Arrgh! An eBay seller in Germany want cash in Euros and I'm in the US!

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by KeithH, Nov 15, 2003.

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  1. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now Thread Starter

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    The moral of this story upfront is: Ask an overseas eBay seller how he or she accepts payment before bidding. :rolleyes:

    I won a CD from a seller on ebay.de who stated on his auction page that he ships internationally. As most sellers I encouter on ebay.de do not have a PayPal account, I send cash in US dollars (I've never had a problem). For my latest find, I didn't consider asking the seller how I could pay before placing a bid. Now that I won the CD, the seller asked that I send him 20 Euros in cash. When I asked if I could send the cash equivalent in US dollars, he said no because he would have to go to a bank "in the city" and pay a fee for the conversion to Euros. He also is not set up for PayPal. So, I went out to my two local banks this morning (both in the suburbs) hoping to convert US dollars to Euros.

    Not surprisingly, I was unsuccessful. :( Both banks said that they could order me Euros, but one bank charges $15 and the other charges $17.50 for the service. Also, both banks said it would take a week for the Euros to arrive. I have no interest in shelling out around $40 (the money I owe the seller plus the bank fee) to get 20 Euros. One bankteller told me to try AAA, so I called over there, and they said that they only have Euros in "travel packs", and the smallest pack contains 78 Euros. That is not an option.

    I know that I could do the conversion to Euros at the airport, but I am not going to make a special trip, and I have no business travel lined up for awhile. So, I have written the seller asking him for suggestions, and I have asked him to look into PayPal.

    Any suggestions? I know that my bid is a contract, so if I absolutely have to bite the bullet and get Euros through the bank, I will. Hopefully I can resolve this with the seller another way.

    :(
     
  2. joachim.ritter

    joachim.ritter Senior Member

  3. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff

    Location:
    US
    That's one reason why I like to stick to Paypal sellers only. ;) In fact, there was one auction where I'd won that four-track Steely Dan EP from the UK, and I ended up paying for it in pounds, with Paypal handling the conversion. Fortunately it was Paypal...had I overlooked it and they didn't take it, I would have been stuck.

    It doesn't cost the banks that much to get ahold of Euros. Like any bank, they love to (over)charge for services.
     
  4. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    Location:
    ohio
    never ever forget, banks are in business to make money, and they do it in every possible way that they can. if they can make money getting you euros, by george they will, as much as they possibly can.
     
  5. peterC

    peterC Aussie Addict

    Location:
    sydney
    I found a mint Elvis 24K Hits! on ebay last year for a fantastic price, around $40 I think, from a German seller. The seller said he accepted paypal but then he had a problem with his paypal account. He asked for cash (euros) to be sent. I was hesitant of course. After a few very friendly and courteous emails he offered to send the CD first and I could send the cash after I received the CD. I agreed without thinking about the difficulties of sending cash! Anyway the CD arrived in mint condition and so I had no option of course but to honour my part of the deal. In the end after paying bank fees and postage 2 ways I paid about $65!

    Still worth it of course!
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now Thread Starter

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I am not at all surprised that the bank charges a ridiculous fee for obtaining Euros.


    Joachim,

    I'll be in touch. Thanks!
     
  7. Joe Koz

    Joe Koz Prodigal Bone Brother™ In Memoriam

    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Just a thought, have you tried a currency exchange? They maybe cheaper than a bank. I'd call around, you have nothing to lose.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now Thread Starter

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    Joe, I have thought about it but haven't pursued it. However, Joachim has offered to help out.
     
  9. JonUrban

    JonUrban SHF Member #497

    Location:
    Connecticut
    If you use BidPay, don't they send in the proper currency?
     
  10. joachim.ritter

    joachim.ritter Senior Member

    I believe BidPay doesn't send Euro money orders. Cashing (international) money orders or cheques is very expensive here in Germany. That type of payment is almost unknown in (large parts of) Europe.

    Paying for an eBay auction in Germany usually means direct transfer of money from bank account to bank account.

    Joachim
     
  11. Claude

    Claude Senior Member

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    This won't help US bidders, but it's worth knowing for those who live in the Euro zone: Auctions on Ebay.de have become much more interesting since July 2003, because banks are obliged by a EU directive to offer international (Euro zone) transfers at the same price as national transfers.

    A bank transfer from Luxembourg to Germany cost 10 Euro before, now it is 0.20 Euro. Finally I can bid on CDs on Ebay.de. I had to limit myself to Paypal sellers on Ebay.com and Ebay.co.uk before.

    It's strange that so few sellers on Ebay.de ship abroad (a lot accept when asked though) and accept Paypal. There seems to be no rational reason for this.
     
  12. joachim.ritter

    joachim.ritter Senior Member

    Many sellers feel that their English is too bad (there is no German version of the Paypal website) and/or don't have credit cards. Another reason are the pretty high Paypal fees for sellers.

    Joachim
     
  13. JonUrban

    JonUrban SHF Member #497

    Location:
    Connecticut
    I checked BidPay. The currently will do UK Pound Sterling, and they claim that "other currencies are coming soon!

    This feature is currently available for sellers in the UK only. We’ll be offering additional payout options to sellers in other countries in the future, so come back to http://www.bidpay.com/UK_Seller_Info.asp often.
     
  14. joachim.ritter

    joachim.ritter Senior Member

    If a cheque is in Euros and no foreign bank is involved there are no or rather low cashing fees. That would of course help.

    The cheque still has to be brought to the bank - and many people here in Germany use online banking and (almost) never go to their bank.

    Joachim
     
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