Best way to send money?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous (Czech-Related)' started by SFox, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. SFox

    SFox Active Member

    After visiting Prague and my Czech relatives outside Prague, my relatives gave us some gifts including wine glasses. I emailed them and asked them if they could send additional glasses to make a larger set, that I would like to buy them. When they sent them, they took off the price tag and would not let me pay for them. I don't know how much they cost and I would like to repay them, both for the glasses and their hospitality.

    So, what is the best way to send money to someone in the Czech Republic? I have heard paypal is a good way, but I don't know if my relative has a paypal account and I know she would not get one if she knows I plan on sending her money. Would a travelers check work? Or should I use Western Union?

    Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    It could be offensive to insist on paying them back. I know that I've just had to accept things from my husband's family because my husband said it would offend them if I paid them back. Perhaps you could just send a gift from the states. Something they can't get there may be nice.
  3. SFox

    SFox Active Member

    I try to be gracious and did accept the other gifts in the spirit offered.

    I struggle with accepting this as a gift, especially the glasses I asked them to purchase for me. I have been trying to think of something to send them but since I don't know them well enough I just cannot think of anything to send!
  4. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Generally, Czech custom is remove price tags from gifts.

    So I believe, they meaned it as gift.
  5. SFox

    SFox Active Member

    Yes, my Czech grandmother was very good at removing pricetags. She was also very good at sending things to her relatives. Unfortunately when she died my mother did not remain in contact with them so our meeting in November was wonderful but a little difficult.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for items not readily available in the CR that we could send as a gift from the US?
  6. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Well, I was very pleased for walking shiny action figure of Bender the robot from Futurama tv series, which my friend sent me in return for DVD's with Czech tv serials, which I sent to him, but Bender probably isn't right choice for your relatives :)

  7. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    If you would have digital pics of glasses you can post it here and someone can look it up in the store. When you know approx. price (perhaps from Tesco). You can send money order to them and send the note "for your next vacation".

    I also wonder, if you ever considered inviting them to stay with you? Accommodation in West is still rather pricey and most cannot afford it, especially if they don't speak the language and don't know how to find more reasonable accommodation. Invitation to visit would be good and then in envelope note etc.and money order with their packet money for the visit.

    It would really bother me too, Exepting gift is one thing, but asking for more of the same and them getting it without paying would really pain me. They obvously bought already first time what they considered generous.

    Czechs don't have what you have asked for in their "culture", so if you would have asked here before, someone would tell you that it could be a problem. We, in the West are used to say what we think and want and mean it - therefore if you would ask someone where you live to do that for you, they would do it for you as you said. With Czechs, money is dirty subject.

    I would offer to check the price at the store, but I am leaving Prague shortly and I am in a bit of hurry.

    But please, let us know how it goes.
  8. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    My father-in-law loves Elvis and we send him Elvis things. Maybe there is some famous person here they admire. Or I also know that when they were visiting here, he bought a weed-wacker because they are so much cheeper here (although it would be hard to send something that big). Perhaps some of the Czech people on this board know of items that are much cheeper here in the States than in Czech so you could send that.

    Also, when any of our family members here (US) go back home (Czech), I always send my mother-in-law packages of dry Italian dressing. She loves it and can't buy it there. She just adds the oil and vinegar. Perhaps they would like some food item or wine or something they can't buy here .
  9. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    dzurisovak: dry italian dressing is available now at Tesco - darn - and they have weed whacker too! Where are the times when one could come to Prague go to Tuzex and buy everything they ever wished for right there. Now it's everywhere. Life was much easier for us relatives/friends under Comm.

    I am on continous search for small stuff, but it is harder and harder. My lastest "souveneers" are silikone brushes and silicone stirring spoons/spatulas.

    It would be nice to have section here with true and good ideas of things to bring. Then we can hope that enought real Czechs (I am fakey one) joins in and helps.This is really serious problem with what to bring.

    However, friend with glasses has much bigger problem. I would probably brake down, find out how much glassses are and send nice card with money (not in envelope) saying that "I would love to make you happy with anything from US, but after visiting CR and seeing how well your country is doing there just isn't anything I can find here you would enjoy. Please be so good and do me a favour, decide on whatever you will find useful and what will make you happy."

    I really don't think that some stuff would be good enough in this case.
    And if he wants to write something like this inCzech I am confident, that there are many who would help him.
  10. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Very good idea megan. And if SFox feels that cash is too harsh, then perhaps it is possible to purchase a gift card to a store over there and have it sent to the relative's home. Or perhaps a VISA card would work. I know here in the states we've given VISA cards which you can purchase at your bank and it is accepted anywhere that takes VISA.
  11. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    Gift card from some major department store is absolutely brilliant idea. Anyone would like that and it's not the money.

    Another good idea is to look for identical glasses on e-Bay. They have everything and only thing needed is to enter glasses crystal czech perhaps wine or beer or whatever glasses are for. That should be reasonable indication of price, but needs to be checked in other place too.
  12. SFox

    SFox Active Member

    Some very good ideas here, thank you! My husband suggested trying to see if I could get a giftcard to Tesco, but maybe a pre-loaded visa card would be better. I do have a photo somewhere of the glasses, because I emailed that photo to my cousin so I might be able to post it to see if anyone could help figure out the value.

    When I was young and my grandmother sent things to the relatives it was different because they could not get many things. Now it seems they have most of the same things we have which has made it difficult.

    I really want to show my appreciation, I want to pay for items I asked for but also do not want to offend.
  13. mdusin

    mdusin Member

    you can send pancake mix and quality maple syrup (you cannot get either in CZ but it is pretty close to Czech food and yet exotic)

    or send flowers through on-line shop

    forget about sending cash or equivalents of cash, you will offend them if you do. you do not give money in return for a gift, do you.

    what is not always available in Europe are the latests merchanidise fads, so if she has children or grand children send something relevant. Lego is available but expensive.

  14. TroskuAmericanka

    TroskuAmericanka Active Member

    Or peanut butter and marshmallows for smores. The only peanut butter I have seen is very small and very expensive. And real marshmallows for smores, I have been told, are non-existent. Ok, you can tell I´m hungry. Sorry...probably didn´t help too much. :(
    But I agree with the others, don´t send money back to them. Otherwise you can send them things unique to where you live. I bring my friends Minnesota shirts, things that say Minnesota on them, from wherever you live, you could ship glasses that also say where you live, etc...
  15. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    They have maple sirup in Tesco. I would not recommend pancake mix as there is large selection of mixes (and yes also pancakes = livance etc.) I think they would be wondering if you thought they didn't have enough to eat.
    Gift card to Tesco (not sure if that exists) is good idea as Tesco is popular store/department store + grocery store, where you can find anything.
  16. Paint

    Paint Well-Known Member

    I agree with everyone who said that sending money in exchange for the wine glasses is a bad idea. A gift would be better. However I'd like to comment on the sending-money question in case anyone else ever needs to do it...

    I once was in a situation where it was necessary to send money to/from the US and the Czech Republic... we explored several possibilities and the only one that was feasible was Western Union. At the time, PayPal wasn't available in the Czech Republic... and I'm not sure if it is now, either. Wire transfers were prohibitively expensive and we couldn't come up with much else. If PayPal had been an option that would have been great. It isn't hard to sign up for a PayPal account.

    Someone else mentioned Visa giftcards - I worked at a retail store and we saw those regularly. American Express and MasterCard have them too. The only drawback is they lose value if you don't use them... and they eventually expire. I worked in customer service and a couple came by to find out why the $50 gift card was rejected on a $45 sale... we discovered that they were docked $5 a month because they hadn't used it yet 6 months after they got it. The company that issued the gift card would have taken $5 a month until the card had no value left.
  17. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    Wow, that is some shocking information. I can't imagine many people know about. Thanks for sharing.
  18. Paint

    Paint Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah one more thing about the credit card gift cards - you can't use 2 of them to purchase something that costs more than the value of one card.... because they work like credit cards. When you enter the number of one of them it will get rejected because there's isn't enough of a balance on it for the whole sale. There are ways for the store cashiers to get around that but it is complicated and requires good problem solving skills.

    Other than the two things I mentioned they are a great gift idea. As far as sending them internationally, though, I guess it depends on how much you trust customs and postal service.
  19. Sam

    Sam Active Member

    Paypal offer accounts in Czech Republic, but only for sending money, you cannot receive money as they do not yet have an agreement in place with the Czech banks.
  20. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    It's changed last week. From now you can receive money.
    From 14.9.2006 it will work officially.

    Effective Date: September 14, 2006
    Beginning September 14, 2006, registered PayPal users in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Thailand will be able to receive funds into their PayPal accounts as well as withdraw them to a local bank account." ... icle=17412

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