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Old 10-12-2009, 07:11 AM   #1
LucasCorso
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buying from amazon.com with gift certificates problem

Hello.
I'm trying to buy some books from amazon.com using the known method (gift certificates). It's the first time I'm trying, but I don't know what I do wrong because it's not working. What I have done so far:
1. Purchased a 5 US dollars gift certificate.
2. The certificate applied to the "Kindle" acount. No credit card registered here, and a mail address somewhere in New York.
3. I'm browsing the web using www.hidemyass.com proxy. It's slow but it seems to be working. I've deleted all my cookies, just in case.
4. Find a book with a lower price than 5$. For example Mark Twain complete works.
5. Click "Buy now with 1-Click".
6. Enter login email and password.

After step 6 I get an error:
"Due to copyright restrictions, the Kindle title you're trying to purchase is not available in your country (United States). Did you recently move to a new country?"

Something is wrong, but what? It can't be the country (United States), it's not telling anything about the payment option. So what can it be?

Thanks for your ideas...
Can somebody confirm that they can still buy books using this method?
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:15 AM   #2
Mike L
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So, you're saying that it thinks you are in the US, but still refuses to sell you the book? Is that right?

Is this a new "international" Kindle, or did you buy it before they became available?

And what book is it you are trying to buy?
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
So, you're saying that it thinks you are in the US, but still refuses to sell you the book? Is that right?

Is this a new "international" Kindle, or did you buy it before they became available?

And what book is it you are trying to buy?

Hi, Mike.
Thanks for your reply.
I've bought the Kindle DX a few weeks ago, a friend from US helped me with that. So it's the US version, which I registered on a new amazon.com account; because I live in Belgium I had to create this new account, giving a fake mail address (somewhere in New York), and an email address ending with ".com". I thought it will work fine but...
It doesn't matter what book I try, it comes back with the same error message.
For example this one, or this one. Both are less than 5$, so a credit card check doesn't need to take place, is that right? But how to they know something is wrong? I'm using a US proxy, I have a gmail.com email, a balance of 5$, and a US mail address. My Kindle DX is there, I can download the user guide.

[UPDATE]. If I try to browse amazon.com without a proxy, I get the following error:
"You attempted to purchase an item while in a different country than listed on your Amazon account. Are you traveling outside your country?(...)"

Last edited by LucasCorso; 10-12-2009 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:31 AM   #4
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This is something I've never seen before.

The steps you took are pretty well the same as what I've been doing for several months. I've not had this problem (so far), even when logging in from my own IP address. However, the system might have changed recently because of the launch of the international Kindle.

Here's my suggestion. If you go to the Manage my Kindle page, you'll see there's a new entry there, headed Your Country. This is where you can tell Amazon which country you live in. I'm guessing that the address you enter there does not have to be the same as your credit card address. You could try entering your home address in Belgium (but leave the credit card alone), and see if that makes a difference.

Assuming that works, you'll be faced with a new problem. Not all books in the Kindle store are available in Belgium (but about 290,000 are available, which is slightly more than in UK). So it's possible that the particular title you want will still be unavailable to you. You can check that by going to the Kindle site without logging in and without trying to hide your Belgian address. Browse to the book you want to buy. If there is a price showing, it is available to you; if it's not, you'll see a message to that effect. But you'll still have to go via your normal Kindle account in order to buy the book.

If you do decide to try this, please let us know what happens.

By the way, you said that you were keeping your purchases under $5 to avoid a credit card check. I didn't know there was such a limit. I've bought several books for more than $5 without a credit card problem.

One final point. I see you were interested in buying a Mark Twain collection. Did you know that all Mark Twain's works are available on other sites, many of them free. I've downloaded several from FeedBooks, for example.

Hope the above is useful.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:37 AM   #5
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Sounds identical to some (transient?) problems Amazon have been having of late.

What you are doing certainly sounds correct, so it may be worth trying again in a day or two.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
By the way, you said that you were keeping your purchases under $5 to avoid a credit card check. I didn't know there was such a limit. I've bought several books for more than $5 without a credit card problem.

One final point. I see you were interested in buying a Mark Twain collection. Did you know that all Mark Twain's works are available on other sites, many of them free. I've downloaded several from FeedBooks, for example.

Hope the above is useful.
I am sure he had the $5 limit because he only made an $5 deposit via the gift card. You must stay below the available balance.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
Here's my suggestion. If you go to the Manage my Kindle page, you'll see there's a new entry there, headed Your Country. This is where you can tell Amazon which country you live in. I'm guessing that the address you enter there does not have to be the same as your credit card address. You could try entering your home address in Belgium (but leave the credit card alone), and see if that makes a difference.

Strangest thing. I've changed my country to Belgium and everything worked fine! Why? Ok, it doesn't matter. As soon as I clicked the button "Buy" I had a confirmation, and my Gift balance went from 5$ to 1.56. Just received the confirmation email also. That's why I wanted to buy a book less than 5$, because that's all I put there for a test.
Thanks, Mike.

I was trying to buy the Mark Twain collections because of two reasons:
1. His books made my childhood sometimes wonderful (loved Tom's adventures and humor).
2. I wanted to test the gift certificate method with something cheap.
It seems fine now but still don't really understand why I had to put the country to Belgium.
But if it works...
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:00 AM   #8
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It works, but my guess is that you were redirected to the Belgian store and this way you cannot buy anything that is sold in the US store only. Also, did you pay the same price as in the US store? Probably more expensive!
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:06 AM   #9
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It works, but my guess is that you were redirected to the Belgian store and this way you cannot buy anything that is sold in the US store only. Also, did you pay the same price as in the US store? Probably more expensive!
You are right, Hans. Instead of paying 0.99$ my gift balance was debited with 3.44$.
Ok, back to the drawing board...
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:02 AM   #10
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I am sure he had the $5 limit because he only made an $5 deposit via the gift card. You must stay below the available balance.
Oh, I see what you mean. It's not some sort of global threshold. It's just because it's below the gift cert. balance.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:13 AM   #11
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Strangest thing. I've changed my country to Belgium and everything worked fine!
Well, this is what I was expecting.

The system obviously thinks that you are an American (a New Yorker, in fact) with a US credit card who has now moved to Belgium. The system is now designed to handle those cases (it wasn't before), specifically for Americans who have bought the international Kindle.

The only strange thing is that you have a Kindle DX, not an international Kindle, and that's obviously not being taken into account.

The extra cost was partly because the book is now subject to VAT, and partly to cover the extra cost of wireless delivery. I know you didn't receive it wirelessly -- in fact, you are unable to receive it wirelessly -- but the system doesn't know that.

Look at it this way. For about EUR 2,30, you have purchased all 16 of Mark Twain's full-length novels, around 100 of his short stories, most or all of his travel writing, and some other stuff as well. A few more purchases like that and you'll be too busy reading to have time to worry about the money.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:15 AM   #12
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It works, but my guess is that you were redirected to the Belgian store and this way you cannot buy anything that is sold in the US store only.
You're right, Hans. But just to be clear: there is no such thing as a Belgian Kindle store. There's only the American version, which can be filtered for a specific country.

But the outcome is the same, of course.
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:04 PM   #13
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Rony1434,

I think it's best to start a new thread for your question as it's not related to the subject under discussion here. If you give it its own thread, it will help other people searching for a similar problem, and you will probably get a faster answer.
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