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Old 09-10-2010, 10:28 PM   #1
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Exchange rates

Hey all,

We are doing some math tonight on costs for our Possible Escape, trying to figure out how to finance/beg/borrow/steal/etc ... and are pretty horrified at the crummy exchange right now for US $$s. I suppose after years of the flip side, the Canadian Contingent is enjoying the ride ... !! ... but at $.97 CDN to $1 US, this is another instance where I suspect the perspective's a little better from the north side of the border.

So, Fellow Americans ... is this rate particularly bad? Can any of you give me a sense of how it has fluctuated in the last year? And did any of you try to "game the rate" by sending in payments on days the exchange looked good?

~e

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Old 09-11-2010, 12:05 AM   #2
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Re: Exchange rates

E,

You can see how the official exchange rate has varied here: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=CADUSD=X

Getting the best exchange rate is not easy. Most of the the options end up costing to make the exchange and it is hard to get the "wholesale" rate any way except credit cards.

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Old 09-11-2010, 07:23 AM   #3
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Re: Exchange rates

I agree with Eric's assessment and would add that I found it difficult to find a financial institution to make the wire transfer to Canada. It was a case of having to take what was offered and not being able to shop around. Complicating it further with one of my banks I believe there was a third party involved so I did not find out it was impossible until late in the process.

What complicated things was the fact that people working at small town financial institutions have very limited experience with transfers to Canada. Now if you were working with a big bank it may help, especially if they have a central office with someone in the know. Remember you cannot walk into any bank and do a wire, you have to have a relationship with them. They are going to deduct from your account at whatever rate is present that day. Seems to me fees ran about $65 US for a wire and it took several days longer than I expected.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: Exchange rates

I have looked into this - My credit union can't deal with it. They need a bill of sale for the exact amount in US $ which is tough to get because the exchange rate changes daily. My bank will do a transfer for a $15.00 charge at their idea of the exchange rate (which, the couple of times I checked is close to The Bank of Canada Rate).

If you can pay cash, a credit card provides a good exchange rate, but, at least in my case I would have to increase my limit quite a bit & unless you pay it off immediately, the interest rate doesn't make it a good deal.

By the way, you can use the Bank of Canada calculator linked above to chart the exchange rate over as much as 10 years. Click on the "10 Year Currency Converter".
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:00 AM   #5
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Re: Exchange rates

We paid for our trailer the week before last (about 3 Sept) and got an exchange rate of .94. Prior to having our bank do an electronic transfer, we investigated putting the entire amount on our credit card (we get 2 air miles for every buck on the card and would have paid it off immediately). There is a 1.3% credit card charge, so we opted for the electronic transfer.

Tammy suggested we would get the best rates if our bank would perform the exchange here and transfer Canadian dollars to Escape's bank. Unfortunately, we did not have that luxury. As previously stated, we took what we could get.

I ran the numbers for a trailer priced at $25,000 Canadian using both today's rate and the rate we received:
Today (rate = .96): $24,115 USD
3 Sept (rate = .94): $23,500 USD
Diff = $615

While this is a large chunk o' change; ameliorated over 10 years, it comes to 62 bux a year or about $5.00 a month. I'm not gonna sweat it myself.

Dave
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:49 AM   #6
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Re: Exchange rates

Yikes, so this appears to be a whole lot more complicated than I realized. Generally -- if you have the ability to pay with a credit card -- is that the best way to go? I believe that our card actually has a high enough limit (horrifying, I know) that we could cover it. We'd get air miles, and we'd pay it off immediately.

(Dave, not sure if you were saying there's a 1.3% SURCHARGE for the CC payment? From Escape?)

We live in a very small town and bank at a neighborhood Fifth Third -- small branch, big bank. Not sure whether if we did the transfer we could work through them, or whether that's even a good idea if credit is an option. We're actually former Chicagoans -- we're not far out of the city and might be able to work with a bank back there but it could be a hassle (and driving back in for this would be a drag)

If we see a rate below, like, .93 -- is that a good time to move? Doesn't look like it's gotten a whole lot better than that over the last year.

Finally ... I haven't really talked to Tammy about delivery costs yet. I know the three of you in the Cheesehead contingent really lucked out last spring ... if there's anyone out there in the Midwest who might be thinking Spring '11 delivery, drop me a line. I unfortunately don't think we can drive all the way to Chilliwack to pick up.

~e

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Old 09-11-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
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Re: Exchange rates

Yes, its a 1.3% surcharge...from the card company via Escape.

As to delivery, it was quite a pop to have the trailer delivered to Memphis, but only an extra $500 above the delivery to Sault Ste Marie, Canada. It may make a difference due its being a 5th wheel, don't know for sure. Chicago (my home town as a matter of fact) is 600 miles form Memphis, so it might be advantageous to arrange for delivery to Sault St. Marie, and pick up the trailer there.

Import into the US is easy if you are bringing it in yourself. As we are having a third party bring the trailer, we are making arrangements via a broker to get the trailer here. A bit more expensive and a bit more of a hassle.

We (actually Deb) watched the rates and were quite happy to get .94. We never saw .93 but there are rumors it did exist once

Dave
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:36 PM   #8
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Re: Exchange rates

Quote:
Originally Posted by medora
Yikes, so this appears to be a whole lot more complicated than I realized. Generally -- if you have the ability to pay with a credit card -- is that the best way to go? I believe that our card actually has a high enough limit (horrifying, I know) that we could cover it. We'd get air miles, and we'd pay it off immediately.

(Dave, not sure if you were saying there's a 1.3% SURCHARGE for the CC payment? From Escape?)

We live in a very small town and bank at a neighborhood Fifth Third -- small branch, big bank. Not sure whether if we did the transfer we could work through them, or whether that's even a good idea if credit is an option. We're actually former Chicagoans -- we're not far out of the city and might be able to work with a bank back there but it could be a hassle (and driving back in for this would be a drag)

If we see a rate below, like, .93 -- is that a good time to move? Doesn't look like it's gotten a whole lot better than that over the last year.

Finally ... I haven't really talked to Tammy about delivery costs yet. I know the three of you in the Cheesehead contingent really lucked out last spring ... if there's anyone out there in the Midwest who might be thinking Spring '11 delivery, drop me a line. I unfortunately don't think we can drive all the way to Chilliwack to pick up.

~e

E,

I found that Capital One and a few other credit cards do not have the conversion fee. Bank of America charged 1%. For us, the credit card was by far the best route, but Tammy did not want it all at once. I think the fees they are charged vary by the amount of the charge or something. So I timed payments as large as she wanted to days when the exchange rate was best for us. As with all things in the process, Tammy was wonderfully cooperative.

Paul and Gerda of the Cheeseheads had theirs delivered, Mary and I drove out to Chilliwack and picked ours up. It was a good excuse for a trip to the Northwest for us.

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Old 09-11-2010, 01:31 PM   #9
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Delivery Options

You might want to go over to "official" Escape site and log in. This will give you access to the production schedule. From this I would look for possible candidates to share a delivery. I know Paul in Indiana is scheduled for June, there is fourth cheesehead candidate lurking out there and there maybe more towards the east in both US and Canada.

We considered Toronto and Thunder Bay as alternative delivery locations. Thunder Bay has the affect of reducing delivery costs. Winnepeg might be worth looking into. All these cities still have some driving but dramatically reduce the time and cost of going to BC.

I woiuld recommend contacting people, Tammy may have to help you identify persons as the production schedule only shows hometown not a name. I was able to find Gerda and Bob by process of elimination on the forum. I would not rely on Tammy to find someone or for someone to pop up on the forum.

Another thing to consider is waiting to be a part of another load. What I mean is the carrier we used, who just happened to be in Escape's province, hauled trailers for other manufacturers. They had capacity for up to three depending on sizes, maybe you could fill out a load for them? If you want their contact information send me an email. It would mean waiting for the proper time.

I think you will find delivery commitments hard to come by this early in the game, closer to eight weeks out is when their schedules take shape. It maybe necessary to order, wait, hope to find someone and perhaps let the unit sit in Chilliwack till arrangements can be made. Mine was the first of the cheeseheads off the line and sat for six weeks waiting for further production.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:42 PM   #10
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Re: Exchange rates

Consider going to your bank and buying a bank draft (or whatever the equivelent is in the US) in Cdn funds, endorse it over to Escape for deposit only, and fedex it or deliver it personally to Escape in Canada.

Bank drafts are as good as cash.....at least they are from Cdn banks.

I find small town banks in the US are a little baffled how to handle anything other than the ordinary over the counter transactions.
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