How John saves money on Euro sales with Currencies Direct
I was chatting to my mate John Pemberton a few days ago and he told me how he’s been steadily expanding his cross border trade. Amazon however threw up a problem by insisting that he have a Eurozone bank account if he wanted to sell into Spain and Italy. John agreed to tell Tamebay readers how he’s now using Currencies Direct for overseas banking and saving money at the same time:
I recently approached Currencies Direct as I’m expanding our retail operation on Amazon and will be selling to Spain and Italy. Amazon currently do not allow sales payments to be transferred to a UK bank account in these two territories, so we looked into alternative ways to open a European bank account. Dealing direct with the banks is a bit of a minefield, and extremely difficult to do.
When I came across Currencies Direct, they explained how we could have our Euro payments from Spain and Italy credited into a current account operated by them. In addition we could also have payments generated in Amazon Germany and France also credited into the same account. I jumped at the opportunity as the rates offered by them are far better than the wholesale rate provided by Amazon. We worked out the difference in the rate meant that we got back an extra 2% on our sales price on all items sold on Amazon in Euros which is quite a chunk.
To set up the Euro account took only a few days – as a limited company I provided Currencies Direct with some basic company information through an online form. A few days later, an email and a phone call confirmed my acceptance.
Once our Currencies Direct account was set up they supplied banking details for us to use which I added to our Amazon banking page. A couple of weeks later I received an email with confirmation of my credits (in Euros) of the payments Currencies Direct had received. I could then decide whether to keep the money there, or have it transferred into my UK bank account.
A few months later, I was introduced to the concept of hedging – where I can secure a better rate for future credits that I knew were coming. It’s still early days, and I am learning about the best ways to manage this but again I was impressed with the options open to me. Currencies Direct are always looking at ways to maximise my money.
I was impressed with the professionalism, and support at each stage from Currencies Direct. I fully recommend them to anyone selling on overseas marketplaces, after all they save me money and provide a good service – what more could one want?
For anyone selling on Amazon EU, would recommend using these services. I use World First, but sure there isn’t much difference. I earn and additional £400-£500 a month as the rates are better than given from Amazon. Plus it better for us to have all payments from European sale going to one account as easier to work out income for a lump payment.
I wasn’t sure at first but with the decision that I wanted to expand into amazon IT/ES I had no choice, but turned out to be great.
We use Currencies direct and can’t fault them at all.
our .es account is reconciled 1 week before the other 3 so we leave it with currencies direct till they have all 4 payments and then transfer them all at once.
We did ask Amazon if they could reconcile the .es account 1 week later so that they would happen at the same time but apparently its impossible!!!
How secure are these accounts, are they covered in case the company go broke?
Is there a minimum amount you need to withdraw/transfer to your uk bank account for it to be free?
Thanks, this is useful.
On a similar theme, has anyone figured out a way to avoid PayPal’s outrageous currency conversion charges?
On researching this, I discovered that if you sell e.g. to a German eBay buyer by listing directly on eBay.de in Euros, you will receive Euros into your PayPal balance.
All fine and good and you would think that it would be possible to withdraw these euros which are theoretically your own property into a Euro bank account (e.g. with a UK bank).
In fact PayPal do not allow you to withdraw these Euros, you are forced to convert them into Sterling and only then can you withdraw them. They charge an outrageous 2.5% spread on this conversion.
Then you might think you could open a second PayPal account denominated in Euros and perhaps link it to one of these Currencies Direct accounts. Well this is possible but if you go to say the PayPal France account setup form, it requires a French address.
So you need a French business address (perhaps just a PO box?) to link to this second Euro PayPal account before you can receive and withdraw Euro funds without paying this outrageous spread.
I view this as a deliberate and calculated PayPal strategy to force sellers to not only pay their unavoidable transaction fee but to further shear the sheep by overcharging on the currency conversion.
Have any of you managed to avoid these fees?