In these days there were two ways to sent money to a German seller. You could sent money via the bank. At that time a time consuming operation. It was not possible via internet banking, so I had to go to the bank with all the information needed and had to fill in a lot of paperwork at the counter.
I am pretty happy the Euro was introduced in 2002. In the beginning there were still high costs for international bank transfers, but I could make them at home behind my computer, which is much more easy. Now the costs of transering Euro's to another Euro country is free of charge, if you use the international bank number (IBAN). This has saved me a lot of money (I had to pay sometimes over €60.- for international bank transfers per month, so you still complain about the 3% Paypal commission?) .