Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Western Pennsylvania
I've done a few purchases from small places internationally and have even purchased cars this way. The problem seems to be that these small vendors don't want to pay for a credit card processing system because they don't do enough volume. Many small banks sit on international cashiers checks for days or weeks. So they want a wire transfer.
In the EU, wire transfers appear to be very common and don't cost much. In the US, banks charge a ridiculous amount of money for them and the system often charges the recipient, too. (I once had a vendor ask me to cover the amount his bank charged him for the wire.) What's worse, the tracing process is really bad so if an account is entered improperly at any step of the way, it may take a week or more to get your money back and there will be MORE charges for the service of returning your money to you. (I can get texts telling me exactly where my Amazon shipment is, but that $30,000 wire transfer from Chase or PNC to Deutschebank? Oh, that will take weeks to trace....) The US banking system is pretty broken, it seems.
Fortunately, I've seen a lot of foreign places picking up PayPal now. You may think of PayPal is a tool for people who don't have money, but if you do have money, it is a pretty good way to transfer funds to people, often for free. It also protects you and keeps all your bank and credit stuff private. Suggest it the next time you need to purchase something and can't agree on how to pay.
Alfa-current: '66 Duetto,
Past: '74 Spider, '76 spider, '80 GTV 6
Other-Current: 4 BMWs, Highlander Hybrid, Ram 1500
Other-past: 11 BMWs, 2 MGs, 1 Triumph, lots of other stuff that doesn't count.