Courtesy of a kind Englishman I've done a runthrough of the money-changing
operation mentioned last week. It works, within certain limits, and should
be useful, not just for subscribing to the World Journal of Post-Factory
Photography (worthy as that goal is) but for any transaction where charge
card is not an option and the currency at issue not under the mattress.
You send a bank draft in your currency equal to the required dollar amount
at the current exchange rate *plus* four dollars for the changing fee at
this end. I take this draft to Thomas Cooke in midtown Manhattan, which
gives me the dollars less the $4 fee. Assuming that your bank charges you
little or nothing for the money order or draft, this is the easiest and
cheapest method I could find.
It seems, by the way, that the "exchange rate" listed in the newspaper of
record, The New York Times, does not apply to you and me. It applies to
transactions of a million dollars or so -- the bulk rate, as it were. Our
rate is somewhat less advantageous, a matter in which, obviously, we have
not been consulted.
To put the operation in concrete terms:
The 4-issue subscription to WJP-FP is $24, the money changing fee at Cooke
is $4, so the total required is $28. At today's rates that would be,
18.75 British pounds (to equal $28)
49 Australian dollars "
54 German marks "
44 Canadian dollars "
182 French francs "
61 Dutch guilders
If you want airmail delivery, which costs $6 extra, my arithmetic tells
me you have to add 20% to the figures above. For countries not listed,
email OFFLIST and I'll call for the figure... Questions or comments,
offlist, too, please. Also, including your e-mail address with your check
is a big help.
I got the figures above, BTW, from Nick Maltese at Thos. Cooke. He punched
them up on his computer at 3 PM yesterday (Thursday). The rate, be
advised, changes four times a day, but lacking Nick's software program, I
would go with these for the time being, barring dramatic upheavals in
either direction. I remain, however, open to alternative suggestions,
which can also perhaps be applied to the betterment of international
For instance, one gentleman sent dollars by airmail special delivery,
quite safe since signature is required. Whether that method costs less
than the $4 changing fee, I don't know -- tho it does dispose of excess
But enough levity. The bank check should be payable to Post-Factory Press,
and mailed to
61 Morton St
New York, NY 10014, USA
Obviously, the above method isn't much help for those whose banks charge
great fees for a draft or money order, but many seem to charge customers
little or nothing for that service -- while fees for changing to foreign
currencies can be exhorbitant.
Here's hoping -- and cheers,