Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

Foreign Transaction Fees

Now that credit card companies are charging extra fees for foreign transactions, you need to know where online companies are physically located. For example, did you know that Abebooks, an online aggregator of bookstores, is based in Canada? We found out when we bought books from them and found our credit card statement littered with foreign transaction fees. The ironic thing is that the book actually shipped from the U.S. (from Amazon.com, in fact). Of course, there’s not much Abebooks can do about this, but you need to calculate the extra costs into the transaction to see whether you’re still getting a good deal.

Comments from old site

Amazon.com charges credit cards directly

Hi Vinod. I work in the online book industry. If you bought the book from the Amazon.com website, they charge credit cards directly, rather than passing it along to Marketplace/zShops booksellers. The charges couldn’t have been generated by Abebooks, because they never got your credit card information.

Is it possible that (1) you bought the book directly from Abebooks, rather than Amazon.com, (2) you bought the book from a non-US Amazon.com site (e.g. Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk), or (3) that the foreign transaction fees are for something altogether different?

Unregistered Visitor 2006-02-14 16:52:21

Yes, I bought directly from Abebooks

Sorry if I wasn’t clear about that. I didn’t buy from Amazon.com. As I said in the post, I bought online on the Abebooks.com website. The book just happened to come “packaged” in an Amazon cardboard box.

Vinod Kurup 2006-02-14 17:18:24

Abe CC

This will be more and more of an issue as Abebooks moves to process the credit card transactions for all of their booksellers.

You can be an American buyer purchasing from an American seller and still pay the 2-3% surcharge solely because ABE is in Canada.

Unregistered Visitor 2006-02-17 22:56:00