Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

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Ramon C
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#101 Post by Ramon C » August 20th, 2019, 7:10 am

Dale Williams wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 6:48 am
Mark Golodetz wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 3:59 am
Beware the credit card fees for currency exchange.
I was researching a new Visa, and in particular, a citibank 2% cash back. What I had to pry out of them was a 3% fee for exchanging dollars into pounds.

Amex does not, and the rate is excellent.
Not sure if current but Amex has different cards, some of which do charge fees (though exchange rate is good), or at least that was true a few years ago. My Amex is a Delta, and no longer charges fees, but did in the aughts. We got a CapOne card specifically for travel and for paying stepson's tuition etc at St Andrews (we got a lot of points!). That was when exchange rate was brutal for Americans- in 2007 it was basically $2/pound, US parents with kids in UK schools should be feeling pretty good right now.
Amex card that offers cash back has 2.7% foreign transactions fee.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#102 Post by Sh@n A » August 20th, 2019, 7:18 am

One retailer did not take AMEX and said my debit card showed up as a credit card, so it seemed there was no way of avoiding a wire fee or 3% credit card fee (VISA)
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#103 Post by Ramon C » August 20th, 2019, 7:25 am

Sh@n A wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 7:18 am
One retailer did not take AMEX and said my debit card showed up as a credit card, so it seemed there was no way of avoiding a wire fee or 3% credit card fee (VISA)
THAT is the downside of Amex in Europe. Still has numerous establishments that do not accept.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#104 Post by dbailey » August 20th, 2019, 7:29 am

Again, check out revolut...
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#105 Post by julianseersmartin » August 20th, 2019, 7:54 am

dbailey wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 7:29 am
Again, check out revolut...
Not openly available in the US yet Dan, it's currently on a waitlist. Might be somewhat of an intellectual over-extension, too.

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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#106 Post by c fu » August 20th, 2019, 10:32 am

Jason T wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 7:05 am
Curious about different Amex products as well - I've got both Amex blue and Amex corporate. Wonder if they are the same rate?
Cc use current market rate. There’s no vig on the exchange rate. Might be a 3% foreign transaction fee depending on the card
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#107 Post by c fu » August 20th, 2019, 10:33 am

Mark Golodetz wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 3:59 am
Beware the credit card fees for currency exchange.
I was researching a new Visa, and in particular, a citibank 2% cash back. What I had to pry out of them was a 3% fee for exchanging dollars into pounds.

Amex does not, and the rate is excellent.
Plenty of awesome Visa cards with no foreign transaction fees. All the “top” Visa cards that you ought to be using don’t have transaction fees
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#108 Post by Mark Golodetz » August 20th, 2019, 10:41 am

Looking for one with good cash back on wine purchases. Most tend to try and box you into categories that are not useful.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#109 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » August 20th, 2019, 2:13 pm

So what are people actually buying? I've had a wee look in a few places, and pricing for most of the wines I'm interested in is 3-4 times what I'd want to pay, given I have previously bought at ex-Domaine cost + margin + shipping + taxes, and "retail" pricing is... absurd. So even after a 30-50% exchange rate cave in the wines look very very expensive!
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#110 Post by Barry L i p t o n » August 20th, 2019, 6:10 pm

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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#111 Post by Jason T » August 21st, 2019, 4:41 am

c fu wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 10:32 am
Jason T wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 7:05 am
Curious about different Amex products as well - I've got both Amex blue and Amex corporate. Wonder if they are the same rate?
Cc use current market rate. There’s no vig on the exchange rate. Might be a 3% foreign transaction fee depending on the card
That may be true for some, but in my experience it's not true for all. My corporate Amex has never used the 'market rate' (however you define that - average for that day, spot as of a given time period, etc). The rate used is always in Amex's favor by around 3%. I.e. if I purchase something in GBP Amex is charging my card about 3% more in USD than the 'market rate' .
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#112 Post by Ethan Abraham » August 21st, 2019, 4:55 am

Your card must have a 3% fx fee. Visa, MC, and Amex all use an fx rate calculated the night before that is fixed for the whole day, they use (nearly) the same rate in either direction - ie they don't charge you a spread. The issuing bank may or may not charge a 3% few. Not this also means if you have a bill in another currency with a due date in the future you are long some free optionality about when to pay it.

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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#113 Post by Steve Gautier » August 21st, 2019, 6:06 am

Ethan Abraham wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 4:55 am
Your card must have a 3% fx fee. Visa, MC, and Amex all use an fx rate calculated the night before that is fixed for the whole day, they use (nearly) the same rate in either direction - ie they don't charge you a spread. The issuing bank may or may not charge a 3% few. Not this also means if you have a bill in another currency with a due date in the future you are long some free optionality about when to pay it.
I do not think this is true for all cards. I just looked at my no fee Chase Visa statement from our last trip. The statement shows a nine digit after the decimal point exchange rate which is different for every transaction even if they are done within 30 minutes of each other.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#114 Post by Ethan Abraham » August 21st, 2019, 6:23 am

Interesting. Maybe it's different for in person transactions? I know I've certainly done transactions at the previous night exchange rate.

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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#115 Post by Jason T » August 21st, 2019, 6:26 am

Steve Gautier wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 6:06 am
Ethan Abraham wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 4:55 am
Your card must have a 3% fx fee. Visa, MC, and Amex all use an fx rate calculated the night before that is fixed for the whole day, they use (nearly) the same rate in either direction - ie they don't charge you a spread. The issuing bank may or may not charge a 3% few. Not this also means if you have a bill in another currency with a due date in the future you are long some free optionality about when to pay it.
I do not think this is true for all cards. I just looked at my no fee Chase Visa statement from our last trip. The statement shows a nine digit after the decimal point exchange rate which is different for every transaction even if they are done within 30 minutes of each other.
This has been my experience as well. For example I recently had three transactions with Amazon for which I used my personal Amex, all in the same day. Appears to be no spread (in this case they do charge a fee), but the rate was different each time.

Again just because one card provider/product behaves a certain way doesn't mean they all do....

Edit: Or, what John just said below....
Last edited by Jason T on August 21st, 2019, 6:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#116 Post by John Morris » August 21st, 2019, 6:33 am

Steve Gautier wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 6:06 am
Ethan Abraham wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 4:55 am
Your card must have a 3% fx fee. Visa, MC, and Amex all use an fx rate calculated the night before that is fixed for the whole day, they use (nearly) the same rate in either direction - ie they don't charge you a spread. The issuing bank may or may not charge a 3% few. Not this also means if you have a bill in another currency with a due date in the future you are long some free optionality about when to pay it.
I do not think this is true for all cards. I just looked at my no fee Chase Visa statement from our last trip. The statement shows a nine digit after the decimal point exchange rate which is different for every transaction even if they are done within 30 minutes of each other.
+1 There is a lot of variation, depending mostly on the issuing bank, I think. I gave up on my BofA Visa in Canada. The exchange rate was decent but they socked me with a flat transaction fee of a dollar or two on even small transactions. I'd end up with $20-$30 in those fees over a week. My Chase United Mastercard card has been pretty good in Canada, across Europe and in Turkey. No fees and decent rates.

The moral of the story is that you have to check the terms of your particular card carefully.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#117 Post by c fu » August 21st, 2019, 7:25 am

Jason T wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 4:41 am
c fu wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 10:32 am
Jason T wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 7:05 am
Curious about different Amex products as well - I've got both Amex blue and Amex corporate. Wonder if they are the same rate?
Cc use current market rate. There’s no vig on the exchange rate. Might be a 3% foreign transaction fee depending on the card
That may be true for some, but in my experience it's not true for all. My corporate Amex has never used the 'market rate' (however you define that - average for that day, spot as of a given time period, etc). The rate used is always in Amex's favor by around 3%. I.e. if I purchase something in GBP Amex is charging my card about 3% more in USD than the 'market rate' .
3% foreign transaction fee.

It’s well known that credit cards are as close to the true current currency exchange rate as any possible financial instrument that’s available to us public for private consumption.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#118 Post by Jason T » August 21st, 2019, 7:31 am

Sure. I just wanted to clarify that just because a credit card company wasn't 'explicitly' charging an FX fee, didn't mean they weren't making it up somewhere else, aka the exchange rate 'spread'.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#119 Post by Jeff_M. » August 21st, 2019, 8:08 am

Ethan Abraham wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 4:55 am
Your card must have a 3% fx fee. Visa, MC, and Amex all use an fx rate calculated the night before that is fixed for the whole day, they use (nearly) the same rate in either direction - ie they don't charge you a spread. The issuing bank may or may not charge a 3% few. Not this also means if you have a bill in another currency with a due date in the future you are long some free optionality about when to pay it.
Always best to use a card without the foreign transaction fee and the kicker when buying overseas is to pay in LOCAL currency. If you let the bank do the conversion to dollars at the card terminal you get hosed. Local currency gets whatever the daily exchange rate is and is much more favorable to the consumer.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#120 Post by c fu » August 21st, 2019, 8:24 am

Jason T wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 7:31 am
Sure. I just wanted to clarify that just because a credit card company wasn't 'explicitly' charging an FX fee, didn't mean they weren't making it up somewhere else, aka the exchange rate 'spread'.
My point is their “spread” is so negligible it’s not worth mentioning.

Right now visa is charging 1.11078 for euro (they have a website for the dynamic rate). The “market” is 1.10983

So the difference is .00095. That’s pretty close to the actual rate.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#121 Post by Sh@n A » August 21st, 2019, 9:49 am

this does not stop the merchant from charging the credit card processing fee (which can happen to be ~3%) to you
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#122 Post by c fu » August 21st, 2019, 9:55 am

Sh@n A wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 9:49 am
this does not stop the merchant from charging the credit card processing fee (which can happen to be ~3%) to you
That would happen with any credit card and has nothing to do with credit card choice but merchant choice.

We are only discussing fees / exchange rates on credit cards.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#123 Post by Sh@n A » August 21st, 2019, 9:59 am

c fu wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 9:55 am
Sh@n A wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 9:49 am
this does not stop the merchant from charging the credit card processing fee (which can happen to be ~3%) to you
That would happen with any credit card and has nothing to do with credit card choice but merchant choice.

We are only discussing fees / exchange rates on credit cards.
What I have found is a debit card works best, to avoid this potential merchant fee as well... but some merchants claim my debit card shows up as a credit card in their system (which could be the case as it is a VISA check card, I am not sure.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#124 Post by YLee » August 21st, 2019, 10:19 am

I would never use a debit card.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#125 Post by Gus Siokis » August 21st, 2019, 10:37 am

Simple rules to follow:

Purchases - use a credit card, preferably one with little to no FX fees.
ATM Cash Withdrawals - use your debit card at a bank branch in country. Again, use one with little to no FX fees.

Always purchase in Local currency.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#126 Post by Ramon C » August 21st, 2019, 11:12 am

Gus Siokis wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 10:37 am
Simple rules to follow:

Purchases - use a credit card, preferably one with little to no FX fees.
ATM Cash Withdrawals - use your debit card at a bank branch in country. Again, use one with little to no FX fees.

Always purchase in Local currency.
+1 on all.

Just to add, in case there's no bank branch in the foreign country, simply use ATM card to withdraw local currency from a reputable local bank's ATM (easy to discern, they will be ominous and with branches over the place). This eliminates need for carrying cash from country of origin and/or exchanging currencies at country of origin at usually much higher rate than at the destination country.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#127 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » August 21st, 2019, 11:15 am

Sh@n A wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 9:49 am
this does not stop the merchant from charging the credit card processing fee (which can happen to be ~3%) to you
So send a wire transfer when dealing with merchants who impose that fee. If you want the wine and you don't want the fee, you can do without the points. There's some downside in peace of mind, but dealing with reputable merchants the risk is low.

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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#128 Post by Sh@n A » August 21st, 2019, 11:19 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 11:15 am
Sh@n A wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 9:49 am
this does not stop the merchant from charging the credit card processing fee (which can happen to be ~3%) to you
So send a wire transfer when dealing with merchants who impose that fee. If you want the wine and you don't want the fee, you can do without the points. There's some downside in peace of mind, but dealing with reputable merchants the risk is low.
Thus far I have paid via wire transfer, my debit check card processed as debit card, and my debit check card processed with +3% fee. I'm OK with the 3% fee as the stuff I bought is 15-30% below what it costs in the U.S. all-in (e.g., with tax). Right now I have eyed 3 different Barolo I want to buy... willing to gamble on GBP weakening some more before pulling the trigger.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#129 Post by John Morris » August 21st, 2019, 11:39 am

Ramon C wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 11:12 am
Just to add, in case there's no bank branch in the foreign country, simply use ATM card to withdraw local currency from a reputable local bank's ATM (easy to discern, they will be ominous and with branches over the place).
Indeed, the most ominous banks do seem to be everywhere. neener
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#130 Post by julianseersmartin » August 21st, 2019, 12:38 pm

And I'll say it again: Transferwise. It's really not that complicated.

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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#131 Post by Peter Kleban » August 21st, 2019, 1:04 pm

julianseersmartin wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 12:38 pm
And I'll say it again: Transferwise. It's really not that complicated.
+1. I've use it several times over the last year or so (for bank transfers). Works really well, and the fees are way below what banks charge.

They just launched a CC too, but I haven't looked into it. I use a British Airways Visa card that charges a reasonable exchange rate and no fees for purchases in other currencies. Gives BA points too.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#132 Post by Ethan Abraham » August 21st, 2019, 2:03 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 11:15 am
Sh@n A wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 9:49 am
this does not stop the merchant from charging the credit card processing fee (which can happen to be ~3%) to you
So send a wire transfer when dealing with merchants who impose that fee. If you want the wine and you don't want the fee, you can do without the points. There's some downside in peace of mind, but dealing with reputable merchants the risk is low.
Free advice - don't use vanguard for wires. Once I was buying a painting in the UK and they misread the form and tacked on an accidental 0. if the merchant hadn't been a friendly and honest guy who went out of his way to send me a wire back I'm not sure what would have happened as Vanguard was useless.

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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#133 Post by Ramon C » August 21st, 2019, 4:55 pm

John Morris wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 11:39 am
Ramon C wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 11:12 am
Just to add, in case there's no bank branch in the foreign country, simply use ATM card to withdraw local currency from a reputable local bank's ATM (easy to discern, they will be ominous and with branches over the place).
Indeed, the most ominous banks do seem to be everywhere. neener
Thanks for the call out, I was torn between "luminous" and "obvious" and kind of mixed them up. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#134 Post by Dan Kravitz » August 21st, 2019, 5:35 pm

Haven't read the whole thread, but here's a thought:

Wait 'til Boris "worse than" Badenough crashes out on 10/31/19. People may think the plunge of the Pound is baked in, but on that day it will instantly plumb completely unfathomable new depths. The next day people will realize that it's only the pound, not the Great Britain that has sunk. My guess is that it will recover. But be ready to buy on 11/1/19.*

*Boris may not last that long; at this point it takes only one seriously irritated Tory to bring down the government.

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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#135 Post by M McCombs » August 22nd, 2019, 1:16 pm

I think the Costco credit card has no foreign currency or transaction fees.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#136 Post by ykwon » August 22nd, 2019, 6:54 pm

Cap One cards never have foreign transaction fees.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#137 Post by Tom Reddick » August 22nd, 2019, 10:28 pm

Killer exchange rate, access to bottles with pristine storage. A 3% exchange fee is not even on my radar. With respect, in the grand scheme of things not a worry.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#138 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » August 22nd, 2019, 10:47 pm

What bargains are people actually finding? What sorts of wines?
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#139 Post by Sh@n A » August 28th, 2019, 8:50 am

1) No GBP weakening today on suspension of parliament... are we hitting a floor? Any FX traders here to opine?
2) Anyone eyeballing anything in London but looking to split the lot/case?
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#140 Post by Ian Sutton » August 28th, 2019, 10:37 am

I think we'll be open to offers on the crown jewels soon...
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#141 Post by James Gardner » August 28th, 2019, 12:00 pm

if you're considering buying UK-situs wine in sterling, you could do worse than look at some of the peer-to-peer platforms eg https://www.wineowners.com/home.aspx and https://www.bbr.com/fine-wine/bbx. My favourite is https://www.biwine.com/livetrade. Transparent pricing and some value for patient explorers. Store in the UK until DJT leaves office and a wine-friendly POTUS is installed.

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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#142 Post by Sh@n A » March 17th, 2020, 5:33 pm

PSA... GBP back at lows... 1.21
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#143 Post by Sh@n A » March 18th, 2020, 2:20 pm

and... 1.16
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#144 Post by Mark Golodetz » March 18th, 2020, 2:41 pm

Feel incredibly sorry for the merchants as the euro remains strong. Will be hard to source fresh inventory at anything close to the same price, so smart U.K. buyers should be taking as much as possible. Sadly keeping away.

But bought a few bits and pieces, but don’t need much.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#145 Post by Mark Golodetz » March 19th, 2020, 7:24 am

Pound now down to $1.16, the lowest level since 1985.
Made my first big purchase, a case of 6 Dujac CDR 2017 for $373 a bottle.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#146 Post by Bryan Carr » March 19th, 2020, 2:44 pm

What's BBX shipping to the states like? I'm trying to use their calculator but it's not working for me.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#147 Post by Andrew M » March 19th, 2020, 6:43 pm

Looking at some bulk champagne purchases. Shipping puts a damper on it, around $200 a case to really treat the bottles well, but selection and price still probably can’t be beat at these exchange rates.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#148 Post by Sh@n A » March 19th, 2020, 7:46 pm

Andrew M wrote:
March 19th, 2020, 6:43 pm
around $200 a case to really treat the bottles well
What do you mean "really treat the bottles well"? I imagine you can find services for $10-12/bottle, but defer to others here on who those vendors may be.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#149 Post by patrick c albright » March 19th, 2020, 7:59 pm

Obviously DHL, Fed Ex, and UPS are still shipping, but they are expensive.

Traditional air freight is done as their are basically no planes, except for BA who raised their rates fifty percent. And there are no reefers available for sea freight.

Interesting times.
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Re: Pound eviscerated: buying opportunity in the UK

#150 Post by John Morris » March 20th, 2020, 5:07 am

But DHL, FedEx etc can’t handle the customs clearance for alcohol, can they?
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