It might seem obvious advice, but we suggest that in your payment options, you include cash as an option. It can often be less expensive to post cash by insured mail than to use PayPal, credit cards, bank drafts, bank (wire) transfers, and Western Union, and similar expensive means of making payments. It can also be quicker than waiting for a cheque to clear, and a lot more certain.
Country to Country
Much depends on which countries the buyer and seller are located in, and which currencies they have access to, and what currencies the seller is prepared to accept. It may also depend on whether you can get a good exchange rate deal if necessary.
Our company is based in the UK. Naturally, we accept cash payment in pounds sterling (£ / GBP), although there are now anti-money laundering rules, but these only affect large payments for large amounts (about £10,000; €15,000, or the equivalent). If somebody want to collect and pay in cash, we never object. Similarly if a buyer wants something quickly, we are happy for them to send cash by post. In the UK, Royal Mail's Special Delivery (previously called Registered) gives insurance for three levels up to £2,500 per packet.
As we make a lot of sales to the Eurozone, and to the USA, we are also quite happy for buyers from these countries to pay in either US dollars or euros. We also offer better exchange rates than those offered by banks, credit card companies, PayPal, and bureau de change. Basically we charge about 1% for our foreign exchange risk and administrative work. Most banks charge about 5%.
OK, we then have the problem of carrying a cash float in at least three currencies, and getting rid of any excess.
To do this, we offer to sell foreign exchange, and also use it to pay for some of our purchases, speaking of which...
Don't Make It Difficult For Your Customers
We realise that many small traders and individuals will not find it convenient to accept cash payments in foreign currencies, especially if they were selling their items to raise cash to spend, however even private individuals often need foreign currency for holidays, and accepting it for eBay and other payments is a cheaper way to get it than buying it at the airport.
We were amazed recently when we bought a gold proof set from a seemingly large US gold dealer, who offers many items on eBay. First we were surprised because an apparently big dealer could not offer postal insurance for more than $750. We suggested sending in two insured packets (yes we know three would make it fully covered). Then we were more surprised when we suggested us posting cash (almost $2,400) by insured mail, and the dealer replied to say they would not accept such a large amount of cash by post! Why, for goodness sake! Why make life so difficult for your customers? An international bank transfer costs us about £40 / $70, so we thought the seller was being rather stupid, unhelpful and unreasonable. We decided to post the cash to their bank with a letter asking the bank to credit the amount to the dealers bank account, and quoting our eBay username and the item number. As we write this, we are waiting to hear whether this works, or creates any problems.
Return to Sender
Only a week or so after we posted our cash to the vendors bank, we noticed the item we had bought had been relisted, then we received a bank check for the amount sent. We wrote on several asking the vendor why, but received no answer. We will not give the member's ebay username, but he is a bullion dealer from San Diego! We cannot understand the policy of bank transfer only for overseas buyers. We could understand that he might be reluctant to accept credit card or PayPal payments, and foreign cheques can take a long time to clear, but once the payment was safely received by his bank, it seems absolutely stupid to return it. Why make it so difficult for overseas buyers to pay you in cleared funds?
As the vendor could still not be bothered to respond to our e-mails, in early December we gave him a rare negative feedback. When we get some spare time, we will add a page about the whole deal, or should that be non-deal on one of our websites.
Nobody Wants US Dollars
As we have already stated above, we accept payment in numerous currencies including US dollar bills. We are a UK dealer, but we accept greenbacks, why can't US dealers accept them?<BR>
If they are so hard to shift, perhaps we had better stop accepting them, and we still had about $20,000 at the last count. Buying from the USA seems (or seemed) like a sensible way to recycle them.
We still cannot believe that the dealer in question thinks $2,400 is a "large amount", and too much to accept in cash. Buy anything from us, and we will be happy to accept any amount of cash you wish to spend, (subject to identification to comply with money laundering regulations). Add an zero. Add two or three zeros if you wish. We will be delighted to count it!
Source, Author & Copyright.
Written by Lawrence Chard of Chard Coins. Any images and text are copyright and remain our intellectual property.
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