Meet Eric Eigner
A cash-free society might be a sign of the times, but it looks like the tradition of collecting coins is experiencing a new renaissance. At least if Sydney-based coin business Drake Sterling Numismatics is anything to go by.
Founder Eric Eigner started his online business in 2008 as “a side hustle before side hustles became cool”. After steadily growing it for a few years, Eric made the decision in 2011 to run the business full-time.
Specialising in Australian gold coins, Eric’s business garners global attention from customers mainly in the UK, Canada, United States, South Africa, as well as on local soil. In a world before COVID-19, coin collectors and businesses alike would flock to coin shows worldwide, from London and New York, to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore, buying and selling coins.
Attracting international customers, Eric needed a business solution to pay and get paid in multiple currencies cheaply and efficiently.
“That’s when I discovered OFX [in 2012], exchange rates were far more competitive and I haven’t looked back since. The banks rip you off with the fees. The margins they charge on foreign currency are crazy. I don’t want to pay that much, especially for my volume. I’ve saved thousands and it just makes it easier for overseas customers to pay me.”
“I try to give the customer a very native experience, so if they’re a local British dealer from the UK, I want to be able to offer them a sterling account to pay into. When I have sterling payments I pay out of that same account, so I can avoid the currency conversion fees. It removes the hassle for the customer and it’s a saving for both of us.”
In an all too familiar situation for many business owners , Eric wears almost every hat in his business. So whilst he’s in the OFX platform everyday, having someone on the other end of the phone who can support his needs has been beneficial.
“Joseph [Foo, OFXpert] knows my business and what I’m looking for. I’ve found that personal understanding, something which the banks don’t do at all, has been very valuable.
“I know OFX is a much larger business, but it still feels like a startup and I can pick up the phone and it will get to a person. And when I ask, ‘can I speak to Joe’ the person on the other end of the line will know who he is and sometimes I literally feel like they’re looking at Joe’s desk. It feels really personal and I like that.”
No doubt Eric is looking forward to the day when he can physically attend a coin show somewhere in the world. But as the saying goes, there are two sides to every coin. Travel has been out of the picture, yes. But a new world of coin collecting online has opened up, as well as people’s nostalgic desire and appreciation for coin collectables. Even young people are getting on board. So it seems, coin collectables might just be here to stay.
How would Eric describe OFX in one word?
Transformational. My entire export strategy is based on being able to do overseas deals cheaply and frequently and that wouldn’t be possible without OFX. It transformed the business from a local Australian business to an international business.
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