Tips for European Apple customers

For me as a european consumer, the low Dollar (or: high Euro) is a good thing. Particularly when travelling to the U.S., or buying American consumer electronics.

For Apple, as a big company with complete control over it’s retail prices, the low Dollar (or: high Euro) is a good thing. Particularly when the conversion rates sneak up on the consumers and you “forget” to adjust your 1-to-1 Euro-to-Dollar conversion in your stores. Time to wake up the European Apple consumers.

So how good is the Euro to Dollar converison rate for Apple? At the time of writing, €1.00 equals $1.4443. Comparing actual product prices between the online U.S. Apple store and the Dutch Apple store, we can see how Apple’s margin has increased with the exact 1.4443 conversion rate, baring the MacBook:

Product US Price Dutch price Difference
Mac Pro $2499.00 €2499.00 ($3609.31) $1110.30 (44%)
20″ iMac $1199.00 €1199.00 ($1731.72) $532.72 (44%)
13″ MacBook $1099.00 €1049.00 ($1515.07) $416.07 (38%)
iPod touch 16GB $399.00 €399.00 ($576.28) $177.28 (44%)
iPod nano 8GB $199.00 €199.00 ($287.42) $88.00 (44%)
Wireless keyboard $79.00 €79.00 ($114.10) $35.10 (44%)

This is nice for Apple, but how can we make this nice for us consumers? Apple certainly is not going to lower it’s prices in Europe, because Steve is in it for the money (prove me wrong soon, will you, Steve)? As far as I see, the European Apple consumer has 4 options:

Option 1: Just buy the stuff you want, pay the Euro price and be happy with the value for money. Added bonus: you helped Steve invest in future products, and maybe he’ll give away another mansion.

Option 2: Wait for the € to drop. This is a nice option if you were planning on an Apple free diet anyway.

Option 3: Order the product you want in the U.S., and see if they’ll send it to Europe. Maybe you’ll have to have your product sent to a friend living in the U.S., and have him send it to you. Sometimes a hotel in which you stayed recently can be tricked into receiving and forwarding your package, as long as it’s not to big. They’ll charge your creditcard, so be carefull.

Option 4: Say you’d want the Mac Pro double core duo (the cheapest Mac Pro model). Say you would like to buy that in the Miami Apple Store at Lincoln road. You could buy 2 oneway tickets at exit-reizen, which would set you back about €820.00 ($567.75). Because it’s a long flight and you’d like to do some sight-seeing, you book 2 nights at the beautiful Clay hotel at South Beach Miami at “Budget” rate, which totals to $172,89 including tax. During the trip, you spend about, say, $350.00 on cab fares, tips, food and souvenirs for the family. When you return home, you will have spent $1090.64 for the tip, including the purchase of your Mac Pro. At the current European price, you still have saved $19.66!

For iPods and other gadgets, I’d say option 1 and 3 are the best options, because I know you can’t wait once you are an Apple addict. If you’re planning on buying anything more expensive than an iMac, I would seriously consider option 4. You can get away with flying from Europe to Miami and back, picking it up yourself and still spending the same amount of money as you would have spent just picking it up in Amsterdam.

How’s that for Currency Market?


One Response to Tips for European Apple customers

  1. rolfje says:

    Please note that I assume you can get into the country without paying import tax. Should you go for the “something to declare” option, then you’d have to buy a slightly more expensive Mac Pro to still get away with the trip, pay taxes, and have saved money.

    If you’d like to be that “teachers pet”, you can do the calculation yourselves. Or go for option 1.

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