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Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

Green Valley...
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Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

Wondering if I should exchange some $$ before heading on vacation or just do it there... Anyone happen to note what the "going rate" on 5th is? Thx!

Kansas
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1. Re: Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

Just got back from a week long vacation and found no need to exchange money. Every place we went to in town or around the resort will take USD and they give you the same exchange rate as a bank would. No need to hassle with pesos. We found that when haggling in town we got a better deal when you offer USD. Just make sure you ask for USD when getting change back, all the shops accommodated those requests as well.

Edited: 19 December 2013, 03:56
Vancouver
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2. Re: Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

so every place was giving a 12.9 rate?

Hancock, New...
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3. Re: Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

"they give you the same exchange rate as a bank would."

No, they practically never do this.

"We found that when haggling in town we got a better deal when you offer USD."

Nope. Exchanging dollars is an expense for them, so they always keep that in mind when haggling.

Here's an example: A vendor was selling candy wrapper purses on 5a. There was one my wife hadn't seen before and sort of liked, so she asked the price. She was quoted USD$50. My wife usually buys such purses at a particular store in Cozumel with no haggling for MXN$50 (yes, under 4 bucks). Even if she'd haggled the seller down to a quarter of the original asking price she still would've been overpaying massively.

The point is that part of what they're selling is your feeling good about the great deal you got. There's nothing wrong with that, but when you're using dollars and haggling the starting point is far above what a Mexican would pay somewhere else with no haggling. The vast majority of what's sold in Mexico outside of souvenirs never involves any degree of bargaining - you just pay the price marked. So why do some vendors in tourist areas haggle? Right - the only reason is because it gets them higher prices than if they don't haggle.

Using dollars in Mexico means you're going to spend more than you need to.

Hancock, New...
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4. Re: Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

To answer the original question, exchange rates change by the second. The best place to check them is online at one of a zillion websites.

Don't exchange money at home unless you live quite near the border. Unless a bank handles very large amounts of pesos, their service charges will mean you don't get as good a rate as simply withdrawing pesos from an ATM inside a bank in Mexico. (DON'T use "Cashola" or other free-standing ATM's on the street!). If you can't or don't want to use an ATM card, you'll nearly always get a better rate at a bank in Mexico than in the US. There are several branches of various ones just off of 5a. You can also get a pretty good rate at Elektra. Unless you plan on exchanging tens of millions of dollars you won't get the interbank exchange rate that many websites quote, but you can get pretty close just using an ATM.

Kansas
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5. Re: Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

Every vendor we purchased any goods from, 5-6 shops, divided the final agreed upon price by 13. Giving you a 1:13 ratio. Debbie you just have to be smart when haggling and watch their calculators when they are converting. If you are not comfortable with quick math in might not hurt to use the calculator on your phone or take a small cheap one with you. Don't forget you are in the driver seat when haggling and make sure they don't try and pull a fast one. In my opinion it's not worth converting any money into pesos and when you can use USD in the majority of places to purchase goods I can't see much of a reason why the shop owners would ever have to convert it theirselves. They are happy to take USD.

Vancouver
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6. Re: Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

As Mark said, vendors artificially inflate their prices

But if you stay in the big expensive 'tourist' zones, bring your US$ if it's easier

I bring pesos but stay away from 5th

Go into the better stores that have fixed prices are ALWAYS better

My son spent 30 minutes bartering a price for a tshirt. We found it for a better price in a local Akumal store with fixed prices (and cheaper using pesos)

Edited: 19 December 2013, 05:28
Kansas
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7. Re: Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

I admit we did all of our shopping it what I'm sure is considered the "tourist zone" but go into all negotiations knowing what you would be comfortable paying for an item and if they won't work with you or try and give you a rate of 1:11 or something just walk away. You can almost always find that item somewhere else. If you want to see how well you haggle drop in one of the fixed price stores and see how much it is there. They seem to carry a lot of the souvenir stuff and it seemed to be priced pretty close to what the other vendors bottom dollar is. Sometimes you might do a little better but it seemed to be pretty close. When it boils down to it if you like something and our comfortable with the price, buy it and don't worry about it. But for those of us who love "the game" it's a lot of fun. Just remember they need to sell it worse than you need to buy it and its comical how much they will come off the original inflated price.

Barrie, Canada
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8. Re: Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

Regardless of "final" price, you will still pay more at the tourist zone store than outside of it - be it a bottle of water, food, t-shirt or jewellry. Anyone that spent time outside of 5th will attest to that. It is very true though that the characters on the 5th are way more entertaining than your average vendor and that the price games they play with tourists are fun and leave quite an impression for some people.

Another factor - the leases and overhead are much higher along the 5th, just like in any prime tourist shopping area. They also have to speak, or hire people that speak several languages. If they would charge the same or less than elsewhere, they would not survive long.

Regarding USD or Pesos. If all you need cash for is tips and a few trinkets, than USD will be fine. But if you have substantial daily spending outside resorts (restaurants, transportation, tours, ahopping) , than using Pesos will save you quite a bit.

Cambio rates flunctuate hourly. One thing I found is that those closest to ADO bus terminal give the best rate, and the rate gets worse as you walk North, or to Playacar. The spread could be as much as almost a peso depending where you are. Hotels and airports have worst rates.

Edited: 19 December 2013, 06:28
Portland, OR
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9. Re: Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

Bartering issue aside, I can garuntee you that the vast majority if not all fixed price places... such as restaurants, snack and coffee places, and the bigger souvenir places all have much bettee rates for using pesos. I use the XE currency app and rates were around 12.9 pesos to one usd most of the week. These places mostly gave between 12 and 12.35 so you're losing right around 6-7% if u pay in usd. Its true that for a few tshirts its not worth it but if you're gonna dropa few hundred or more its a no brainer to get pesos out of a good atm down there.

vancouver
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10. Re: Current exchange rate for US$$ 12/18/13

can you tell me being from Vancouver what the cdn rate was