Money Making Tip: Accept Euros

Yes, for goodness sake.

This may seem obvious to anyone who’s been following the financial market in the slightest, but if your bank accounts are in USD$ then it is to your advantage to also find a way to directly accept EUR€ (euros). Case in point: the other day I received a donation for 20 USD$. After PayPal’s cut, this worked out to a net of $19.12 (4.4% in fees). I also received a donation for 20 EUR€ recently, which was 18.87 EUR€ after PayPal’s 5.65% cut , but $26.59 after currency conversion – a 32.95% gain (sort of). PayPal will always convert currencies when necessary, but you’d rather have them do the conversion as part of depositing into your account, instead of as part of withdrawing from someone else’s account.

For the individual who sent this donation, it is psychologically equivalent as it was for the other person who donated in USD$ (I claim no proof here, merely hunch and insight that could be proven wrong). In other words, twenty is twenty.

I currently ask for a donation of 10 USD$ on the Paint.NET donation page, which is a nice round number. If you only set up your PayPal buttons for receiving USD$, then individuals whose PayPal accounts are in EUR€ will still type in “10” and then be pleased that they are, in effect, getting a discount after the currency conversion. They generally will not go to the trouble of looking up the conversion and typing in $14.45 instead.

However, this convenience holds for the converse as well: if they are presented with the opportunity to type a value in EUR€, then they will type in 10 instead of doing the back-conversion from 10 USD$ to 6.92 EUR€. This is a gain of $6+ for you! (well, for me in this case) This isn’t cheating users at all! They know full well that they are donating in EUR€! And people who are donating are people who are already happy with your product or service, and they’re generally more than happy to help you out.

On my Paint.NET donations page I put up buttons for USD$, EUR€ (in 4 separate languages), Yen¥, and CAD$. I don’t receive many donations in Yen¥, and it certainly makes it exciting to open my inbox and read that I have received a donation for 1,000 ….. Yen¥. D’oh 🙂 It works out to be less than 10 USD$, if I remember correctly.

Anyway, so that’s my theory. Nice round numbers are still nice round numbers, even if they get mangled after the currency conversion. If you directly accept EUR€, then you will make more money. Plus it’s just convenient for the users.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who has sent in donations for Paint.NET. They really do make a difference, and I appreciate them all!

9 thoughts on “Money Making Tip: Accept Euros

  1. Mike Woodhouse says:

    Of course, if you accepted the Queen’s Great British Pounds, you’d get even more for your £20….

  2. Christopher Estep says:

    I don’t think you can say “20 is 20” because globally it doesn’t work that way. Think of Japan, as you mentioned. 20 yen is just over 17 cents US. The better way to look at it is “how much will X cost me in this currency?” I’ve heard that one good way to compare is with clothing. It’s been said that an ounce of gold has always cost about the price of a suit.

    So I guess the question is this. What can you get with $20 US and what can you get with 20 EU?

  3. Rick Brewster says:

    Christopher, yes “20 is 20” is intentionally an over-simplification. I could of course qualify it with 3 paragraphs worth of exceptions, but I chose not to 🙂

  4. Bebb says:

    Hey, Rick. What the have you done. This new theme looks awful. I want the old one back!

  5. Rick Brewster says:

    Leo, that person never intended to donate $5,000 and I chewed them out for it. They were simply baiting me to try and get me to promise to implement some feature.

  6. Olivier says:

    Another smart way IMO to get a donation from your fans is by creating an Amazon wishlist that you make public. It means you need an Amazon account, but I assume you’ve one already, and you get to cover all these people who have an Amazon account as well (Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | Japan | France | China), but might not have a Paypal one (that might be quite some people in Europe for instance, more confortable in buying you a book or a DVD or a CD than sending you money ?).

    Comments/thoughts?

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