Experience report: I ordered a Chromebook via Amazon.com from the USA as a European [A]

Introduction

This post is an experience report about ordering a Chromebook from the USA to Germany in 2019. Almost everything went smoothly for me!

However, this report is not intended to be a recommendation or a guide on how to do this best!

Take a few ideas with you if you want to do the same.

Important Notes

Notes for beginners: My posts usually contain some basics so that you can understand how to proceed. I partly repeat the basics in other posts, so you don’t have to jump back and forth all the time.

Here is the meaning of the abbreviations after the headings: [E] Everyone [A] Advanced [B] Beginner [P] Professional

If you still miss something, feel free to comment. The community will try to help you! πŸ™‚

Notes for professionals: My posts usually have the form of a knowledge database entry and should be equally suitable for beginners, advanced users, and professionals. Just pick out what you need right now. You can also find content specifically targeted to professionals. These are marked accordingly with [P] and other finger points.

Do you want to have more professional content on a topic? Add it to the comments πŸ˜‰

Disclaimer of liability: As always on this blog, I warn you that all changes to your system mentioned in this post are at your own risk! It is theoretically possible that there are system or application errors that could lead to data loss and further problems!

Adding the article to the shopping cart [A]

Well, where do we start? Almost everything is the same as when you order an item from Amazon in Germany or your country.

So first you have to find an item and put it into the shopping cart:

Adding Asus Chromebook Flip to shopping cart
Image: own screenshot of the author

You might ask yourself why I chose Amazon.com as my supplier, even though there were undoubtedly a few cheaper offers in the hit list that would also deliver to Germany? So everything is from one source!

Amazon.com takes care of everything for you: Customs duties, paperwork, import tax, etc. I also believe that in case of a warranty claim, it will be easier to have Amazon.com as your contact person than having an electronics store around the corner somewhere in the countryside in the USA!

So far, so good. Then I added the item to the shopping cart with “Add to Chart“:

To the checkout
Image: own screenshot of the author

Proceeding to checkout [A]

Then I clicked “Proceed to checkout” to start the last steps of the order process:

Order summary
Image: own screenshot of the author

Selecting the currency for the payment process [A]

When choosing the currency for the payment process, it can be advantageous to stay with US dollars and not to change to euros. That is because the house bank then adopts its exchange rate during the posting transaction without any further charges. At least that was the case for me with a DKB credit card. (A German Bank)

Apropos: Without a credit card or PayPal, it is probably challenging to order a device in this way as described here!

Minor problem with customs [A]

Furthermore, I made a small mistake at this point, because the German customs called me later at the import. After all, I have given as usual my Packstation as the delivery address. That is not appreciated at import and is probably an invalid specification. It was then quite easy, as I only had to fill in my regular address in a form and send it back to customs by e-mail, but this is an avoidable step!

So it is best to give the “normal” address here, so that you save yourself further discussions with customs. Furthermore, I had chosen the more expensive shipping method “AmazonGlobal Expedited Shipping” to get the goods prioritized and a little bit faster. Which also worked out wonderfully:

The received package [A]

A few days later, I received the package in perfect condition:

Asus Chromebook Flip C101-PA manufacturer packaging
Image: own screenshot of the author

Here is the content of the box from Asus and the for the money very high-quality device, but still with a protective cover:

Asus Chromebook Flip C101-PA in the manufacturer's packaging
Image: own screenshot of the author

An American plug? [A]

Another important point: As you can see in the photo, a USB-C power supply with a two-pin US plug is included. So, how can you use the device now?

There are many universal travel adapters or simple “US to EU” adapters that do not cost much. On the other hand, with USB-C, it’s no problem to take another power supply and charge it with it.

Attention: At your own risk, if you want to try it this way yourself!

An excellent alternative from Europe [A]

An excellent alternative to this successful ordering process from the USA is to order a device from a supplier in the EU. Some suppliers have already imported all the items in the webshop for you and include EU adapters for domestic sockets as a service.

One of them is ChromeIT.NL in the Netherlands.

There I successfully ordered a Google Pixelbook with a pen. Here the experience report: Link.

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