How about importing your PS4? A Guide for Prospective Importers (USA and UK)

Can’t find the right deal on a PS4? Everywhere out of stock? How about importing? This is a guide for Prospective importers for both UK and USA residents. Along with wanting the newest and most appealing high-tech toys, we all generally want to get the best deal on the items we purchase, correct?  Even at a cost of around £349 via Amazon UK you’re talking about a significant investment here, so it makes sense to try to locate the absolute lowest price available.  Since the PS4 is also going to be truly region-free (meaning that the games / content for all consoles sold will be fully compatible everywhere), it might be possible to snag some deals here and there by importing. See our article PS4 Launch Bundles for more information about the various bundles available.

The Current Dilemma

The current dilemma is that if you’re from the UK you could save up to £100 by importing from the USA. But if you’re from the USA stock levels are currently low or depleted, making importing from the UK an ideal solution. Whilst stock levels are likely to change, it can’t be guaranteed that stocks will improve until after launch.

USA-PS4-UK-PS4
You’re talking about a significant investment here, so it makes sense to try to locate the absolute lowest price available, whilst also considering that the console may be hard to get hold of over the Christmas period. Since the PS4 is also going to be truly region-free (meaning that the games / content for all consoles sold will be fully compatible everywhere), it might be possible to snag some deals here and there by importing.

Of course if you’re in a country like Argentina, things might be somewhat difficult (or even impossible) where cost-cutting is concerned, as prices there are even more elevated – at around £723 GBP ($1137 USD).  That particular nation has been hit hard by inflation and as a result, the cost of imports has ballooned significantly.  There are similar instances of this from all across the world actually, with such countries as Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel, and others forcing its consumers to shell out the big bucks for a brand spanking new PlayStation 4.ps4

So, what does this have to do with the US and UK buyers, you might be wondering?  Well, simply put, it clearly shows you where NOT to even contemplate importing from, for starters.  Also, it demonstrates that those of us in the UK and USA don’t really have it that bad in terms of overall costs of the unit.  In fact, once you factor in just how far wages in some of those countries have fallen (as well as how high some of the necessities have risen), you should feel rather at ease knowing that things within the borders of both the US and UK have remained somewhat stable.

Useful:

Amazon UK to USA delivery rates

Amazon USA to UK delivery rates

Anyway, that shouldn’t stop you from trying at least, right?  In some instances, you might want to try and find online retailers who are selling consoles as part of bundled packages.  For example, maybe you want a package which includes not just the console, its mandatory accessories / cables, a controller and a game, but also perhaps an extra DualShock 4 as well as a PlayStation Camera?  If this is the case, you might very well be able to find a US retailer (if you’re in the UK) who can ship such a bundle off to you at a decent price, however, the PS4 MegaPack bundle is now available in the UK.

Reputable UK Retailers that Deliver to the US:

SimplyGames (delivery information)

ShopTo (delivery information)

The waiting game:

The main issue it would seem is that for most UK residents, the PS4 is going to cost around £349 ($546 USD) at launch – compare that with the £247 ($399 USD) price within the US.  However, for most intents and purposes you might have to wait until after the “launch madness” has subsided in order to capture an imported console at a lower cost.  As with most situations, those who play “the waiting game” tend to emerge victorious when it comes to prudent spending.  In the mean time, you can still stay abreast of any offers which pop up in foreign auction sites, like eBay, for example.

Go to auction:

PS4 on Ebay

Occasionally you’ll catch someone selling their brand new console perhaps because it was maybe an impulse buy (and they’re not really a gamer) or they just didn’t like it and decided to unload it as fast as possible. Whatever the reasons, you can guarentee that these will still be selling like hot cakes on eBay US or UK if the console is low on stock. Naturally, the hard part here is being able to catch these opportunities when they arise, and for that we recommend that you turn toward a software solution.  The following three automated eBay auction assisting programs can help with that:

Why import?

Conversely, there are a number of reasons why a US buyer might want to consider importing a PS4 console out of the UK.  For instance, right now on the main (US) Amazon.com site the PlayStation 4 is completely unavailable (including many of the other retailers.  (Check it out for yourself: PS4 Amazon USA).  Yes, you read that correctly; every single standard edition and game bundle has sold out on one of the world’s largest online retail consumer platforms.  It’s the exact same situation with another ubiquitous US game broker, Gamestop.  In other words, some US buyers are scratching their heads wondering if they’re even going to be able to purchase or put in a preorder for a console before it’s officially released.

However, if you glance over at the Amazon UK site (PS4 Amazon UK) you’ll notice that they’re still accepting preorders for the PlayStation 4.  Naturally, the best part is, they will actually be able to fulfill an order to the US, but at the slightly higher price, of course.  In instances like this, you might have to go with an imported console if you want to make sure that you’re going to have access to one around the launch date.  Moreover, given the incredible popularity of the PS4 right now and its tendency to sell out quickly, some US consumers might even have to import their console if they want to be playing this Christmas, that is.

PS4-UKOther places:

Yet another approach is to scour the net for independent sellers who might be running their own private retail sites.  In fact, it’s possible that some of these very same individuals might be dealing in used consoles before many of major retailers start to.  Moreover, it’s nice to know people who directly who deal in games, consoles and the like on a ground floor retail level, because you never know when they might have advanced access to certain releases.  For example, some titles tend to release a little bit earlier in the EU vs. the States (or perhaps vice-versa), in situations like that, industry professionals and hardcore gamers can often sidestep wait times.  Sure, it might be considered a bit more prudent to just hang on and ride out the extra week or two (time span between region releases), but when you’re eagerly anticipating some new title you tend to lose perspective, instead favoring gratification.

Dedicated proponents of sticking to used goods might also consider scouring classified sites such as:

Naturally, searching through all of these pages with the hopes of coming across someone who has a console and wants to sell it might be considered something of a long-shot.  Also, this pretty much implies that you’re not going to jump in on the launch date, perhaps deciding to wait for used consoles to begin popping up on these aggregating classifieds sites.  In most cases it would make more sense to just strike a deal locally, in this way you know exactly what you’re getting and aren’t really risking taking a chance with a person you can’t physically meet.

However, it is possible to occasionally locate someone, even internationally, who has exactly what you want and is perfectly willing to sell it to you.  The hard part is finding a way to intermediate the sale / trade so that everyone is covered in the event that something goes wrong.  A simple, yet effective tactic is to ask the seller to quickly set up an Amazon or eBay account and list the item, giving you the opportunity to go ahead and buy the product ahead of anyone else.  Again, this tactic carries with it some potential risks, which you need to think about before agreeing to purchase from someone in such a situation.  For example, if the console is stolen, you might lose your funds or worse.  In any case, if you decide to go this route, you should ask the person up front to forward them the console’s serial number, perhaps also implying that you need to check to make sure it’s not been reported as stolen, etc…

PS4

The Differences in Plugs:

If you do decide to import, then you’ll want either a UK to USA plug converter or a USA to UK plug converter.

Summary

All in all, one of the more direct or sensible things to do is just find a decent retailer within your own region and just purchase a new PS4 at full price.  In most situations it’s simply not going to be possible to get significant savings by importing your console.  Aside from the local fees and import / export duties which are levied on regular international sales, there might even be strict laws in certain territories where they might force you to pay higher fees or fines as your item goes through customs.  In these kinds of instances, you’ll actually end up paying much more for what is essentially the same console you might find in your local shop.

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