eBay / PayPal and Currency Conversion

I love it how big evil corporations (and by golly eBay counts as that) try to make more money by offering to be your friend. When you buy items on ebay in a forgein currency and try and pay for them using paypal you have two options for how to convert the currency.

The default option is to have PayPal convert the cost to your native currency and charge you that amount. They give lots of nice helpful reasons for this, mainly coming down to the fact that you shouldn’t trust your credit card company to be nice and that by converting with PayPal you know up front how much its going to cost.

The other option, spoken on in much negative language is let your credit card company do the conversion for you. This is the option I always go with. Despite the conventional wisdom to the oposite, your credit card company isn’t all that evil. Just now I brought my self a beautiful black bordered german Bayou, card + shipping came to the reasonable sum of $USD48.00. The lovely friendly people at PayPal were going to use a conversion rate of .9336, which doesn’t sound to bad, as practicle rates are always below the market rates (currently .9567). The terrible shady types at my credit card company are going to use a rate of .9563, although history tells me that when the transaction is finalised (currently I’m working out that number based on the difference between my balance, limit and available limit) that will be shifted down slightly, but not by much.

So PayPal wants to screw me over to the sum of 2.3c / USD, thats nice of them isn’t it.

Remember people, always check out your options. The nicer someone talks, the meaner they are.


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