- The DIY way to buy Kindle books yourself July 07 2014

The following instructions are meant for those who have trouble using their local credit cards to buy Kindle books. If you are able to buy Kindle books using your local credit card, you may ignore the following information.

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To summarise:

  • use a computer to buy ebooks
  • change your country to US by using a VPN
  • switch on a vpn before you click 'buy now'

How to browse books from the entire US catalogue

  • You need to sign up for an Amazon account if you don't already have one.
  • If you already have an Amazon account, go to amazon.com/myk and look for 'Your Kindle Account > Country Settings on the left. Type in any US address.
  • You will now be able to browse the entire Amazon catalogue. Browse books at your leisure.

Some preparatory steps to take before buying books from the Amazon US store

  • Because Amazon doesn't officially support Kindles in Singapore, there were instances where buyers were found to be not from 'authorised countries' and were asked to provide proof of US residency before they could buy books again. To be safe, use a vpn described below.
  • Firstly, do not buy Amazon ebooks directly from your Kindle device or Kindle apps, not even free books.
  • Buy a gift card with your local credit card, say USD50. Use the correct, local billing address for this purchase. Email the gift card to your email address. When you receive it in the mail, apply the gift amount to your Amazon account.
  • Go to your account, 'manage payment options', and erase your credit card info if you have any credit cards associated with Amazon.com . (Do this also whenever you buy something at Amazon using your local credit card.)
  • You need to buy books using your Internet browser on your computer with a VPN installed. Functionally, using a VPN is the equivalent of me giving you an airplane ticket to travel with your Kindle to the US. Use a VPN such as Private Tunnel to make yourself situated in the US, in spirit. You may turn it off later when you're done purchasing. Click here to download some instructions. The cheapest VPN package can last you for years. Do not use Hotspot Shield; it's known not to work sometimes.
  • Exit your Internet browser.
  • Switch on your VPN. Open your browser.
  • Go to Manage your Kindle at the Kindle product page.
  • Go to 'settings>country settings'. Change your country to US if it's showing another country. Use any US address. Take a screenshot of it in case Amazon asks in future.
  • Switch off the VPN.
How to buy e-books from the Amazon US store
  • Do not buy e-books (even if the books are free) with the Kindle device.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient funds in your account. If not, buy more gift cards and apply them to your account.
  • Exit your Internet browser.
  • Switch on your VPN, and check that it's working by going to http://www.whatismyipaddress.com . It needs to show a US IP address.
  • Go to Amazon. Find your book and click 'buy now with 1-click', 'deliver to your Kindle'. If you choose to wirelessly send it to your Kindle, you should receive the book in a few seconds. You can also choose to download the file and transfer it to your Kindle using USB. If asked for the billing address, use any US address. Note that this address will not be used because funds will originate from your gift card balance. New: Copy or do a screenshot of this information (the US billing address and telephone number that you used.) You may be asked for it in the future.
  • Switch off the VPN.