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Old 05-15-2010, 11:31 AM   #1
Abecedary
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International service fee for Kobo purchases?

I was just balancing my checkbook and I noticed that I was charged an international service fee for my purchase from Kobobooks last month. Now, I realize this extra charge is entirely dependent on the CC company and their terms, but I found it kind of curious since I was never charged the fee before when the company was operating as Shortcovers. It's the same CC as I used before, and to the best of my knowledge the "international fee" terms haven't changed. Does anyone know if Kobo set themselves up differently when they changed from Shortcovers?

I think it's something that people should be aware of, especially now that Kobo has launched their parnership with Borders in the US. Depending on your CC, you may end up tacking on an extra buck or two to every book purchase made through the Kobo site.
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
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I've been charged that too, but nowhere near a buck or two. I paid more like 1%, around 10cents.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:06 PM   #3
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Yep, Kobo has been charging me too, but I assumed it was an exchange-rate thing (I could be wrong). Back when they still had coupons and discounts I found the extra charges less objectionable than I do now.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
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I get charged an international transaction fee when I purchase ebooks from UK and US ebookstores which is usually a few cents so its the CC company to blame.
Except for Amazon where you get charged $2 (even if you download with your PC) and an international transaction fee
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Old 05-16-2010, 03:12 AM   #5
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I don't think it's an "international fee" - it's most likely VAT or sales tax. I just checked my last Kobo purchase, and sure enough they seem to have added French VAT of 19.6% to the price of the book. (Still cheaper than the Sony store in the US, though.) They've never asked me for an address, so I suppose they're using the IP address you log in from to determine what rate to charge you.

I've long suspected that the Sony store simply doesn't want to deal with foreign VAT rates and that's why they rely on either the billing address of the credit card you use or the physical address you give them when paying by gift card.
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abecedary View Post
Does anyone know if Kobo set themselves up differently when they changed from Shortcovers?
I haven't seen any such fee on my Kobo purchases - all after the switch, starting in late February (though the last was early April, so things may have changed in the intervening month). Credit card & IP are both in the US.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:36 PM   #7
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OK, I never paid attention to this before, but just this weekend made my first every purchases from Kobo and my credit card is showing a foreign exchange transaction fee for each of the 4 purchases. No, it's not much...but I didn't realize this was going on. Is this normal for US Residents? My location, internet provided, and credit card are all US.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:33 PM   #8
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It is a fee your US bank charges, not Kobo (which is located in Canada). Welcome to our world. Many of our banks charge similar fees when we Canadians purchase from the US. US banks seem especially fond of doing this, btw, when the US dollar is relatively weak against a currency like the CA or AU dollar, both of which have been flirting with par for the last little while.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:18 PM   #9
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Wow, I just checked my bank account and there it is. I'm not too happy because it means that I have to limit my purchases. I skate very close to the edge of my book budget as it is.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:53 PM   #10
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When I purchase in a currency other than US Dollars a fee is charged by my bank/card issuer for conversion fees.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:02 PM   #11
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As taming pointed out, it is your credit card policy and nothing to do with Kobo. The actual purchase is exactly as described and paid in your local currency (and probably free of any otherwise attachable local taxes). Your credit card company is choosing to make YOU bear what it sees as "additional fees" for handling your business.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:07 PM   #12
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Some credit card companies don't charge foreign transaction fees. Your mileage will vary from country to country. Depending on how many purchases you make abroad, it might be worth getting such a card.

Here are a couple of links that might be useful:

http://money.blogs.time.com/2011/01/...-disappearing/


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/tr...n%20fee&st=cse
(No. 6 covers credit cards.)

When going abroad, I just leave the credit cards that charge transaction fees at home.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:03 PM   #13
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Mine is 3%, but fortunately I rarely buy from Kobo because I find their site unwieldy. I think it's only the second international purchase I've made ever and I don't plan on buying much from them, so it's not worth it for me to try to get another credit card to use.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie Leung View Post
Some credit card companies don't charge foreign transaction fees.
Foreign currency conversion will ALWAYS incur a fee. Some companies charge an explicit fee; others do so in the form of a less favourable exchange rate. But there will always be a charge one way or the other.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:56 AM   #15
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I understand it somewhat for items that have to be shipped, but these are ebooks. The site is in USD, not Canadian $. There should be no exchange fee.
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