Buy Kindle 2 from outside US

BREAKING (2009-10-07) : The Kindle 2 is now available for overseas market as well. So please read the following blog post if your country is not covered by the latest scheme, or you want to know more about other Kindle information.

Kindle 3 is also now available, go get it !!

So, you want the Kindle 2 but you are not living in US, what can you do ? (Since Amazon.com does not ship the Kindle outside the United States.) You basically have two options, one is ask a friend in the US to buy one and load it up with a lot of books and post it over. The other option is like what I did just 10 days ago (and now I have a Kindle 2 with me already).

  1. Basically, all you need is a Visa credit card and a mobile phone – if you’re staying in Hong Kong, Singapore, Mainland China and Taiwan.
  2. First, go to Onenow.com, get registered … turn on your mobile phone, as they will send your an SMS with the registration verification code. You will then get an USA address. Yes, it’s that simple.
  3. Go ahead to Amazon.com do shopping, the Onenow.com will resize the windows such that you will see the Onenow.com window (with your US address) and the main shopping window (i.e. Amazon.com).
  4. Buy the Kindle 2, and enter the Onenow.com US address as your delivery address. I also picked the standard delivery mode – i.e. 4 to 5 days to any US address and it costed me US$ 8.
  5. Upon finished the purchase, enter the purchase details to Onenow.com to indicate to them there is one shipment going to deliver to the address. They will have a Purchase verification code as an SMS as well.
  6. Later Amazon.com will probably send you information that the products has been shipped. And also Onenow.com will send you an email once they have received a package.
  7. By then you have a choice, indicate Onenow.com that the transaction has been completed or you can wait for other shipments (as many times eShop will split an order to several shipments). If you decided that the transaction has been completed you can click the “complete” button. And then click the “Ship” button to kick start the delivery process – you will need to enter your local delivery address and select delivery mode. I picked the speedier one as it cost only US$ 7 more (US$37).
  8. DHL is the delivery services provider of Onenow.com. Once the package Airway Bill prepared, they will send you the an electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) code via SMS and email – i.e. you need to confirm this code when the product arrives your door.

Update 1 : How do you buy Kindle as a gift without it attaches to your Amazon account? If you choose the gift option available in Amazon’s checkout process, the Kindle will not be attached to your Amazon account. The recipient will be able to register the Kindle to his/her Amazon account directly from the device or from the Manage Your Kindle page. If you forgot to choose the gift option, you need to “deregister” your Kindle 2 such that your friend can register it.

Update 2 : If you’re staying in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia or other Asian countries, you can also try VPost instead of Onenow.com. Hope it helps.

Update 3 : Amazon introduced some checks on the IP address to prevent people buying books from outside US from end September 2009. Please check this blog post on how to buy books and bypass the IP address check issue.

Update 4 : The Kindle 2 is now available for overseas market as well. So please read this blog post if your country is not covered by the latest scheme only

Some pictures of my Kindle 2:


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Author: Michael Yung

Michael possessed over 30 years of experience in Information Technology with focuses on complex application development, database technologies and IT strategy. He also spent the last 20 years in Internet technology, eCommerce development / operations, web usability, computer security and Public Key Infrastructure technologies.

67 thoughts on “Buy Kindle 2 from outside US”

  1. Hi, Michael. It is great to come across your blog by chance as I have been thinking how to get a Kindle and buy books without any hassle in Hong Kong.

    My situation is this: my son lives in LA and of course has a US address. He uses a subsidiary credit card (Visa) issued in HK. However I also have an AE card, issued in HK. ( But it seems that, from reading your blog, Amazon regards it as issued in US and therefore allows its account holder to buy both the devise and books. Am I correct?)

    What do you suggest as the most convenient and foolproof way for me to buy the device and books? Does it work for both Kindle 2 and DX? I shall visit my son in the US in early September and I do not mind waiting for a couple more months for it.

    Thanking you in advance!

    Like

  2. Hi Gabriel,

    Glad that you found the information useful.

    Yes, from my experience, Amazon did not check the US address of my HK AE card and therefore I could buy books and the device without any problem. In your case, I suggest you to create an Amazon account with your AE card, and your son’s US address and see whether you can buy the device first. If OK, then buy some eBooks to try with the AE card.

    If you failed to buy the device, then use the other method I used – i.e. the onenow.com; or get your son a US credit card.

    If you failed to buy any ebooks, then try using Amazon gift coupon approach. You can find the information in my other blog post.

    This approach works for both Kindle 2 and DX. If you can wait for a few more months however, then definitely you can get a better deal – as I believe the price will drop around Thanksgiving Day …

    Hope this helps.

    Like

  3. hi!

    can i ask what was the breakdown in cost using the onenow.com method to get the kindle2? i have been doing alot of research, seems like the most popular way to get it into Singapore is using vPost. thanks!

    Like

  4. Hi Hanyi,

    Sorry I forgot the cost I paid to onenow.com to ship the Kindle and the cover to me, but obviously it was cheaper than thru Amazon.com. I think if you want to get the Kindle to Singapore, then vPost it shall be a better choice. vPost is part of Singapore Post right ? And I think vPost support countries other than US as well.

    Hope it helps.

    Like

  5. Thank you very much Michael! Got my Kindle2 (through OneNow) and bought books (with gift cards). Everything is working! Without your sharing I would have waited, and waited, and waited for Kindle to come to HK…

    Like

  6. Hey Michael,
    Thanks for the above information..though i dont live in HK…i just wanted to confirm whether i can buy kindle using American Express/visa issued in India? nd get it delivered to a US address…
    possible?
    thnks

    Like

  7. Hi Aditi,

    Glad that you found the information useful. From my experience and others, it seems that as long as you have an US billing / shipping address, you can buy the Kindle 2 with any countries’ credit cards. However, to buy the eBooks, you need one credit card issued in US (but in my case, I had no problem using HK AMEX). As mentioned though, you can always use your credit card to buy gift certificate and then in turn use it to buy eBooks.

    Hope it helps.

    Like

  8. Very interesting this post. I´m writing from Brazil and I would like to know if somebody has hear about buying a Kindke and shiping it to Brazil. Does it work?

    Thanks,

    Roberto

    Like

  9. Hi, Michael.
    I tried to register in the Onenow.com today, after I typed in all the information and continued, it said “the page you’re looking for doesn’t exist”, do you know why this happened?
    Thanks.

    Like

    1. Hi,

      Sorry to hear that, looks like you need to contact onenow.com for that. May be you can try login again to see whether your registration worked or not ?

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  10. Hi all, great info… I’m from Singapore and will probably buy a DX thru Vpost using VISA… I know I’ve to put in the US shipping address given by Vpost but do I also use this US address as my credit card billing address or should I use the actual SG credit card billing address? Thanks!

    Like

    1. Hi Riona,

      Glad that you find the information useful. Yes, you shall use your US address as your credit card billing address as well. (It works for AMEX card as I think they don’t have rigorous card number / address cross check). You may also consider gift coupon option if you cannot use your credit card to buy eBooks.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  11. Hi, indeed now the Kindle 2 is made available internationally, however, it is still not in Singapore. Assuming if I use vPost to purchase the international version of the Kindle and ship to Singapore and when I travel to places like Hong Kong, Taiwan & Vietnam (places that Amazon is able to sell the eBooks), will the Kindle be able to access the Amazon store and purchase the eBooks? Possibly the purchase method may have to use the gift coupon as you suggested. Am I right?

    Like

    1. Hi Jason,

      I checked and yes, really surprised that the Kindle is still not shipping to Singapore. Anyway, in that case, I think you still can purchase the International version via vPost (I just bought the International version thru Onenow, please check my blog post). And then you can go to other places to buy eBooks, however you can now use proper method to purchase books (as your Amazon account shall now recognize that you have International version Kindle and able to sell book to it) – i.e. gift coupon method is not needed, even though you still can do that.

      However, there are some limitations of buying books for Kindle international version, I will blog about it and please wait a day or two 8)

      Like

  12. Hi Michael,

    I just bought US version of Kindle DX yesterday. I had bought a gift card using my Chinese VISA credit card and redeem it to a new amazon account. I enabled 1-click payment by entering my Chinese VISA credit card info with a US shipping address. I can send sample chapters to my kindle dx via whispernet but can’t buy any kindle books.

    The error message is:
    “We’re sorry! An error occurred when we tried to process your request. Rest assured, we’re working to resolve the problem as soon as possible. If you were trying to make a purchase, please check Your Account to confirm that the order was placed. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

    I read your update about the ip address checking applied by amazon.com recently, but I am traveling in the States right now.

    Can you confirm if the gift coupon option is still works? Thanks!

    Like

    1. Hi Jerry,

      Where did you place the order and see that message ? Was it in US or elsewhere ? As far as I know, the gift coupon option still works, especially if you now traveling in US, you can in fact try to buy books directly from your Kindle. May be you can try it and share with us here. Thanks !!

      Like

    1. Hi John,

      You can always link your Kindle with your Amazon account in the “Manage your Kindle” section. However there is no way to register the device with Amazon unless you traveled to US. More information here: http://www.michaelyung.com/blog/services-and-products/2009/04/18/registering-kindle-2-from-outside-us/. However, the Kindle DX International version will be made available early next year. So, you may want to wait for that.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  13. Hi Michael
    In your related comments you state:
    “But still, without registering your Kindle 2, you still can buy eBooks and read those without any problems.”
    Please explain how.
    John

    Like

  14. Hi Michael,
    I just read through your blog for past few months. I am located in HK. If I would like to buy a Kindle 2, do I still need to go to onenew.com as a delivery router?
    Thanks,
    Otto

    Like

    1. Hi Otto,

      If all you need is to buy the International version, then no, you don’t need onenow.com services anymore. However, if you want to have an US address for your Amazon account (e.g. for consolidating shipments to save shipping cost; or to buy US books for your Kindle), then you still can use their services.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

    1. No Otto, you can use gift coupon option to buy US books as well. Please check my other blog posts. However, if you need an US address for other shipments, then you can use onenow.com or similar services. Hope it helps.

      Like

    1. Hi Otto,

      The US address can be used in other accessories, and other Amazon goods, and even your purchases from other websites. Onenow provide the US address, and you can consolidate all your US purchases in that address and then send it back (to save overall shipment charges).

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  15. I will be going to Hong Kong in October, I would like to buy a Kindle or Sony Ebook reader, I’m thinking I could get a better price than here in Canada. I’m beginning to think just the buying Sony would be less complicated. Am I better off buying in Hong Kong or not?

    Like

    1. Hi Diane,

      There is no Kindle available here in HK yet, so you need to get it from Amazon website. For Sony reader, yes it’s less complicated but I am not sure whether it is cheaper here in HK than in Canada. On the other hand, I think you shall make the decision base on how easy to get the eBooks in Canada / Hong Kong in future; I tend to think Kindle or Nook are better in this sense.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  16. hi, I am living in malaysia and would like to get a copy of kindle 3 by using the method you had introduced….but one thing i am worrying about is the airport duty….do u have any idea how much i will have to pay for that? or not even a single cent? HELP!!!!

    Like

    1. Hi See Yen,

      Sorry I don’t know how much Malaysia will charge for that, as you know in HK there is no import duty for such things. On the other hand, I believe OneNow or VPost will ship the product to you as a “gift”, so may be there will not be any airport duty at all ? To make sure, suggest you check with OneNow or VPost as I am sure they know more about this.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  17. I have a girlfreind that lives in Taiwan. I want to buy her a Kindle or Sony e-reader. I am concerned about being able to download or buy current titled books in simple chinese and figuring out how to converst to PDF so she can load on Sony reader. I have not been able to find a web site to download books in chinese that are for Kindle or Sony. Is there such a place? If not, how do you convert chinese book to PDF? I dont beleive either Kindle or Sony reads chinese charachters so it must be put in PDF format correct?

    Like

    1. Hi Mark,

      If you want to buy / download Simplified Chinese books to Kindle, then don’t think you can find it. However, if you don’t mind, you can actually hack the Kindle to display unicode font. Then you can download (via USB) Simplified Chinese text files (straightly speaking, not books) to the Kindle to read.

      Otherwise, yes, the only way out is to convert the books / documents to PDF format to read.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  18. Hi Michael, thank you very much for the info.. i live in Malaysia and very much interested in purchasing a Kindle3. I stumbled upon an online mart which delivers the K3 here. But the shipping costs are HUGE…
    So, I might try Onenow.com and see where it’ll lead me… ;DD
    Thanx again, you are a life saver..

    Like

    1. Hi Julia,

      Glad you found the information useful … one thing you wanna make sure before you place the order from whatever vendor – make sure they buy it for you as a gift (i.e. don’t pre-register the Kindle for you).

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  19. Interesting…tho I think there’s an easier way to get content on the Kindle…
    It requires a slightly shady technique…of two Amazon accounts, one with M’sia address where you buy a gift card with a credit card (no success with Maybankard) and then use a US based account to buy the book after u redeem the gift….

    Anyway sharing…and hoping more Malaysians will find the Kindle…it’s great…

    Like

    1. Hi Ida,

      Kindle can read files that are in AZW, TXT, PDF, Audible, MP3, unprotected MOBI and PRC … if you have other formats, you need to use converters to those supported formats.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  20. Hi Michael,

    I want to buy the new Kindle and ship it to Hong Kong for my sister. However there is this field for Zip or postal code as you know there is no postal code for Hong Kong address.
    Does it mean I cannot buy it and ship it directly to Hong Kong for my sister?
    Must I go thru Onenow and ship it to Hong Kong?

    Thanks for you advice in advance.

    Like

    1. Hi Delphin,

      You can safely ignore the Zip / postal code, or just enter 99999 (or something like that) … if it is an International version. If what you’re buying is an US version, you may need to use the OneNow or ship it to you first, then ship again to HK.

      In any case, don’t forget to mark it as a gift, otherwise the device will link to your Amazon account.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  21. Hi,
    Thanks so much for the info, i live in Malaysia, and finally found how to buy kindle, after wanting it for sooo long 🙂 . Checking on Vpost, the shipment is not using DHL as per OneNow. Pretty worried on that. Has anyone tried Vpost? kindly share it here.

    Thanks

    Like

  22. Hi! Thanks for all the great info you’ve provided.I plan to ask my sis who lives in the uk to buy me the kindle from over there. I am a little worried however how I can buy the ebooks from the amazon site directly once I get back to Malaysia? Clueless, I know! Please help.

    Like

    1. Hi Ray,

      I think you can ask your sister to create an Amazon UK account for you. Then later on you can login to Amazon UK to purchase book, save to PC and then transfer to your Kindle via USB cable. And to purchase the books, you may need to use gift cards, unless you happen also have a UK credit card.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  23. Michael, thanks for your article. I’m hoping to buy a Kindle 3 (3G) soon, but have read negative comments about the costs of buying ebooks via US vs UK vs internationally. Which option do you think is best for someone who is based in HK:
    (1) Ask a friend to buy Kindle 3 in the UK and send it to me. I then download books from Amazon.co.uk using the method you suggested to Ray; or
    (2) I buy Kindle 3 from Amazon.com (international), and download books from Amazon (International).

    If I bought my Kindle and ordered ebooks from Amazon (international), and then next year I relocate to the UK – would I be able to switch to ordering ebooks from Amazon.co.uk? Your advice is much appreciated.

    Like

    1. Hi AuntyDot (Dorothy),

      To me, the key differentiation between buying books internationally vs US (or UK) is the ebook availability – i.e. some books are available in US (or UK) store, but not in the International bookstore. There is of course price differences as well, but the gap is actually not that big (if you compare it to the paperback).

      Back to your case, if you eventually move to UK, then option 1 may be better. For option 2, I think you may be able to deregister the Kindle from International store, and then register back to your UK account. This may work but I have not tried it.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  24. Hi Micheal!
    I live in China in Zhuhai (Guangdong Province near Macau) and want to buy the Kindle 3. I will go to Germany in about a month, where the kindle is really expensive (about 280 US$ compared to 189 US$ in the USA).
    What is the best way, safest and cheapest way for me to have it shipped to China?
    Or can I directly buy it in Macau, China or Hong Kong? I saw some Kindle3 3Gs + Wifi on Taobao for 800 RMB… Why and how is that possible???
    What is the difference of buying an Kindle international Version Wifi + 3G compared to a US-Version of Kindle 3?
    I read a lot of english books.
    What is the cheapest way of purchasing ebooks from the kindle store with the biggest constant selection? Is it the US Store?

    Thank you for your help, mate!

    Like

  25. Oh, and you said it is good to purchase through onenow Website, when living in HK.
    And you paid 37 US Dolllars.
    But when I directly purchase through amazon.com, than it would only cost between 15 and 20 US Dollars. Is that not the better and cheaper option?

    Like

  26. … And is it true that with a US kindle 3, or US Kindle Account Settings, anybody can surf the internet for free, but than has to pay 2 US dollars extra for purchasing ebooks when roaming outside of the USA? So, there is not difference between the Kindle 3 3G + Wifi- US vs the International Version, except in the Account Settings, and thus resulting in free Web-Browsing capabilities?

    Like

    1. Hi Ben,

      Thanks for stopping by …

      First, yes due to the currency exchange rate, it’s expensive to buy it in Germany … and so the best way is to buy the Kindle in USA or Hong Kong (if you have friends to get it and then ship back to you). Since Amazon don’t ship Kindle to China, so if you really have to go this way, you need to try Onenow.com. (Two years ago, Onenow.com was the only option because back then they didn’t ship outside US)

      There is no major specification differences between International version and US version. But to buy eBooks, the largest collection is indeed from US bookstore. I have other blog posts on how to access the US book store.

      Lastly, with Kindle, yes you can surf the Internet for free – as long as you can live with their simple and black & white browser. For eBooks, yes you need to pay extra outside USA, mainly because publisher charge different license fees.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  27. Hi Michael!
    Thank you for your answer.
    For clarification purposes her some more questions.
    I quote from your answers:
    “First, yes due to the currency exchange rate, it’s expensive to buy it in Germany … and so the best way is to buy the Kindle in USA or Hong Kong (if you have friends to get it and then ship back to you). Since Amazon don’t ship Kindle to China, so if you really have to go this way, you need to try Onenow.com. (Two years ago, Onenow.com was the only option because back then they didn’t ship outside US).”

    – So to purchase through Onenow.com is indeed more expensive than buying through Amazon.com directly, and than have Amazon ship it to a friend in Hongkong or Macau?
    – If I buy through the Amazon Website and want them to send it to Hong Kong or Macau, do I need to also use a Hongkong or Macau Credit Card for online payment, so to have accept my purchase and than have them ship it to the HongKong or Macau Adress, or can I use my german Credit Card Card?
    – Could I also buy the Kindle3 through purchasing Amazon gift Certificates for myself? Or does that not make any difference in the procedure of the payment process/price/shipment location?

    “There is no major specification differences between International version and US version. But to buy eBooks, the largest collection is indeed from US bookstore. I have other blog posts on how to access the US book store. ”

    – So when it comes to purchasing the wide selection of Ebooks in the USA Kindle Bookstore, wether I buy the International-Version or USA-Version of the Kindle 3 Hardware and included Software and serial number does not make any difference?
    Than I can also purchase Ebooks in the USA Store with the “International-Version-Kindle 3” Ebook Reader the same way as I can do it with the “USA-Version-Kindle 3” Ebook Reader? Why is one Version than called US-Version, and the other is called international Version Kindle 3? What is the difference?

    – In regard to purchasing Ebooks from the US-Kindle Store:
    In your blog here: http://www.michaelyung.com/blog/book/2009/03/21/buy-kindle-books-from-outside-us/
    other people report that they have major problems now and can not purchase any Ebooks in the big USA-Kindle-Bookstore from outside the USA anymore. Even with the methods that you recommended before it does not work. Is that true?
    There is no way to purchase Ebooks from outside the USA in the USA Kindle Bookstore anymore?

    Thank you for your experst advice and clarification.

    Ben.

    Like

    1. Hi Ben,

      Here are my answers:

      1) You need to compare the Amazon shipping cost against (shipping cost from Amazon to Onenow.com + shipping cost from Onenow.com to you). The actual cost may be cheaper or more expensive depends on the shipping option.

      2) If you ask Amazon website directly ship to HK, you can use HK credit card as you need to buy the international version of Kindle. And for this Amazon accepts HK credit card.

      3) You can buy Kindle thru gift certificates as well. No major differences.

      4) In theory, there is no differences between the two Kindle version. However, if you buy US version, suppose you are an US citizen and you can access to the bigger collection of eBooks.

      5) That’s true that it is not easy to buy US books from US Kindle store, outside US. However, as long as you have ways to fool the IP (like a VPN to US), you still able to do that. Most methods don’t work anymore simply because those are not VPN. Please note that hiding the IP is not the same as VPN with US IP.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  28. Oh, and an other question.
    My friend will be staying at a good 4 or 5 Star Hotel in Hong Kong for 5 days starting from tomorrow.
    Can Amazon send the Kindle to the Hotel, and is it safe to have them send it to Hotel in Hong Kong? Or does the Hotel Staff in Hong Kong may steal it when the Kindle arrives?
    How long does it take for a the Kindle 3 to be shipped from the USA to Hong Kong. Is five days enough time?

    Ben.

    Like

    1. Hi Ben,

      I think 5 days is a bit tight for shipment from US, even you pick the most expensive delivery method. In general, however, there shall be no issue to ship a thing to the hotel and then your friend pick it up from the hotel staff. But again, not recommended because timing is too tight.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  29. Corrected Addition 3:
    I went over your blog here http://www.michaelyung.com/blog/book/2009/03/21/buy-kindle-books-from-outside-us/
    again.
    It says that from outside the USA, if one purchases Ebooks from the Kindle Store, one has to download the books to the computer first and than sync afterwards with the kindle to be able to reade the books on the ebook reader. So, there is no direct one-click-downoad function of Ebooks directly to the kindle 3 ebook reader from outside the usa?
    So, than it makes really no sense to get the more expensive Kindle 3 Wifi + 3G, when living outside of the USA, right? Or is the 3G functionality still useful for viewing websites and surfing the internet free of charge on the kindle3, when living outside of the USA? Is it possible and useful to use it in that way over the free 3G (or Wifi)?

    Ben.

    Like

    1. Yes if you find a way to buy US books to your International Kindle, you need this method to transfer the files to your book. But 3G is still useful to buy International books, check emails, upgrade software etc.

      BTW, it is pretty clear that there will be a new Kindle to be released in a month or two. I would suggest you to hold the purchase. You can either buy the new Kindle later, or buy the Kindle 3 with a much more cheaper price.

      For your considerations and hope it helps.

      Like

  30. Hello! Thank for sharing your shopping experience. I am wondering how much altogether you paid for the Kindle, and how much it cost to ship it from the US to where you live? Thanks a lot.

    Like

  31. Hi Michael. I live in Brazil. A friend gave me this as Kindle 2 U.S.. It is used, and he took his registre and left without no registre. He sent me reseted. When I registre I get this message “your kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please try again later. If the problem persist, please restart your kindle … I’ve reseted but does not work. The worst I can not do anything with the kindle. Neither the USB works. can you help me? Thanks

    Like

    1. Hi Daniel,

      Do you have an Amazon account ? If yes, may be you can try register thru the website ? Or you may ask your friend to see whether s/he can access the Kindle again. Also, not sure why the USB doesn’t work, may be the cable issue ? I mean, the PC shall be able to detect the Kindle as just another external hard-drive and then you can copy ebooks to it.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  32. WTF i’ve registered a US address but still can’t buy kindle ebooks from amazon.com form china…..it says that ‘You attempted to purchase an item while in a different country than listed on your Amazon account.’!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

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