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Tried to get Elektronika MK-161
05-12-2019, 02:14 AM
Post: #3
RE: Tried to get Elektronika MK-161
(05-10-2019 05:58 PM)ekrampitzjr Wrote:  Semico responded to my e-mail in both Russian and English to say it had no US agent and it accepted bank payment via Western Union.

I can't comment about Semico, but one thing I will interject.
For Americans at least, it is *extremely* expensive (and a big hassle) to do transfers from regular US banks to folks (friends, relatives, sellers, whomever) overseas.

Some years ago I used to purchase a lot of stuff (but not calculators!) on the German version of "the auction site" and at that time while many of the sellers were willing to ship to the US, they often didn't take PayPal. In Germany, like much of Europe, Überweisung (bank transfers) is a normal way of life which it isn't here.

Anyhow, after a fair amount of research, I settled upon using TransferWise, which is an online service started by a couple of Skype's original developers and headquartered in London. I've used them many a time over the past 5-6 years with never a bit of trouble. Mostly I have transferred to Germany, but I recall one or two other places as well. It's a LOT cheaper than a regular bank transfer and even a good bit cheaper than paying the seller fees on PayPal (which a lot of those who accept PayPal require).

For your info, I looked up a $250 transfer from US to someone in Russia.
Of course, you can also specify the amount you want the recipient to get, and they'll tell you the amount you are charged in your source currency... however you prefer.
But anyhow...If I sent $US 250, there is $5.55 transfer fee and then the current exchange rate is 65.11770 rubles/$. So, for that $250 you spend, the recipient gets 15,918.02 rubles.
I have no idea how this compares with a typical US bank.

I think the fees are a good bit less and exchange better to transfers involving US$↔€ or US$↔£. In general, the broader the currency, the cheaper it is. They try to actually move as little money across boarders as possible. Mostly, they match up exchanges of the same currencies going in opposite directions. Currencies commonly used internationally are therefore the best deal.

I do have an MK-52. Neat machine, but definitely Soviet in build quality :-)
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RE: Tried to get Elektronika MK-161 - burkhard - 05-12-2019 02:14 AM

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