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Old 03-04-2010, 02:21 PM   #1
ziphnor
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Buying Kindle ebooks through a US VPN with an international credit card

Hi,

As part of trying to figure out whether i want to buy a kindle i wanted to see if i could buy from the kindle store at US prices.

I used the free hotspot shield VPN to give me a US IP address. This caused Amazon to show me the US prices. I then created a new account and registered it in Kindle for PC. I then tried to order a (very cheap) book at the US price. If i gave my real billing address it would change the price. However when i gave a bogus US billing address it accepted my non-US VISA card without complaints and the book showed up correctly in Kindle for PC.

This leads to the following questions:

1. Will giving a billing address that doesnt match my credit card cause problems later? (ie will Amazon have problem with the transaction or similar).

2. Can i order a Kindle to an address in Europe and use the account i just created on it (and view the book i just bought)? Will i be able to continue buying on my PC and transferring to the kindle via USB at the US price or will my account suddenly decide its in europe for the purposes of buying online?
(i realize that if i use the 3G connection to buy books i will end up paying extra).

Thanks for reading.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziphnor View Post
Hi,

As part of trying to figure out whether i want to buy a kindle i wanted to see if i could buy from the kindle store at US prices.

I used the free hotspot shield VPN to give me a US IP address. This caused Amazon to show me the US prices. I then created a new account and registered it in Kindle for PC. I then tried to order a (very cheap) book at the US price. If i gave my real billing address it would change the price. However when i gave a bogus US billing address it accepted my non-US VISA card without complaints and the book showed up correctly in Kindle for PC.

This leads to the following questions:

1. Will giving a billing address that doesnt match my credit card cause problems later? (ie will Amazon have problem with the transaction or similar).

2. Can i order a Kindle to an address in Europe and use the account i just created on it (and view the book i just bought)? Will i be able to continue buying on my PC and transferring to the kindle via USB at the US price or will my account suddenly decide its in europe for the purposes of buying online?
(i realize that if i use the 3G connection to buy books i will end up paying extra).

Thanks for reading.
You don't even need VPN for Amazon.
For B&N you need it. But Amazon doesn't track IPs.
I use a German credit card for my US account, no problem.
A few months ago, when only Kindle US did exist, you had to be somewhat creative. Now Kindle international simply can be ordered regularly from Amazon.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:31 PM   #3
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You can also get 'fake' credit cards at sites like epassporte.com
I think you could create a virtual card there with a US address pretty easily and use that with a US VPN.

I have a few Australian friends with international Kindles, but they haven't tried it just yet.
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:24 PM   #4
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I simply have a US delivery address attached to my account. And Australian credit cards. No problems and no 'please explain' emails either. No 'hide my ISP' either.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:04 AM   #5
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Thank you to all of you for the prompt answers.

Quote:
You can also get 'fake' credit cards at sites like epassporte.com
Though its not necessary in this case this is very nice to know, i have needed such a service several times in the past. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
You don't even need VPN for Amazon.
For B&N you need it. But Amazon doesn't track IPs.
I use a German credit card for my US account, no problem.
A few months ago, when only Kindle US did exist, you had to be somewhat creative. Now Kindle international simply can be ordered regularly from Amazon.
Nice to know, i just assumed they used IP tracking since the price change based on your IP when you arent logged in.

So with the VPN it will also work for B&N?
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:14 AM   #6
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I'm sorry... I just don't understand... How's this different from 'pirating'??? It seems to me that the book is bought illegally, except you paid for it...
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:14 AM   #7
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I've managed for nearly a year without using a VPN or a fake credit card. But I can't guarantee that it will always work in the future.

As for the question about ordering the Kindle to be delivered to an address in Europe, I can't see how that will make any difference. Amazon does not assume that the person who ordered the Kindle is necesssarily the one who is using it. (Kindles are often bought as gifts, for example). It's the person (and address) to which it's registered that's important.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lene1949 View Post
I'm sorry... I just don't understand... How's this different from 'pirating'??? It seems to me that the book is bought illegally, except you paid for it...
I think that's a bit of an exaggeration.

When you say "illegal", if you mean it's against the law .. well, it's not. If you're taling about geographic restrictions on the sale of a book, these are a matter of contract between the parties involved (author, publisher, possibly bookseller). Going against the terms of a contract is not a criminal act.

More importantly, the purchaser is not a party to the contract. You can't be sued for breaking a contract you didn't enter into - and you certainly can't be prosecuted in a criminal court.

If you're talking about avoiding the extra charges that Amazon impose on non-US delivery - well, that might be regretable, but, again, you are not breaking any law.

Note that I'm not arguing either for or against geographic restrictions or non-US delivery charges. I'm only saying that you are not breaking any law if the restrictions are infringed.

Last edited by Mike L; 03-05-2010 at 04:24 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lene1949 View Post
I'm sorry... I just don't understand... How's this different from 'pirating'??? It seems to me that the book is bought illegally, except you paid for it...
On reflection, you might be right. You could argue that if you lie about your location in order to avoid the extra charges, that would be deception, which might be illegal in some countries. It might even be considered a form of fraud - althouth it's nothing to do with piracy.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziphnor View Post
Thank you to all of you for the prompt answers.



Though its not necessary in this case this is very nice to know, i have needed such a service several times in the past. Thanks.



Nice to know, i just assumed they used IP tracking since the price change based on your IP when you arent logged in.

So with the VPN it will also work for B&N?
Yes, B&N works via VPN. You can purchase on PC via VPN and then download on nook. On nook itself you can surf the B&N shop and add to your whishlist. But you can't purchase on nook. (Not yet, the nookdevs guys are in the final stage of adding VPN to nook directly). B&N accepts your non-US credit card.

Last edited by mgmueller; 03-05-2010 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:29 AM   #11
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On reflection, you might be right. You could argue that if you lie about your location in order to avoid the extra charges, that would be deception, which might be illegal in some countries. It might even be considered a form of fraud - althouth it's nothing to do with piracy.
I think, the argument was about the "fake" credit card. "Fake" might be understood as "not being valid".
But "fake" in this case still means you pay for it, which might be the misunderstanding...
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
I think, the argument was about the "fake" credit card. "Fake" might be understood as "not being valid".
But "fake" in this case still means you pay for it, which might be the misunderstanding...
Thanks for the clarification. It's not completely clear what the post was referring to, but you might well be right.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #13
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Given that you can legally buy ANY DTB book on US Amazon and get it shipped to your country and avoid paying the 'local' cost (in Aus DTB are about 3 times the price of the exact same book everywhere else in the world) how on earth is obtaining ebooks this way any different? Even with the costs of overseas shipping, it is still cheaper to buy books from Amazon than from Australian booksellers.
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Old 03-14-2010, 03:49 PM   #14
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I would like to simply buy US books for my KIndle 2, i am living in Europe and have a US Amazone account. For me the availability is key not the price.

How can i work around the "import"-restrictions ?
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:33 PM   #15
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You need to add a US address to your Amazon account and use that address for 1click purchases. When purchasing a book, select 'download to your computer', save it to your hard drive, and then USB the book into your kindle, and this will avoid the additional fee of sending the book via the whispernet (which is what US residents have to pay when they download books via kindle when overseas travelling)
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