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# 136415 26-Nov-2013 14:35
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Hey, I am looking to purchase some items from Amazon for an upcoming computer build. I am thinking about purchasing the goods in groups so that they arrive as separate packages of value less than NZ$400 (incl shipping). 

I am wondering if anyone has any experience or knowledge about the legalities of this. Would customs pick up the multiple packages and sense something's up?

I'm still likely going to purchase the goods from the us because of the extreme price differences - even with gst + insane shipping costs it's cheaper buying from overseas!

Cheers,

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Mr Snotty
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  # 941085 26-Nov-2013 14:41
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I've been stung in the past for doing the same thing. It's a bit hit and miss here since Customs will be looking out for that.




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  # 941090 26-Nov-2013 14:49
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http://www.whatsmyduty.org.nz/faq

What if I split my purchases to keep the value below the amount where duty or GST are payable?

The value of an importation is based on all goods imported by a company or person at one time and is not limited to a single financial transaction. If a group of several items, purchased separately by the same person or company, arrive in New Zealand at the same time, the value of these items may be combined which could result in charges becoming payable.



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Ultimate Geek
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  # 941103 26-Nov-2013 15:04
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Thanks for the responses guys.

Following what Mauricio has said, I may just have to think about when I order the products. I reckon if I keep the purchases at least 2 weeks apart I SHOULD be alright.

As I've previously said, many of the items are still cheaper if I have to pay gst so in most cases it is worth the risk for me.

Cheers,

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  # 941110 26-Nov-2013 15:16
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Are you sure it will be cheaper, if you find one of the goods is defective. The cost to send it back may exceed any cost saving you are making. Personally I just buy all my computer stuff from NZ, unless I have amazon credit to use up. The cost savings in my time don't make it worth it. But if you are buying huge quantities it may make a difference. 

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  # 941119 26-Nov-2013 15:26
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How much cash are you saving over buying in NZ?






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  # 941123 26-Nov-2013 15:31
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mattwnz: Are you sure it will be cheaper, if you find one of the goods is defective. The cost to send it back may exceed any cost saving you are making. Personally I just buy all my computer stuff from NZ, unless I have amazon credit to use up. The cost savings in my time don't make it worth it. But if you are buying huge quantities it may make a difference. 

I do agree, if the difference is %10 or less I'll usually stick with nz retailers. However, some of the differences in prices is quite large. For example:

This Samsung SSD is $258.45 incl shipping. When you compare it to this SSD from a reliable nz retailer for $350 is does make a difference. (I know it can be found for cheaper in NZ but I'd rather buy from Amazon than some of the lesser known shops).

For items like the graphics card and case which are difficult and fragile to ship, I will probably buy them off a NZ retailer as it is simply easier. Some things are worth it, some some things are not, I'm having to put a lot of effort into planning this build. 

Another thing I've to consider is that Billy from computer lounge will usually do you some of deal if you ask him nicely, that could also influence the final price. 

Ahh, the wonders of living in a small remote country eh!



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  # 941124 26-Nov-2013 15:32
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surfisup1000: How much cash are you saving over buying in NZ?




I'm working it out at the moment but a friend says he has saved north of $1000 just from purchasing overseas. 

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  # 941167 26-Nov-2013 17:04
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You also need to consider whether it's simpler to simply get all the goods shipped together, save a significant amount on shipping and then simply pay the GST.

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  # 941168 26-Nov-2013 17:10
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mattwnz: Are you sure it will be cheaper, if you find one of the goods is defective. The cost to send it back may exceed any cost saving you are making. Personally I just buy all my computer stuff from NZ, unless I have amazon credit to use up. The cost savings in my time don't make it worth it. But if you are buying huge quantities it may make a difference. 


I bought some memory recently from Amazon.  They sent me the wrong item and when I complained replaced it and sent the replacement by courier so I had it within a few days.  All of this was done at no cost to me and they have also paid for the return shipping of the incorrect item.

I would have bought it from NZ but nobody had it in stock.

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  # 941169 26-Nov-2013 17:11
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Three tips:

1) As others have noted, split the shipping. Order one item (or one group of lower valued items) that will slip under the radar and have that shipped off to youshop. Wait until that item has arrived at youshop and been dispatched to you in NZ and then place the second order. Wait until the first has been delivered in NZ and then release the second order for shipping from youshop. Rinse and repeat.

2) Compare prices of the individual items. You will not save a worthwhile amount of money by buying a hard disk or PC case in the US so get those items here and order from the US those items on which you can get big discounts. Don't worry about shipping items that you think are fragile. Graphics cards come well packaged and will arrive OK and you can make huge savings on those.

3) Invest some time in monitoring prices on amazon. Not just from amazon themselves but also from the marketplace vendors. There are huge fluctuations. For example, the price of some high end graphics cards has gone up and down by a hundred dollars twice in the last two weeks. If you see what you want at a good price, buy it right away because the offer may well not be there after you have had a coffee.

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  # 941236 26-Nov-2013 19:41
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  # 941246 26-Nov-2013 20:13
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Ship to different names / addresses, i.e. round the family.




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  # 941288 26-Nov-2013 20:50
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I sent two packages a few days apart a few years back, SSDs, they combined them and charged me GST. Not sure why I bothered, given I claim GST back anyway on my business.

Failure rate of electronic parts seems to be higher than I'd risk. I might buy a few key expensive parts overseas if I was patient, but I value service and speed.

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  # 941316 26-Nov-2013 21:28
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My experience is that, as well as the cost saving which can be substantial, good overseas retailers sometimes tend to beat the NZ ones on service and speed as well - even allowing for shipping.

There was a (fairly rare) electronic part I wanted a while ago. From memory the sole NZ authorised seller wanted $NZ 699 for it, with a four week delivery time. Monoprice supplied it in under a week, at $US128. Even if it fails, and I buy another one from them, and it fails and I buy another one, I would still be ahead!

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