How to buy a US-only Kindle eBook in Australia

Posted on December 22, 2010 | 4 minute read

See updates at the bottom of the post

I tried to buy a Kindle ebook yesterday from the Amazon site only to be told that the book was not available for Australian customers. Unfortunately I couldn’t find an electronic version of the book anywhere else, so tried a few ways to purchase this thing from Australia. I was finally successful in purchasing the Kindle eBook.

Here are the steps I followed. Some of these may not be exact and some may not be necessary. I’m including two versions - the first are the “convoluted” steps - the exact steps I took to the best of my memory in case there’s some sort of bug in the purchasing system that allowed me to get past the region restrictions. The other set of steps is the more straightforward version that I suspect you can take for this to still work, but I have not tried these and have no idea. If you do, tell me how it goes!

Convoluted (exact) steps

  1. Log out of my existing Amazon account

  2. Create a brand new Amazon account. Don’t fill in any specific details, just the bare minimum to log in

  3. Search for the desired ebook on the Amazon site

  4. Click “Buy Now With 1-Click” to buy the book. I received the same error page I did with my other account - saying I cannot purchase this book from Australia.

  5. Went to my account settings, set the address to my old address in the U.S.

  6. Search for the book again

  7. Click to purchase the book again

  8. Clicked “Next” without filling in my billing address (There was an option at the top allowing me to use the U.S. address I put in earlier, I thought it would automatically use this and accidentally clicked Next)

  9. Page reloaded asking me to fill in billing address details

  10. Clicked the button to use my existing U.S. details above

  11. Clicked next, got to the point where it asked me to give payment details. Assumed this would not work as it would cross-check my card details with my address and see they do not match up

  12. Clicked “Back” button in the browser bar.

  13. Got popup message asking if I’m sure I want to re-submit the form. Confirmed that yes, I want to submit again

  14. Clicked “Back” until I got back to the billing address page (it was either one or two ‘back’ clicks)

  15. Put my Australian web address into the billing address form

  16. Clicked Next, went through all of the steps (card details etc)

  17. Done - the book was purchased

Suspected simpler steps

  1. Create a new Amazon account

  2. In Account settings, enter a U.S. address

  3. Search for the ebook you want to purchase

  4. Click to buy the ebook

  5. On the billing address form, enter your Australian address

  6. Proceed through the rest of the payment process

Again, the steps that worked for me were the ones above - the more confusing, longer version. I do not know if the simpler set will work. But please try and tell me if they do!

Now watch Amazon pull my new ebook from my Kindle for this…

UPDATE: darosi on Twitter pointed out to me that people might have trouble using this method with existing Kindles on which they’ve already pre-registered their current Amazon accounts. I got my Kindle app specifically for this book so I didn’t even think of this, but just keep in mind that you’ll probably need to either download the Kindle app on another device and assign it to your new Amazon account or somehow re-register your current Kindle to the new account for this to work, which I know can be a bit of a hassle. Either way, please leave a comment if you do have this issue and have found (or not found) a way around it.

UPDATE TWO: Curiousjessica left a comment about how she’s done the same thing and had her ebooks revoked from her Kindle without a refund by Amazon as a result. I’ve now disconnected my iPad from WiFi until I can figure out how to get this book onto my PC in PDF format (or just take a screenshot of every page, then put them together as a PDF :S). Keep this in mind when using this process and read Jessica’s comment below for more detais.




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