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.
- 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. 😉
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You need to send the unit back to US (and bear the additional international shipping cost) for any warranty issues
- 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.
- 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.
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. ;-(