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Does anyone have any experience with ordering CPAP machines from overseas, especially the US? They have a number of models available there that are alot cheaper than ones we can buy here.

In particular, would we be charged any kind of import tax? What do you do about the need for a 'prescription' to be able to buy a machine?

You have to pay quite a bit to have the stuff sent by courier from one site I was looking at, so although the masks are cheaper and each customer is entitled to return one within 30 days of purchase, a mask wouldn't work out much cheaper if you were buying it on its own. However, I saw 'Sales' on well-known brands of CPAP machines at a fraction of the price they are available here so that even with $60 shipping, it would be worth it if you had intended to buy a new machine anyway.

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Sometimes the odd CPAP machine gets through to the UK, but the Respironics, Resmed (and I think Fisher & Paykel) are not allowed to be shipped internationally, so if any USA distributor was caught doing this, then I guess they'd be in deep trouble.  You're correct to say that there would be extra charges once the goods are received here in the UK, although sometimes they do escape the charging (it's the luck of the draw really in this respect).  I personally wouldn't purchase a machine from the USA because if a problem occurred it would be expensive to pay the return shipping.  I would always purchase here in the UK from the manufacturers themselves (and in fact I have done this in the past).

Oh well! I thought it might be worth a try but they obviously won't be giving an international guarantee if they are stopping price competition by effectively maintaining a US cartel. I could get someone I know in the US to let me use their address to get it shipped to, I suppose, but then I'd end up paying shipping twice and if they were shipping to the US they'd probably want a US prescription.

No I'm afraid we can't win Bernadette and the Australians have a worse time than us for high prices.  They would probably still give a guarantee, but of course you'd need to ship it back.  I wouldn't like to take that risk as things can go wrong with the machines, and if it does over here the manufacturers are very helpful.  We're lucky we can deal direct with them in the UK so get the best aftercare from the manufacturers themselves, so it's not all negative :)

It is a closed market for making  max money

Sometimes people die and a machine becomes available, these need a good clean

I have personaly percashed a sanaitiser for cpap or mayby the hospital will sanitise it for you

Advetise here if kath would allow they are available but difficult to find

Borrow a cpap take a photo with your drivers licence clearly readable together

Preferably with dvla restrictions

Good hunting in your quest for a cpap

thanks both. It looks like a no hoper. Not only was the machine I wanted much cheaper but it was a model I don't think is even available here. I can do without a spare but

If you do order anything from abroad make sure they stick a big label on it saying it is medical equipment and have the proper paperwork, otherwise you will have to pay taxes and duty on it.  Hardly worth buying a machine from over there as returning it can be costly, unless you go over there on a regular basis.

Hello,

I ordered a DreamStation Go Auto CPAP machine from the CPAP Shop in the US - as advised on the Philips US website.
The machine is not available in the UK and I wanted it for travelling - I have a DreamStation with humidifier from the NHS but it is large (enormous power block) and I did not want to damage it at airports/hotels. I sent them a copy of the letter my consultant gave me with the sleep apnea diagnosis to order. No problem.

The CPAP Shop replied: “I have forwarded your order to our technical department to have your machine programmed and shipped.”

The machines was sent using USPS - locally delivered by Parcel Force. I was kept informed by USPS and Parcel Force. Two days in customs. As the box was clearly labelled as “respiratory device for personal use” I did not pay import duties. (although you can claim them back).

The DreamStation Go was badly scratched on one side. I was alarmed as I did not know if a techical fault was present or would develop in the future. I did not expect this situation when you spend so much money - with three protective boxes undamaged. My view is that the machine was a returned/used item or that it was damaged when it was programmed by CPAP Shop techical department. There is no way anyone could have opened there well sealed boxes without leaving the slightest mark.

I contacted the CPAP Shop immediately and sent then a clear picture, asking for advice. I received a short blunt paragraph saying: “We have run across this situation before. The issue you are having is due to customs opening and inspecting every electronic device that arrives in the country. We will replace the machine if it does not work properly, however the replacement machine may come to you looking the same way this one does.”

enough said!

I hope the machine does not break down. In sum, it can be done, but please choose another company. Alternatively, you can go to Europe/US and have the machine shipped to your hotel (if they do not ship to the UK), or to a friend. Yes, the machines are cheaper but it is still a lot of money and it is not worth the risk. All machines will be available here sooner or later as it is a huge market with enormous profits.

Please note that DreamMapper does not work with DreamStation Go in the UK, only with the standard DreamStations.

Welcome to the forum N.  Sorry to hear about your experience, and in actual fact the USA Store have broken the rules sending the machine from the USA as they're not supposed to.  Although they can be cheaper, it can work out more expensive in the longrun if the machine breaks as the UK can't help when the product is an american version so it has to be returned back there for repair.  Hopefully, the machine will be fine though and it's just superficial damage.  It's a shame you needed it before the DreamStation Go was released here in the UK which I think will be soon.  When it is released then DreamMapper should work here.

N said:

Hello,

I ordered a DreamStation Go Auto CPAP machine from the CPAP Shop in the US - as advised on the Philips US website.............

Hello,

Yes, it is a very old fashioned way of doing business. Apple used to do the same years ago until they realised that people travel and use the Internet, and now all their products cost more or less the same globally. Furthermore, as we still have free movement of people and goods across the EU it is perfectly legitimate to buy products and move them across borders. To restrict trade when all CPAP machines do more or less the same job, is to give ample opportunity to other brands to capture the market. Anyway.  

My DreamStation Go Auto CPAP is working fine so far, The menu/software is the same as the larger version - although it does not have a humidifier - yet. It is very quiet, and the 6ft hose (12 mm) is tiny. It fits the Dreamwear mask perfectly. It has a small rubber adapter for any other mask, or you can use a standard 15mm or 22 mm hose.  When I carry it inside its case, it feels like holding one of those cases for 10 or 12 CDs that I used to buy years ago; incredibly light and well-built and without an external power block. It came with a “figure of 8” US plug cable, but you can buy one of those with a UK or European plug for a couple of pounds anywhere.

Having the Auto version is fine, although once you know the pressure you need I find CPAP machines quieter (and easier to ignore), when operating at the same pressure all night (after the ramp phase).

I will go travelling for a few weeks in South America next month - looking forward to enjoying my trip and having a good rest.

Will keep you posted.

It is the manufactures own rules, but they will not look at a machine bought overseas under warranty.

If you ask ResMed, they will only say that they will not honer any warranty if you buy a machine abroad.

They know that they can't stop you buying abroad, but they can make it difficult when things go wrong..

However, if you once lived overseas you would have a model bought there, so how they can enforce this rule is another matter.  I know of a few machines that have been sent from the USA, and I suppose you take a chance that they are trouble free for a few years.  There is a company sell lightly used second hand machines and send them all over from the US.

The back up machine I have here I think came from the US, but I don't expect it would be worth fixing if it went wrong.

Very interesting conversation; many thanks.

Philips says (website) the machines are expected to last about 5 years. We’ll see. 

I think that if you travel a lot and/or for extended periods you need something very portable. if you are away for the odd weekend, stay at the same place, or if you travel by car, the standard-size machines are perfect.

From my experience, the CPAP machines are not that different, what is really, really, important is finding the right mask for your therapy.

Update on DreamMapper: I sent an email to DreamMapper (as indicated in the App) with a pic of the back of the machine showing the serial number. They replied after a couple of days saying that I can now add my DreamStation Go Travel machine as a secondary device in the App.... very happy.

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