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  #1  
Old 09-03-2017, 05:31 PM
Baker Baker is offline
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How do I purchase something from another country, in their currency?

So call me ignorant. But I saw onlinw an item from Germany I'd like to buy, and the price is listed in Euros.

How do I pay for it? Do I need to do it through a bank?
  #2  
Old 09-03-2017, 05:36 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Buy it with a credit card. They will do the conversion for you.
  #3  
Old 09-03-2017, 05:37 PM
Aspidistra Aspidistra is offline
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Paypal will do the conversion for you too, if they take that.
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Old 09-03-2017, 05:38 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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If the merchant takes credit cards, you may be able to buy the item that way. Depending on your credit card company, though, you may have to pay a currency conversion fee. The best way to get the right answer would be to contact the vendor and explain what you want to do.
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Old 09-03-2017, 05:40 PM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
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Buy it through PayPal, they too convert it for you. For big stuff you can go to a bank and ask them to exchange your money for a type of cheque or draft issued by them in the other currency.


They charge for this.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:02 PM
wolfpup wolfpup is offline
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Since almost all online purchases are by credit card, this should typically be almost no different than buying domestically, hence the world of global commerce that we live in. As mentioned, the card company does the currency conversion (at a rate preferential to them, of course, but that's life).

I do this all the time. The things to watch out for are (a) that the vendor actually does ship internationally, (b) whether there are exorbitant international shipping fees or other charges, and (c) what your obligations might be to pay duties and taxes on it. Usually there are exemptions for duties below some dollar amount of declared value.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:59 PM
Riemann Riemann is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
If the merchant takes credit cards, you may be able to buy the item that way. Depending on your credit card company, though, you may have to pay a currency conversion fee. The best way to get the right answer would be to contact the vendor and explain what you want to do.
A German retailer will be able to tell you the forms of payment he accepts, but he won't know anything about the charges you will incur along the way, any more than a typical US retailer would be able to advise a German buyer on this.

The credit card networks (MC, Visa, Amex) work off a base exchange rate. In my experience, the Mastercard rate is usually very close to the interbank rate for major currencies, i.e. there is no fee at all "built in" to the network rate. Then the specific credit card provider usually adds a foreign transaction fee that will be stated in the terms and conditions of your credit card. You will get the best possible effective rate using a Mastercard from a provider that charges no fee for international transactions - e.g. HSBC Premier World MC, if you or a friend has one.

But in any event, unless you're talking about thousands of dollars, don't worry about it too much - none of the major credit cards really rip you off on forex, you are unlikely to pay more than 3%.

Last edited by Riemann; 09-03-2017 at 07:03 PM.
  #8  
Old 09-03-2017, 07:12 PM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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The bigger question is how it's going to get to you. Are you trying to buy something from Germany to be shipped to Germany or to be shipped to you, presumably outside of Germany?

If a German e-tailer supports international shipping, they'll usually support some kind of currency conversion on site. Otherwise, they might not want to deal with the hassle of international shipping.
  #9  
Old 09-03-2017, 08:06 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is online now
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Use a credit card but tell your bank. Once I made an online purchase from a merchant in Australia (Atlassian) and my bank froze my card because they had no record that I was traveling to Australia.
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  #10  
Old 09-04-2017, 01:01 AM
Baker Baker is offline
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Thanks for all the replies.

What I'm wanting to buy is a very small item, stated price seven Euros. I'll contact the vendor and ask what forms of payment they accept.
  #11  
Old 09-04-2017, 02:48 AM
Dereknocue67 Dereknocue67 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Use a credit card but tell your bank. Once I made an online purchase from a merchant in Australia (Atlassian) and my bank froze my card because they had no record that I was traveling to Australia.
It's also preferable to use a card with no foreign transaction fee if you have one.
  #12  
Old 09-04-2017, 05:27 AM
Fleetwood Fleetwood is online now
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There are fees involved, but if your bank does foreign exchange, you can probably buy a cashiers check or similar instrument in foreign funds.
  #13  
Old 09-04-2017, 05:41 AM
Lord Feldon Lord Feldon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleetwood View Post
There are fees involved, but if your bank does foreign exchange, you can probably buy a cashiers check or similar instrument in foreign funds.
This is overly involved. It's a small retail purchase, not a land deal.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 09-04-2017 at 05:41 AM.
  #14  
Old 09-04-2017, 06:03 AM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Feldon View Post
This is overly involved. It's a small retail purchase, not a land deal.
yes, this is getting way too complicated for a $20 purchase. Only on the Dope

The answer to the OP is simple:
You buy online in euros just like you do in dollars: Give 'em your credit card number and your mailing address. Then sit back and wait--everything else* is done automatically.

But do make sure the seller knows the procedures and the costs of shipping internationally.



(*your credit card will covert the currency, subtracting dollars from your account and putting them as euros into the seller's account.
And the seller will use his post Office or Fedex to ship, maybe filling out an additional form for customs. )

Last edited by chappachula; 09-04-2017 at 06:06 AM.
  #15  
Old 09-04-2017, 07:46 AM
Isilder Isilder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
So call me ignorant. But I saw onlinw an item from Germany I'd like to buy, and the price is listed in Euros.

How do I pay for it? Do I need to do it through a bank?

You can just use your credit card.


Your card company may use a poor conversion rate.

And it may be that either your credit card company or bank (if its a bank issued/account linked card) charges a fee for "international transaction". It seems some banks are charging that even when paypal promised to do the transfer between your credit card company and paypal in your country - paypal tell your credit card company why , and the company sees its going off to some other country - thats international and a fee applies !. Just because they saw the info paypal put on the transaction.
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