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Old 03-15-2011, 01:22 PM   #46
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:23 PM   #47
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I was willing - somewhat - to deal with the transaction fee. But the state sales tax??! How am I being charged a sales tax when Kobo is located and delivering from Canada? If I buy a book from Amazon I do not get charged a state sales tax because Amazon is not located in my state and does not have a physical presence in my state (well, lack of state since I don't live in a state). There is no reason I can find for me to be charged this fee.
Can't find it just now, but there was an article in Sunday's NY Times about the battles Amazon is having over sales tax. They are even threatening to pull warehouse facilities out of some areas because the states are coming after them to collect sales taxes on sales within those states.

If Kobo is charging sales tax, it seems remarkably similar to the changes in their pricing for those of us outside the US (probably to cover VAT). I suspect they're being pressured by the tax authorities in all the various states and countries they sell to.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:11 PM   #48
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Can't find it just now, but there was an article in Sunday's NY Times about the battles Amazon is having over sales tax. They are even threatening to pull warehouse facilities out of some areas because the states are coming after them to collect sales taxes on sales within those states.

If Kobo is charging sales tax, it seems remarkably similar to the changes in their pricing for those of us outside the US (probably to cover VAT). I suspect they're being pressured by the tax authorities in all the various states and countries they sell to.
I found this article: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...writethru.html

This: http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...tax-after-all/

and this: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/the-scene/...117342553.html

None of them give the whole story so I'm not really sure what's going on.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:42 PM   #49
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Like a few other posters I received an "International Fee" on my checking account a couple of days after Kobo actually charged me for my ebook purchase. I called my credit union to ask them what this charge was as it was listed as an ATM transaction on my online statement. The representative confirmed that it was a separate charge from Kobo from their billing company and since they are an international company they charge a 10% fee of the amount of the purchase. I was not too happy about this charge even though it was .14, only because when it is not disclosed and you are not expecting it, it is an unpleasant surprise. I have not ordered any more ebooks from Kobo since I learned of the mysterious "international fee" that is tacked on. I sent an email to their help email address to find out more information and that was two weeks ago and I have not received a reply yet.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:28 PM   #50
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Like a few other posters I received an "International Fee" on my checking account a couple of days after Kobo actually charged me for my ebook purchase. I called my credit union to ask them what this charge was as it was listed as an ATM transaction on my online statement. The representative confirmed that it was a separate charge from Kobo from their billing company and since they are an international company they charge a 10% fee of the amount of the purchase. I was not too happy about this charge even though it was .14, only because when it is not disclosed and you are not expecting it, it is an unpleasant surprise. I have not ordered any more ebooks from Kobo since I learned of the mysterious "international fee" that is tacked on. I sent an email to their help email address to find out more information and that was two weeks ago and I have not received a reply yet.
When I called them they claimed that it wasn't them - it was my bank.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:55 PM   #51
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Sadly, I deal with cross-border currency issues on a daily basis, and I don't work for a bank!

Kobo's web site uses the buyer's home currency for pricing, but Kobo uses a CANADIAN processor to handle credit cards on the back end.

The bank that holds your credit card charges a fee for international transactions (sometimes called transaction fee, sometimes called exchange fee, sometimes lumped into the transaction - every bank is different)). These are usually 1.5-3% of the transaction.

So if you, outside of Canada, buy from Kobo, you will pay for the book in the advertised amount, AND a fee of some sort. The only way around this will be if Kobo gets multiple credit card processors for the countries they do business in (which is what my company eventually did).

And if it is an agency book, you may also pay your local taxes.

Sadly, I stopped buying at Kobo, not because of the fee, which was marginal and still made their book deals affordable, but because Bank of America, who issues my credit card, shut down my card EVERY time I bought from them, because of the multiple small transactions. That is a fraud flag for Bank of America, and I got tired of calling to release my card every time.

If Kobo ever gets a shopping cart, I'll reconsider.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:09 PM   #52
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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.
Right, plus it's not the bank alone adding the fees. The Federal Reserve Clearing House also tacks on transaction fees on top of currency exchange fees charged by banks as well as the credit card issuer and company. Anyone who has ever accepted credit card payments via a merchant account or even PayPal is well aware of all these fees to simply accept the payment and not including the higher discount rate (the fee the card processor/bank charges the merchant) is always a point or two higher for international transactions. I have had it where the cost to me a was $10 before we ever got to the discount rate being applied to the payment. And we get dinged for international checks, money orders, transfers or anything else than crosses boarders. So no form of payment is inexpensive. I have to mark-up prices to international customers a good 3%-5% depending on the form of payment.

And oh yeah, to say that Amazon, Kobo or whoever should just eat those costs, why not tell the banks and clearing houses that. These business are no different than any of us in that they don't want to pay those fees so they pass them off onto us. Unfortunately we the consumer are at the bottom of this particular food chain. Just take your lumps or live with the books you have on hand, it is how it is.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:13 PM   #53
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I really am surprised that they don't let you bundle sales like that, or create a wallet like some sites allow now. Give them money once, spend how you want it.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:14 PM   #54
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Right, plus it's not the bank alone adding the fees. The Federal Reserve Clearing House also tacks on transaction fees on top of currency exchange fees charged by banks as well as the credit card issuer and company. Anyone who has ever accepted credit card payments via a merchant account or even PayPal is well aware of all these fees to simply accept the payment and not including the higher discount rate (the fee the card processor/bank charges the merchant) is always a point or two higher for international transactions. I have had it where the cost to me a was $10 before we ever got to the discount rate being applied to the payment. And we get dinged for international checks, money orders, transfers or anything else than crosses boarders. So no form of payment is inexpensive. I have to mark-up prices to international customers a good 3%-5% depending on the form of payment.

And oh yeah, to say that Amazon, Kobo or whoever should just eat those costs, why not tell the banks and clearing houses that. These business are no different than any of us in that they don't want to pay those fees so they pass them off onto us. Unfortunately we the consumer are at the bottom of this particular food chain. Just take your lumps or live with the books you have on hand, it is how it is.
Or I could just not buy from Kobo. Sucks more for them than it does for me. I haven't bought a book from Kobo in a while now...feeling no pain.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:44 PM   #55
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Kobo's web site uses the buyer's home currency for pricing, but Kobo uses a CANADIAN processor to handle credit cards on the back end.
I live in Sweden, and Kobo charges me in US dollar. The charges on my CC is converted to SEK, though.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:49 PM   #56
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I really am surprised that they don't let you bundle sales like that, or create a wallet like some sites allow now. Give them money once, spend how you want it.
actually that is an interesting solution. But it all depends on how the company is structured. For instance if the various international sites are, within the scope of this conversation, treated within the company as independent vendors. This would keep all accounting separate. For an example use Amazon, if Amazon runs this way even a gift card purchased in the US is going to have to be treated as an international credit transaction because the funds will need to be moved into the individual international company's, say Amazon France, bank account. This means there is still the fee from the banks on either or both sides of the transaction.

And since there is a percentage fee charged, even if the company were to process them as a lump-sum transaction the amount is still going to be the same. In fact international transactions carry a variable that is pretty much unknown until the moment the transaction is processed. That is the actual exchange rate. So it's an issue.

I suspect if one is to be traveling in a given country for extended periods then find a way to setup a credit card in that country. Even still it is a lot of headache for what is not going to be a lot of money unless we are talking a year at a time. Then the best bet is get squared away at a bank in the country somehow. Countries can still limit that option as well to the point it might not be worth the paperwork.

Those who are complaining about this simply do not understand these are the facts of business and if it were not added at the end then it would be factored into book prices either when you log into the site prices shown represent adjusted numbers or to all users across the board. The first could not be legal in the country involved and the latter is simply not fair to other non-international customers who are otherwise not subject to these fees.

It stinks but again, it is how it is. International banking is a royal pain.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:57 PM   #57
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Or I could just not buy from Kobo. Sucks more for them than it does for me. I haven't bought a book from Kobo in a while now...feeling no pain.
As I wrote you live with the books you have. If there are companies that eat the fee from which you can purchase the books you want, great it would be stupid to do otherwise. But the chances can be great there won't be a given title sold via those sites. This means not getting the title you want. Not a big deal as there exist an finitely-infinite number of quality alternatives out there to read. But if you must have a given title going to the larger sites who will likely pass the costs on to the consumer in a none transparent fashion. But as I mentioned in my previous post they could pass the fees on translucently to the consumer. I decided translucent is a better description as it is always possible to browse a site while not logged in thus being able to see the "regular" prices.

But trust me you are paying the fee in some fashion. Business do not succeed by eating overhead costs. They pass them on to the customer in one form or another.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:05 PM   #58
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As I wrote you live with the books you have. If there are companies that eat the fee from which you can purchase the books you want, great it would be stupid to do otherwise. But the chances can be great there won't be a given title sold via those sites. This means not getting the title you want. Not a big deal as there exist an finitely-infinite number of quality alternatives out there to read. But if you must have a given title going to the larger sites who will likely pass the costs on to the consumer in a none transparent fashion. But as I mentioned in my previous post they could pass the fees on translucently to the consumer. I decided translucent is a better description as it is always possible to browse a site while not logged in thus being able to see the "regular" prices.

But trust me you are paying the fee in some fashion. Business do not succeed by eating overhead costs. They pass them on to the customer in one form or another.
Thank you, Captain Obvious.

I seem to not have any problems not buying internationally.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:14 PM   #59
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Kobo still doesn't accept American Express which offers cash back. This would help with the exchange fees.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:23 PM   #60
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What you could also do is grab gift cards for Kobo and use them.
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