By Renée Magriel Roberts
In my December article I discussed some of the problems that we booksellers face in buying and selling overseas, with a specific focus on the expense and time involved in buying books from overseas sellers:
- Vendors may want payments in their own currencies, either by wire transfer or by bank draft in their own currency. Or, if they are in Canada or the USA, they may prefer EFT/ACH electronic payments. What is the simplest way to initiate these transactions?
- Third-party transactions in foreign currencies create timing issues. How can one guarantee that the exchange transaction will allow a reasonable profit?
- How can costly bank fees and unfavorable exchange rates be avoided?
- How can one eliminate the extra credit card charges incurred when dealing with foreign exchanges?
- Time is money in our industry. How can we avoid the long lines at the bank and the do-overs from processes that are not efficiently set up?
- How can we readily transfer funds between accounts in the USA and overseas at minimum expense and effort?
Taking control of our foreign affairs started out with just getting better information on the current and ever-changing exchange rates. We began by using XE.com. A free and easy-to-use site, XE.com launched its flagship service, "The Universal Currency Converter"®, to dynamically calculate exchange rates among all 193 of the world's currencies. The XE payment system used to make trades, which we will describe later in this article, supports the 15 major world currencies:
* AUD Australia Dollars, * CAD Canada Dollars, * CHF Switzerland Francs, * DKK Denmark Kroner, * EUR Euro, * GBP United Kingdom Pounds Sterling, * HKD Hong Kong Dollars, * JPY Japan Yen, * MXN Mexico Pesos, * NZD New Zealand Dollars, * NOK Norway Kroner, * SGD Singapore Dollars, * SEK Sweden Kronor, * USD United States Dollars, and * ZAR South Africa Rand.
Using XE.com is extremely easy. You just plug in an amount in one currency and pick the target currency; the Currency Converter displays the result and the exchange rate used in the calculation. In addition the Universal Currency Converter will display the so-called mid-market rates for many other currencies. You can readily bookmark this site and use it whenever you wish, and there is also a library of free web tools to integrate the technology into your own site as a customer service.