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.)