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amandagmu

Buying things on kongfz.com

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amandagmu

So, I've just set up a kongfz.com account and want to buy a bunch of OOP books and magazines, but I don't think I can easily pay using the website; it seems my options are limited to Chinese bank accounts. Has anyone else been able to get around this with a foreign credit card? Should I try contacting the seller directly and asking if I can pay another way? Is there any easy way to go to the bank and do this? I saw an old thread on here (in Chinese from a few years back) that explained something about being able to go to the bank and set something up to pay a seller... however, I would be dealing with several dealers here and would most like to just pay online if possible. Otherwise... guess I have to find a Chinese friend to pay????

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gato

I see that kongfz.com has 支付宝 (Alipay) as a payment option. 支付宝 does support the use of international credit cards (like Visa). You should keep in mind, though, that most US credit cards charge an international transaction fee to purchases made outside the US, even if it is online. I don't remember exactly how the high the fee is. It may be on the order of US$5 or 1% of the transaction price, whichever is higher.

It would probably be more economical if you set up an online banking account with one of the local banks. I would recommend China Construction Bank, as they seem to be the most professional of the big 4 national banks.

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amandagmu

Hmm... I signed up for alipay already, but couldn't find the place to put my visa info... guess I'll have to go back and look again. Did you have to go to the bank in person to sign up? Yes, I really am that lazy. ;-)

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amandagmu

Thanks. Despite the help page, these options do not actually exist when I go to pay... but perhaps it's something set up by the seller. Perhaps I will actually try the route through the bank.

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roddy

Setting up an account with online banking really is very easy - set up a new account a few months back, took less than an hour, and all I had to do was sign my name a couple of times and tap in various passwords. That was ICBC.

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Don_Horhe

You don't even have to set up Internet banking to buy from there - you can do it with your bank card and an ATM. Last time I bought books from kongfz.com was almost a year ago, but the way it roughly works is that when you check out you can choose how you want to pay. One of the options available is via bank remittance (汇款). You'll get a card/account number for the seller's account, and all you need to do is go to their bank, stick your card in the ATM and follow the steps for transferring to an account. You'll be prompted to enter the recipient's card/account number (which you've already written down on a piece of paper) and you're done. Just don't forget to take the receipt, as you need to fill in the transaction number and time at the website as proof of payment. I did this with my ICBC 牡丹 card, I'm sure it'll work with international ones as well.

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amandagmu

hey, thanks! I totally glossed over the tab for 传统方式付款 because I wanted to pay online. I'll go try this method out first.... plan to go to the atm at the bank in a few.

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amandagmu

Ok! Here's an update for anyone who cares. I went into ICBC near me and tried to use the machine, but since I don't have an ICBC account (and thus no bank card) I was told I would have to send the money the more 传统 way, so I filled out the form for each person I was sending money to and got in the good ol' crappy bank line, i.e., I took a seat and took out a book to read while I waited 25 minutes or so until my number was called (thankfully it was only that long, I had a nightmarish experience in November with China Unicom when I went there).

Anyways, the form basically required me to know the following info:

1) recipient's bank account information (an ICBC account -- my guess is that you should just go to the bank that matches the recipient's bank account)

2) recipient's full name (they were quite adamant about this and my crappy handwriting on one of the names created some confusion and then concern)

3) the amount you wish to transfer plus that amount in cash in your hand (if like me you don't have an account with that bank)

The whole process, once it began, took about two minutes. I got receipts for each then went home and logged into kongfz.com and input the information about when I sent the money and who it would be coming from (using my Chinese name in both instances). I double-checked my mailing address. I guess I just need to sit back and see if all comes through now!

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roddy

I humbly submit you're going to wish you'd set up an account while you were there next time you're doing online shopping.

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Don_Horhe

Hah, I was initially doing the exact same thing before being told I could pay directly through the ATM - waiting in line forever, only to be snickered at by the bank clerk for making a bank remittance of RMB 12.50. It got even worse the second and third time, since I had to make multiple payments to different recipients - the bank staff hated my guts and one of them helpfully suggested I use the ATM in the future. :mrgreen:

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amandagmu

Well, I was told I could not use the ATM-like machine without a bank account with ICBC. Furthermore, I am under the assumption that setting up any bank account here is going to be a pain in the ass and not worth my time -- after all, I do not have a reason for setting one except for withdrawing money to pay for things online (really, it's the ONLY reason, as a student I am not working in this country and so I'd have to withdraw money from one account and deposit it in this new one). But I guess next time I will ask about the steps/process to set up an online account. Anyways, I did several remittances at once this time, and I'll probably do that again in the future, so it wasn't a total waste of time really. (One of the orders is for about 12 items from the same bookstore.)

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roddy

Fair enough, but for the benefit of anyone else reading - setting up a bank account in China really is incredibly easy - take ID, have a note of your address (doesn't have to be anything official, and they won't send you anything) and you'll be walking out of the bank with a card and your online banking stuff before you know it. They should even fill in the forms for you.

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amandagmu

OK, so I've finally decided to try and set up the online banking account tomorrow, and I came across this fabulous post:

http://www.blackdragoncafe.com/journal/2010/06/15/how-to-open-an-icbc-bank-account/comment-page-1/

One problem, however. I have a mac. Is this going to cause trouble? Can I still just pay at the ATM-like machine and skip the whole USB stick gizmo?

Thanks!

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amandagmu

More updates... so, not a problem getting the account set up at a bank, but now I have a USB key and no way to use it! Anyways, supposedly I'll be able to make single transfers up to 500 RMB without it, which actually will be most of my purchases for the moment.

The ICBC website is quite clear it does not have software for Macs right now (or ever), so I guess I'm SOL on using the key... I guess I'm about to find out the deal with the ActiveX browser stuff too (who wants to bet it won't work in Safari or Firefox or Chrome?!).

So anyways, looks like I'll have to continue going to the bank, although I'm hoping now this means I can use the machine to pay instead of waiting an eternity in line. But at least I got some good reading in today.

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imron

I have an ICBC account with the USB key. Every time I want to use it with my Mac, I boot up a Windows XP virtual machine with VMWare and log on with Internet Explorer 6. It's a pain, but it works, and I don't really have to use it very often.

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