Buying US Kindle books, without hiding IP address

Just couple of weeks ago, Kindle users outside US like us found that we could not buy books for our Kindle 2 anymore. Even though we found that the solution is to hide your IP address when surfing Amazon web site, it is still very troublesome. Then in mid October, Amazon released the Kindle 2 International version and since then, we need to pay higher price for the same book.

I recently bought a new laptop with Windows 7 and I am not that keen to install a “hide-your-IP” software in the new machine (as this approach always slow down the browsing experience). But today I have a new book to buy (What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell) … so, what shall I do ?

Believe it or not, somehow I bought a US Kindle book just now without hiding my IP address (I’m staying in Hong Kong). First of all, I have set up my Amazon account with an US mail address, and also the 1-click payment method with an AMEX card with an US billing address. And then, I follow the steps below:

  1. Sign out from your Amazon account, if you have already logged in;
  2. Search for the book as usual, Amazon shall search for US books by default;
  3. You will be able to find the book, in US selling price (in my case, US$ 9.99, instead of US$ 11.99 for Asia and Pacific version);
  4. As long as you don’t log in (seems it trigger Amazon’s IP / Region check logic), and don’t change the Your country or region on the left-hand side menu, you can keep searching the right books;
  5. Then just go ahead to click 1-Click to buy the book, and only at this point log into your Amazon account;
  6. Confirm to buy the book for your Kindle 2 International version;
  7. That’s it, I bought an US Kindle books for my International version – without utility like Hotspot and Ultrasurf to hide my IP !!
  8. Then go to the “Manage your Kindle” page, and download the book to your computer, and subsequently transfer to your Kindle;
  9. One point to note is : still in the right hand side menu of the “Manage your Kindle” page, there is a pending item (the new book) to deliver to my Kindle. In other words, Amazon may eventually send me the book via wireless network and charge me extra US$ 2. But to me, install one less program in my computer is great !!

Hope it help.

Order detail

Update 1: It seems that as long as I have set up the Amazon account with US mail address, I can visit the Amazon shop from the Kindle International Edition (via Whispernet) and access the US bookstore. So, I can buy books not available from Asia & Pacific region, even I am now actually in Hong Kong. Great !!

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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.

42 thoughts on “Buying US Kindle books, without hiding IP address”

  1. I am looking ways for buying US books becasue the ebooks titles launched in US region are more than that in Asia and Pacific region. I will try using “gift coupons” + “1-click”. Thanks for your suggestions.

    Like

  2. Hey Michael,

    Just got an international Kindle and am figuring out how to get US Kindle Books. Reading your article it appears that your kindle is registered to the account with the US address and AMEX card? Is that correct?

    Did you get charged the extra $2 when they delivered it wirelessly to you?

    Thanks

    Usman

    Like

    1. Hi Usman,

      Glad that you got your Kindle … So far I bought US books with lower price and no extra $2 for the wireless delivery. Indeed I have my account tied to an US address and use AMEX all along. And the approach detailed in this post let me select the US books I want. No other tricks so far.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  3. Hi Michael,

    I just got a Kindle 2 as a gift and am residing in Malaysia.
    I tried the method where I set up an Amazon account with US address and US email address.
    I have another Amazon account with Malaysian details and I purchased a gift certificate which I gave to the US based Amazon account.
    The only thing is I did not put in any credit card details in the US based account, and am just relying on the gift certificate balance.
    It worked for a day and then today, I managed to download 3 books and when I tried the 4th, Amazon gave me the message that said “You attempted to purchase an item while in a different country than listed on your Amazon account. ”
    Have they suddenly imposed the IP check again?
    Do I need to input a US credit card detail in the 1-click payment? Unfortunately, I don’t have a credit card with US billing address.
    I tried installing the Hotspot Shield which assigned me another IP (not sure if this is US IP) but still Amazon did not allow me to purchase any ebooks.
    Appreciate any help.
    Thanks,
    Kien Ling

    Like

  4. Thanks Michael.
    For some reason, I can now download again from Amazon.
    Not sure what happened in those few days when I was blocked.
    Wonder if it was because I did not sign out, now I sign out after every session.

    Like

  5. Thanks for the info. I posted on another stream but this may be a better fit. Using above method I purchased a Kindle Title. I recieved an email with the following statement:

    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

    Since when do you have to prove where you live to read a book!!

    It is easier to get into the US that it is to buy a book from Kindle.

    Like

  6. Hi AJ,

    I can see the frustration … for me, I actually don’t mind to pay extra to get a book outside US, but kinda puzzled why I don’t have a choice to buy a book I want outside US (which probably available in the local bookstore already).

    Anyway, glad you find the tips useful and bought the book you like.

    Like

  7. HI Michael,

    I am from Hong Kong and I want to get a Kindle 3 but I wouldn’t get one if I can’t buy books from US. Can you give me some updated info about whether there is a currently (as of September 28 2010) working way to get books from US?

    Thanks

    Like

    1. Hi RP,

      AFAIK, the method I mentioned still works but it’s rather cumbersome. In fact, most books in US are now available in other regions already (and number is increasing) so I think it is really no harm to get a Kindle 3. But of course, you can always wait for the next generation of Kindle (as Kindle 3 is just a minor upgrade from Kindle 2).

      Hope it helps.

      Like

    1. Hi RP,

      Since I have not tried the gift cards approach, I don’t know the exact answer. However, from other visitors to my blog they have good results with this approach. Hope it helps.

      Like

  8. Hi Michael,

    Your site is great and thank you for this. I am a British citizen emigrating to Singapore in 2 months. Using the Kindle app with my Ipad and it’r been great. Any chance you can clarify what you said regarding the purchase of ebooks from Amazon.

    1) Is your AMEX card registered with HK or with the US? I appreciate the billing address was in the US.
    2) Using your method (ie not logging on until the purchase), do you get the book delivered to you wirelessly or via computer?

    Many thanks and keep up the good work.

    Ben

    Like

    1. Hi Ben,

      In my case, the AMEX card is registered in HK, as in Amazon website there is no address check for AMEX cards. Not sure that policy has changed or not.

      For that particular purchasing method, I downloaded the book to my PC and then sent to Kindle via USB.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  9. Hi Michael,

    Thanks very much for the prompt reply.That was particularly helpful.
    I don’t suppose you have tried to download a book wirelessly before or if you have or know anyone with some experience using the kindle app on the ipad?

    Ben

    Like

    1. Hi Ben,

      Well well, after all these months, most books are available in Asia so I started to use wireless download thru my International Version Kindle for quite some time. It’s a very good user experience.

      For Kindle app on iPad, it is not the same as download book wirelessly (I have iPad as well), you just connect to the Amazon library and download your own book via the 3G / WiFi. But I guess you know all these anyway … On the other hand, I have not tried to buy books directly within the app.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  10. Hi Mike,

    Thot you shud know that your method works great except I got striked out by Amazon after 7 consecutive downloads..:( They will inform you that they noticed you been purchasing books outside the country and blah blah… will wait out and try in couple of days.

    Like

  11. Hi Michael,

    I am considering buying an US version Kindle for my sister in Taiwan so that I can get her Kindle books that are not available there. My plan is to set up an Amazon account for her using an US address and link the Kindle to that account. I live in the US so there will be no trouble for me in terms of buying books using that account. My question is, will she be able to download the purchased Kindle books using the linked Kindle in Taiwan, especially those titles not available there?

    The reason I am asking is I’ve attempted to do something like this by having her install Kindle for PC on her machine in Taiwan. Turns out she wasn’t able to link her Kindle for PC to the account I set up here. The very same email address somehow turned into a different account when accessed on Amazon.com from Taiwan. As a result, her Kindle for PC is linked to the “Taiwan” account of the same email address while I see no Kindle device here under the Amazon account based on the same email address in the US. Very annoying, yet very interesting.

    Hope you can give me some insight. Thanks.

    Like

    1. Hi Shuchieh,

      Thanks for the comment and it’s indeed very interesting. In my case, I installed Kindle for PC / iPad / iPhone all have no problems to link to my US Amazon account. When you wrote “somehow turned into a different account”, so is it really two Amazon accounts that the email address can access to ? May be more checks can reveal something …

      And for your first paragraph, yes it is my understanding and shall work flawlessly.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  12. Hi Michael,

    Yes. I first set up the account here in the US. When my sister tried to log in in Taiwan, Amazon wouldn’t accept the password as if it didn’t exist. She went ahead and assigned a different password and linked the account to her Kindle for PC. I am still able to access the same account here using the old password.

    Thanks for your help.

    Like

    1. Hi Shuchieh,

      In that case, it sounds like your sister actually created another Amazon account. May be you can ask her to try login with your account again ?

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  13. Hi Michael,

    Like I said, she tried to log in using the password I set up and couldn’t. Only after that she set up a different password. I didn’t see what pages she went through so I don’t know whether she went through the process of setting up a new account, or changing password. But the password I set up still works when I log in from the US.

    But your comment inspired me to log in using the new password she set up. Turns out both passwords work here in the US. However, when logged in using her password (set up from Taiwan), one Kindle book I purchased previously isn’t available in Kindle format. Another Kindle book on the best seller list costs 2 dollars more, and the description following the price mentions international delivery. When logged in using the password I set up here, everything appears normal. So it appears that Amazon recognized the account origin by the password.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the information again, Shuchieh. So looks like Amazon also employs location check even in the login page … one last two tricks to solve this problem:

      1. Turn on the Kindle in US (assuming it is the International Kindle), register it with your US Amazon account. Pass the Kindle to your sister. Ask your sister to buy books from Kindle shop from now on, but not thru the web. This approach I think Amazon will think it is a US Kindle, but somehow traveled to Taiwan.
      2. You buy the books using your US account, download to PC. Send the ebook to your sister, then transfer the ebook to the Kindle via USB.

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  14. please help!
    my aunt frm us got me a kindle, i live in singapore though.. whenever i try the tricks above they will say that singapore does not have a kindle and dont allow me to buy..

    Like

    1. Hi Christy,

      Kindle is not supported in Singapore yet (after almost two years …), so you need to register your Kindle with an US Amazon account, then try those tricks again …

      Hope it helps.

      Like

  15. Hi, Michael! Had bought Kindle books for my iPad with trick of US address with my Indonesian credit card until last week got this message of Amazon detecting my country is not US (am in Indonesia). Waited a week to retry, no success. Tried your trick of not sigining in, didn’t work either.
    Aaaaaaarrrrgghhh! Why is it so difficult to buy, not pirating, books! Help!

    Like

  16. Hi Michael,

    The information here is very useful.
    I have been considering to buy a Kindle 3 with wifi ($139) or wifi +3G ($189)? Which one should I buy as I have a wireless modem at home (Singapore)?
    I am staying in Singapore but my sister living in HK and Kindle is available to ship to HK and I can ask my sister to bring it to Singapore for me. However I do not have a Amex card instead I have a Citibank card issued in Singapore. Can I use Citibank card to buy gift cards then download to to desktop & transfer to Kindle? Or I should apply a Amex card now?
    I am quite worry if I am not able to buy ebooks from Amazon after I bought my Kindle.

    Thanks for you kind advice in advance.

    Delphin

    Like

    1. Hi Delphin,

      As far as I know, there is no 3G support of Kindle 3 in Singapore yet, so you may go for WiFi version for now (unless you know there is future support).

      With the Kindle 3 International version, you can certainly buy eBooks from Amazon – even you don’t have an US account with Amex card. The only pitfall is you cannot buy some ebooks which are available for US market only (that’s why one need an US Amazon account).

      Hope it helps !!

      Like

  17. Thanks for sharing, managed to download (using your suggestions) a kindle ebook which was unavailable in Asia Pacific. I stay in Singapore. Yeah!!
    ‘Do the work’ by Steven Pressfield.

    Like

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  19. Hi, I live in Greece and have a kindle 3 (bought while visiting the states). It actually took me 7 months to realize that I couldn’t buy games and was paying more for books. After wasting a couple of hours trying to hide my IP address (didn’t work because of cookies), I logged onto to my kindle account through my computer and changed my country location from Greece to US. All games are now available and books are cheaper. (I downloaded 2 cheap games to check – they were instantly delivered to my kindle here in Greece through whispernet) I didn’t change my Greek credit card or billing address. I don’t know if it helped that I had several US addresses on file to choose from, from sending gifts – I used my parents’ address in MN. So far so good!

    Like

  20. As far as German Kindle books (from Amazon.de) are concerned, you will be blocked after downloading approx. 5 books (Amazon checks your IP-address) and according to customer support this block only can be released once (for another 5 books). Don’t know if this is also valid for other Amazon stores, though.

    Like

  21. thank you for the best explanation! really, i made it from the first try!
    the way you explain is simple and clear 😉

    btw, i still think VPN is a good hint into prices on different markets. sometimes i find it very convenient to double check the price of a book (movie, album). absolutely agree, it slow down your internet connection, however it is just for short check, so it is not really effect your experience. jfy, here in Taiwan there is a pretty fast VPN provider – seed4me, i sincerely recommend you to try. i didn’t see before, anybody provide one day access.

    hope you do not mind, i will share your article on my website: kindlevpn.com

    Liked by 1 person

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