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buying laptops at LHR - good idea?

buying laptops at LHR - good idea?

Old Apr 17, 15, 3:35 am
  #1  
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buying laptops at LHR - good idea?

I need a new laptop and am flying ex LHR this weekend up to Edinburgh

Is it worth buying one at Heathrow? I seem to recall that they used to absorb the VAT but is that still the case? All I can see now is a John Lewis-esque 'never undersold' type line...

Not overly fussy as to what I end up with - want an Ultrabook for portability but that's all.

Thanks
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Old Apr 17, 15, 3:51 am
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They charge the same price to all travellers, so if you are flying outside the European VAT area, they take more money than if you fly to somewhere inside the VAT area (as they have to pass on some of what they collect as VAT).

And the prices are called 'airport prices' now, not 'VAT free', they don't always equal the VAT saving, sometimes not even close to it.

Ok, so is the price good:

If you are flying outside the VAT area, you can usually beat the price in central london, with a VAT reclaim (retail export scheme).

If you are UK based, the internet might well be able to beat the price. Even with a collection charge to an Amazon locker, etc, if you are going to be working away from home and don't have somewhere (work address, etc) that you want to recieve parcels.

So I'd certainly price check online.

Are you buying for business or personal?
Given that you are flying inside the VAT area, you will (as discussed above) pay the 'airport price' (as per everyone else) and an element of it will be VAT. Accordingly they can give you a 'VAT receipt' for use in a business style VAT recalim (they will not entertain Retail Export Scheme disucssions).
That is the one sweet spot that realy does remain, fly inside the VAT area, buy it and get a business VAT reciept, then company reclaims.

If you don't know what you want, why not pop into John Lewis and at least have a feel to get an idea first. Airport choice is not always extensive, as online shopping is dominant.
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Old Apr 17, 15, 4:13 am
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Originally Posted by David-A View Post
They charge the same price to all travellers, so if you are flying outside the European VAT area, they take more money than if you fly to somewhere inside the VAT area (as they have to pass on some of what they collect as VAT).

......

That is the one sweet spot that realy does remain, fly inside the VAT area, buy it and get a business VAT reciept, then company reclaims.
This...

Indeed, the ability (indeed, the right) to get a VAT receipt for a price that is already notionally discounted by 20% can be a real plus, and I've done it myself, so I can confirm it works (though it can sometimes be a little troublesome to convince them to print a VAT receipt, much like any other Dixons in that regard...) - I bought an ASUS eeePC this way some years ago, and it was about 10% cheaper (after taking into account the VAT reclaimed) than any other source - plus, it was in my hand when I needed it...

However, some of the prices at the "Duty Free" shops are so ludicrous that even with the 20% plus 20% discount, they still don't cost in, so prior research is recommended - also, I've noticed that the range at the airside duty free shops has been getting worse over the past 5 years, so unless what you want is "trendy" you may not even find it stocked.....

Ken.

Willard the Bear - And before you even think it, no he didn't buy me this way! I'm 100% UK sourced..... apart from being made in China, of course....
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Old Apr 17, 15, 4:34 am
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Originally Posted by KenF View Post
it was about 10% cheaper (after taking into account the VAT reclaimed) than any other source - plus, it was in my hand when I needed it...
Don't forget your Heathrow Rewards points too!

I've noticed that the range at the airside duty free shops has been getting worse over the past 5 years, so unless what you want is "trendy" you may not even find it stocked.....
As i said, in a rather more rambly way.

And also, internet prices can beat a lot, especially when you factor in cashback.
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Old Apr 17, 15, 5:58 am
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OK, thanks. I won't bother - will look online instead.
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Old Apr 18, 15, 5:19 pm
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Recently got a MS Surface Pro3 at LHR. Saved a little, got lots of Reward Points and saved a lot of time.
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