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Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 17:11
Just wondering how people pay for stuff they buy overseas... Last time I paid for some US freight I used PayPal for the transaction. I think they charged something like 2.5% for the transaction / conversion.
I have paid for other stuff directly with a credit card and I always wind up with an additional overseas bank transaction fee of about 3%.
What is the cheapest way you have found to pay for overseas goods?
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 17:14
Purchasing with PayPal cost the seller about 2.5%. You, as a buyer only pay the price of the item.
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 17:18
Think I found the problem...
Free when the full amount comes from PayPal balance or bank account.
2.4% + $0.30 AUD when the money comes from a credit or debit card. The sender decides who pays this fee.
I have my credit card linked to PayPal, I think I need to link a bank account instead to avoid the 2.4%
Does anyone have PayPal linked to an account that can confirm this before I link it?
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 17:41
We actually always use the credit card with paypal and I haven't noticed any difference in credit card fees (none).
Paypal is, IMO, the cheapest way to pay for overseas stuff. I have been hit so many times with mystery US$25 going missing when paying by TT (international bank transfer) and this is AFTER the AU$20 my bank chargers. These are to China and there is a New York bank that appears to take their share - no matter who I pay in China.
On this subject (slightly) people grizzle about dealing with China. I just bought another two 53.4V 3A chargers as spares directly from the manufacturer. They went halves on the bank fees (my bank) then the US$25 went missing (I'd forgotten about that again). I asked (intensely) if there was another way for me to pay as I didn't want to incur more fees just paying for the last lot of fees - they dropped the US$25 (it was a US$98 transaction incl. US$53 for DHL shipping) and just asked if on my next order I could remember to allow for it.
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 18:06
Wow that is a lot of fees... I placed a few orders with Strange Engineering in the US and I only ever got charged a 3% US bank fee every time (not sure if this was currency conversion of a credit card fee) and no additional fees from my bank. Same when I bought the wheels from Centerline.
I had the wheels sent to a freight fowarder since Centerline wanted US$480 for just freight to Oz. I then decided to try PayPal to pay the freight forwarder for the freight back to Australia.
I thought it worked out slightly cheaper using my credit card through PayPal than paying directly with the credit card, again no bank fees from my bank.
What I am still slightly confused about is will PayPal still slug me +2% in currency conversion if I use direct debit from my bank account?
When I use the PayPal currency convertor right now I see
PayPal exchange rate:
1 AUD = 0.909891 USD
but looking at my Windows desktop currency convertor it is showing
.93810 I dont know if the difference is because I am currently linked to a credit card of if they intend to charge me this regardless.
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 18:15
Every transaction I have ever done overseas with paypal has had terrible exchange rates - about 2% low. I don't think it's anything to do with credit cards.
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 18:18
ok but your using a credit card like me, can anyone using just a bank account confirm if the conversion rate is somewhere around 2-3% lower like shown above?
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 18:30
Our paypal default is bank account and we always change it to credit card (because it won't stick). I bought something from the UK on the 14th Sep 2010 (Tuesday) for 24GBP and forgot to change to credit card and they gave me...
At the time the rate was about 0.61.
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 19:12
Ahh ok well there is no gain then since I don't get charged any fees from my bank on top of the PayPal conversion, thanks Johny.
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 19:44
EV2Go wrote:but looking at my Windows desktop currency convertor it is showing
.93810 I dont know if the difference is
Almost certainly your "Windows desktop currency converter" is quoting the so-called "cross rate" which is the raw exchange rate. This will be the rate banks and countries get, probably best to think of it as the "wholesale" rate. I've never actually checked, but I believe that if you convert from AUD to another currency using the cross rate and then back to AUD using the reverse cross rate, you should end up with the same figure you started with, ie there is no margin in that at all. Obviously, no-one would be bothered doing this business if there wasn't a margin in it, but equally obviously, it pays for us the consumers to hunt around for the best margin we can find.
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 19:45
Heres a thought... Looking at my banks exchange rates they are much more favorable than PayPal, is it worth buying US dollars off the bank and sending them as US dollars to the states?
as at 17/09 12:20 (EST)
1 AUS Dollar =
FX Buy Sell
USD 0.9452 0.9338
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 20:36
Johny wrote: I have been hit so many times with mystery US$25 going missing when paying by TT (international bank transfer) and this is AFTER the AU$20 my bank chargers.
I wonder if eventually the Chinese suppliers will just quote their prices in Yuan, and we TT to a Chinese bank, and avoid the New York extortion fee altogether.
Presumably the Chinese bank will want a cut, but since our bank will deal with the Chinese bank directly, the fee can be known in advance and factored into the initial deal.
The Chinese bank might be more competitive than the faceless New York bank as well.
Surely the US market isn't more than half the total world market, so there is no need to convert to US$ and then to Yuan. Every conversion costs efficiency, just like in EVs
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 20:41
Poor coulomb don't you realise the world revolves around the US. The US may not be a produce half of the worlds goods but they probably go close to consuming half.
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 21:37
Ok I am one step closer... Been on the phone to the bank and they said I would be better off opening another account like the one I have but open it with US$ as the currency, that way I can transfer money from one to the other and link PayPal to it. That way when PayPal takes the money out it is already in US$ and doesn't require conversion at their crappy rate.
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 22:04
Great idea. I was about to ask about an hour ago (then lost internet access to AVEA) how you would overcome that paypal thinks in the $ you started it in - that solves it.
Posted: Fri, 17 Sep 2010, 23:13
Got an email from the bank... Didn't really want to keep min $1000 in a zero interest bearing account but... Also doesn't look usable for a direct deposit into US accounts without fees. About the only thing it is good for is linking to PayPal.
"There is an opening deposit on this account of USD$1,000.00. There is also a monthly fee on this account of AUD$10.00, if the average monthly balance falls below the equivalent of AUD$1,000.00. Currently this account is paying 0%p.a. Interest, however this is an Annual Variable Rates and is subject to change.
This account is suitable to hold funds here in Australia in another currency, however there is limited access to this account. You would be unable to access this account through xxxxxx branches overseas, as we do operate as separate businesses in each country. This bank account is also not directly linked to an ATM card. The main way to deposit and withdraw funds would be via Internet Banking and Telegraphic Transfers (TT).
If you are depositing funds via TT already held in USD, then there is a fee of AUD$10.00 + 1.00% (minimum of AUD$10 and maximum of AUD$200) of the deposit amount. If you are sending funds from your USD Foreign Currency account to an Australian or overseas bank account in USD, then there would be a fee of AUD$25.00 + 0.25% (maximum of AUD$200) of the transfer amount. If you choose to transfer funds between xxxxxx Australia accounts, then only the current exchange rate would apply."
Posted: Sat, 18 Sep 2010, 15:27
For small amounts both Paypal or bank issued credit cards will take about a 3% commission on the conversion.
No one ever gets the dollar rate as shown on the currency market rates. There are always commissions or conversion charges somewhere.
Posted: Sun, 19 Sep 2010, 03:05
The only card I have used where I dont get charged a separate 2% fee (which is actually the fee charged by Mastercard and VISA) is the wizard clear advantage mastercard.
the contract documents of all my other cards show the foreign transaction fees as being:
1.75% for A$ sent to another country
2.5% for any other currency sent to another country.
have never tried linking paypal to a bank account (nor would I, theres no recourse to reverse a transaction).
Posted: Wed, 22 Sep 2010, 04:56
Decided against opening a USD currency account the $25 + .25% makes it unfeasable since the difference between the bank exchange rates and PayPal exchange rates is only 1.8%. Did a few quick calculations using $500 as a generic figure 500 X 1.018 = $509 so unless every transaction was well over $1000 it wouldn't be worth it.
Posted: Mon, 15 Nov 2010, 16:54
I have serious concerns about use of PayPal service. I have been trying to claim back the shipping for the last parcel that didn't turn up. Because the freight forwarder has provided them a valid shipping notification (not the right one for the parcel) they are telling me that they will not refund my money.
I have just provided them with 3rd party proof that freight forwarder is not above board, so we will see what happens. If they come back saying that they still won't give me it back, I will be posting the email thread here as a warning to all that PayPal is not a reliable service.
Posted: Mon, 15 Nov 2010, 19:32
You're not on your own there EV2Go, document everything and take screen dumps direct from your PayPal dispute window, they like to rewrite history. I am being shafted by PayPal at the moment over a failed to receive transaction with a fraudulent China solar provider. They have provided PayPal with a shipping docket that actually belongs to another claim that has already been processed. They themselves appear to be up to some questionable practices opening up a second claim under my name and calling it "Goods not as described" and then telling me that they don't cover items not as described. If they don't get their act together very soon I will be putting the Fair Trading and other govt agency I can get interested on their tail. Paypal buyer protection is not what it appears to be.
Posted: Mon, 15 Nov 2010, 19:52
Like the freight forwarder I will give them fair chance to do the right thing before I open a can of whoop ass. But I can assure you of this, if they stitch me up for the postage it will be the last time I use PayPal.
Posted: Mon, 15 Nov 2010, 22:22
dont bother trying to get a refund through paypal, they won't wawnt to make your loss their loss.
use your credit cards anti fraud feautures instead (they also wont charge you fees for the privilege)
Posted: Tue, 16 Nov 2010, 20:26
PayPal have reopened the case after I provided proof from a US detective that they were under investigation and that my item may have already been ceased by the USPS, so they may not even have it to send.
Will see how they go. Some of this was my fault as I responded to a do not respond email (didn't see it at the bottom in tiny print) so they never got my response saying that the tracking number was not for this parcel, so they concluded if favour of the freight forwarder based on the freight forwarders tracking number assuming it was valid.
The PayPal CSR that took my call and escalated the case should have put in their case notes that I said that it wasn't a valid tracking number for the disputed order.
Anyway will see how they go, but it is sort of good to hear that people have these sorts of issues and raises awareness for other potential PayPal users. Even if there isn't fire where there's smoke, it good to know that there was smoke that may or may not have been resolved.
Posted: Thu, 18 Nov 2010, 03:21
T1 Terry wrote: You're not on your own there EV2Go, document everything and take screen dumps direct from your PayPal dispute window, they like to rewrite history. I am being shafted by PayPal at the moment over a failed to receive transaction with a fraudulent China solar provider. They have provided PayPal with a shipping docket that actually belongs to another claim that has already been processed. They themselves appear to be up to some questionable practices opening up a second claim under my name and calling it "Goods not as described" and then telling me that they don't cover items not as described. If they don't get their act together very soon I will be putting the Fair Trading and other govt agency I can get interested on their tail. Paypal buyer protection is not what it appears to be.
Looks like I may get a win after all, they have decided to reopen the case after reviewing all the screen dumps I sent them. Here's hoping my faith in PayPal is restored and I have to take back all I said.