Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kindle Use Outside the United States

Several people have e-mailed me about the use of a Kindle outside the U.S. I haven't made any overseas trips since I got mine but obviously the wireless capability disappears once you leave America. Amazon covers this in one of their FAQs and asks customers outside the U.S. to be patient.

There are, of course, workarounds to the situation. This post on the Nerdgirl site does an excellent job providing a step-by-step solution. It involves the use of an Amazon Gift Card although you still need to provide a valid credit card during the setup process. The trick is you must enter a U.S. address for the credit card, even if that's not really your address. Amazon apparently doesn't confirm the credit card billing address unless you actually use it to buy a book...for now.

I think it's great that workarounds like this exist, but it's important to note that Amazon could change their registration policy at any time and then you'd be hosed...until someone else comes up with a new strategy!

Honestly, knowing how great the reading experience is, if I lived in another country I too would be using any workaround I could find to use my Kindle outside the U.S.!


Anonymous said...

Actually the workaround is not working. You need to enter a credit card number even if you pay with an amazon gift certificate. The bad point is that amazon check the country of the card.
If you are leaving abroad and have a US visa/mastercard/.. its fine, otherwise you'll need to get a US prepaid visa card (not shipped outside the US except from a friend if you have one)


Joe Wikert said...

It looks like a reader of the Nerdgirl post offered this additional workaround:

"Keep/get a US credit card/debit card w/Visa capabilities, and use a US-based remailer firm (Web search will find you plenty). Have you Kindle shipped to the remailer, and then forwarded on to you. Use the US-based card (tied to your remailer address) for purchases, and you’re set."

Steven said...

I live in Shanghai China.

I got my Kindle almost as soon as it came out.

First, I had it shipped to a relative in Oregon, who mailed it to me in Shanghai. Amazon will not deliver Kindles overseas.

Second, before coming to Shanghai, I created an American bank account at Bank of America in Salem Oregon.

Third, I use the USB drive and cord to download books, magazines, newspapers and blogs to my Kindle. It takes just minutes to do this. I do not use Whispernet here in China.

Fourth, I am going back to Oregon in less than a month. I must remove my Kindle memory card, as the Kindle will try to download books to it as soon as I turn on Whispernet in the U.S. The books will be downloaded to the Kindle itself. I can then delete those books, and then reinsert my memory card.

Anonymous said...

Question, I live in Bermuda, but have purchased books from Amazon with my Bermuda credit card. If I am able to do this, does it follow that I can purchase the Kindle (without a US credit card), have it mailed to a US address which forwards to me, and then once I receive it, I can download books using USB cable from Amazon?