While most consumers and Amazon customers buy all – or almost all – of their e-books from the branch of Amazon that is in their own country of residence. But once in a while there may be a compelling reason to shop overseas for your Kindle books, and if you do so you may encounter some perplexing challenges. That’s why it is a good idea to know three particular things about that kind of unique transaction, so that you understand how it works or figure out a workaround solution if you hit a roadblock.
Why You Might Want to Buy Internationally
Even if you have always bought your books at home, you may find yourself traveling in a foreign country – and wanting to buy from their Amazon website. But normally your account is registered in the country where you first bought your e-reader device. So if you bought your Kindle in the USA, for instance, your account will be associated with your American address and USA-based credit card.
If, on the other hand, you bought a Kindle Fire from an Amazon website in Germany while you were stationed there in the Army or studying there as a student, you probably have a Germany-based account. When you return home to the USA, if you want to keep buying through that German account it will be a foreign transaction – based on your Germany account – even if you happen to be an American citizen.
Students of Foreign Languages or Nations
Perhaps a more common reason to try and buy Kindle titles that are for sale in a foreign country is because you are a student studying that country’s language, culture, history, business and political trends, or other topics. You may want to read in that foreign language to practice your vocabulary, or in order to do research for an academic paper you’re writing. Maybe your professor wants you to read newspapers and magazines from there, to keep tabs on what’s happening in that particular foreign country.
You may not be engaged in academic study but still want to stay educated about what’s up in a foreign land. That can help if you’re working for an international organization, for instance, or if you are living in one country but have friends and family in another country. There are also people who travel frequently for all sorts of reasons, and they want the convenience of being able to shop wherever they may be, to make things simpler and easier.
The First Thing to Understand
Customers who are not based in the United States, which is where Amazon.com was first launched and has its main base of operations, can purchase Kindle devices and Kindle content elsewhere. Here is the list of other worldwide Amazon marketplaces.
Amazon.ca: in Canada
Amazon.com.br: in Brazil
Amazon.co.uk: in the United Kingdom
Amazon.fr: in France and Monaco
Amazon.de: in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein
Amazon.it: in Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and Switzerland
Amazon.es: in Spain, including Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla
Another Important Issue
When you go to an Amazon site and buy an e-reader device, it will be shipped with a charging cord that is compatible with that particular country. Travel elsewhere and it may not work without using an electrical power adaptor. It’s always wise to carry various adapters with you that work in the places you visit, to ensure that you can always plug into a wall socket and get a reliable recharge. Kindles also ship with a USB cable that can be used to charge the devices by plugging them into a computer that has a power supply.
To make sure that when you shop at Amazon you only browse titles that are available for shipment to you where you are, set the country or region in the Manage Your Content and Devices section of your Kindle or Amazon account. Then the appropriate titles will be displayed. Another easy solution is to go to the Amazon International Sites web page. From there you can sign into your Amazon account and then see titles available for download to you.
The Third Key Thing to Know
If you are eligible to purchase Kindle content from another Amazon website in a different country, you must first “migrate” your account to that website. You can do that by visiting your Manage Your Content and Devices page and then clicking on Settings and – under Country Settings – changing your country and hitting “Update.” Then your books and magazines and so forth will be shifted to that new account.
But keep in mind that some of your content, even though you’ve paid for it, may not be available in another country. If you migrate to that foreign country, you might risk losing that content. That’s because some content is copyright protected and with the proper legal licenses it cannot be exported to another nation. One possible workaround is to download your content to your laptop or other personal computer before you travel. Then you can probably still access it from wherever you are…as long as you don’t change your account to a new country. For other questions just contact Amazon customer service, and they will be able to help you figure out what to expect if you travel or move your residence to a foreign country.