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MondSemmel
30-06-2011, 10:47 PM
As I'm sure everybody is aware, the prices on Steam (and, as I understand it, in the case of most retailers as well) have highly inflated prices in euro, often with the conversion ratio of 1 $ = 1 , ripping (most) Europeans off. The current exchange rate of 1 ~= 1.45 $ means that we are charged too much even when factoring in VAT.

That being said, I'm not trying to complain about this too much here. I guess this problem will stay with us for a long time.

Instead, what I'm asking for is coping strategies: If you use Steam as a EU customer who is affected by this pricing issue, what do you do? Do you see no problem with this? Do you curse and swear, but ultimately pay the higher price? Do you have a credit card/address/friend in the US and can therefore circumvent this problem? Or is there any other solution?

With the current Steam sale, I obviously have this same problem. I don't really buy full price games anymore, instead sticking to highly discounted games, so while I'm still overpaying, I only really overpay on stuff that remains more or less of a bargain regardless.

As I understand it, it is perfectly legitimate* for an American to buy Steam games for their dollar price, then gift them to a EU citizen who pays the American for buying the game for its dollar prize (perhaps partially splitting the savings of the deal with the American)), and everybody profits. Theoretically. But is this actually done? Am I even right in my understanding that this is legal? How would one go about finding someone trusted enough to send them the money? Could this be faciliated on a larger scale by a European gaming community like RPS, or is it already done somewhere?

(On a slightly related issue, I'm from Germany and some of the deals seem to be region locked - e.g. I have yet to see a Valve or Rockstar or id pack. Obviously, the suggestion above would solve that problem, too.)

So...any comments?

* (If I'm wrong about this, consider this suggestion null and void.)

Rinox
30-06-2011, 10:55 PM
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?73-RPS-Data-Smuggling-Ring-2-Smugglier&highlight=smuggling

:-)

Squiz
30-06-2011, 10:56 PM
This is done all the time, look up the data smuggling thread.

Edit: Rinox beat me to it.

MondSemmel
30-06-2011, 10:59 PM
Oh, thanks! I did use the search feature, but apparently not well enough!

That said, I'm still interested in how many people actually do this.

Squiz
30-06-2011, 11:01 PM
Apparently lots. I know I recieved my share of good deals over that channel. Just ask around, there is likely somebody willing to help out if you go ahead with paypaling the money.

GothicEmperor
30-06-2011, 11:39 PM
Just buy when there's a sale and it won't matter much.

SirKicksalot
01-07-2011, 12:17 AM
Paypal or game trading is the way to go. I do it all the time.

G915
01-07-2011, 12:37 AM
I usually complain a lot, then I try to find better price at gamesplanet.com or d2d.co.uk and in the end - pay the higher price (and still complain a lot).
Anyways I do have a credit card and an address in the US that I use for my amazon/kindle purchases but it just never occured to me that I could actually use it on Steam.
The problem is that I can't "recharge" gift certicifates on my steam acc the same way I can do it on my amazon account, it would be great if Valve added some kind of "gift coupons" to Steam, I would then register my account to an US address and credit card and send "gift certificates" (= money) from my regular EU account. Bah. Just thinking out loud but this RPS sumggling club is a great thing!

Skalpadda
01-07-2011, 01:08 AM
It does annoy me a little, especially since I'm not even in a € country but still pay € prices, though not as much as the British pretending they're being crucified by the god of games pricing every time they happen to have to pay more than Americans. Look across that narrow bit of water to your east and you'll see people with actual cause to complain about games pricing. Now be silent and eat your gruel.

Then again, privileged westerners complaining about the price of luxury items is a bit silly in any case. Ah, gruel.

Squiz
01-07-2011, 07:38 AM
Just buy when there's a sale and it won't matter much.Oh, but it does matter. Even with discounts, there are big differences between EU and the US. I remember saving around 20EUR during the last sale (bought 2 or 3 cheap games) just through smuggling them in from the US.

MondSemmel
01-07-2011, 11:54 AM
Oh, but it does matter. Even with discounts, there are big differences between EU and the US. I remember saving around 20EUR during the last sale (bought 2 or 3 cheap games) just through smuggling them in from the US.

Right. If euro prices were the norm, then all $-customers would, right now, basically qualify for a permanent 32% discount (because 10 $ ~ 6.8 € with current exchange ratios). Considering there are lots of 33%-discounts on steam during a sale right now, I think that says a lot.

Anyways, thanks for the replies! I'm somewhat relieved that I wasn't the only one who hadn't considered that smuggling thing until now.

Rinox
01-07-2011, 12:38 PM
It does annoy me a little, especially since I'm not even in a € country but still pay € prices, though not as much as the British pretending they're being crucified by the god of games pricing every time they happen to have to pay more than Americans. Look across that narrow bit of water to your east and you'll see people with actual cause to complain about games pricing. Now be silent and eat your gruel.

Then again, privileged westerners complaining about the price of luxury items is a bit silly in any case. Ah, gruel.

Agreed on all counts. But then we Euro (or people who pay in Euro on Steam) look at the Aussies and go...well we ain't THAT bad off yet either. ;-)

winterwolves
01-07-2011, 01:15 PM
Just buy when there's a sale and it won't matter much.
Yes exactly, I don't like the different prices either, but when a game is for $5.99 or €5.99 doesn't matter much :D
If you want to buy fullprice games then is better if you check play.com that while is still retail, usually has lower prices than Steam on brand new games.

Sceptrum
01-07-2011, 01:34 PM
Since our government introduced VAT on electronic goods and services, full-price on Steam will now be 62,5 €. Still not as bad as Aussies I think.

I've stopped buying full-price games on Steam. I usually save good amount by buying from retail stores...which is kinda whacked.

nicker
23-08-2011, 07:01 PM
kinda-bump
I've just noticed that Deus EX:HR is 44,99€ over here, and 34.57€ over there, which reminded me of Bad Company 2, which I bought via Gametap for 10€, while Steam price for my region was still 49.99, and that was beginning of December 2010 AD, more than 6 months that BC2 was out, and still no price reduction in Europe.

Squiz
23-08-2011, 10:11 PM
And even then there are are places even cheaper to import from.

Rinox
24-08-2011, 12:39 AM
yep, check CDwow for good € prices.

http://www.cdwow.nl/games/deus-ex-human-revolution-pc/dp/19893341#bc=ee95

30 € for Deus Ex: HR, free delivery

soldant
24-08-2011, 01:20 AM
And yet whenever we complain, out come the "Oh you guys have a much better income and much better killer animals and insects and stuff and your prices are fine."

Which still doesn't explain to me how I can play the exact same amount for a digital copy as a boxed copy. Or why they put all the prices in USD which up until recently meant they were more expensive than the boxed copy. But I must thank the enterprising Brits because they sell their games to us, usually for about 50% off. Thus, in the spirit of the Commonwealth, and in the interest in continuing to acquire more cheap software, I weep with you.

Skalpadda
24-08-2011, 04:55 AM
To be fair, you do actually have better killer animals. The best I can hope for is having a road accident with a moose.

JohnnyMaverik
24-08-2011, 05:39 AM
I'm usually based in the UK but most of my immediate family live in Portugal and I'm there atm, so yea, it's a bit of a shock. I have bought a few games while over here already, namely Limbo and Bastion but only because I thought they were worth the price regardless of it being slightly hiked compared to what I'd have to pay in the UK.

It is ridiculous though. I'm looking at the serious same HD pack knowing that if I was in the UK it's be a good 2 or so pounds cheaper.

Deus Ex HR is 45 for the standard edition, that's more than the aug edition is in the UK.

I'm sure I remember reading there was a reason so many retail outlets do this, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was.

Squiz
24-08-2011, 08:18 AM
yep, check CDwow for good prices.

http://www.cdwow.nl/games/deus-ex-human-revolution-pc/dp/19893341#bc=ee95

30 for Deus Ex: HR, free delivery
I've read somewhere that GreenManGaming is even cheaper.