Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Korean Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Foreign exchange in the San Francisco Bay Area, Won to USD

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Off-Topic Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
createasaurus21



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject: Foreign exchange in the San Francisco Bay Area, Won to USD Reply with quote

I'm in the SF Bay Area now and I'm looking to exchange won for dollar for a decent rate. The foreign exchange place at the mall wanted to give me only $395 USD for 500,000 won. Anyone know of any places?

I went to a grocery store in Sunnyvale (where a big Korean population lives) and asked a Korean ajumma at the register if she knew of a place. She immediately said 'No,' almost too quickly. Both my friend and I got the impression that she knew but didn't want to say, or that saying so would be illegal or something. I then asked about the Korean bank next door, and she said she wasn't sure but encouraged to check. I went to the bank and got the same kind of response. As if what I was asking was illegal, at a bank! She told me to change it at the airport, which is just ridiculous considering their rates. She also told me to check Bank of America.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Foreign exchange in the San Francisco Bay Area, Won to U Reply with quote

createasaurus21 wrote:
I'm in the SF Bay Area now and I'm looking to exchange won for dollar for a decent rate. The foreign exchange place at the mall wanted to give me only $395 USD for 500,000 won. Anyone know of any places?

I went to a grocery store in Sunnyvale (where a big Korean population lives) and asked a Korean ajumma at the register if she knew of a place. She immediately said 'No,' almost too quickly. Both my friend and I got the impression that she knew but didn't want to say, or that saying so would be illegal or something. I then asked about the Korean bank next door, and she said she wasn't sure but encouraged to check. I went to the bank and got the same kind of response. As if what I was asking was illegal, at a bank! She told me to change it at the airport, which is just ridiculous considering their rates. She also told me to check Bank of America.


Sorry to tell you but taking won out of Korea has always been a bad idea.
(and it has been publicly stated in this forum many, many times over the years, "Do NOT take won out of Korea, you ALWAYS get hit on the exchange rate".)

It is not a well traveled currency (IE: it WAS a non-convertible* currency until recently) and you will ALWAYS lose 15-33% when you try to exchange it (as a currency) abroad.
It doesn't matter if you try to do it in Japan, USA, Canada, Thailand or anywhere else; you lose.

If you want a decent rate, mail it back to Korea and get someone to exchange it for you and send the dollars back or just bite the bullet, take your hit and move on.

* - Definition of 'Nonconvertible Currency:
Any currency that is used primarily for domestic transactions and is not openly traded on a forex market. This usually is a result of government restrictions, which prevent it from being exchanged for foreign currencies.

.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
createasaurus21



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually did (and usually do) change my money in Korea before leaving, for the reason you mentioned. This trip though, I had just gotten paid by my employer while I was at the airport, so even though I did have enough for my trip, I decided to just withdraw 550k won from the airport ATM for an emergency fund. Turned out I spent a lot more than I thought on Christmas gifts and shopping, so I'm glad I decided to do that.

I went to Bank of America today and with their rate I lost about 50,000 won in the transaction. Not a good rate, but better than what the rip-off booth was offering.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, don't do it. My wife exchanged some won to Canadian dollars at YYZ a few years back and I had to go back to the counter when she showed me what she had gotten. I thought there had been a mistake. The lady said those were the rates. I flat out told her it was robbery.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess it is too late since you already exchanged the money, but Currency Exchange International is probably your best bet. They're located in the Fnancial District and Berkeley (plus maybe elsewhere in the Bay, Idk).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Off-Topic Forum All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2013 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International