How to really compare Apple prices in the US and Russia. Personal experience
At first I wanted to write a comment on the ambiguous price comparisons for Apple products in the article , but the text turned out to be too much.
Pochtoycom (in fact, not only they) are cunning by comparing Apple prices in the Russian Federation and in the USA. Indeed, in the USA it is possible to buy an iPhone cheaper than in Russia. However, there are several features that you should not forget about and for some buyers they may be blocking. For me, this turned out to be an interesting quest, which I successfully completed. And then I'll tell you how. If you want to go through this quest yourself, then do not read further - under the cut spoilers;)
To begin with, it is worth saying that Apple is trying in every possible way to stop purchases through forwarders. Having studied the forums of forwarders, I found out that with a high probability cards of native Russian banks are not accepted for payment. Cards tied to ruble accounts also have a chance not to pass. Ideally, use an American Visa with a dollar account of some major international bank. Then I decided not to risk it and used just such a card in plastic. It must be remembered that often such a card is not served free of charge. I was lucky and I already had such a card as part of a package offer from the bank.
Next, Apple identifies the forwarders at the delivery address. I also had to invent something here so that the parcel would still arrive at the warehouse. As a result, I indicated the address with an error, which is enough for Apple to not notice the similarities with the address from the black list. The main thing here is not to overdo it. The parcel is routed automatically to the desired regional office by index, but then the postman man delivers to the actual address and he easily corrects typos in the street name (but not in the house number). Whether your trick worked with the address, you will find out not at the stage of purchase, but immediately before the actual shipment of the goods. It is worth remembering that the funds on your card at this point will already be blocked and in case of failure (refusal to send) defrosting can take up to 30 days, depending on your bank. Therefore, you will not be able to experiment with the address too often, unless, of course, you have enough funds on the balance sheet for testing. Although blocked funds have not yet been actually written off, you cannot use them for other purchases. In fact, you will only feel the difference between blocking and write-off of funds with a credit card - there the interest for using credit funds drops only from the moment of the actual write-off. At the same time, it will not be superfluous to change the payment card each time for the purity of the experiment. you will feel the difference between blocking and write-off of funds only with a credit card - there the interest for using credit funds drops only from the moment of the actual write-off. At the same time, it will not be superfluous to change the payment card each time for the purity of the experiment. you will feel the difference between blocking and write-off of funds only with a credit card - there the interest for using credit funds drops only from the moment of the actual write-off. At the same time, it will not be superfluous to change the payment card each time for the purity of the experiment.
When ordering, a billing address is also a required parameter. This is the address for fiscal letters (invoices for receipts, receipts, etc.) The forwarders, for obvious reasons, are not allowed to indicate their address there (and are even fined for this when delivered to a warehouse in Germany). And you need to indicate something there, moreover, with a phone number (and yes, Russian will not work here). Again, you need to come up with something. I took a dummy address from an online US random test address generator with phones. Formally, the address is correct and passes Apple automatic checks. The letter will not reach there, but this address in our case is a pure formality, since you make an advance payment by card and therefore only a receipt is sent to you and it is sent only by e-mail.
And yes, I almost forgot, I had to create a separate American Apple ID and buy from it. Although there are pluses - applications for eSIM for some reason are not available in the domestic App Store, and the registered American Apple ID can be used to install them.
Do all these tricks work again - I don’t know. There are a lot of posts on the forwarder forums about refusing to ship an order from the Apple official store. I can assume that more successful buyers simply do not post on the forums, so the failure rate here cannot be calculated. From personal experience I can add that similar steps in the American Tiffany store were unsuccessful - at the very last moment I was refused to send the goods to the warehouse.
To simplify the lives of customers, Amazon may have become Apple's official reseller some time ago, and they are not at all disdain to send them to forwarders. Although an exception may be made for Apple products, I have not yet had a chance to verify this. One way or another, there is another nuance - a guarantee. Yes, Apple provides an international one-year limited warranty on the iPhone. But American phones are slightly different from Russian.
And slightly here it means that when the electronics break down, the filling changes almost completely, and in Russian official repairs there simply will not be a motherboard with a radio module of the required revision and in the worst case, they will simply refuse to repair it. Oh yes, do not forget that American chargers do not stick into European outlets. Fortunately, they at least maintain a voltage of 220V.
In the end, I bought the iPhone XS at the start of sales for $ 999. Shipping costs with insurance came out around $ 50. The terms came out a little less than two weeks from the time of payment to receipt at the point of issue. At that time, it was about 20,000 rubles cheaper than in the official Apple store, but do not forget that there are still unofficial resellers.
Now the price will need to add a fee. It is easy to calculate that $ 999 is about € 830. It turns out that you will have to pay 30% from € 330, that is, throw about another € 100 to expenses, plus the commission for administering this payment by the forwarder company.
Is all this effort worth the price difference? I do not know. I wanted to try and I succeeded. Perhaps I will try to buy an iMac as well when the fees are 15% of the entire purchase instead of 30% for exceeding the limit of € 500. For expensive purchases, such a fee will be more profitable.