Kindle Woes

A number of my friends have been praising Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader.  Originally I thought it was quite a lot too expensive (US$ 399) but with the release of the so-called “Kindle 3″ (Amazon still just calls it “Kindle” – “Kindle 3″ is a popular name – priced at US$ 139 for a wifi version and US$ 189 for the 3G version) the price really has become quite reasonable.  So, I decided to get one and so begins this story.

First it is necessary to make a little bit of background clear.  I am a Danish citizen but for the past 10 years I have spend most of my time in South-East Asia (why this is relevant will become clear later).

Having decided to purchase a Kindle, I went to Amazon’s web-site.  Unfortunately it quite quickly became clear that Amazon did not want to ship a Kindle to Malaysia where I happens to be at the moment.  Perhaps this should have stopped me, but I don’t really consider myself Malaysian, so I decided to Google around a bit.

First I came across some Chinese bloke who have been importing some Kindles.  They were hugely overpriced (RM 750 = USD 238 – for the Wifi version.  That’s a neat USD 100 profit) but what really killed the deal was that the lazy bugger expected me to drive out to Cheras to pick it up and whenever I go to Cheras I always – without exception – end up being hopelessly lost.

Having exhausted the possibilities locally I thought I might just buy it from Denmark.  I am Danish after all, so while it would have been more convenient to buy it locally and probably a bit cheaper to get it from US, I decided just to order it using my Danish address for shipping.  Most countries in Europe uses VAT and in Denmark that is 25%.  In other words – if you purchase anything from outside EU, 25% is added in Denmark.  So – logically I went to amazon.co.uk and tried to order it there.  On that page it is clearly stated that in order to get a Kindle outside UK, one should visit the Kindle International page on amazon.com.