Eish! Amazon Kindle Store Pricing Con?

From the Eish! DepartmentI must start by saying that I used to be a huge fan of Amazon and the Kindle, but sadly I found something that made me feel like Amazon were being scaley… :mad:.

The Kindle idea is a great one.

You can buy an E-Reader called the Kindle from Amazon, or load the Kindle app on your Windows Mobile, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, Android device, Blackberry or PC or Mac. Books purchased on the Kindle store (on Amazon) are then synchronized between all your devices, This means you can start reading an E-Book on your PC, then continue reading on your iPod Touch on the way to work, and then on your cellphone when you have a few minutes free before your next meeting.  Tonight you can carry on reading on your PC or Kindle from where you left off.

Books stay yours forever and you can archive them when done or even loan them to a friend.  You can purchase a book immediately so no waiting for stock at your local bookstore. If you get a new Kindle or Tablet, load the app and have access to all your books you have purchased.  You are also saving the planet as no paper is needed, and the E-Books are generally cheaper than their paper alternatives…and it is all downloaded for free to your devices (cost of your internet connectivity may apply)

 

Now the reason for this post. Every now and then I browse the Kindle store for books that I might be interested in reading. Sometimes you are lucky and you see E-Books for $0.00 (free). You click on purchase and then it downloads to your profile.

Sunday morning the 24th of April, I was surfing the net on my new Android Tablet and browsed the Kindle store. I saw an E-Book called “Let’s Go Europe 2011: The Student Travel Guide” its price was listed as $0.00 so I clicked clicked purchase and the book downloaded.

Checking my email later that afternoon I saw an invoice from Amazon.com for $2.00 for the book…

I fired up Google Chrome browser and did a search for the E-book.  This is the address – http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?kc=AG56TWVU5XWC2&keywords=Let%27s+Go+Europe+2011%3A+The+Student+Travel+Guide&qid=1303655116&rh=i%3Adigital-text%2Ck%3ALet%27s+Go+Europe+2011%3A+The+Student+Travel+Guide&x=11&y=14

The price was listed as $0.00.  Thats strange… So logged in and then suddenly the price was $2.00. Hmmm…. I logged out of Amazon and then checked the price again – $0.00. Something was not making sense here… have a look at the screenshot if you don’t believe me.

Ah-ha! It must be because it is USA, no problem lets change it to Africa (as we know that South Africa is part of Africa)

Bingo!  Now the free E-Book, that is downloaded via my own internet connection, (remember there is no postage involved, or customs taxes) is now suddenly costing $2.00…

I started cycling through the different regions options see how much it would cost depending on where in the world you are based… have a look below for prices for USA, UK, Middle East, Latin America, India, Europe, Canada, Australia, Pacific & Asia, Africa…

If you wondering why there is Rand value in the screenshot, it is a Chrome Extension called the Chrome Currency Convertor, that shows prices in local currency.

So here is a breakdown for you…to get the Kindle electronic version of “Let’s Go Europe 2011: The Student Travel Guide” you will pay:

  • $ 0.00 – United States, Asia & Pacific, Australia, Canada, India
  • $ 2.00 – Africa, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East
  • $14.11 – United Kingdom
  • $15.71 – Europe

So if you LIVE in Europe, buying the book called “Let’s Go Europe 2011: The Student Travel Guide” will cost you the most out of all the continents!

I just can’t understand how that makes sense.

It is the same book regardless of where you buy it. It is in electronic format, so nothing to post and no need for paper or ink costs.  You are not “importing” is to there are no customs or taxes involved.  You use your own internet connection to download it – so magical fairies are not bringing it to you. So how is this possible?  Or is this just plain discrimination?

Yes I do feel a lot better about being in Africa compared to Europe if I compare the costs, but seriously now why can it not be one price regardless of country or continent?

This is the first e-retailer that I have seen this type of pricing…unless you know of another…?

I have emailed the support at Amazon for explanation on this and will advise when I get feedback…right now I am not happy…yes I know it is only $2.00, but $2.00 is still more than $0.00…

Will keep you posted…

MadMike posted at 2011-5-1 Category: Eish!

2 Responses Leave a comment

  1. #1Shaughn @ 2011-5-1 22:20 Reply

    Mike, its more of a legal issue. The price difference is because Amazon dont always have the right to give the ebooks away outside of the US.
    Depending on which publisher bought the rights from the author in each country will determine on what royalties Amazon needs to pay them and in turn what they charge the customer.

    For really free classic ebooks go to http://guttenberg.org

  2. #2Joa @ 2011-6-11 22:38 Reply

    I’m in Europe and recently had to pay $3.50 for a kindle ebook at amazon.com that US customers only pay $1 for. I know that Shaughn’s explanation does not apply in that case. The book is self-published by the author. Amazon single-handedly decided to tax me $2.50 for living in the wrong country.

    Amazon.com do no similar price increase when buying physical books (There are other shipping costs for international shipping of physical books of course, but that is irrelevant when it comes to ebooks.)

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