Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Amazon Kindle 2 In Singapore

Updated 4 August 2010. The Kindle 3 is now on sale. I've a new blog entry up to focus on this latest model.

Updated 10 July 2010. I'm now using AlwaysVPN. If  you're local Kindle user, I don't mind 'sharing' my account with you so that you can use it for free. To use the VPN, switch it on before you open a web browser to go to www.amazon.com to buy books. After buying books, log out of Amazon by clicking on the 'not Your Name', exit your web browser, then exit your VPN.

Updated 24 Feb 2010: Click here for my other Kindle post 'Unitasking and the Kindle' with additional reports from the local media.

Updated 12 Jan 2010. If you have an international Kindle, please do not use Whispernet in Singapore. Continue using your VPN and buy books using the USB method. This is to prevent the raising of any red flags.

Updated 18 Nov 2009. It seems that vPOST is having some problems with shipping the Kindle, and I won't recommend using vPOST for Kindle purchases. More info at the comments section. Borderlinx seems to be a viable alternative. Please continue to use a VPN whenever you access Amazon.com to buy books.

Updated 7 Oct 2009: Updated book buying procedure with the launch of international Kindles. Singapore is not among the countries eligible for wireless Whispernet. Here is a newspaper article where I am mentioned talking about the Kindle and 'unitasking'.

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I used to read on my Palm PDA when I had time to kill. Reading short news articles on the Palm was not much of an issue, but if it's an ebook, then it's a bit more difficult because of the small screen. Still, I managed to read Animal Farm for the first time on the Palm.

More than a year ago, Amazon.com released its first ebook reader utilising a screen from the company called E Ink. A few months ago, they released a second version of the Kindle. I ordered one on 11 May and received it via vPOST on 26 May. vPost is really getting better, the turnaround time is now quite good. The Kindle 2 is not really cheap; it cost me around SGD630 in total (including the very nice 'leather' cover.) Then again, it's not easy to put a price on accessibility, which is what the Kindle has the potential to provide: thousands of books in the palm of your hand.



The screen is breathtaking! It's unlike any screen I've seen before. It really does look like paper, and almost seems to use some sort of alien technology.

The other selling point of the Kindle is the huge numbers of books it can store. Most books don't take up a lot of space, technically speaking. The Bible is around 2 Megabytes. Shakespeare's entire works also take up less than 3 Megabytes, according to Gutenberg.org. The Kindle has a storage space of around 1400 MB, which is more than what we would ever need.

Currently, the Kindle is not intended for non-US residents. I didn't know that this 'problem' could be circumvented until I read an article in the Strait Times by ST Online Editor Joanne Lee who revealed she was having a ball with her Kindle! How was this possible?! She was nice enough to elaborate when I emailed her to ask for more details. The workaround can be summarised here. While we cannot use the wireless Whispernet in Singapore, it is quite easy to buy Kindle books from Amazon.com, download the file into the PC, and transfer it to the Kindle using the included USB cable.

Here are the steps I use. Do note that Amazon doesn't support Kindles in Singapore. There are instances where buyers were found to be not from 'authorised countries' and their accounts were disabled. Your mileage may vary. Caveat Emptor. 
  • Install a VPN* to make yourself situated in the US. You may turn it off later when you're done purchasing. 
  • Go to Manage your Kindle at the Kindle product page.
  • Go to 'your country' and edit your country if it's not the US. Use any US address.
  • Go to your account, 'manage payment options', and erase your credit card info if you have any credit cards associated with Amazon.com .
  • Turn off 1-Click ordering.
  • Buy a gift card, say USD300 which is sufficient to buy the Kindle 2 and the leather cover. Send the gift card to your email address. When you receive it in the mail, apply the gift amount to your account
  • Go to your account, 'manage payment options', and erase your credit card info. Do this step everytime you use your credit card.
  • Buy the  Kindle 2 and the leather cover. You don't need to use a credit card as you have money in your account from the redeemed gift cards. You then need to use a forwarding company to ship the package to Singapore. I used vPOST, but there are some problems with them now, so please don't use them to buy Kindles. You may wish to try Borderlinx instead.
  • To buy e-books, ensure that you have sufficient funds in your account. If not, buy more gift cards and pay yourself.
  • Switch on your VPN* (see updates at the top), then open your browser to buy books.  (Very important! Amazon is now disabling accounts temporarily if you're from an 'unauthorised location.)
  • At the page of the book you want, click 'buy now with 1-click', 'deliver to your Kindle'.
  • Go to Manage your Kindle and download your book onto your PC, then transfer it using the USB cable provided.
  • *A VPN is something that tells Amazon that you're from the States when in fact you're not. (You're not but your digital presence is, technically.) You need to use this to avoid 'trouble'.
I have not too many complaints about the device. It is a glorious product. Hopefully the price will get cheaper. If Bill Gates' vision is to have a 'computer in every desk and in every home', someone should be aiming for a Kindle (or similar e reader) on every desk in every classroom. Or some variation of it. Maybe that will happen in 5 years time when the Kindle is as common as an iPod. For now, it's the slickest ebook reader around. It won't be too long before competitors start appearing in greater numbers.

The Kindle's design team is Lab126. It's President was/is Gregg Zehr who was originally a VP of Hardware Engineering from Palm. So it seems that after all these years, I'm still reading on a Palm, albeit a bigger one now!

    Here are some screenshots of LOTR that I've bought.











    320 comments:

    1 – 200 of 320   Newer›   Newest»
    Chinese Albumart said...

    Congratulations ! I got a Sony PRS 505 but glad u have a Kindle ! So many books to buy ! :)

    Jessen said...

    I still prefer reading books than using an electronic device. Although it will be cool to have one of those. lol

    Tetanus said...

    S$630? Ouch.

    jeffyen said...

    Chinese, the 505 uses the same e Ink screen from what I can tell. The more competitors, the better! :)

    jeffyen said...

    Tetanus, the breakdown is as follows.

    359 + 29.99 (Kindle leather cover) = USD388.99 = SGD564

    564 + SGD24.44 vpost shipping + SGD41.29 GST = total SGD629.73

    jeffyen said...

    Jessen, it feels like reading a normal book! Well, almost anyway. :) If you have the iPhone, you can also use that to read Kindle books...

    Anonymous said...

    rich uh my teacher

    TheSaint888 said...

    Wow...really indepth review, jeffyen...

    kissbutterflyaway said...

    Thanks for this entry, I've always wanted to buy a kindle but heard it cant be worked in singapore. Now I know the problem can be worked around, can't wait to get a kindle!!

    YC said...

    Hi jeffyen, I'm a reporter from SPH doing a story about e-book readers. Am looking for users to interview for the story. Do you think you'd be willing to speak to me? If so, do drop me a line at yuenc AT sph DOT com DOT sg. Hope to hear from you.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi there...
    Yr update is fantastic.I m thinking of buying one for Christmas. Gosh! I m bi credit card? I m bit confused on the gift card. Why can't I use my credit card to buy it on Amazon?

    jeffyen said...

    You cannot use a non-US credit card to buy Kindle books because Amazon needs to fulfill certain 'due diligence' with the copyright owners. Amazon can only sell to people with US addresses. So you need to use gift cards to buy Kindle books to go around this.

    For the Kindle device itself, you can use a non-US card to buy the Kindle and specify vPOST's US address for Amazon to ship to.

    CK said...

    Hi Jeffrey,

    Can i know whether the kindle wireless can connect to WIFI in Singapore?

    CK said...

    what i mean is using it to connect to google and wikipedia etc.

    jeffyen said...

    Nope, it cannot; there is no WIFI. It can only connect to Sprint's EVDO/CDMA network in the US.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeffrey,

    Does Amazon have a retail store in US? As my relative will be going to US next week. Am thinking of asking him to buy the Kindle 2 for me. BY the way, he is staying in a hotel.Can I get Amazon to deliver to the hotel? Can advise? Thanks.

    Gwen

    jeffyen said...

    Gwen, Amazon doesn't have physical retail stores. You can use the hotel's address as the shipping address, but I won't try this myself; it's way too risky I guess. Also I'm not sure if hotels can accept packages?

    If you buy now and use vPost, you'll probably receive it around the same time? You'll just pay a bit more for the shipping. :)

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeffyen,

    I heard that the new Kindle 2. Don come with A good protective cover when they ship. And KIndle is quite fragile. Is it true? That's why i thought of asking my relative to get it for me in US. So its safer to get by VPOST? Can advise? Thanks.

    Gwen

    jeffyen said...

    The Kindle package that is shipped is very solid as seen in the picture I took. There's no need for you to have it delivered to a person in the US just to make sure the contents are not damaged during shipping. It won't. The Kindle package is also protected by air capsules that is included in the box used by Amazon for shipping.

    The Kindle itself is thin and elegant, and naturally will be quite fragile. So normally you'll also buy the official Kindle leather case as well. I would say that the two items should be sold together. It's a must have. :)

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeffyen,

    Thanks for your kind advise. By the way, I have heard that you can buy insurance for purchasing from V Post is it true?
    :)

    Gwen

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeffyen,

    I have just place an order for the Kindle 2.
    I try to purchase a gift card. But it will go to the page where you need to kye in the payment method by credit card or Amazon store card. May I know how to purchase the gift card? Can help? Thanks.

    Gwen

    jeffyen said...

    Cool! vPost does provide insurance. There is an option to click on something when you're paying for the shipping after the package arrives at the vPost address.

    For now, you need to forward the invoice that Amazon will send you to vPost.

    For gift cards, just key in your Singapore credit card and buy the gift card to yourself (i.e. send it to your email address). You will then receive an email and then you can apply the gift card amount to your account.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi,

    I'm a greenhorn here. Have bought the gift card and credited it to my account but how to I buy the kindle books without clicking the 1-click button? there is no option to use gifft cards and it keeps prompting me for a billing add.

    jeffyen said...

    Ok, go to your Amazon account by clicking 'your account'. Find the section called '1-click settings' Turn it off by clicking on the button at the top right corner.

    After you have applied your gift card to your account, when you buy new Kindle books, it will just deduct from your Amazon account balance (which contains money from the gift card). So make sure that you have enough money in your account first before buying books; it will not ask you to use gift card and ask you for a billing address.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi, am so excited to read your posts. Heard also that Kindle e-books can be read on iphone. BUT ... I need the Kindle for Iphone App. It is supposed to be on the Apps Store but can't find it. Would you know anything about this? Thanks

    jeffyen said...

    Someone told me once that the Kindle app on the iPhone isn't available in Singapore. (I suppose there's a difference between the US and Singapore iPhone app store?)

    I don't have an iPhone so I'm not sure about the details.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeffyen,

    Thanks alot for your advise. By the way, did you buy the insurance for your KIndle when you ship it back to Singapore? :)

    Regards
    Gwen

    Anonymous said...

    Hi.

    Regarding the Iphone thing ofr Kindle. I am not sure about it. But I think you can use Iphone for Audio books from Audible.com. I know the audio books from audible.com can be use on creative and all ipods. Though their selection of books are not alot. But can give it a try.

    Gwen

    how3 said...

    hi there.. i have a gift card that i purchased to buy some kindle books and i cannot seem to use it to buy anything.. it keeps giving me the "geographical location error".. any ideas?

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeffyen,

    I have bought the gift card and apply it. I have turn off the 1 Click. But the 1 click logo still keep appearing on the page when I am searching for books. Any idea. Does it take sometime for the change to take effect? :)

    Gwen

    jeffyen said...

    Gwen,

    I guess it's normal, the 1-click logo still appears when you are choosing books, just ignore it. I didn't pay for the insurance. :)



    how3,

    Go to your Amazon account>Manage payment options>delete your card info. It should work now.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeffyen,


    Thanks for your advise. Shall wait for Kindle to arrive. And try out. Thanks alot. :)

    Gwen

    Anonymous said...

    Hi,

    I've tried your method, I've verified that the 1-click setting is off... but when i try to get a free book ( currently i'm tryingit out on Jungle Book Kindle Edition which is $0.00 ) the button still says Buy Now with 1-click. I have no other options besides that.. and if i click on it, it prompted me for a billing address. did i do something wrong here?

    btw, for those interested in Kindle for iPhone, you need to do something similar, but with a US iTunes gift card. go redeem it from US iTunes store, and u would be able to get the Kindle app for free.

    jeffyen said...

    Anon 30 Sep,

    The appearance of the 'buy now with 1-click' button is normal. It will appear even if you've turned off the functionality. There is a setting in 'your account' that can totally remove the graphic, but it's not necessary to do this.

    In my experience, if they ask for your billing address, it means that you may not have money in your account (e.g., you did not cash in your gift certificates)

    Have you removed all credit card information linked to your account too?

    Anonymous said...

    hi again jeff,
    yeap i did removed all credit card information and i've got a balance of 5 dollars worth of gift certificate in my acct... weird...

    Anonymous said...

    sorry, i just keyed in a US address (my vpost address) as the billing address and that worked fine. downloaded some free books now. cool! thanks for all the help ^_^

    jeffyen said...

    OK, just make sure you have enough money next time so that the billing address doesn't come into actual play.

    Maybe you can try clearing cookies, rebooting your computer etc. Or maybe $5 is too little.. not too sure...

    Anonymous said...

    Hi, how can you purchase kindle e-books via iphone to read? Anyone can comment?

    Anonymous said...

    Everytime I click onto the kindle book it already says that I can't proceed due to the geographical restrictions. I've tried deleting the international credit card details but left the US billing address and it still doesn't work. Any ideas anyone ?

    jeffyen said...

    Strange, I just bought a free book just now and a paid book yesterday; no problems... Maybe you can delete all your addresses?

    To Anon who asks about the iPhone app, I believe you need to get the app from the US itunes store.

    Anyway, could I request anonymous posters to post a dummy name so that I can respond to your issues more effectively. Cheers...

    Mandy said...

    Jeff, there has been very recent reports that Amazon has managed to stop overseas Kindle owners from buying Kindle books even with the above steps.

    Are you encountering the same problems?

    jeffyen said...

    Yeah I heard those reports. However, I bought 1 free and 1 non-free book yesterday, and bought another free book today. No problems... weird...

    Mandy said...

    I just tried myself and it really doesn't work now..even the free book. Would you be so kind as to try another free book purchase as experiment and report back?

    Maybe one of your variables are different from the rest of ours and we can work out a solution...

    Thanks so much...i'd hate it if I can't purchase books for my Kindle anymore..

    jeffyen said...

    I just bought another free book... there must be some variable that is causing this..

    Michelle said...

    I read somewhere that we need to deregister the kindle and move it to a new account with no payment records. But the way that they have done it now is that the 1-click needs to be enabled and hence credit card details need to be in. I believe the credit card no is the one that gives it away as to whether it is US issued or not.

    Oh dear and my Kindle is just being shipped from the US now... please help

    Mandy said...

    Strange. Let's see.

    1. I have a separate Amazon account with NO CREDIT CARD linked to it but with a US address as the shipping address.

    2. This Amazon account has a redeemed Gift Cert with loads of credit in it.

    3. One-click is off.

    4. The Kindle is registered under this account.

    5. I have successfully bought books (both free and normal paid books) prior to this.

    6. My IP address should identify my location (KL) but do you think it's IP?

    Are you doing anything that is overtly different?

    Michelle said...

    I think I have followed all the steps.. one question though if the 1-click is off how do you purchase it ?

    Michelle said...

    Sorry misread the steps.. I have already set up a new account but have yet to register the kindle to the new account as I do not have the kindle with me at the moment (on its way). May be that is what it needs. Will keep you posted.

    jeffyen said...

    OK, I'll think about all this for a while as there are other developments elsewhere. I may have an idea what is going on.. will sleep on it first... don't worry, those of you who are worried... it's going to be OK...

    Michelle, I don't think it's necessary to change accounts. I know I won't at this point in time. Before the kindle is being shipped, they will have set up and personalised your unit with the account that you've used to buy it.

    Mandy said...

    Jeff...thanks...

    jeffyen said...

    Here's what I think now about this inability to buy books issue: I don't know what's happening!

    There are many data points and they don't point to anything consistent. They may just be having a glitch in their systems. I am not having problems buying books and I may know why, but that's not good enough.

    Some have suggested that Amazon is checking IP addresses. If that's really true, just install a VPN such as Hotspot Shield. A VPN, simplistically speaking, tells Amazon that you're located in the US rather than in Asia.

    jeffyen said...

    >>Michelle said...
    I think I have followed all the steps.. one question though if the 1-click is off how do you purchase it?

    I think it's because there's money in the Amazon account. I always click on the 1-click icon that has the 'send book wirelessly to me' option. Of course I can't receive it wirelessly. I just need to go to 'manage your kindle' and download the file to my computer.

    nichcheam said...

    jeff, got a question for you
    if i buy a kindle and my gf buys a kindle.

    can we download 1 book and share between our kindles???

    jeffyen said...

    nichcheam,

    The answer is yes, provided these 2 Kindles are linked to the same account; either yours or your gf's.

    From what I understand, this can be done if you use your account to buy both Kindles, or you can deregister then re-register the second one to the main account. I'd prefer the former.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeffyen,

    I also get the sorry message. I wonder does it have to do with my email address. There is .sg at the end of my email. Do I need to change my user name. But my kindle is on the way to singapore. Btw, must we use the Always VPN? I do notice when i click to buy kindle book they have this geo filter. So pay for the minimum subscription? Can advise? Thanks.

    Gwen

    jeffyen said...

    Gwen, I think you should do nothing for now until your Kindle arrives. It may have been a software glitch and they will fix it. It's not so advisable to change accounts etc. because it may just complicate thing. Give them a few days and see what the cause of the problem is...

    Zhiliang said...

    Hi, just to let everyone know, i reside in Singapore too. And i could not buy the books all of a sudden too. But, after installing the Hotspot Shield from download.com, i am now able to do so. I think they are definitely using the geo-filter on our IP addresses.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeffyen,

    I jus received my kindle. Its still stated as My Kindle. I think its not registered yet. Can I change my email address in my amazon ac to gmail with no country specific. As I try to purchase book using my .sg email account Amazon said You attempted to purchase an item while in a different country than listed on your Amazon account. Cause I have stated US as my country of residence. But the geo filter they know I am outside US. So i think to get around this maybe I change to gmail.

    Btw, can you still purchase books from Amazon. Can try free books? Please advise. Thanks.

    Gwen

    jeffyen said...

    Just a few hours ago, a crazy thing happened: Amazon dropped the price of the K2 and announced the release of an international version of the K2. Singapore, however, is not in the list of 'eligible countries' to access Whispernet.

    Gwen, go to www.amazon.com/kindle and click on 'manage your kindle'. Do you see your kindle already on that page already? If yes, that means it's registered.

    Please read my updated instructions again, there's no need to change email addresses, just use a vpn. I'm still able to buy books.. ;)

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeffyen,

    Yes! I can buy books now. Thanks alot!

    Gwen

    Michelle said...

    Ah... I just read the news... so what am I to do ? Still waiting for my kindle to arrive

    Michelle said...

    Sorry guys what is this vpn ?

    Michelle said...

    HI there,

    I tried using hotspot shield but when I clicked on 1-click it now gives me this instead. What am I suppose to do. Am I not using hotspot shield right ? Heelp !!

    You attempted to purchase an item while in a different country than listed on your Amazon account.
    Are you traveling outside your country?
    Please contact customer service in order to continue purchasing Kindle items.
    Did you recently move to a new country?
    You can easily update your country for your Amazon account.

    Michelle said...

    Hi Jeff, Zhiliang, Mandy everyone else

    Yes I've GOT it... the hotspot shield did the trick. Wasn't convinced and was two minds about changing it but I managed to do it this morning. Thxs for all your help!

    cheng said...

    Very good infor here.

    Jeff, in this case do you think it is better to get the K2 US version or the US International version?

    jeffyen said...

    cheng,

    I'd recommend the US-only version. The price is lower and the lack of Whispernet, even if Singapore does get wireless support in the future, really isn't a problem.

    For the frequent flyer who visits supported countries, maybe the international version is better.

    Anonymous said...

    So any idea why its not available in Singapore - looking at the list theres a load of places it is available that I have never heard of (where is Wallis and Futuna ???). They even have in the Faroe Islands and I thought only sheep lived there.......

    jeffyen said...

    I don't have any idea; it may be related with the business decisions with local telcos, what the copyright holders feel etc.

    Anonymous said...

    i read that the US version is on CDMA, whereas the International version is on GSM. CDMA of course will never work in s'pore. the GSM version still have hope for Whispernet when it eventually hits s'pore.

    jeffyen said...

    You're right. However, I would recommend the CDMA version because 1) it is cheaper and 2) I don't need Whispernet which is highly addictive and costs money (around US2 more per book.)

    Sherwin said...

    Hi Jeffyen,

    Thanks for the blog post. I've been toying with the idea of getting a Kindle now but always thought I was limited by the fact that I'm in Singapore. All the information I need is so clearly consolidated now. Thanks a bunch!

    One question though. I'm a mac user. Comments elsewhere seems to indicate that Kindle is entirely mac-compliant. Would you know if there are any issues for Mac users attempting to use a kindle in Singapore?

    jeffyen said...

    Sherwin,

    It's not a problem. The only time your Mac interfaces with your Mac is when you transfer documents using the USB port.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630&#usb

    System Requirements

    Windows-based: Windows 2000 or later.
    Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
    USB port: An available port or an attached USB hub with an available port.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi! I just bought a Kindle. Should receive it by next week. I'm so excited! Can't wait to start downloading books! Thanks for your post. It really helped to answer a lot of the questions I have about the use of Kindle in Singapore.

    Ling

    Anonymous said...

    Hi all, I just received my Kindle DX times 2! I ordered one first and then with the cover and reading lamp package accidentally another one..I can sell it if someone is interested. Otherwise I'll just give it to my Mrs for Xmas... It is still in the package unopened. The one I'm using works fine in Singapore. All I'm asking is the Amazon selling price (US $489).
    Text me if you are interested: 98284957, Mr Patama.

    Sherwin said...

    Thanks Jeff!

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeff,

    Can check with you.How to subscribe to magazine? Cause I have deleted the credit card info and only use gift card to purchase books. So we have to leave the credit card info there so that they can do a monthly deduction? Did you subscribe to the magazine? Is it better to use Kindle DX to read magazine? Pl advise. Thanks.

    Gwen

    jeffyen said...

    Gwen, I think you can just log in using the VPN and try ordering. You can't use gift cards; they will ask you for a credit card. Just use your sg cc. I'm still seeing if it can work. Of course the DX is better at reading magazines, but K2 can be used too.

    Anon, yes I'm waiting for a DX price drop. In the meantime, don't wait till Christmas to give it to your wife lol

    Anonymous said...

    Jeff,

    Yes, me too. Am waiting for the price of DX to drop. :) Thanks.

    Gwen

    Anonymous said...

    I am thinking of buying a DX. Any comments or experience to share?

    SUN said...

    Jeff, I can buy books but canot download to my pc. err msg is "We're sorry, this title is not currently available for download."(VPN connected) any idea to help? tks a lot.

    jeffyen said...

    Anon, I'm thinking of getting the DX too, waiting for the price to drop. See what happens after the Barnes and Noble reader is released...

    Sun, I just tried downloading from 'manage your kindle' and it works, even without the VPN. Maybe you can try rebooting the computer, and try again. Sometimes the first try may not work/you have to wait a few seconds as the server may be busy etc.

    SUN said...

    Jeff, tks for yr reply. I had been waited one whole day, but still get below err msg:
    We're sorry, this title is not currently available for download.

    We are investigating the difficulty with this title and ask that you try again in 24 hours. If after that time you are still unable to access this title, please contact us for further assistance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com!

    I have 2 paid books and 1 free book all cannot be download, if you want i can give u my amazon ID/password to try it out. tks.

    jeffyen said...

    Sure Sun, my email is jeffreyyen@gmail.com

    SUN said...

    jeff, sent to u already. help chk. tks.

    Bhushan said...

    dude, thanks a lot, your blog helped me a lot in being a owner of kindle here in singapore

    Gum Ang said...

    Heya Jeff, sorry to hijack your thread again. Those who wanna tryout a DX, perhaps can visit the Singapore Kindle FaceBook Group? Maybe we can organise an outing or something?

    Doris said...

    Hi jeff, hope to get some advise fr u. I had ordered the new international version for my hubby's coming bday & it's now on the way to my vPost, & understand i can order kindle book & send to the kindly b4 it arrives in SG. But am getting the country error msg though i've the hotspot shield running & even tried adding & deleting my SG cc, all dun work. wat could go wrong? appreciate yr help! thx!

    jeffyen said...

    Gum, sure we could have a meetup. I guess can advertise in Amazon's 'see a Kindle in your country' thread. ;)

    Doris,
    It's a bit too late to order now and expect it to be in the Kindle (not possible as it's on the way! Can only be done before it leaves Amazon's factory.)

    I just realised that I don't need to use the vpn anymore. Seems like amazon has 'stood down' the restriction. You may wish to deactive it, reboot your PC, then try again?

    Doris said...

    hi jeff, oic... no prob, i had juz tried to download to my laptop w/o the VPN & it's working now!! thanks alot for yr help!! now waiting for the kindle to reach us! :D

    Viva said...

    Hi Jeff, with the use of Hotspot Shield, do I still need to use giftcards to purchase ebooks? Or can i directly purchase ebooks without the use of gift cards?

    U also mentioned that we dont need to use the vpn anymore. Does that mean you are using the gift card method or direct purchase?

    jeffyen said...

    Viva, you may not need the Hotspot Shield (the vpn) anymore. Just try it and see.

    I'm still not paying any additional money because my account still has credits. I'm not too worried about whether I can use or can't use credit cards. When the time comes (when my credit runs out), I'll just try and see. Gift cards work anyway.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi all,

    To get around paying the GST, order the Kindle and the Leather Cover separately (under 2 invoices). Ship them to vPost, which should arrive at about the same time anyway... then vPost them back to Singapore (vPost levies only 1 time Base Charge of $12.40 and $8.60 per kg thereafter, however savings comes from the fact that there's no GST payable if each package item is less than S$400. It does not matter that your shipment of the 2 said items exceeds S$400.

    Have fun with your Kindle!!!

    jeffyen said...

    hehe that's a cool tip anon!

    cheng said...

    i ordered the international version 2 weeks back. Last week i received an email from Amazon that it has just refunded me US$20 :) . So the cost is effectively S$259 :)

    cheng said...

    oops... i meant US$259

    Sappy said...

    Hi Jeff, I've just created a brand new account, but I see that there's no way to change the country to US (I can't go to the Kindle bookstore - it identifies that I'm in Singapore) unless I actually have a Kindle and register it under Manage My Kindle. Only then can I change my region to U.S. Is this correct?

    jeffyen said...

    Sappy,

    Could you use the VPN like Hotspot Shield, so that you can appear to be from the US?

    I'll be interested in the outcome...

    Sappy said...

    Hey Jeff, I used VPN and immediately Amazon thinks I'm from the U.S. and I now have access to Kindle books. Thanks for the great tip!!!

    Sappy said...

    Ok Jeff, everytime I try to purchase a Kindle book it asks me for a billing address. I already have giftcard credits in my account. What do I do?

    jeffyen said...

    Sappy, I just bought another non-free book and didn't see the billing address. It shouldn't appear.

    The following is something that I just found out. You may need to do the opposite thing of what used to happen. Maybe you can add a Singaporean credit card to your account under 'your account'>manage payment method'. Somehow my account has a sg card associated with it, and my purpose went through without using a VPN. Please try this and see what happens. :)

    DL said...

    hi there,

    thanks for your great, and very informative post on the kindle. I want one very badly, but as you have rightly pointed out, and having read other reviews on ereaders, I think I will wait for a bit.

    what are your views on plasticlogic, sonyreader, and other ereaders? why is kindle so publicised?

    -d

    Sappy said...

    Hi Jeff,

    I keyed in my Vpost address as my billing address, but it was irrelevant in the end cos my Amazon giftcard balance was automatically deducted.

    I am now reading Kindle books on my iphone. For now, I will hold off on buying the Kindle. When my iPhone space runs out, I will definitely have to go the Kindle route.

    Thanks very much for your help. :-)

    jeffyen said...

    DL,

    I don't normally advise people to wait when making 'gadget decisions' (because one can wait forever!) It's just that this rumour seems to sound plausible and there's really not much harm in waiting 2 weeks.

    I can't comment much on the ereaders you mention. I've only seen a Sony reader in its retail box before and have never handled one. (I don't like its ergonomics as seen in video reviews.)The plastic logic one looks cool, but of course it's not released yet. The Nook looks impressive, but it doesn't have an edge over the Kindle. I predict its colour LCD screen will be distracting.

    -I like to recommend the Kindle because it gets the Unitasking thing spot on. (Very similar to the 'old' Palm which is my favourite tech company.)

    -The number of books Amazon has is formidable. Public domain books aside, I think it has the most number of 'new books', the sort I'd buy.

    -The Kindle is now the poster boy of Amazon. It's the best selling and most gifted product. Its revenues are going through the roof. That tells me that it will do ANYTHING, to keep up with the competition. They have been doing this for 2 years; they are not able to throw the lead away.

    -Amazon releases many free 'paid' books each month; and these are not throwaway books. A lot of them are very good.

    -Amazon is making a loss in every Kindle book they sell. (They pay the publisher the full hardcover price.) This tells me they are behaving in the same way as when Jeff Bezos started Amazon. They don't mind losing some money now and they are investing in the future and want to be around for the long haul.

    -I think the Kindle's biggest competitor will actually be the Apple iSlate or whatever its name will be. Apple has a way of succeeding in most things it does nowadays.

    -Whatever happens, readers win as there's more competition. For now, I'm banking on Amazon. ;p

    jeffyen said...

    Sappy,

    That's great. It seems that amazon has also relaxed the rules this past week and you may be able to pay for your books using a Singapore credit card as mentioned at the top of this page.

    EReader said...

    Just saw this on FACEBOOK on the VPOST site:


    Olympian TanI bought an electronic reader(non kindle) in the US and got it sent through VPOST. I got a note telling me that VPOST cant send it.

    "We regret to inform you that your order consists of one or more of the following: wine or alcoholic beverages/battery/perfume/paints/spray/lithium battery which is categorized under prohibited items. We regret we are unable to process this invoice. Please arrange with your merchant not to deliver your item to the vPOST shipping address.

    Alternatively, we can also try to see if we can help to forward your package from US via alternative route since you have already ordered your ELECTRONIC READER. However, postage and admin charge is required for forwarding the package to our agent in Portland. Please let us know if you would like to have your package forwarded to Portland and we will check the forwarding postage for you acceptance.

    We greatly appreciate your kind understanding in this matter, and would appreciate your final instruction on how to deal with your package that could not be forwarded from US to Singapore, if it is delivered to the vPOST shipping address."

    I think it must be due to the fact that this item has a lithium battery.

    However the KINDLE has a Lithium polymer battery too.

    Why can a KINDLE be shipped but not another brand of Electronic reader?

    Not sure if anyone faced the same problem.

    Timothy said...

    To EReader...

    Honestly, I used to be a huge fan of VPost untill they mixed up an order which weighed 0.6 KG and charged me like 500 bucks for a 61KG package. (Not kidding) This was remedied in the end but what annoyed me was the 3 weeks plus I had to wait for my package. Aditionally, there's reels of red tape at SingPost. They take a while to check what's happening with your package.

    Switched to Borderlinx when I got my Kindle 2 and everything was great. Got it in 5 days and paid like 21 bucks including insurance. Really great service. :)

    Anayways, enough of my sales pitch. Haha. Glad to hear Amazon is loosening up their geo restictions and allowing Singapore credit cards.

    Has anyone else tried using their local cards btw?

    jeffyen said...

    Thanks Tim for your info... I will take a look at Borderlinx though I'm very happy with vPost...;)

    ebookmaniac said...

    Hi
    I have just received my international kindle a week ago and to my surprise, I could buy
    ebooks and have them downloaded directly to my kindle wirelessly in less than a second. It is amazing!!
    This is a great gadget.

    jeffyen said...

    ebookmaniac,

    I need to ask!: are you in Singapore? Does Whispernet work here? How much do the books cost?!

    cheng said...

    I just bought a kindle book off my kindle 2 international version. the books costs US9.99. However there is a US$1.99 delivery charge. I got the book delivered into my Kindle like 2 minutes after my order.

    jeffyen said...

    wow cheng this is interesting! Are you in Singapore?

    ebookmaniac said...

    Yes, I am in Singapore. I just bought the book for 9.90 US$ and no additional charges. I have also downloaded successfully some sampler books in a jiffy! I guess this is possible on the international version of the kindles. i learn that Cheng had been charged the $1.99 for the wireless downloading. this is actually stated in the explanatory notes.

    ebookmaniac said...

    jeffyen and for those who could help

    When we buy these ebooks we have a choice of downloading directly into
    our kindle or via the computer, having chosen the direct downloading method can we still go to our Amazon account to download the books that we bought into our computer for safekeeping or backup?
    Can anyone help?

    jeffyen said...

    wow ebookmaniac!

    I wonder what's happening... I think amazon already has an agreement with our telcos... maybe still in beta stage.. excellent news!

    cheng said...

    yes i am in Singapore. pretty cool to see it works. Although I would rather save the $1.99 and get it downloaded thru the PC via USB. wonder why ebookmanic didnt charged for the delivery.

    ebookmanic, the book i purchased wirelessly is available on the "Manage my KIndle " page on Amazon. So I could download it too vis the PC.

    ebookmaniac said...

    hey cheng

    thks, i thought so too but didnt dare risk trying because i don't wish to be charged a second time.
    This is really a wonderful device,
    i have been dreaming of it in its very early stage until I discover
    borderlinx, i got it through its service. Just imageine it, all the way from USA, and it took less
    than 2 weeks for the delivery to
    my doorstep. Great!!!

    jeffyen said...

    ebookmaniac, yes the books we buy are always available in 'manage your kindle'. This is the only way local uses are able to download books they buy, at least until today!

    Congrats guys for being pioneer Singapore Whispernet users! :)

    Timothy said...

    This is brilliant. Haha. To think I got a refurbed US Kindle 2 just a few weeks b4 the Kindle International was out.

    I think the International works here becasue it is possibly treating Cheng's and ebookmaniac's Kindles as US residents visiting Singapore. Amazon has probably negotiated with the telco's worldwide for free access for their Kindle International users but NOT with the publishers in Singapore. This is for the benefit of Kindle International owners living in the supported countries to increase their mileage. :) Could explain why Singapore isn't exactly on the list of 'supported' countries.

    Guess the ST article was wrong in guessing that Singtel could be the problem. It was the publishers here all along. :p

    Can your Kindle's be registered over Whispernet then? What about internet access? So many questions...lol

    cheng said...

    Thanks Jeff for this very useful page.

    I have successfully accessed my gmail account from my Kindle 2 (international ver) basic web browser here in SIngapore. So cool. No need to hunt for wifi hotspots :) But the wireless function also burnt up battery juice so I guess i will turn it off most of the time.

    jeffyen said...

    Very interesting hypothesis Timothy. I don't think there's a need to register the Kindle. It's already registered before it left the factory?

    Question: For those who can buy the books at $9.99 or $9.99 plus extra surcharge, what is your country according to your amazon account? (I'm interested to know the variables involved in the price difference.)

    Very cool development. Those of you who're surfing gmail, you're incurring roaming fees that Amazon needs to pay for I think!

    cheng said...

    Jeff, I set my country to US in the "Manage my Kindle" page. I do have a SG credit card stored in my Amazon account. My billing address is set to a US address. I got charged $9.99 + $1.99 which i paid for using my gift card account.

    I was sent an document to the Kindle listing the possible charges on international delivery .

    1. US$1.99 for downloading books and single issues of periodicals

    2. Weekly fee of US$4.99 for subscriptions of newspapers, magazines

    3. $0.99 per MB for personal documents delivered to the Kindle.

    No charge for wirelessly browsing the Kindle store or using the experimental web browser while travelling overseas (ie outside US)

    ebookmaniac said...

    Well, I dont keep my credit card
    records with them, i buy with gift certs. What is the correct way to
    off the kindle completely as i always have to struggle for quite a while in sliding the little
    button and i dont seem to get it right. Anybody?

    jeffyen said...

    Thanks cheng for the detailed info. I wonder when all this will become 'official'.

    ebookmaniac, the correct way to switch off the Kindle is just to push the switch the let go. The screensaver does not use power. (Actually, the Kindle doesn't use power at all unless the page refreshes when you press back, forward, home etc.)

    It's not advisable/unnessary to hold the switch for 4 or more seconds so that the screen becomes blank. This is forcing it switch off and book info such as which 'page' youre reading is not recorded.

    http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/2009/03/to-sleep-or-not-to-sleep-to-turn-off-or.html

    ebookmaniac said...

    Jeffyen

    Tks for the advice, do you mean that it is not necessary to switch
    the screen off completely and to leave the screen saver on ?
    Btw, it is really great that you have started this blog and we could all share info on this common
    interest, a big thank you.

    jeffyen said...

    Yes ebookmaniac, there's no need to 'switch it off completely' because the Kindle is always off (apart from the time when it's indexing the books). The image will just get 'stuck on the screen' all the time without needing any power. That's why the battery lasts so long! ;)

    Anonymous said...

    hi jeff, after reading your blog and hwz forum, i finally ordered a kindle for myself yesterday. immediately after that i managed to buy an ebook with the giftcard. However im unable to dl the book as the status of delivery is still pending. I understand from the forums you mentioned that we can buy ebooks before the kindle leaves the factory and it would be auto-dled into the kindle over there in US. Just wondering if u know the time frame when i can actually do it? its been abt 12hrs since i ordered and the status of the ebook is still pending.

    thanx!!
    kevin

    Anonymous said...

    hi jeff (sorry for the double post) but im encountering the same problem as Sun. The error msg is "We're sorry, this title is not currently available for download.

    We are investigating the difficulty with this title and ask that you try again in 24 hours. If after that time you are still unable to access this title, please contact us for further assistance. We apologize for the inconvenience"

    do you know if he managed to solve the problem?

    thanx
    kevin

    jeffyen said...

    Hi Kevin,

    Don't worry about the book you bought; it should be downloaded into the Kindle before it leaves Amazon's office. You don't/can't do anything.

    From now on, please use the VPN whenever you visit amazon... Just wait for the delivery of the Kindle for the time being.

    Anonymous said...

    hi jeff

    thanx for the reply. i will just have the wait for the kindle to arrive and hopefully everything will sort out by itself by then. thanx for your help!

    kevin

    Zeitgeist said...

    hi cheng and ebookmaniac, do u think u could drop me an email? i got some questions about the miraculous wireless download!
    my email is hefeweizen.t@gmail.com
    thanks!

    Anonymous said...

    i am a singaporean holidaying in SFO right now.. I want to buy a kindle and just want to confirm if the Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, Global Wireless, Latest Generation)is the intl version you guys are talking about?

    can't wait to place my order!

    J

    jeffyen said...

    Yes that is correct. Buy the official leather book cover (or another brand) as well.. ;p

    Anonymous said...

    Just want to say thanks for being so patient and detailed in your blog post about the kindle 2. You're sort of like a pioneer Kindle holder in sg now! I just received mine and I'm having an awesome time reading now :)

    Anonymous said...

    Hi!

    Thanks for all the information you have given, it's been very helpful! I'm now on the verge of getting one!

    I have a friend A who's going over to US in 2 weeks and visiting another friend B, so I can order a Kindle and send it to A who can pass it to B before he returns to Singapore.

    So the question is should I buy the kindle now or wait till it arrives in Singapore who knows when. But since it appears as if they're beta testing already...may not be long? Or could be 6monthz or more?

     

    Timothy said...

    I agree. This is a great blog that provides new discoveries every day. :) It was among the reasons I got my Kindle 2 a month or so ago.

    As for the Whispernet working in Singapore I doubt that it's really Amazon supporting Singapore per se. If they did, they would need a Singapore bookstore with our own selection of books, much like the UK or Australia store and those have received quite a fair share of complaints. (Books being more expensive, smaller selection etc..)

    Honestly, I'd prefer if they don't 'officially' support Singapore since most intenational stores offer only about 70% of the books in the US store. Many bestsellers such as Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol might not be available then.

    Stephen said...

    Hi there!

    I just received my Kindle 2. Before I opened my browser, I turned on the Hotspot shield. Then I registered it in Amazon.com and changed my country to the US.

    Right after that, I bought a Kindle book without changing my 1-click setting or removing my credit card details.

    It worked! No additional charge. I downloaded the ebook to my PC and then transferred it to the Kindle via USB.

    Simple!!!

    Thanks for the valuable help from everyone here, especially Jeff.

    Stephen

    jeffyen said...

    Nov 10 Anon, I guess you can ask your friend to get it. Just be careful of the time needed for delivery etc. Of course, there are rumours of a Kindle 3 coming out in November but I'm not sure how probable that is.

    Timothy, I think they're still doing their 'proof of concept' because someone has to pay for the roaming charges and it's not the users! It is indeed a strange situation but I guess no one minds. ;p

    Stephen, that's excellent. That's the way I have bought my books for several months now. :)

    Stephen said...

    Jeff,

    How do I use Whispernet? And how do I configure my Kindle to operate wirelessly if possible?

    Best regards,
    Stephen

    kairin said...

    i am not sure if anyonre realized this.

    for $400 the gst involved is greater than having a separate shipment of items.

    i'd think getting the kindle separately from the other items will be more worth it.

    anything that's worth sgd $399 does not require to make payment of the GST.

    correct me if i'm wrong?

    Anonymous said...

    Hi. I dropped by Kino to pick up some cookery book this afternoon. Came across the Eco-reader from Australia. Its sold on Kino already at $533+. It come pre-loaded with some books. It memory can be expandable via SD card to 4GB. Can read on portait. Interested person can drop by website- http://www.ecoreader.com.au.

    Sorry Jeff. Just think of sharing something I come across.

    Anonymous said...

    Sorry Jeff. I am Gwen here. Enjoy your weekend.

    jeffyen said...

    Stephen, I'm not sure about Whispernet, but it's obviously very simple if Amazon has activated it in SG. Just go to 'menu' and switch it on'.

    Kairin, you're right. However, since the Kindle is more than SGD 400, we'll definitely need to pay the gst. But yes, don't buy other things together, except maybe the leather cover. :)

    Gwen, that's very interesting news! It's absolutely fantastic that more manufacturers are using eInk. It's even more interesting that Kinokuniya is selling it. However, I think they'll be better off selling Kindles! Unfortunately, the Eco is more expensive and the layout seems to be much less intuitive. And feature-wise the Kindle wins out too...

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeff,

    Wonder if you could help me out here.

    I've ordered the Kindle 2 from Amazon and had it sent to my vPOSTUSA address in CA as advised in your blog.

    Item was delivered to the vPOST but I just got an email from invusa (vPOST SG) that the item cannot be sent over due to the lithium battery in the device. They quoted their T&C.

    Now they want me to re-direct the Kindle to another usa address or to have it sent back to Amazon.

    Do you have any suggestions as I'm at my wit's end. I dont want to send it back to Amazon but I dont have any other address in the us.

    Pleas help!

    Cam

    jeffyen said...

    Cam, in vPOST's facebook account, someone had the exact problem with the Kindle. The vPOST rep posted this. Maybe you can follow up...


    ---------------------------------
    We would like to address your issue and help you if possible on your shipment through vPOST.

    Please send us your shipment details to vpostusa@vpost.com.sg with your VP Number and shipment tracking number.

    Thank You.
    vPOST Marketing Team.

    Anonymous said...

    hi jeff,

    thx. Will give them a call tomorrow and see how it goes. Will keep you posted,

    haiz, really hope i can get it.

    Cam

    Anonymous said...

    Dear Cam,

    I encountered the same problem, hence I directed my package to their Portland address. The admin fee + postage costed me another 50 SGD. -.- I have to say, vPost is pretty inefficient.

    Jeff,

    I ordered a Kindle cover with a book light from m-Edge accessories and they said they had received it (I put their Compton address as the shipping address) but I couldn't match any invoice with it and now my package containing my Kindle accessories is gone! It doesn't show up under the list of received packages in USA/Europe/JP.

    Also, I directed my package from Compton to Portland last week and it hasn't shown up under my list of received packages as well.

    I have sent vPost an e-mail already, hope everything will be fine...it's almost 3 weeks and I haven't matched my invoice with the packages -.-

    Really regret using vPost...

    X

    jeffyen said...

    ok guys, hopefully you can get your 'lithium' issue solved. I think it's more of an administrative oversight. If the Kindle can't be shipped by air, how do the domestic/International Kindles arrive at their destinations?!

    Anonymous said...

    Hi all,

    I've spoken to vPOST SG and they will 'assist' to re-direct to the vPOST Portland. There will be additional charge as X mentioned.

    A warning to all considering using vPOST, do not use vPOST Compton as according to vPOST SG, they are stricter on prohibited items compared to vPOST Portland (and also more popular).

    Haiz! If I ahd known this earlier, I would have been in this situation.

    Anyway, it's water under the bridge and all I want for X'ams now is to get my hands on that Kindle.

    Many thanks to Jeff and all here for making this possible!

    Oh! and btw, I ordered using SG credit card at Amazon and no problems - seems that the process is a lot easier now.

    Cam

    jeffyen said...

    Cam, thanks for the update, this actually sucks. I'll update the entry to ask people to use the Oregon address that I've always used.

    cheng said...

    look like there are random checks at vpost? I had Amazon shipped the Kindle 2 to the Compton, CA address 3 weeks back and vpost sent it to me without any issues.

    Stephen said...

    Guys,

    Can I suggest you could consider buying via ebay. I bought a used Kindle 2 for US$225 including the leather case (which in my opinion is an absolute necessity, unless you live in a fully padded and carpeted environment where there is no risk for dropping the Kindle).

    If you buy through eBay, you could ask the buyer to state that the item is a "book" so that there will not be this ongoing lithium battery issue with vPost and save yourself some money in the process.

    My used Kindle looks new and the buyer even kindly put in a few books already (including the Bible).

    Cheers!
    Stephen

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Jeff,

    Latest update:

    Just spoke to the vPOST SG officer handling my case who had handled similar cases.

    She told me that CA is tightening their export rules recently and advised that if there're any electronic items to be sent over, to use the Portland facility instead.

    Cam

    Anonymous said...

    Hey Cam,

    Just wondering, which number did you use to call vPOST? Is it 1605? They haven't gotten back to me after a few days :/

    Thanks!

    X

    Anonymous said...

    Hi X,

    Yes it's 1605.
    Oops! I hope they'll call me sometime this week then.

    Cam

    Anonymous said...

    OOps..I used CA address .

    Glenn said...

    Hi Cheng and ebookmaniac,

    Thanks for your insights on using the Whispernet downloads.

    Just wondering... which Telcos are you each with?

    I'm on Starhub, and given their slowness even with something like the iPhone, I'm not sure would they even have made a deal with Amazon for this.

    Would be interesting to know which are the Telcos that have made the 'connection' thus far.

    Thanks again.

    Glenn

    kinder in singapore said...

    it does really matter which telco u r on since to use kindle u do need to insert your sim card.

    Stephen said...

    Hi kinder in singapore,

    Where do you insert a sim card? How does one use whispernet?

    My mobile is on singtel. Advise?

    Stephen

    jeffyen said...

    Stephen, the Kindle does not accept a SIM card in the sense that the wireless will work out of the box. You don't need/cannot insert any SIM card in it.

    It shouldn't work in Singapore because Amazon hasn't announced anything, but somehow it does work.

    Anonymous said...

    hi jeff,
    i posted a while ago mentioning that i was unable to download the books i bought. Thankfully the problem sorted itself out the moment the kindle was shipped out of the factory. I have received my kindle today and its wonderful. Just want to say my thanks for providing information on the kindle. THANX!

    kevin

    jeffyen said...

    No worries Kevin... it's great that more people are using Kindles!

    I'm a little paranoid so I'm still using the VPN whenever I buy books...

    Anonymous said...

    Jeff,

    I encountered another problem with my Kindle. vPOST has e-mailed me and said that my Kindle is still a prohibited item (despite my forwarding of the package to their Portland address). Apparently the problem now lies with "magnets" in the device and no longer the lithium battery in it.

    Also, I e-mailed them on Saturday but they haven't replied me. I sent a fax over with my e-mail and 2 invoices attached (which I also attached to the e-mail). I really don't know what to do. If I directed the package to UPS (is it even possible? I am tired of dealing with vPOST), a $10 administrative fee will be charged, exclusive of the forwarding/postage rates.

    They already deducted 50 SGD to forward my Kindle package to Portland but they haven't done anything to my m-Edge accessories package. I cannot view it in my vPOST account now. I didn't even get to match any invoices with the package because no invoices were shown.

    I am seriously displeased. I wouldn't recommend vPOST.

    Do you think it's possible to get them to forward my packages to UPS then get UPS to ship it here? They do ship to Singapore, right? Please reply soon, I'm seriously freaking out.

    Thanks!

    X

    jeffyen said...

    X, this is quite terrible and I'll make a note on this entry for folks to stop using vPOST temporarily until this gets resolved. I think you may want to just hold on and see what their response is.

    It may be a systemic issue in which case even UPS may refuse to ship the product. The whole affair sounds so bizarre to me. I'm currently waiting for a response for vPOST...

    Anonymous said...

    hi jeff,

    do you use any screen protector? any recommendations?

    btw, i ordered via vpost using the portland, oregon address and it was ok. i think this is the "safer" address.

    kevin

    jeffyen said...

    I've also used the Portland address for many years now but it seems they may be having problems too.

    I don't need a screen protector because I don't want the screen to be less clear. I generally don't buy such protectors for phones etc for the same reason. Plus it's hard for the Kindle screen to be scratched...

    George said...

    Hi everyone. It is really an absolute nightmare using Vpost. My kindle reached the CA adress on the 4th of Nov and it was only shipped out (according to the customer service officer) today on the 19 Nov!!! Between this time, i have called them at least 5 times to check.

    Vpost is really hopeless. My only hope is to receive my Kindle safely by 2nd week of Dec.

    Sinagorean said...

    Hi is anyone tries using citibank borderlinx to send your kindle to Sinagore? Why it be as bad as VPOST?

    Timothy said...

    To Sinagorean...

    Yeah, I used Borderlinx to ship my Kindle 2 refurbed in early October. Got it within a week or so together with some other orders.

    Honestly, I think VPost is just pandering to US laws that may be prohibiting some types of devices out of the country. These lawa could be affecting foreign companies more than local ones. (maybe SingPost is unaware of the loopholes?) Could be why they're taking so long. Can't say I'm surprised though. Singapore ranks pretty low on customer service. :p

    This link may help:
    http://forums.vr-zone.com/chit-chatting/295410-cheaper-alternatives-vpost.html

    kairin said...

    hi all

    made my purchase recently.

    didn;t realize some of you are having issues.

    i am waiting for my device via vpost from portland.

    hope its good news by next mth.

    Anonymous said...

    Gorgeous Offer coupon kindle

    Michelle said...

    Hi Jeff

    Unfortunately, I came upon your webpage a little too late. My kindle is already at the CA address.

    Thus, am having the same problem as everyone else who sent their kindle to CA; it cant be sent to singapore.

    So if i were to transfer the package to their address in portland, how do i go about doing it?

    Any advice?

    jeffyen said...

    Michelle, I would call them and ask about alternatives? I don't think they will want to hold the goods for a long time? Also, it seems that even the Portland address may be problematic.

    Another alternative is to ship it to Borderlinx. Their ads specifically mention the Kindle.

    Michelle said...

    Thanks for the quick reply Jeff.

    Since my kindle is already at their address at CA, how do i go about shipping it to borderlinx? Is there any step by step guide and can mastercards be used?

    Sorry for any inconvenience cause, but I'm new at these shipping stuff. Thanks.

    jeffyen said...

    Did vpost tell you what's going to happen next? What was the message that you received?

    Borderlinx works just like vPost. You need to register an account at http://www.borderlinx.com . Try and see if this works first...

    janc said...

    just chat with a borderlinx rep to check if they will ship the kindle and he said yes and advised me to buy via their concierge service which is free for purchases above US$50

    Stephen said...

    Jeff,

    I tried to register my kindle from the settings menu. However, since I can't access whispernet, it could not proceed with it.

    Now, after I downloaded the new Kindle update from Amazon, I can't update my Kindle, because when I click settings from "Home" I get stuck at "Registration".

    jeffyen said...

    janc, that's good news...

    Stephen, I don't know exactly what you're seeing from your screen because mine Kindle was registered before it left the factory.


    At Home, press 'settings'. What are the options you see? (those items that are not greyed out.)

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Stephen,

    Try this. Press the menu. It shld bring you to the main screen. Press Restart Kindle. After Kindle restarts go to settings and press update your kindle. Even if you did not register your kindle. This hsld still works. Hope it helps.

    Gwen

    Anonymous said...

    hi stephen, i had the same problem as you but managed to solve it.

    Press Home > settings , the screen asking you to register your kindle will appear. Press Menu one more time here to open up a submenu. From here choose "update kindle" and a msg will prompt you to register the kindle. Just press ok and the kindle will auto update itself.

    Strangely after i updated my kindle, the screen that asked me to update my kindle (after pressing menu>settings) is gone, replaced by my details/kindle name etc.

    kevin

    Stephen said...

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for the advise. I had actually tried doing that, but the "Update Kindle" option was grayed out and I couldn't select it.

    The other option would be to restore to factory settings, which would not be a problem since I backed up my ebooks anyway.

    By the way, I bought my Kindle 2 off ebay from another owner. So it wasn't registered to me when I got it.

    Any comments welcome.

    Stephen

    Anonymous said...

    hi stephen

    its most likely that the kindle was not registered to u in the US when it came out of the factory, hence the problem.

    but there is a thread on amazon : http://www.amazon.com/tag/kindle/forum/ref=cm_cd_tfp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1D7SY3BVSESG&cdThread=Tx56XQI9X8IDOX&displayType=tagsDetail about this issue, somehow the person updated without registering the kindle. maybe you can pm the guy and ask more.

    kevin

    Roland King said...

    For a start - thanks for this original thread - it made me confident enough to buy a Kindle a few weeks ago (via vPost and yes I used Portland, California is always a bit funny about things).

    I've been using USB off my Mac to add books. Like other Singapore kindles my registration information was blank because there was no whispernet and I turned the network off and it was fine.

    Today I got an email about software update, so I downloaded it, updated the software via USB, it takes about 5-6 minutes. When the kindle restarted I went to the menu and was really surprised to find my registration info was filled in. I couldn't figure out how just downloading the new software had made that happen .. then I noticed that the wireless was turned on, it must be on by default after the reboot and .. yes whispernet is working.

    I've not bought a book that way yet, I don't know if I'll get charged a download charge if I do, I gather that even with the roaming agreements some countries seem to charge for usage, but I'll try it later.

    Roland King said...

    .... ah answered my own question, there was a book I'd bought on the store and hadn't yet downloaded via USB to the kindle, don't know why I hadn't.

    That downloaded itself automatically and amazon sent me a bill for $1.99 for international kindle download service.

    So .. whispernet works in Singapore but (I assume until they allow you to switch to a 'Singapore' location) it'll cost you $2 a time.

    network now off again .. :)

    Kindlerless in Singapore said...

    Hi
    so it confirms amazon is working wishernet in Singapore on the kindler 2 global wireless . What about kindler dx can it also worked on wishernet in Singapore?

    Can some of them confirm this fact because I am want to go order kindler dx from amazon? Thanks

    Roland King said...

    everything I have read says the Kindle DX does not work on whispernet outside the US.

    cheng said...

    well after updating the Kindle 2 international version with its latest update, I have ordered the books from the kindle store using a PC and had it delivered via whispernet to my kindle w/o incurring the $1.99 charge. Or at least I didn't see it charge to my Gift account or my Credit Card:)

    Anonymous said...

    I wonder why Roland King and cheng have had conflicting experiences on the international roaming charges when using the Kindle in Singapore? Could it be that Amazon has not sorted out its roaming policies so users are being 'randomly' charged (or not)-which means it's down to luck?

    Roland King said...

    Well a couple of things I decided after reading more last night. One .. the fact that whispernet works in Singapore may have nothing at all to do with any kind of 'beta-testing' or the likely arrival of a Singapore store, if you check amazon's site and the international coverage map Singapore has always been there (with the note that coverage may not be available in all areas), they probably just finally did a deal with the local telco.

    And secondly, if you download something from a kindle registered in country A, in country B, you get charged a 'roaming fee'. So I don't know why cheng didn't get charged (have you checked your account to make sure there's not a charge waiting for you?). I'm pretty sure that the charge is intended and valid.

    cheng said...

    i just bought another book that costs $0.99 from the KIndle store. My gift card account got deducted just $0.99. So if the 1.99 is charged, it would be deducted from my gift card account too.

    With the new update, Kindle 2 now supports PDF files natively :)

    Roland King said...

    where's your kindle registered? US like mine? I bought another book and downloaded it via whispernet and .. I got another 2 buck charge. I'm going to stop doing that now because there seems little point paying an extra 2 bucks to avoid the 45 seconds download->USB. I have to say the documentation really does seem to indicate that if you download outside your registered country, you get charged.

    I'd love to see some more datapoints from anyone else who wants to risk the download charge.

    Anonymous said...

    Would it make a difference if the ebook was first transferred to a PC, then later transferred to the kindle via whispernet through the Kindle library?

    cheng, did you select to transfer the ebook wireless via whispernet immediately upon purchase?

    My kindle is arriving next week. I'll gladly experiment and compare notes, Roland King.

    A separate note, does it cost to download existing ebooks in your kindle account to your kindle? i.e. ebooks that were bought for an older kindle or ebooks that had been tranferred to your kindle previously but had been deleted.

    Old Man Lee said...

    I am not paid the 1.99 downloading charge as this is what i did since i am localed in singapore:

    Create a bland new amazon acct with a us address. Register via kindle with this new amazon acct. Turn on vpn when ordered book to deduct in gift certificates

    Old Man Lee said...

    Forgot to add i send the books via wistlenet to my kindle.

    Sometimes i eleven bought books from kindle directly and then download to the unit. The download charge also did not apply onto me.

    Roland King said...

    ok the difference may be the gift card thing then, I have a credit card (singapore not US) on my amazon account and buy books directly that way, never needed to do the gift card thing, it always just worked.

    Stephen said...

    Just a note...

    I found that I did not have to turn on VPN either for registering Kindle to Amazon online, nor for buying ebooks.

    Also, I did not have to create a new amazon account either.

    Best regards,
    Stephen

    Kindle said...

    I believe this is an honest mistake by amazon. Soon they will rectify this problems, and then all kindles ordered to be delivered to forwarder addresses will be rejected, an all ebooks purchase will be withdrawn from these kindles located in Singapore.

    For sure by the PAP this will be done

    Cheng said...

    yeahi have tried both buying directly from the Kindle itself and also from a PC (and had the book sent to my Kindle wirelessly). I didnot get charged the $1.99 fee although the screen mentioned the fee for overseas wireless delivery.

    Probably a mistake to be rectified by Amazon soon.

    Anonymous said...

    what a bizarre comment by "Kindle". I seriously doubt it's a mistake by amazon that whispernet is starting to work, it requires setup from the telco, I'm quite sure amazon is doing what they said they'd do and make whispernet available (at a charge possibly) in as many countries as possible.

    It may be a mistake that they're not charging some people the $1.99 international fee, they'll probably sort that out.

    As for the rest of that post, the thought they will magically make all the books on kindles which happen to be in Singapore disappear is ludicrous and will never happen, they might stop sending kindles to forwarders, but I doubt that, they are a business and they don't give a damn who buys theirs stuff and .. the PAP has a lot better things to be doing than worry about people reading books on an electronic device.

    jeffyen said...

    hehe, I'm still trying to figure out the variables involved: when does one person get charged the extra money to get the book delivered by Whispernet?

    And the way things are going, while it is indeed a possibility that they will enforce their 'rules' and stick to the script that there is no Whispernet in Singapore, it's quite obvious that there is, and it's probably part of the testing efforts to bring free Net services to customers worldwide. Quite a radical and excellent move I reckon.

    Kevin said...

    Hey guys, use Borderlinx to get your kindles shipped.

    Faster and less hassle.

    Cheers all

    Kevin Ng

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