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Beware using PayPal with HobbyKing (and maybe others)

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Allan Bennett10/12/2019 21:10:52
1704 forum posts
49 photos

The other day I ordered a couple of new LiPos from HK UK warehouse. They came to £49-something, and I opted to use PayPal to pay for them. When the PayPal screen came up, the price was in US$, but I signed in anyway and continued but, when I got to the final step, where it asked which bank or credit card the money would come from, the price was then shown in £ again. But it was about £2 higher than originally. Somebody was making money by converting £ to $ and then back to £, for goods purchased in UK and destined for a UK address.

I cancelled the PayPal transaction and used a credit card instead, and that went through at the advertised £ price.

Ron Gray10/12/2019 21:54:42
2235 forum posts
978 photos

That has always been the case, all HK PayPal charges are in $.

Frank Skilbeck10/12/2019 22:05:54
4751 forum posts
104 photos

Check you credit card statement, you may find you've been billed in US$ from Hong Kong and your credit card company will then convert this to UK£.

BTW your transaction was with Hong Kong the UK warehouse is just a drop shipping warehouse, not a UK shop.

Peter Jenkins11/12/2019 00:08:09
1624 forum posts
305 photos

As they guys say, the transaction is in $ to HK and you are then given a rough idea in £ based on HK's current exchange rate. Your credit card company will charge you for a foreign exchange transaction and that will vary with the exchange rate at the time they execute the payment. You can't win unless you have a $ account.

Nigel Dell11/12/2019 07:16:32
460 forum posts
46 photos

You can choose to pay in $ from you credit/debit card in the PayPal screen and your bank does the conversion and not PayPal, I find that is more favourable.

Allan Bennett11/12/2019 08:22:30
1704 forum posts
49 photos

Ok, so it's something that everyone else knew already sad But my credit card has charged in ££ without any conversions from $$, and no FX charge, so it's what was shown on the HK checkout screen smiley

Keith Sharples11/12/2019 08:39:47
154 forum posts
2 photos

Paypal charge the seller a percentage of the sale for using their service. Some companies add this charge to the sale total which increases the final total. I used to use Paypal with my business for years. It made payment very easy for clients but I had to pay the sale percentage to Paypal, I just obsorbed it and didn't pass it on to the client. It looks like Hobby King do pass it on to the client. That is why usung your credit card as a direct payment didn't have the additional charges added as it was not a Paypal transaction.

John Lee11/12/2019 09:47:57
764 forum posts
86 photos

.....and preferably use a credit card that does not load the foreign exchange transaction, such as Halifax Clarity or Revolut

John Lee11/12/2019 09:59:36
764 forum posts
86 photos

Alan I think you will find when you get your credit card statement it will have been converted from US$ such as:

screenshot 2019-12-11 at 09.51.49.jpg

FlyinFlynn11/12/2019 11:10:26
151 forum posts
95 photos

If you buy loads of stuff in $$ then take a look at Transferwise. A free debit card and the facility to run several different currencies from a sterling account. It is not a bank, so some caution is called for..but my experience with them has all been good, and I have saved myself a packet paying in $$ and €€. It is also a good way of sending foreign currency abroad by a free bank transfer if you have relatives overseas as you get an iban in the foreign countries bank and can do a local bank transfer.

Allan Bennett11/12/2019 11:43:00
1704 forum posts
49 photos
Posted by John Lee on 11/12/2019 09:59:36:

Alan I think you will find when you get your credit card statement it will have been converted from US$ such as:

screenshot 2019-12-11 at 09.51.49.jpg

I've already checked it online, and it's in ££ for the same amount that was on the HK screen. No conversion from $$, and I would be very surprised (and upset) if the printed monthly bill came out any different.

And on the subject of buying things in US$, there's no mention on the HK site of US$ at the point of sale, so I don't see their justification for passing it to PayPal as a US$ amount.

Edited By Allan Bennett on 11/12/2019 11:47:32

John Lee11/12/2019 13:43:18
764 forum posts
86 photos

HobbyKing's FAQs:

Currency Conversion

HobbyKing sells product in USD only. Any foreign currency exchange rates on that are not USD are indicative only (you WILL be charged in USD regardless of the warehouse that you purchase from). provides the exchange rate tool as a guide only.

Allan Bennett11/12/2019 19:53:19
1704 forum posts
49 photos

Thanks John. Putting it in FAQs, as if someone has asked the question, instead of clearly at the point of sale, smacks of sharp practice to me. Why should anybody ask a question about currency conversion when prices are clearly displayed in ££ at checkout?

Has anyone taken a screen shot of their checkout, and then complained to HK, PayPal, or their card company if the price appears different later?

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