    So... the thing I was curious about is does anyone here try that? If not, why not?

  2. #2
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    Re: Save money by buying from abroad?

    I used to sell to people who did that. Shoping junkets are all the rage
    now. I wouldn't buy a watch from a broad.

  3. #3
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    Re: Save money by buying from abroad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchbreath View Post
    I used to sell to people who did that. Shoping junkets are all the rage
    now. I wouldn't buy a watch from a broad.
    lol

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  5. #4
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    Re: Save money by buying from abroad?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo123 View Post
    I was just curious about something.

    Let's say you wanted to buy an expensive watch e.g. Omega Seamaster. If you lived in the UK... using the cash that you would have used to buy it, it would be about half price in America because of the currency difference. Obviously you have to pay for the travel but you can also treat the trip to America as a holiday.
    You dismissed that last point, but shouldn't have. You don't have to spend a load of money taking a holiday in the US in order to buy the watch in the UK. Economically the argument goes nowhere if you treat your transaction costs - the cost to you of being able to complete the transaction in the US instead of the UK - as "sunk".

    However if you don't care where you go on holiday and are planning a holiday anyway, then yes - you can arbitrage the exchange rate and spend less money that way. But it's a big "IF".
    So... the thing I was curious about is does anyone here try that? If not, why not?
    Let's see. Non-coax Omega Seamaster from UK dealer: £919 after 10% discount and before you apply local VAT, which goes to the government.

    The same Omega Seamaster from a dealer in New York: $1,696 after a 15% discount and before you apply local sales tax. That's £840 today.

    The variables are numerous: will you get a 10% discount in the UK if you're too British to ask? Will Tourneau in Manhattan give you any kind of discount at all? Will you have to pay VAT and customs on the way into the UK, thus more than wiping out the modest 9% savings? Will Sterling tank by the time you get over there?

    All these risks and more is why people don't do it nearly as often as people think.

  6. #5

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    Re: Save money by buying from abroad?

    Why would the watch be half the price in the United States?

    Most consumer goods in the United States are somewhat less expensive than they are in a place like Europe, but not half price.

    I'm confused by the logic here. It's not as though currency values vary from one country to the next but the cost of an item is numerically the same... Something which costs 5 pounds in Britain is probably going to cost 10 or so dollars in the United States.

  7. #6
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    Re: Save money by buying from abroad?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo123 View Post
    I was just curious about something.

    Let's say you wanted to buy an expensive watch e.g. Omega Seamaster. If you lived in the UK... using the cash that you would have used to buy it, it would be about half price in America because of the currency difference. Obviously you have to pay for the travel but you can also treat the trip to America as a holiday.

    So... the thing I was curious about is does anyone here try that? If not, why not?
    Things are often cheaper in the US (but rarely half price!), due mainly to the weak dollar. But expensive watches are not the ideal thing to smuggle into the UK, avoiding both import duty and VAT. You could get caught out in a number of ways eg. when attempting to make a warranty claim or travelling with the watch on future trips outside the EU. Also bear in mind that US prices are always quoted without local sales tax because it varies from state to state.

    So on that basis, I only buy things like clothes and cheap electrical goods when travelling through the US. I always buy expensive watches within the EU to avoid all the hassle and to make sure the warranty and insurance are both valid. If you shop around on the net, you often find the cheapest prices in Europe anyway.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Save money by buying from abroad?

    You can walk into any US Omega dealer and receive a 20% discount on Omega. I was in Paris this morning at CDG, a PO Chrono was 3700 euros on leather. That's $5550....hmmm. Omega will honor the warrenty. The smuggling thing is a risk, esp if you use a credit card. I was on a cruise last year and the Brits were buying up the Carribean, watches, handbags, designer clothes. They were very happy, now it's another 20% lower

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