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> Buying goodies from Germany?, ...alittle bit confused
albertr
post Jul 21 2004, 01:20 PM
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Hello,

I'm sorry for off-topic, since it's not really Zaurus -related. Unfortunately, my Psion's mainboard died recently (it's running Linux, of course). Looking for a replacement Psion 5mx Pro mainboard, the only place I can get them seems to be Germany and www.ebay.de. I never had experience buying anything from private party in Germany (I live in the USA), but after contacting a few sellers, here's my observations:

- Almost no ebay sellers use PayPal or any other electronic payment systems in Germany. Nor do they accept credit card payments. They do accept cash of course, but it doesn't do any good for me, since I'm located in the USA.

- Not many people want to bother with shipping goods overseas. Ones who are willing to do so, quotes something like 25 - 30 Euros for shipping out Psion by regular parcel post. Is post service so expensive in Europe? I can send the same package from States to Germany for under $15....

Not to start flame war or something, but it's sorta interesting to see these little differences between USA and Europe... Would be interested to hear any comments from people who live in Germany. So far, getting goods from Germany's ebay doesn't seem like an easy thing to me, so many obstacles to overcome. But maybe I'm missing something?
-albertr
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waterzap
post Jul 21 2004, 01:59 PM
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- Having lived in both the US and Germany, here is the short version of the different systems.
- Yes, the post can be a bit expensive here. But I am sometimes very amazed at how fast you can get mail here.
- I am not sure if you can even use Paypal in Germany (register for it here??)
- Most transactions here are done by bank transfers (Ɯberweisung) You can do it from your bank website or from an ATM, it costs little or nothing, and is very secure.
- You type in your account and bank number, the amount that you want to send, and that is about it. Money is sent.
- Everything gets done this way. Bill payment, online sales, rent payment (everything you would do with a check in the US)
- There is just no need for Paypal if you have a system like this. Paypal fills the gap because in the US a system like this does not exists (you can do a money transfer, but it costs a bit)
- Checks are almost never used (I have NEVER used a check here to think of it)
- Credit cards are rarely used. Even big stores don't always accept credit cards (usually don't). Restaurants only sometimes (many only accept cash)
- Hotels and car rental companies (touristy places) do accept credit cards, but that is about it.
- In place of credit cards there is what is called an EC card (European Currency). More like a debit card, as the money is deducted from your account immediately. This is also just used for commerce in businesses. You cannot pay your neighbor with an EC card (never tried....)
- Cash is still king. You can pay a hotel room in cash, rent a car with cash (don't think you can do that in the US with cash. Need a credit or check card)

- So basically two different systems.
- If you need help paying some auctions, let me know.
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Pyrates
post Jul 21 2004, 02:28 PM
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Yeah, Paypal works as well, but it's really not so wide-spread at ebay germany...

Cheers
Philipp
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albertr
post Jul 21 2004, 06:01 PM
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waterzap,

Thanks for great explanation. It makes perfect sense to me now. I noticed that many transactions on ebay.de are being asked to be paid via domestic wire transfers, but I didn't know that it was so unexpensive and convenient in Germany.

I would appreciate any possible help with ebay.de auctions. I'll send you email offline.
-albertr
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waterzap
post Jul 21 2004, 10:35 PM
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waterzap@hotmail.com
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dhns
post Jul 22 2004, 12:17 AM
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QUOTE(waterzap @ Jul 21 2004, 10:59 PM)
- I am not sure if you can even use Paypal in Germany (register for it here??)
- Credit cards are rarely used. Even big stores don't always accept credit cards (usually don't). Restaurants only sometimes (many only accept cash)
- Hotels and car rental companies (touristy places) do accept credit cards, but that is about it.
- In place of credit cards there is what is called an EC card (European Currency). More like a debit card, as the money is deducted from your account immediately. This is also just used for commerce in businesses. You cannot pay your neighbor with an EC card (never tried....)

* EC cards (was originally the abbreviation or an Euro-Cheque) are compatible with Maestro (which I have used at the ATM with my German EC card in the US)
* But afaik you can't use that for the type of payment you indend to to.
* Credit cards are in use but they require the accepting person to be registered (and to pay a registration plus a monthly fee) so non-professional and small business resellers on eBay don't have this. And CC are seen to be too expensive for retailers (and even warehouses) so the number of accepting locations seems to decrease. They are rather common for mail-orders.
* PayPal is available (I think they just started some months ago) and it works internationally. They even know you are sitting in Germany if you have a .com mail address :-)
One important issue to take into account: the receiving person gets the transferred money less approx. 3-4% for international handling and/or credit card payments. So, please discuss that before with the receiving side.
* postal services (DHL etc.) are rather expensive if speed is important. I assume they have large rebates for large companies - but the non-profit or small business has to pay... Afaik fedex also charges some 30-50$ for shipment to europe within 1 week.

Hope this helps,
hns
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