Jump to content
  • Sign Up to reply and join the friendliest Watch Forum on the web. Stick around, get to 50 posts and gain access to your full profile and additional features such as a personal messaging system, chat room and the sales forum PLUS the chance to enter our regular giveaways.
borobiffa

Is it worth buying a watch whilst in the USA?

Recommended Posts

Hi. I'm currently on holiday in the USA. Today we had a day off from the theme parks so Mrs B could go shopping.  Not a lot to interest me, but did have a quick look around a citizen "Outlet" shop. No prices on display but did get me thinking as to whether it's worth looking given the exchange rate. Anyone had any recent experience of buying a watch in the US?  I understand  that the customs allowance is £390, which i think would stretch to a half decent one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi. I'm currently on holiday in the USA. Today we had a day off from the theme parks so Mrs B could go shopping.  Not a lot to interest me, but did have a quick look around a citizen "Outlet" shop. No prices on display but did get me thinking as to whether it's worth looking given the exchange rate. Anyone had any recent experience of buying a watch in the US?  I understand  that the customs allowance is £390, which i think would stretch to a half decent one. 


I would Google the price of a particular model you like in the UK and see how it compares to over there. If it’s cheaper then it’ll be worth it; if it’s more expensive you could always ask them for a discount?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are in certain states/outlets they will do tax back if you spend $xxx. We've profited from that in journeys in the past. Its not huge but may tip the scales to making something worth while nas end enjoyable for the rest of your holiday

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, borobiffa said:

Hi. I'm currently on holiday in the USA. Today we had a day off from the theme parks so Mrs B could go shopping.  Not a lot to interest me, but did have a quick look around a citizen "Outlet" shop. No prices on display but did get me thinking as to whether it's worth looking given the exchange rate. Anyone had any recent experience of buying a watch in the US?  I understand  that the customs allowance is £390, which i think would stretch to a half decent one. 

I have bought watches from the USA (via internet as never been there). Generally found the rrp can convert into a similar UK price once shipping and VAT is added but USA dealers will often offer better discounts which gives an overall saving. When i bought my GS the model was not available in the UK  anyway.

If you are nearing the end of your holiday and have spare $ then you could also consider what you will get if you change the $ back to £ as well as checking the UK price (if the model you like is sold here).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, borobiffa said:

I understand  that the customs allowance is £390, which i think would stretch to a half decent one. 

Are you sure? You will still be liable to pay a 20% VAT charge on the full purchase price on import to the UK. There is no Duty or allowance on watches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, it'salivejim said:

Are you sure? You will still be liable to pay a 20% VAT charge on the full purchase price on import to the UK. There is no Duty or allowance on watches.

Only if you declare it:wicked:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, it'salivejim said:

Are you sure? You will still be liable to pay a 20% VAT charge on the full purchase price on import to the UK. There is no Duty or allowance on watches.

According to the HMRC website you can import upto £390 worth of goods for private use or gifts without declaring for import duty or VAT .... ( £270 if arriving in the UK privately )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What if you pocket the warranty card, ditch the box and wear it back? Home (VAT) free, right?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, JonnyOldBoy said:

According to the HMRC website you can import up to £390 worth of goods for private use or gifts without declaring for import duty or VAT .... ( £270 if arriving in the UK privately )

Actually, you might be right. I suppose it depends how much other shopping his missus wants to brings back :laugh:

I was thinking of stuff being posted to the UK, where the limit is about £18.

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, ry ry said:

What if you pocket the warranty card, ditch the box and wear it back? Home (VAT) free, right?

nope , not if its worth more than £390 ..... if it is , its not VAT free , its VAT liable....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ry ry said:

What if you pocket the warranty card, ditch the box and wear it back? Home (VAT) free, right?

If I was going to try and smuggle a watch into the UK I would want it to be far more expensive. The risk of getting caught might be very small but saving less than £80 of VAT is hardly worth any risk especially compared to the overall holiday cost. :scared:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve bought a few watches New from the US. Customs admin process seems a bit random and it almost seems to depend on the carrier that the seller uses, so it’s a bonus on occasions when they don’t charge you quite the full whack  

One of my most successful outings was in an outlet store. The Movado one in St Augustine. I bought two great watches  and was delighted with their prices. The best was a stunning Ebel BTR 1911 (below) for less than $2000 with a full three year international warranty. 

So have a look, do the research and good luck. Hope you find a real bargain or two.

large.IMG_2713.JPG.7be506e376f123b377f094252c9be821.JPG 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Rob.B said:

Put watch on wrist and post the rest home...

Don't leave the receipt in the box. 

Or a full nitrous oxide bottle. 

:laughing2dw: :laughing2dw:

A mate of mine bought a ton of car parts from the States, they duely marked the final price down by about %50 for him. 

Unfortunately for him though the goods got opened and impounded by UK customs, the company had thrown a current catalogue which obviously had all the prices in the crate. 

And they discovered the bottle with the  Nitrous kit was full.

:biggrin:

 

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/04/2019 at 01:13, borobiffa said:

Hi. I'm currently on holiday in the USA. Today we had a day off from the theme parks so Mrs B could go shopping.  Not a lot to interest me, but did have a quick look around a citizen "Outlet" shop. No prices on display but did get me thinking as to whether it's worth looking given the exchange rate. Anyone had any recent experience of buying a watch in the US?  I understand  that the customs allowance is £390, which i think would stretch to a half decent one. 

What is this "customs" you speak of??  :whistle:

Joking apart I suppose it depends on the watch.  There are loads of Seiko and Citizen models that they get over there which we just don't see in the UK, so in that case it'll be well worth buying "in the flesh" to avoid astronomical import fees and postage.   Same for Victorinox, which is a brand I've been a fan of for ages. They are always heavily discounted over there (I bought one in Macy's reduced from $699 to $299).

That said, it's only worth buying if you actually want the watch - you'd never "make" on one, but you might save a few beer tokens on something you want yourself.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎05‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 04:02, ry ry said:

What if you pocket the warranty card, ditch the box and wear it back? Home (VAT) free, right?

     this is not a good time for flying.  vin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, vinn said:

     this is not a good time for flying.  vin

Now you tell me

:rolleyes:

We’ve just bought two aeroplane tickets 

:laughing2dw: :laughing2dw:

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/04/2019 at 11:50, JonnyOldBoy said:

According to the HMRC website you can import upto £390 worth of goods for private use or gifts without declaring for import duty or VAT .... ( £270 if arriving in the UK privately )

I think that's if you bring it back yourself - if you mail order it you have to pay VAT on the full value of anything which value is over £15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BondandBigM said:

Now you tell me

:rolleyes:

We’ve just bought two aeroplane tickets 

:laughing2dw: :laughing2dw:

 

2 hours ago, BondandBigM said:

Now you tell me

:rolleyes:

We’ve just bought two aeroplane tickets 

:laughing2dw: :laughing2dw:

    Don't worry pal;  Boeing is working night and day to correct the pilot problems.  i have bought Boeing stock.  vin

Edited by vinn
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, vinn said:

 

    Don't worry pal;  Boeing is working night and day to correct the pilot problems.  i have bought Boeing stock.  vin

Airbus stock is where you need to be at

:biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My other half always seems to return home with a new handbag whenever we went to the US. I would certainly consider buying one as long as I knew it would be difficult to locate one in the UK, and worth the effort of bringing it home and paying customs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, KAS118 said:

I think that's if you bring it back yourself - if you mail order it you have to pay VAT on the full value of anything which value is over £15

Yes ,,, correct. the OP is in the States already so he would be bringing it back himself....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, only if you decide to stay. No if you don't, because, unlike the US and their awesome trade deals, you will have to pay an extreme and ridiculous fee for importing something outside your own country.

Every day I'm reminded how extremely fortunate I am to be American.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, JonnyOldBoy said:

Yes ,,, correct. the OP is in the States already so he would be bringing it back himself....

guess he could mail it to himself too :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ry ry said:

guess he could mail it to himself too :D

If he does that , its not covered by any allowance so if its stopped in Customs then he has to pay VAT and import.

If you shop personally and bring back in person then that the best way to ( legally ) buy good worth about £500 or less , assuming you pay without tax in the States and the final price you paid in dollars converts to £390 or less....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...