Buy Kindle books from outside US

The Kindle 2 / Kindle 3 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.

Got your Kindle ? Now time to buy some books.

If you are staying in US, buying Kindle books is easy. Just select your book, click the “Buy Now with 1-click” and Amazon will send the book to your Kindle with Whispernet in a matter of minutes.

However, you need different steps if you are not staying in US. Here is how …

  1. First of all, Amazon will not sell Kindle books unless you have a US address. Therefore, you need to change the billing address of your credit card to a US address (see my blog post on getting a US address for shopping).
  2. Next, buy your Kindle book as usual, click the “Buy Now with 1-click”. Then in your Kindle Management Page, scroll down to the “Your orders and individual charges” section. Find the book you just bought, and change the right most setting to “Download / Send to Computer”. Then you can save the eBook to your computer, and transfer to your Kindle with the USB cable. Simple.

Download eBook

Update 1 : I think I better specify couple more points – First, I use an American Express card and it worked (i.e. I am not sure whether other credit cards work like that or not). Second, I also needed to assign an US address in the 1-click payment method. Hope it helps.

Update 2 : Another possible approach (similar information here) is to use your International credit card to buy an Amazon gift certificate, and then buy eBooks using this gift certificate. Don’t forget to delete your credit card information first from Amazon 1-click payment setting. Hope it helps.

Update 3 : As mentioned in above update, you can buy Kindle books via Amazon Gift Certificate / coupon / card. May be it’s better if I detail the steps here:

  1. Opened a new Amazon account with an US address;
  2. Use your other normal Amazon account to email yourself a gift card;
  3. Use the gift card on your new Amazon account;
  4. Then, your new account has no credit card just a balance from the gift card;
  5. Register your Kindle to your new account, turn on the option one click buying;
  6. Buy a book with one-click with your new account and then download the book you bought to your computer;
  7. Hook up the Kindle to the computer and transfer the downloaded file to the document section of the Kindle;
  8. That is it !!

Update 4 : Looks like since end September, there are problems in buying Kindle books outside US. And that affect both Credit card and Gift coupon purchasing methods. One solution suggested is to use proxy services as looks like Amazon is checking the IP address of the order. You can find more details here for the moment, and I shall report back once I found a workable method to do that.

Update 5 : (2009-10-05) I tried to buy Kindle books with my Credit card method and it failed just like the Gift coupon method. However, since it is related to the check of non-US IP address, I just used Hotspot Shield to hide my IP address and then tried again. And it worked !! So, I guess it works as well for gift coupon method. However, this incident worried me a lot … For those who have not bought the Kindle outside US, please reconsider it before you decide to buy it. You may or may not able to buy Kindle books in future if Amazon enforce some checks again.

Update 6 : 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.

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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.

85 thoughts on “Buy Kindle books from outside US”

  1. Thanks for the great post. I will try the gift certificate tip with my VPN subscription to change my IP address to a US IP, I hope it works!
    Thanks again.

    Like

  2. Thanks for the info. I was able to purchase using the above method and the recieved the following email. Looks like they are trying to make harder to but a book that to cross the border.:
    I see that you attempted to purchase “Lost Empire: A Fargo Adventure [Kindle Edition]” while in a different country than the United States listed on your Amazon account. Certain Kindle titles are not available everywhere. We are reaching out to you to ensure the best possible service for your account.

    If you have moved to a different country, you can easily update your country for your Amazon account at http://www.Amazon.com/manageyourkindle

    If this is not the case, and you would like to share information that you live in the United States, we can be reached by fax at 001-206-266-1838 from outside the US, or 206-266-1838 from within the US. Helpful information includes:
    – Passport
    – Military ID
    – Permanent Resident Card
    – Driver’s License
    – Other state photo identity card

    We want to assure you that we handle this information in a secure manner: these are dedicated fax lines, staffed in an area with limited employee access. The fax is never printed, just converted to an electronic image that is used to check the country, then the image is deleted.

    Best regards,

    Account Specialist
    Amazon.com
    Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.
    http://www.amazon.com/your-account

    Thinking of selling my Kindle

    Like

  3. Has anyone purchase Kindle and the book successfully lately using the above mentioned method. I’ve been dying to get a kindle and it seems that I have to buy iPad instead and install kindle reader for iPad.

    Like

  4. How do I get books downloaded via computer to show up on my Kindle? I am in Tunisia visiting my daughter–I brought my Kindle to give to her and a new one for myself on which I had loaded several books for the trip. Somehow, while trying to download a new purchase I lost the books that were previously loaded. Now all that’s on my new Kindle are the dictionaries and my archive list. I can see the downloaded files on her computer, have dragged them to the Kindle as a device on the computer, but they don’t appear on the Kindle itself. Do I need to set up a folder to move them to? I have requested support from Amazon several times and they have been unhelpful. I want my books back to read on the trip home, plus resolving this before I leave so my daughter can download onto her Kindle. Sorry to be so wordy, but I home someone can help. Thanks!

    Like

    1. Hi J.

      The books in your PC has to be move them to a folder called documents (that directory should has been created), therefore by simply dragging the books to your Kindle may not work. May be you can try again.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  5. I set myself in canada and have a valid canada address. Since I am currently in asia. I used a non-canadian credit card (with a non-canadian billing address) to purchase a book ….I successfully purchased a book which ain’t available in Asia…and, then, recieved an email, the same one which AJ received. So, I don’t know it is the problem which i didnt set the billing address right or they actually detected that i didnt use a canadian credit card or a non-canada IP..
    I have just buy another book by by setting the billing address back to my canada address (but still not using canada credit card) I hope i wont have any problem this time….

    Like

  6. Hi Mike,

    Does this still work? I am in Australia and am very frustrated that a lot of books I want to read are not available here. I have changed my address to a US once and it worked for two books but now it won’t allow me:( I have some friends in the US that can probably help me with purchases but not very clear on how to go about this. Would appreciate your help!

    Like

  7. It seems that ip hiding is not working anymore. I was using Hotspot and successfully bought kindle ebooks through gift cards but now it doesn’t allow me to do so anymore.

    This is really a downer.

    Like

  8. I don’t know about buying restricted titles, but I just tried to buy some kindle books that are on sale for 4.99 but when I went to buy them saw a price for 6.99. Apparently Amazon charges a VAT or something when purchasing from outside the US (I am from and have a US address account but am in Buenos Aires). Anyway, I though about using Hotspot Shield but it got some pretty poor reviews. Then I had an idea: what if I tried to use the incognito mode in the Chrome browser. Yup. It worked like a charm and I got the original 4.99 sale price. Again, I have no idea if this will help with the other restrictions this post focuses on but maybe.

    Like

  9. Hi Michael & everyone,

    I also got an e-mail from Amazon about location. Did anyone ever call them or contact them? Do they continue to send u e-mails? Are you banned from buying again?

    Like

  10. Hi Michael & all,

    I’m currently in Indonesia and would like to buy ebooks fro Kindle. Can you still buy them from Amazon US up ’til now using Hotspot Shield? No more IP restriction?

    Anybody knows the latest update on this? Much thanks!

    Like

  11. Use two amazon accounts. One is your usual account, another is an account which u set the address to a US address. Use your usual account to buy a gift card, then gift it to the US amazon account. When u redeem and buy the kindle book through the US registered account, you must use a VPN or proxy service that uses an US ip address. The problem with hotspot shield is that it sometimes uses a different country ip address, like Germany, or another European country.

    Like

  12. this is a very useful post, I read it bit late though.
    I am from Saudi Arabia and I had very bad experience in the past Kindle. I was in transit terminal in Europe and I bought one of the old versions of Kindle, I got so excited, and I set it up immediately and I was (naively) too honest. I was able to access something like 50 or 100 books only to buy from. It drove me crazy, and I was not able to solve the issue. It ended up to be just a useless object in my home till I threw it (literally) to the trash.

    Now, it became inevitable to buy one, especially there are huge collection of rare Arabic books that people exchange in social media, and it is too lucrative.

    I bought Kindle Paperwhite, and it should arrive in couple of days. I am reading and asking on tips on how to avoid the previous trap. My friend told me about the giftcard, but seems it won’t work.

    Is there is any recent update to this issue?

    Like

  13. Hi Waleed,

    If there is no special store for Saudi Arabia, then the problem is the same. You may still need a US credit card and US address to fool the system.

    Since you mentioned there are many books being exchanged in social media, so may be one option is to get those books, then convert to Kindle format, and transfer to Kindle for reading. You can try this tool – http://calibre-ebook.com/

    Hope it helps.

    Like

  14. Hi I managed to add a us address and it worked fine until today. I ordered one book (giftcard and I also have a dutch) credit card but then when i wanted to order my next book today and I received a message that they have noticed I am not in the USA and I had to change my address. So I changed it back to my country and now I get those annoying messages that I should buy from the Dutch amazon (have to let adblock remove that one )plus the prices are way up again plus I can’t get kindle unlimited.

    Like

      1. Hi Michael. Yes. It happened while buying a book. Tried it through my kindle but still got the same message. I wanted the book so changed my country and had to pay 1 euro more. A few months ago I subscribed to kindle unlimited and did so for 2 months. I was planning to sign up again. Sigh. Plus I get that annoying message on every page of amazon why I should go to amazon.nl. No I do not want to buy there. It does not have all the books and I have been a member of amazon since the beginning of me being online. 1999. Now what? I at least was lucky for a few months.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. you should be more careful when playing with your IP in europe 😉

      the problem is if you are using your amazon account on different device without VPN, and amazon finds it out, it will block you account. so the simple solution is to create two accounts: one for US and one for NL.

      you know, i also had problems with netflix recently and my favourite seed4me support suggested to turn off location services on my device (kindle fire 10), it helped. so maybe it will also help you.

      good luck!!

      Liked by 1 person

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