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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We plan on selling / donating the majority of our belongings before we move, including TVs, DVD players and such. We will want to purchase as least 1 smart tv and blu Ray player. Maybe a laptop. What are my options for these purchases in the Tulum or Playa Del Carmen area? I've read somewhere that TVs were expensive in Mexico than the states, is this accurate? I know there is a Sams Club in Playa Del Carmen which might be a good option
 

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We plan on selling / donating the majority of our belongings before we move, including TVs, DVD players and such. We will want to purchase as least 1 smart tv and blu Ray player. Maybe a laptop. What are my options for these purchases in the Tulum or Playa Del Carmen area? I've read somewhere that TVs were expensive in Mexico than the states, is this accurate? I know there is a Sams Club in Playa Del Carmen which might be a good option
Everything electronic costs more in Mexico than in the states. If you shop around you can find sales and not pay that much more. I don't know Playa de Carmen so I can't recommend places but all the supermarkets in the region where we live sell consumer electronics (minus computers) and they'd be good places to watch for those sales, as well as Sam's, Costco, Walmart etc.

A laptop is so small, why not carry one down on the plane? One less thing to shop for here!
 

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A laptop is so small, why not carry one down on the plane? One less thing to shop for here!
Speaking of laptops ... I read on another thread here about at some point having to register/disclose the serial numbers of electronic items the RT person wishes to bring.

One, when does this happen? When I apply to my local consulate here in the US (which I intend to do 6-8 weeks before I actually head down), or does it happen at the border when I show up with the items?

Two, given laptops have gotten incredibly cheap in the USA (US$250 now easily buys one more than powerful enough for a non-gamer), would Mexicans have any actual interest in scrutinizing them? I don't consider them to be an asset of material value financially.
 

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Speaking of laptops ... I read on another thread here about at some point having to register/disclose the serial numbers of electronic items the RT person wishes to bring.

One, when does this happen? When I apply to my local consulate here in the US (which I intend to do 6-8 weeks before I actually head down), or does it happen at the border when I show up with the items?

Two, given laptops have gotten incredibly cheap in the USA (US$250 now easily buys one more than powerful enough for a non-gamer), would Mexicans have any actual interest in scrutinizing them? I don't consider them to be an asset of material value financially.
I'm guessing but I think the disclosure of serial numbers on electronic equipment etc is in reference to a menaje de casa. If you fly into Mexico with a laptop (on a vacation) you don't have to do that...

I purchased the laptop I am typing on now from ebay from a guy in LA who buys in bulk from DELL. I would never be able to buy this laptop here (even from DELL Mexico). It is has an AMD A10 - not a gamer's machine but still pretty good. I paid less than I would have paid from DELL directly and it was shipped four day DHL for a cost of perhaps $50 with no import duties. I'm on thin ice here but I believe Mexico is encouraging the import of decent computer equipment to advance technology in the country. I'm sure I read that somewhere...
 

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Speaking of laptops ... I read on another thread here about at some point having to register/disclose the serial numbers of electronic items the RT person wishes to bring.

One, when does this happen? When I apply to my local consulate here in the US (which I intend to do 6-8 weeks before I actually head down), or does it happen at the border when I show up with the items?

Two, given laptops have gotten incredibly cheap in the USA (US$250 now easily buys one more than powerful enough for a non-gamer), would Mexicans have any actual interest in scrutinizing them? I don't consider them to be an asset of material value financially.
Yes, the serial numbers are for the menaje de casa, which is a document you write up yourself (there are examples online) and then take to the consulate where you are applying for RT and they (hopefully) approve it. Then you (or your movers) present it at customs when the belongings are bough t in.

On my last entry, which was by air, I brought in 3 laptops. I got the red light at customs and they inspected all my bags and luggage. They never said a thing about my 3 laptops. Maybe it was because the inspectors were 2 young women and they found all the baby clothes and supplies I was bringing in and we started to chat about the impending birth of my son so they decided to leave me alone about the laptops. I don't really know for sure, but I came in with 3 laptops, got the red light and no duty was paid.
 

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One more note on electronics is being in a jungle environment I notice the humidity ruins every electronic object I have owned........
 

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Yes, the serial numbers are for the menaje de casa, which is a document you write up yourself (there are examples online) and then take to the consulate where you are applying for RT and they (hopefully) approve it. Then you (or your movers) present it at customs when the belongings are bough t in.

On my last entry, which was by air, I brought in 3 laptops. I got the red light at customs and they inspected all my bags and luggage. They never said a thing about my 3 laptops. Maybe it was because the inspectors were 2 young women and they found all the baby clothes and supplies I was bringing in and we started to chat about the impending birth of my son so they decided to leave me alone about the laptops. I don't really know for sure, but I came in with 3 laptops, got the red light and no duty was paid.
That's one thing I do love about Mexico- most officials are able to retain their humanity instead of acting like robots. Can you imagine having a chat about babies with a US or Canadian customs official?
 

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That's one thing I do love about Mexico- most officials are able to retain their humanity instead of acting like robots. Can you imagine having a chat about babies with a US or Canadian customs official?
I'm amazed when I can get a simple "Welcome home" going into the US.
 

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That's one thing I do love about Mexico- most officials are able to retain their humanity instead of acting like robots. Can you imagine having a chat about babies with a US or Canadian customs official?
Yes, I couldn't agree more. I see that across the board here, minus that gaggle of loser, small-time, wannabe bureaucrats that only want to show you how "powerful" they are. They test my patience like you wouldn't believe. :mad2:

But the majority of officials are just regular people and if you extend them the courtesy of treating them that way, they do the same to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One more note on electronics is being in a jungle environment I notice the humidity ruins every electronic object I have owned........
So I was wondering about the humidity and ruining electronics. We will be living in Tulum and I want to avoid ruining a few expensive items. What about dehumidifiers? Other than your AC
 

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If any reader plans on doing a menaje de casa, start it as soon as you start putting things in boxes. People with a whole household to reduce will start months before even contacting the embassy with the de-cluttering as the real estate agents call it, or un-stuffing as I like to call it. A few things you'll keep, and may pack in boxes quite early. Start an inventory while you're doing that so you don't have to unpack them later. And collect the required info for electronics (make, model & serial number).

My second recommendation is to enter it all in an Excel spreadsheet if you know how. The consumers of the menaje de casa, the consulates, are not necessarily all consistent in the format that they want/accept. You can't count on them being consistent with each other or even with themselves over time as its possible you'll talk to different people there. It happened to me that the official I talked to on my first get-instructions visit left their job and when it came time to actually provide info a different official had slightly different interpretations of the rules. So even if you get the exact format from the consulate before your start, you can't count on that being the format you finally need. Having the info in excel lets you reorder, hide and (hopefully not) add columns later. Plus it lets you widen and narrow columns so you can print it the way they want it printed when it comes to that. Plus you have to number boxes and might end up doing some shuffling around that way too.

Of course I think MaryQuilter has concluded they won't go the menaje de casa route, but for others....

When you enter by plane (or presumably by car), you have to fill out a customs declaration, and there is a yes-no box you have to check that says whether you are bringing in more than a certain dollar amount of things that would be subject to duty. I think the first $500 is duty-free, so the yes-no box is 'are you over that'. Not everything is subject to duty, I think every person is allowed one laptop that doesn't count against the $500, so for circle110 maybe they didn't see one, or figured the cheapest was worth less than $500 or simply weren't going to argue about that as they were looking for guns & drugs. I'm operating on memory here, so somebody who is going to stretch the envelope might want to do some research. I don't know if there's any downside to just checking 'no' and letting them figure it out, but I bet if you're so egregiously over the limit that it's obvious you knew you were lying, it will go worse for you. There's also some distinction between 'new' and 'used' stuff, with 'used' being six months old or older. If they charge you duty, I think they assess the IVA on the value, 16% of what they think the thing is worth.
 

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In hind sight - I think every experience has the potential to be different. We prepared a manaje which was approved by the consulate/aduana and for which we paid (off the top of my head) something like $350 for. When we crossed in Texas they still got something like another $200 USD out of us (with simply a cursory inspection of our haul).

At one point I read that the menaje was really intended to allow 'affluent' Mexicans who had been sent abroad for extended business to return to Mexico with their household goods.

I think if an affluent American were to prepare a menaje and have a commercial shipper bring their goods in they probably would have a very different experience from the person driving across the border with their goods in-tow.
 

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In hind sight - I think every experience has the potential to be different. We prepared a manaje which was approved by the consulate/aduana and for which we paid (off the top of my head) something like $350 for. When we crossed in Texas they still got something like another $200 USD out of us (with simply a cursory inspection of our haul).

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I'm confused by these fees you had to pay. If they are your personal belongings, unless they are very new (less than 6 months old), I thought they entered Mexico duty free.
 

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I prepared my menaje de casa , gave it toa commercial shipper and did not have to pay anything.. The only thing they warned me about that there woud be a fine of 10 dollars per mistake in the serial number and whatever number I had to come up on the electronics but I did not have any mistake so I did not pay anything.
 

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I'm confused by these fees you had to pay. If they are your personal belongings, unless they are very new (less than 6 months old), I thought they entered Mexico duty free.
It has been nearly five years. I know we had to pay the consulate for the menaje. This link would say that today that fee would be $127. I remember something more like $350. Perhaps my memory is wrong or perhaps some of the things on our menaje were not duty free ? Or perhaps there were other fees in that amount.

https://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/reinounido/images/stories/pdf/tarifas_fees.pdf

At the border - before sunrise on a Sunday morning - we presented our menaje, they asked us to open the trailer and pull out a few boxes. We opened the boxes, they looked inside the boxes, then inside the trailer and declared - you need to pay more. At one point they also said we really needed a broker. We never hired a broker (that we know of). But they did get more money from us. Perhaps it was 'mordida', I don't know, but we wanted to get our show on the road...

Let's hear from all the other expats here on their first-hand menaje experiences.
 

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I prepared my menaje de casa , gave it toa commercial shipper and did not have to pay anything.. The only thing they warned me about that there woud be a fine of 10 dollars per mistake in the serial number and whatever number I had to come up on the electronics but I did not have any mistake so I did not pay anything.
Do you remember how much you paid the consulate for your menaje ? and what year was that ?

I wonder how many of the 'extras' we were charged was because we did it all ourselves ? I' suspect that in doing it your way there was a broker's fee embedded somewhere. What do you think?

(I really don't care for myself - we are here and all that 'fun' is behind us - but somewhere in the future someone is going to research this sort of thing and possibly assume what they read somewhere is gospel...)
 

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I did the menaje myself and I did not pay anything to the consulate but that was many years ago. I had a broker and I do not remember his fee but it paid him for clearing the shipment.. I only know there was not extra fee compared to what he had quoted me originally because I had been told to would be responsable if therewere any fine for the bad number...
Frankly I believe you pay one way or the other...if you do not get it from the consulate , you get it from customs or the broker or the mover.. The good thing is that it only happens once...
 

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I did the menaje myself and I did not pay anything to the consulate but that was many years ago. I had a broker and I do not remember his fee but it paid him for clearing the shipment.. I only know there was not extra fee compared to what he had quoted me originally because I had been told to would be responsable if therewere any fine for the bad number...
Frankly I believe you pay one way or the other...if you do not get it from the consulate , you get it from customs or the broker or the mover.. The good thing is that it only happens once...
Well perhaps some of the other expats with personal experience (perhaps more recent) will chime in... I can promise you that the consulate did not process a manaje for free five years ago. And - I can understand why because it was my sense that the menaje was sent from the US to Aduana Mexico (real-time) where it was evaluated and then either approved or disapproved - a process which (for us) took an afternoon.
 

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I read that the rules changed significantly in 2014. What fee anyone paid before that probably isn't relevant. Being able to sail through without hassle before 2014 probably isn't relevant either.

See here: Mexico's Import Duties and Exceptions | BajaInsider.com

I'm still not clear on what's subject to the $500 duty-free limit when you enter by air. They ask you if you have more stuff that you would owe IVA on that that, but I don't know what's counted. Maybe it's just new stuff, alcohol & tobacco. But I suspect that it's anything deemed "merchandise" which could include used stuff they think you might sell.

I always check 'no' coming in by air because I never bring new stuff worth more than $500 and I've never been charged anything, and only red-lighted once or twice, and those times I didn't have anything new at all.
 

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I read that the rules changed significantly in 2014. What fee anyone paid before that probably isn't relevant. Being able to sail through without hassle before 2014 probably isn't relevant either.

See here: Mexico's Import Duties and Exceptions | BajaInsider.com

I'm still not clear on what's subject to the $500 duty-free limit when you enter by air. They ask you if you have more stuff that you would owe IVA on that that, but I don't know what's counted. Maybe it's just new stuff, alcohol & tobacco. But I suspect that it's anything deemed "merchandise" which could include used stuff they think you might sell.

I always check 'no' coming in by air because I never bring new stuff worth more than $500 and I've never been charged anything, and only red-lighted once or twice, and those times I didn't have anything new at all.
So are we talking menaje's or are we switching focus ?
 
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