Following the incredibly successful launch of the iPad 2 in the U.S., it seems that once again Apple is struggling to meet the demand for its highly sought-after tablet, and this could mean dreaded delays for international launch dates. If the iPad 2 doesn’t arrive on time in your country and you’re keen to get your mitts on the latest device soon, here are four ways of getting one imported from the U.S.
Phone A Friend
The best way of getting an iPad 2 flown over from America would be to ask a friend or relative living in the states to help you out. By getting a friend to purchase the device for you, you know you’ll get a good price, shipping will be handled however you wish, and you can trust your device will be in good hands on the other side. Buy your friend a drink for their trouble, cover the shipping costs, and this will still be the cheapest way of purchasing an iPad from the U.S.
Depending on the exchange rate of your country’s currency, you may even find that it’s cheaper to import your iPad from the states than it is to buy it in your own country – even after shipping costs. However, that’s dependant on your friend accepting the retail price of iPad and your package going unnoticed through customs*.
Just hours after the iPad 2 was announced, eBay was awash with listings from hundreds of sellers offering to ship the device worldwide. It’s a surefire way to secure yourself an iPad early, but if you’re not careful you’ll pay well over the odds. Unlike your friend, eBay sellers are looking to make as much money as they can out of the deal, and many iPad 2 listings are asking for a great deal more than the iPad’s retail price. If you look hard enough, you’ll find a decent seller who will charge you a reasonable rate, but you’re always going to pay over the odds using this method.
Take A Weekend Break
This is likely to be the most expensive of our five options, but if you have the cash and you’re desperate for a weekend away, a trip to the U.S. to pick up a shiny new iPad 2 could be the best way to get your device. Not only do you enjoy a vacation, but you also get an iPad before anyone else back home. Getting home isn’t as easy an sticking it in your suitcase, however. If it’s picked up at customs* during your journey, you may have to pay your country’s VAT rate on top of what you’ve already paid for the device, whether you paid tax on it in the U.S. or not. And if you don’t declare it, it may even be confiscated from you.
The best way to take your iPad home is to ditch the box while you’re in the U.S. and take the device home in your hand luggage. This way there’s no proof that you purchased the device while you were in the U.S., and you should be just fine. If you really, really can’t live without the box, either ship it home to yourself while your in the U.S., or pick one up on eBay later on.
Personal Shopping Services
BundleBox and MyUS.com are great services that provides you with a personal U.S. shipping address for ordering products online. You have them shipped to the address these services provide you with and once they’re received, they’ll forward them on to you at home.
The issue you face with this method is that Apple won’t allow you to order from its website unless you have a credit card registered in the U.S. However, BundleBox will also provide a ‘personal shopping service’ in which that pay for the items for you and you can pay them back with a small fee on top. You may find that other U.S. retailers will accept PayPal or foreign credit cards, so don’t forget to look around!
*Ordering any product from another country means your package must make its way through customs, and could be hit with additional VAT charges. How much this will be will depend on the VAT rate in your country. If you’re lucky, your iPad will sail through without being checked and all you’ll need to pay is the carrier’s fee for delivering your parcel in your home country, but it’s worth bearing in mind when importing an iPad from the states.