Ordering a laptop online & having it shipped to Taiwan

Has anybody ordered a laptop (or something similar) from the States & had it shipped here? Did you have to pay import taxes? A friend suggested that if questioned that I should just say that it’s a gift from my family and that I’ll take it with me when I leave Taiwan, & then my item won’t be subject to import taxes… ?

I know that there is a great selection of laptops here, but in case you’re curious, here’s what I’m looking at:
m-techlaptops.com/specificat … ch8588.htm
and haven’t really found anything with those spec.s for anything close to the price. Yeah, if I actually get it, it’ll break the bank, but I just sold my old laptop & have been waiting 3 (long, hard) years to upgrade…
btw, the M-Tech said that it’d be about USD$180 for UPS expedited shipping.


You should probably check again in Taiwan. Bring your specs to Chunhwah market. I was looking to buy a laptop last year. After some lengthy research, I wish I was in Taiwan because some of the best laptops were 1. made in Taiwan (let it be Dell, Compaq or, hell, Apple), and 2. only available in Taiwan first (in the case of Acer; for Asus, forget it, no one in US even carries it).


A friend of mine tried to have his sent here right before Christmas. Customs tried to make him pay duty on the software installed! He said screw it and had FedEx ship it on to Sri Lanka where he picked it up.

That’s crazy talk! Damn customs!

That’s crazy talk! Damn customs![/quote]

Several years ago a friend of mine had some Pyrogallol (a deadly photographic chemical) mailed from the US (Photographers Formulary photoformulary.com/ if you must know). Anyway, he got a call from Customs to come pick it up. They had already punched holes in the package (thereby contaminating it) and had been touch-tasting it!!! Even though it was labeled POISON and had a red skull and crossbones, they must have thought it was heroin or something I guess. What a bunch of maroons! :unamused:

And that was legal? I mean, “deadly chemical” alone, I would imagine, would be enough to get him in trouble (like pay fines or something). How did he get it shipped? I am under the impression that US carriers (UPS, FedEx) usually refuse to ship stuff like that?? Odd but interesting story…


[quote=“scchu”]And that was legal? I mean, “deadly chemical” alone, I would imagine, would be enough to get him in trouble (like pay fines or something). How did he get it shipped? I am under the impression that US carriers (UPS, FedEx) usually refuse to ship stuff like that?? Odd but interesting story…


Pyrogallol is a powder. I think the only restrictions deal with liquids. I think he just used regular mail. FedEx is fast but rather expensive. :cry:

All imports are subjected to import tax and the cost of shipping might be added before calculating it.

Usually there is a guideline to what can be defined as a gift and most likely it will have a limit in value, too.
Technical stuff is difficult to declare as gift and the argument that you will later take it back doesn’t work (only applies to transit passengers).

There are ways around it and sometimes you might get lucky though.

In the case that one would have to pay customs,
a) any idea how much (or the %)?
b) would UPS (FedEx/USPS/etc.) deliver it to your delivery address at which point you’d pay the import taxes?
Or would you have to go to CKS to pick it up at customs (in which case I’d guess you’d pay THEM)?

Thanks again!
btw, here are the spec.s that I want (& that the M-Tech has):
P4 2.4+ GHz; 512MB DDR (333 MHz) (max 2GB); 533 FSB; 4 USB 2.0; 2 Firewire; TV-Tuner; DVD-R/CRRW (I know there are different standards now, but it’s only an extra $150 +/- so I guess having the backup capacity is worth it even if it won’t play DVD movies on some players); 60 GB 5400RPM HD; SD & Memory Stick reader…
I saw an awesome Sony Vaio at the big Tsankeun in Shihlin (Zhong Zheng4 & Zhong Shan N. Rd. S.4?) that had similiar spec.s, but:
no TV input; only 2 USB 1.0 + 1 Firewire; 512 DDR but 266MHz…
On the other hand, is has a multi-format DVD-RW burner You can read about it at CNET:
computers.cnet.com/hardware/0-10 … 02866.html
Best prices listed on CNET: USD$2399

TsanKeun price: NT$100,000 (about USD$2850)
With Chinese WinXP Pro. Afaik, computers that you buy in Taiwan with Windows OS come in Chinese and that you have to pay for a full English version & install it if you want English. Except Acer’s license allows them to install English Windows. (Can anyone verify this? Do they give you the CD?). Of course many shops will install a pirated version if you’re just having one built. I wonder if you can use the Chinese s/n on English Windows w/out a problem… at least, legally). I know, the last half of this e-mail should pro’bly be in the Tech forum - sorry, so sorry :blush: . Somebody stop my rambling… & suddenly you’re driving really fast… grab the wheel, I’M SWERVING!

I’d much, MUCH rather have one of the notebooks made by Naturetech here in Taiwan. Fantastic machines.


Spoken like a true geek. :stuck_out_tongue:

I used to be a SPARC fan (and with good reason, back then), but mere mortals don’t need that kind of speed. Better to have the compatibility with the rest of the planet’s software by getting an AMD-based (Intel, blech! first with the worst) notebook. And I say this from experience, having wasted US$10,000 on a SPARCsystem back around 1991. Worst purchase I ever made.

My AMD K6-2/400 does everything that I need, although it would be nice to run some of the math-intensive stuff I play with in less than three hours. (I’ll upgrade this summer, I promise – one of the new AMD 2400 chips will be about five times faster, and I can put a complete desktop machine together (after cannibalizing the old one) for under US$300.) If I don’t want to deal with MS-Virus software, I can install Linux, and I think there’s even a Solaris edition out for the x86 hardware, nicht wahr? Above a certain (very low) point, CPU speed just doesn’t matter when surfing the web or writing emails.

BTW, how is Warren doing?? I read the cancer announcement, but at the time, they said he had only a few more weeks left and it’s been almost eight months now. Has there been any more news?

ABTW, please don’t take the above to mean that I dislike Sun or Solaris. I think they’re great. Unfortunately, they’re being squeezed out by increasingly fast Intel hardware and increasingly capable Linux software. My comment about the SPARCStation being a waste of money for me only applied to my situation at the time, as a geek wanting a machine to play on at home. Oh well.

If you’ve still got it and don’t want it, I’ll be happy to take it off your hands. :smiley: I’m looking for an old SparcStation 5, 10 or 20 so I can run Nextstep. Unfortunately, SparcStations that sell for $200US in America sell for $800US+ here.

It’s a SparcStation SLC – black-and-white only, CPU built into the back of the monitor unit, extremely limited expansion. Still want it? :smiley:

There is no real reason why you would want to buy your laptop in the US and have it shipped to Taiwan. If you’re planning to spend $2000 USD, you might as well get a decent desktop and a cheap laptop in Taiwan.

Looking at the M-Tech laptop, I don’t see you moving it around very often (it’s 10.8lbs without drives I’m assuming) and I doubt you’d be getting much battery life. In that case, you might want to look at the e-buddie, e-note or something like that which is a desktop computer in a laptop shell minus the battery.

You’ll want to look at what you use your computer for and then decide how to go about buying it.

Also, this definitely should go in the Technology Forum.

I agree. Originally I was just wondering about the process of having something shipped here and how that would work (which by the way I’m still not crystal on!). But it’s turned more into a laptop discussion, so I’ll ask a moderator to move it to the tech forum.

But if anyone has had a similar size/valued item shipped here, I’d really be interested to hear his/her experiences.

Another little know brand that makes good stuff is Sager, but everyone is right - it doesn’t make sense to get a high end notebook shipped over from the States as it’d be troublesome to get support for them here…
While searching for desktop replacement notebooks (oxymoron there?), I came across a Mitac with great spec.s but doesn’t seem to be sold in Taiwan. I saw a similiar model on their Taiwan website, but it didn’t offer the high end components that I saw on the U.S. model (like 533 FSB, USB 2.0, PC?333 RAM, etc.)…
I was also looking at Toshiba (Satellite 2455 Series) w/DVD burner; 2.4 GHz; 30/60 GB HD; 512 MB DDR RAM (2x256MB); 15" LCD w/GeForce 4, 32 MB video RAM; 3 USB 2.0; 1 Firewire IEEE1394; some have memory card readers; 533 FSB; 8 lbs.;… I asked a store here but they said that model is not available in Taiwan :frowning: I saw it listed for as low at USD$1700! That makes me think about trying to have it shipped here.

Finally I went shopped at Guang Hua Shang Chang (Bade Lu). I almost bought an Acer P4-M 2.0 GHz w/great spec.s and an 4-in-1 memory stick reader, plus a free wireless card too boot. Just before I handed the $ over I called my wife & had her check online user reviews. The only ones for this model were negative, and two users (supposedly) had their woes confirmed by tech support… Maybe that’s why that one had such a good price. But in general Acer seems to make good products that are well thought out with the user in mind.

One spec. that I’ve been looking at is 5400 RPM HD vs. 4500 RPM. Some users claim a noticeable difference, and the 5400 RPM disks don’t add too much to the price (when you have the option to configure the system). Of course, I guess relative to my old 500 MHz, 4500 RPM vs. 5400 is a moot point. Actually that 500 MHz AMD Compaq was quite fast except for video stuff. I’d often have 10 browsers open, Word, Outlook, Palm Desktop… (192 MB RAM, 20 GB HD - don’t know speed, English Win2000 Pro, Chinese Win98, Linux Mandrake). It didn’t handle the full fury of the gin-and-tonic of the guy I sold it to though. Now it’s at the Compaq service center awaiting an LCD & MB from Singapore – NT$15k - OUCH!

I know a guy at Guang Hua Shang Chang that imports any notebook you want. You can find his shop at Hsin Sheng South Rd. Sect. 1, No. 6, B2 ~15

I will let you know how it works out. He usually deals with Japanese notebooks and PDAs, but he is trying to help me with a notebook from the USA, a Toshiba Protege R100.

I will be talking to him again tonight or tomorrow and will let you know how it goes.

That might not always be true…bad Taiwanese habit of saying, “oh it’s not in Taiwan” when it’s just that store that doesn’t have stock. Ask other stores, or better yet, ask Toshiba.

Ah, found what I was mentioning before. The ECS desknote is pretty popular these days. If you don’t plan to use your laptop on the go much, it might be a good choice.

ecs.com.tw/products/desknote … tion_id=12

One spec. that I’ve been looking at is 5400 RPM HD vs. 4500 RPM. Some users claim a noticeable difference, and the 5400 RPM disks don’t add too much to the price (when you have the option to configure the system). Of course, I guess relative to my old 500 MHz, 4500 RPM vs. 5400 is a moot point.[/quote]

The 5,400 RPM HDD does make a difference. Your programs will start up faster and bootup times will be better. Heck, I even noticed a difference going from 7,200 RPM to 10,000 RPM.

buying a laptop from the US would truly be shooting yourself in the foot… repeatedly…

The machine, or at least the components are guaranteed to be made in taiwan, or china to start with so you would be unneccesarily paying:

-the original shipping costs to ship the components to the u.s.
-the import tax for the components to enter the u.s.
-u.s sales tax
-the profit of the company that assembled it
-shipping costs to ship it back to taiwan
-minimum 25% import duty to bring it into taiwan
-tax on any pre installed software

not to mention the over inflated “dumb american” price that company wants for the laptop to start with…

What are some of the advantages of someone buying a laptop in U.S.? I am still pissed that U.S. laptop models and feature sets are 6-8 months behind Asian models (maybe not of the same brand name). Taiwan has been producing OEM components/computers for all the major U.S. companies that now the plants in Taiwan are capable of making rather sophisticated house-brand computers… all in all, I still think getting something within Taiwan is a better deal. Just my 2 cents.