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Old 02-21-2013, 11:27 AM   #1
mgmueller
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Buying from Amazon US, although in another country

The question "how to buy from Amazon US, when residing in Europe or Asia" pops up again and again.
There are lots of misunderstandings.

So, to briefly summarise:
You don't need VPN.
You don't need a foreign credit card.
You don't need gift cards.
You don't need various user accounts.
All you need to do, is change the country settings in your Kindle settings on the Amazon website.

Personally, I've started with a German account and added a German credit card with the respective German billing address and a German delivery address.

I'm using the very same German credit card and (valid!) German billing address, no matter from what country I'm purchasing.

If I want to buy from Amazon US or Amazon UK (those are the 2 countries I'm using in addition to my original German residency), all I do is switch to the respective country in the Kindle settings in my user account on the Amazon website.

And now the tricky part:
You only can switch to another country, if you've got an address there.
But: It only has to be a valid address, not your permanent residence.
I'm using my former employer's offices.
But rumor has it, never before have been so many residents living in the FBI headquarters, the White House and other addresses you easily can Google.
Meaning: If you've got some relatives or friends, take their address. It has to be valid, that's all.

You can switch back and forth between countries.
Sometimes I'm doing this 5 times per day: 1 ebook from the US, 5 minutes later another one from Germany.
As most of you, I'm not switching countries to reduce costs. Some books simply aren't available everywhere...

When switching countries, you should link your former purchases to that "new" country. You simply do so by clicking the respective link in the country settings.
This doesn't change a thing on your Kindle. Nothing will be deleted or re-downloaded. You just make sure, all your purchases are bundled together. Else you'd only see the purchases from Amazon Germany for example but not the ones from the US.

There are "horror stories" about Amazon shutting down accounts and such.
I'm switching accounts for more than 4 years now. I've bought about 800 books that way from Amazon. About 5 from UK, about 500 from the US and the rest from Germany.
Amazon US did contact me once or twice and wanted to know, whether I had moved recently and whether I wanted to change my account permanently.
I simply told them (and this actually is the truth, but shouldn't really matter), that in my projects I'm often spending months in another country and then sometimes switch my account accordingly.
They didn't contact me like that for at least 2 years now, though.

That's it.

BTW: This works in all directions. Not just for buying from the US. Theoretically, someone from the US could buy from Germany that way as well.

Last edited by mgmueller; 02-21-2013 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
If I want to buy from Amazon US or Amazon UK (those are the 2 countries I'm using in addition to my original German residency), all I do is switch to the respective country in the Kindle settings in my user account on the Amazon website.
Can you buy UK ebooks from Amazon US? I thought you could only buy them from Amazon UK, and that does do IP checks.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:21 PM   #3
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Can you buy UK ebooks from Amazon US? I thought you could only buy them from Amazon UK, and that does do IP checks.
I've only tested myself from Germany to UK and US and vice versa again.
But a friend of mine from the US is buying from Germany, the same way as I do: No VPN, no foreign credit card and other "tricks" only changing the country in Kindle settings.
I assume it should be the same for UK: I can buy UK books from Germany, why should it be different for the US?
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:18 PM   #4
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There was at least one case, filing of which under 'horror-stories' seems a bit dismissive:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/right...183817150.html

I'd LOVE to get choose your adventure books, or a notepad app, but am a bit concerned, that maybe Amazon shut the lady's account down just for that reason
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkr1410 View Post
There was at least one case, filing of which under 'horror-stories' seems a bit dismissive:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/right...183817150.html

I'd LOVE to get choose your adventure books, or a notepad app, but am a bit concerned, that maybe Amazon shut the lady's account down just for that reason
I've seen this case (or a similar one).
Discussion was about a closed account, linked to that lady's account.
From what I've read, it never became quite clear, why the other account had been shut down. And why there had been at least 2 accounts.
All did seem a bit fishy, there even was the impression of some illegal activities on the shut-down account...

The way I've described is different. Not 2 accounts, but 2 (or more) countries/addresses within the very same account.
Amazon even at some stage (ca. 3 months ago) did promote this.
I've posted some snapshots in some other thread. Amazon stated (in my German account) something like "would you like to shop from Amazon US? Switch accounts now"...

Should you be moving your residency permanently, of course you're allowed to switch accounts.
What if you're in the US for business for, let's say, 2 months?
Where's the line?
So far, I myself didn't reach any limits.
Maybe one shouldn't switch countries back and forth frequently per day.
But once per month or so?

And I really think, Amazon won't mind. They totally control it.
I've bought 2 Kindle Fire HDs: The 7" one in Germany, the 8.9" only was/is available from the US.
When using the German account, some services I can use on my 7" Fire HD, but not on the 8.9" one.
Amazon did explain this, same snapshots as mentioned a few sentences above:
Lovefilm for example only is working on the 7". On the 8.9" I cant even see the shop, it's blocked. Obviously because the 8.9" one is a US unit.
So obviously Amazon is able to block contents as they please. And that's what they stated in the snapshots I took.
Meaning: I'm not worried. I'm not doing anything illegal. I'm using a valid credit card and my actual billing address.
Amazon doesn't state anywhere, that you have to be a US citizen. You don't even have to live permanently in the US. They only state something like "valid address".
In my personal case, I guess I'd be safe here. I didn't give some fantasy address, but one that really had been linked to me: My (back then) employer's offices, which I even did visiti from time to time...
And like I said:
- Amazon accepts my German credit card for purchases in the US.
- Amazon doesn't check my IP address.
- Amazon a few months ago in detail did explain the process (some stuff I can buy from the US, some I can't) on their website.
I think it simply is legal.
Not for movies, similar to country restrictions of DVDs. That's why Lovefilm is blocked on my US Kindle Fire HD.
Not for some apps.
But for books.
But no problem: Whatever I buy on my German Kindle Fire HD becomes available on the US one as well. I just can't buy some stuff directly on the US one.

Last edited by mgmueller; 02-22-2013 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Can you buy UK ebooks from Amazon US? I thought you could only buy them from Amazon UK, and that does do IP checks.
No, if you do everything mgmueller says they transfer your Kindle account to Amazon UK and on Amazon UK you can purchase UK books.

They do check IPs which is why mgmueller received a phone call confirming his address. Using a VPN may prevent phone calls as it looks like you did relocate.

Edit: the phone calls may be perfunctory to satisfy publisher's contracts.

Geo restrictions at least between US - UK have eased considerably.

Last edited by Fbone; 02-22-2013 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
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Hi there,

Thanks for your feedback on switching countries forth and back. I ran into the offer to transfer countries by accident the other day and was excited to buy some books from the DE store when I am primarily registered in the US store.

However, this caught my attention:
Quote:
Currently active subscriptions will be canceled upon transferring to another country. A pro-rated refund will be applied if there are any remaining issues you have already paid for. Once subscriptions are canceled, you will not be able to access past issues. Periodical subscription availability varies by market.
What is your experience here? I have a HBR subscription and would really dislike it for the past issues to be gone.

Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
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Hi there,

Thanks for your feedback on switching countries forth and back. I ran into the offer to transfer countries by accident the other day and was excited to buy some books from the DE store when I am primarily registered in the US store.

However, this caught my attention:


What is your experience here? I have a HBR subscription and would really dislike it for the past issues to be gone.

Thanks!
I've seen the same warning the other way around, when switching from my main account in Germany.
Amazon describes the differences for eBooks, apps, movies and so on.
I don't have any subscriptions, so I didn't run into any problems.

Their (Amazon's) assumption: If you switch countries, you're most likely physically in that country. And then Amazon is not willing to pay the additional costs for data transfer. You receive a similar message on your Kindles.
Something like: "You can buy your books globally and receive them for free. But not so for subscriptions".

Given the warning from Amazon:
Your active subscription gets cancelled.
The remaining issues will be refunded.
You remain in the other account for some time.
You switch back to your main account and start the subscription again.
You shouldn't loose any money or issues by that.
Only question: What about the former issues? Would you want to access them again?

Last edited by mgmueller; 07-23-2013 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
I've seen the same warning the other way around, when switching from my main account in Germany.
Amazon describes the differences for eBooks, apps, movies and so on.
I don't have any subscriptions, so I didn't run into any problems.

Their (Amazon's) assumption: If you switch countries, you're most likely physically in that country. And then Amazon is not willing to pay the additional costs for data transfer. You receive a similar message on your Kindles.
Something like: "You can buy your books globally and receive them for free. But not so for subscriptions".

Given the warning from Amazon:
Your active subscription gets cancelled.
The remaining issues will be refunded.
You remain in the other account for some time.
You switch back to your main account and start the subscription again.
You shouldn't loose any money or issues by that.
Only question: What about the former issues? Would you want to access them again?
Thanks!

Yeah, I sometimes am going back to old issues on my kindle and look at an article I read over a year ago.

Is there some other way to backup those issues, e.g. through Calibre and would I then be able to just transfer them back on my Kindle?

Thinking about Calibre. It is rather rare that I would buy an ebook from the German Amazon Store. Could I download the eBook from on Amazon onto my PC (they'll give that option) and then transfer the file through Calibre on my Kindle?

EDIT: Just tried this out with a free ebook from Amazon DE. Same procedure as above, you have to transfer your account first. I guess I am looking for a way to backup my subscriptions safely before trying this out

Last edited by aerodynamik; 07-24-2013 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:36 AM   #10
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I was tempted to buy a few items from the Amazon UK store a while ago. But having all my ebooks and other purchases transferred stopped me. So I stayed with my US account. Perhaps I shouldn't have worried.

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Old 07-24-2013, 05:17 AM   #11
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I find that although I can purchase books from amazon.com, my only access to them is through the cloud reader. I can no longer deregister and register my kindle keyboard to different accounts in the Manage my devices page.
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:32 AM   #12
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I find that although I can purchase books from amazon.com, my only access to them is through the cloud reader. I can no longer deregister and register my kindle keyboard to different accounts in the Manage my devices page.
Strange? I still have it.
I go to Manage Your Kindle - on the left hand side in the field Your Kindle Account option Country Settings - Gives me name of current country and tab
Actions - with "Chage" clickable
Do you mean you don't have the "Change" clickable?
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:30 AM   #13
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Strange? I still have it.
I go to Manage Your Kindle - on the left hand side in the field Your Kindle Account option Country Settings - Gives me name of current country and tab
Actions - with "Chage" clickable
Do you mean you don't have the "Change" clickable?
Its clickable, but even when it is set to US based, I dont have any way to register my device. Currently I set it to UK, as the help page said my US ebook purchases would be accessible. They are, but only through the amazon.com cloud.

How do other people register a kindle keyboard on the US site?

Last edited by Patricia1066; 07-24-2013 at 07:07 AM. Reason: Updated the kindle specific info
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:48 AM   #14
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Although based in the UK I've been buying from the US site for many years, (using Kindle for Mac), but today I received an email asking for proof of my residence in the US so it seems as though they are trying to close this loophole. I'd be interested to know if others are being asked for proof of residence.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:12 AM   #15
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Although based in the UK I've been buying from the US site for many years, (using Kindle for Mac), but today I received an email asking for proof of my residence in the US so it seems as though they are trying to close this loophole. I'd be interested to know if others are being asked for proof of residence.
Lyn, customer services at amazon didnt help me when I asked them how can I download US purchases. But they didnt say I couldnt buy from them.

I just solved how to download US purchases. I put the kindle app in Trash, then followed the advice on this link below. Basically you need to remove all kindle preference and app support files, before you will be given the option of registering another account. My problem may not be common except with those people who managed the UK/US stores with separate accounts.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=131264
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