How to get Amazon Kindle Touch in Singapore

My daughter is an avid reader and as a matter of fact, we are running out of shelves to store her books. This year, instead of adding to our storage woes,  I decided to kill two birds with one stone by getting her an Amazon Kindle for her birthday. As Amazon currently does not ship Kindles to Singapore, I received a lot of queries on how do I get a copy, especially the ebooks for Kindle, in Singapore. For those who are interested, here are the steps and the process is rather simple.

  1. First, you need a US registered address.  In my case, I have a VPOST account and it comes with a personalized US shipping address. VPOST accounts are free and I have been using them for all my US purchases with no problems – So far, so good. 😉
  2. Create an Amazon account and enter your address with the VPOST USA address. You can use the Singapore registered credit card for your purchases. Somebody told me that only US registered ones will work, but I didn’t have any problems (so far). If (for some reasons) your credit card doesn’t work, fret not. You can always use Amazon gift cards for your purchases. There is a shop “Tinyfries” in Millenia Walk that sells Amazon gift cards.
  3. Purchase the Amazon Kindle online and ship it to the VPOST USA address. I bought the “Special Offer” edition where the Kindle Touch is cheaper by USD$40. The catch is that there will be paid advertisements during the screen-saver mode. It’s not irritating and it only appears when you are not reading. There is actually a hack documented in the Internet on how to remove these paid advertisements but since I opted to save $40 in return for these non-intrusive advertisements, I decided to keep my end of the bargain and honour the agreement. I think you should too.
  4. Once VPOST USA receives your goods, it will send you an invoice via email with the shipping charges back to Singapore. Make that payment and you should be expecting your Kindle in about a week’s time.
  5. Once you receive your Kindle, connect it to your home WiFi and register it with your Amazon account. Any ebooks purchased will be “delivered” to your registered Kindle (via WiFi) almost instantaneously.

All in all, it took about 2 weeks for the parcel to arrive at my doorstep – easy peasy lemon squeezy. 😉

The original packaging only includes an USB charging cable and does not include any power adapter. For US$99, I won’t complain though. Anyway, I can use my blackberry charger to charge the Kindle. The output from the blackberry charge is 5V, 700mA and that means it allows upto a maximum of 700mA. The optional Amazon Kindle charger has a specifications of 5V, 850mA and thus there is a chance that the Kindle may draw upto 850mA. Since the maximum output from my charger is only 700mA, I reckon it probably means that it may take longer to fully charge up the Kindle. I am further assuming that it’s ok to use my blackberry charger as the output voltage is the same for both chargers. So far, I have charged my Kindle twice and it didn’t have any problems; The first charge took about 4 hours and the second charge took 6 hours as it was already 3/4 drained.

By the way, the little Amazon man (danboard) in the pictures above is to show the relative size of the packaging only. You know that it’s not part of Kindle, right? 😉

Before you take the plunge and buy a Kindle, there are a few gotchas that you should be aware of, mainly as a result of the fact that Kindle is not sold in Singapore.

  1. You need to send the unit back to US (and bear the additional international shipping cost) for any warranty issues
  2. You need to register an US address in your Amazon account before you can buy any ebooks from Amazon. Note that you will only see the list of available ebooks after you have logged into Amazon with the proper credentials, i.e. US address.
  3. Depending on your luck, Amazon may reject your purchases when it detects that you are accessing from a non-US location (i.e. via your computer’s IP address). To work around this issue, I use a prepaid VPN (Virtual Private Network) service from AlwaysVPN. As the name “VPN” implies, this service basically “teleport” yourself into US so that your web access is perceived as if it originates from US. For a prepaid amount of USD$8.50, I get 5GB worth of downloads and based on my calculation, I can easily download more than 2,000 ebooks if I use this service purely for Amazon’s transactions. Afterall, Kindle Touch only has 4GB of memory.
Since Kindle is not available for sale in Singapore, naturally you don’t expect to find its accessories in the local stores. My advice is to get all its accessories together with the Kindle. The shipping charges are also cheaper when you pool a few items together, as compared to shipping them individually.

Amazon Kindle Zip Sleeve

Personally, I prefer a sleeve over a cover as I like Kindle’s thin profile. Since this is meant to be a birthday gift for my daughter, I let her decide on the type of case. Like father like daughter (maybe), she chose a sleeve too – the blue Amazon Kindle Zip Sleeve. I must say the sleeve is very well designed as it has sufficient padding to protect the kindle against minor knocks and yet it’s not too bulky.

Amazon Kindle Zip Sleeve and its padding

Kindle Touch – Fits in my hand easily

As a standard disclaimer, all of the above are based on my personal experience and your mileage may vary. Please use any of the information with discretion. Do not hold me responsible and have fun with your Kindle! 😉

updated: 13 November 2012

The store “Tiny Fries” in Millenia Walk has closed down. ;-(

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20 thoughts on “How to get Amazon Kindle Touch in Singapore

  1. Hi – I am currently buying Kindles book from my HKG account where I used to live, no problem, downloading as usual. Does that mean if I buy a Kindle now, sign in with my account, it will work as per norm like my Cloud reader? I don’t understand the issue with VPN, can you help to explain?

    • Basically you need the VPN if you want to buy titles that are only available for the US market. Since you have no issues with your HKG account, you can continue to use that for the new Kindle registration. In my case, there are limited ebooks for Singapore market and that’s why I need register with an US account and VPN.

    • I have also used the new iPad (Gen 3, retina display) adapter to charge my kindle and it works fine. What’s more important is the voltage and it should be 5V. If the adapter that you have allows a lower current rating than 850mA, then it will take longer to fully charge up your kindle. I don’t think it will damage the kindle. However, having said this, I am not electrical trained and please do not hold me responsible … 😉

  2. Hi there, I have a question to ask. My kindle was working well and I can download all the ebooks for the past 4 months with my US address (I’m staying in Singapore btw) but recently when I tried to purchase my ebooks I could not as it somehow detected that I’m not living in the US. I have a feeling it is related to my credit card but then I’m not sure if it is my credit card. Any advise? 🙂

    • Unless there is a change in Amazon’s policy, I don’t think Amazon is rejecting Singapore registered credit cards. I think you may have hit a similar problem I encountered, i.e. it detected that I am not based in US due to my computer’s IP address. I worked around that issue by buying a prepaid VPN gateway. See my posting above for the details.

      But before you buy the prepaid VPN service, you may want to wait for a few days and try to make the amazon purchase again. I noticed that I hit the problem the last time because I made too many purchases (cos they were free downloads) at one go. I didn’t encounter the error a few days later when I restricted myself to 1 or 2 purchases per day.

      FYI, I seldom use my VPN gateway service and my purchases had been successful, except for that one-off case I mentioned earlier.

  3. NKL or Teck Meng, can you share the shop name in Funan IT Mall that sells kindle and amazon gift cards, since the on ein Millenia Walk has closed down?

  4. Hi There,

    Last night i bought a kindle paperwhite. After registering my kindle, i attempted to purchase a giftcard. Today I received an email saying that Amazon has closed my account. I registered my US address but billing address i put SG address.. Now amazon would like me to provide them my bank statement showing my mailing address… what should i do now? any advise ? Thank you!

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