Friday, April 26, 2019

Waste rubbish dump in La Massana Andorra

There is a community waste disposal location in La Massana. 
Shared with the Ordino comĂș it is situated on the main road between the two towns, opposite the Elf petrol station.
It is open between 8 am and 4pm Monday through Saturday.



Monday, April 8, 2019

Calculating the benefit of going for a second hand laptop vs a new one living in a low VAT country.

So it is time for a new laptop!  My amazing Sony VPCCB has done so well over the years - I bought it in 2012 and it's still my daily workhorse.

Upgraded it to an SSD and had to service the fan a couple of times it was going good until something happened to the video card and I had to band-aid by loading Ubuntu and running Visual Studio in a VM to access Windows.  Not ideal, but kept me going for a few more months.

Now with VS2017 it takes just too long to get everything running. The power supply also died last week.  It is a sign.

Now.. I've never really used tablets but I do fancy seeing if having one will encourage me to read the paper again - and these are all e-versions now (except Private Eye - still only available on the street of shame).

So this fancy Microsoft Surface 2 looks nice.  Insanely expensive, but ooh so nice.

I'm going to go for the big screen 15" and either the half or full terabtye model.  256gb will be filled up in no time.

Living in Andorra there is only 4.5% VAT to pay, but if I do the importation myself I can claim the VAT back from whatever country I buy it from - in my case 21% from Spain.  On a hefty purchase like this, that makes a big difference.

Locally I can get the i7, 16Gb RAM, 512Gb model here in FNAC for 3026€

But in Spain FNAC is selling that model for 3134€.  Great if you from Barcelona and want to save 100 odd euro by buying it here.  But I can go to Barcelona myself and save a fortune.

3134€ - 21% = 2475.86 Euro on which I will have pay 4.5% to re-import. Giving a final cost of 2587€

For the 1 TB version the figure is 3609€ in Barcelona and that's final cost here to me would be 2851€ minus the Spanish IVA and then adding the import duty give  2979€

Now the other alternative for me is to buy one on ebay in the UK and get mum to bring it over.  I can't claim any VAT off that way, but prices are cheaper and I'm also happy to get a 2nd hand one if there is a reasonable saving.  The warranties offered by Microsoft are pretty poor really at only 1 year, so no loss even if it is few months old.

I tried to bid on a just-a-bit used 1TB over the weekend from a lass in Scotland using ebay's "best offer" system.  I bid 2K GBP and it went for exactly that - there must have been another bidder bidding the exact same price.  Anyway now I have a benchmark....

2000 pounds today is 2321 Euro. So that would have been a saving of 658 Euro.  That is the kind of saving I looking for! 658/2979 = 22% off.

So for the smaller one.. getting 22% off the FNAC price is 2017€.  This in GBP is £ 1737 - again this is the "mint condition, but taken out of the box price"

Converting the "brand new, 12 month warranty" prices into GBP I get £ 2573 and £ 2233 for the 1TB and 512gb respectively.  In order to justify the cost and hassle of getting the thing to me here in Andorra I need to see a price midway been these and the used price.

Spain € UK Pound Conversion UK Pound New Ebay GBP UK Pound 2nd Hand Mint
1Tb 2979€ £ 2573 £ 2286.50 £ 2000 (2321€)
512Gb 2587€ £ 2233 £ 1985 £ 1737 (2017€)

I will post here with my results....

UPDATE 18 JUNE

So here I am typing on my swish new Surface Book 2 - 1Tb


I had to bid on a fair few machines.  2 were cancelled by the seller, both due to incorrect screen size in the description.  Another, I mentioned above, was sold for the same price I bid to someone else, as they must have bid moments earlier than I.  I have been "watching" a lot of them, and now I see them coming down in price.  

Anyway I got this one, shrink wrapped, UK keyboard, £ sign... all good. 

The price... £2250 which is just under my predicted mark.  Amazing I paying 20% VAT and it's still cheaper to buy it in the UK than do an export from Spain, and cheaper than buying it here in Andorra.

As is typical with eBay you get a lot of activity at the end of the auction.. but I'd put in my max bid from the table above.. so will not complain.  The price I paid is fair value.

Happy hunting for your dream machine....!!