Sunday, 24 October 2010

How to buy a Kindle in South Africa

Update: 9th November 2013 - the all new Kindle Paperwhite has been released for international shipment - check out this post for more:

or carry on reading: 

So I have my new Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally - Latest Generation on order from  It arrives on Tuesday, so this is not about how good it is, that is yet to come, it’s about how easy it was to buy and how you too can get one.

In my research on the web I came across a number of sites that would sell me one here in South Africa.  I checked and a few came back with prices varying by between 20-50% more than the RRP from Amazon. is one such site.  This site has nothing to do with Amazon and I am amazed that Amazon has not shut them down yet.  They are trying to look like Amazon and also suggest that you cannot buy the Kindle direct from Amazon here in South Africa. This is simply not true. They are selling the Kindle for R2,195.00.  Read on and see how that is so wrong.

So in South Africa there is only one way that you should entertain buying a Kindle in this country – and that’s from They have it all wrapped up, its seamless, cost effective and in fact cheaper than all the sites in South Africa that claim you can’t buy direct from the US or UK!

Click here to get to the International shipment page for the WiFi version (the 3G is no longer available in South Africa as of December 2013) Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - for international shipment  - or carry on reading...
Below is a screen shot of my order summary from 

One of the great advantages right now of course is the foreign exchange rate.  Have you seen the strong South African Rand (ZAR) lately! Wow, it’s making buying from overseas a pleasure.  The other great advantage is that clears the device through customs for you and they just add the fee (“Import Fees Deposit” on the screen shot above) of USD$29.11 to the total bill for you. 

This is an advantage as you know upfront what you are going to be paying and you haven’t got to trek off to the back of beyond (Parow - if you live in Cape Town) to collect your goods from the Post Office import depot with cash in hand and based on a figure that they seem to make up on the spot.  Yes I have been through this before.

Delivery would have taken about 5 business days by the time the device arrives;  Which again is fantastic considering that it’s shipping from the USA and they are only charging USD$20.98 for the shipping.  As a comparison I ordered a book from a few weeks before I decided to buy the Kindle and the book cost me more to ship and is taking 21 business days to arrive in Cape Town...go figure.

So all in all the landed cost of my brand new 6” Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, with Free 3G + Wi-Fi in Rands is R1,657,16.  Tell me that’s not a great deal?  So forget the sites that say: you can’t order a Kindle from overseas in South Africa, and that you will get hit by import duties and that their prices are cheaper – its rubbish – buy direct from

Postscript 28th December 2012 - Just a reminder you need to order from and not to get your delivery to South Africa.  I have had many queries about this point.  Happy Kindling :)

Postscript 7th January 2013 - I have discovered through various people telling me so and now through my own experience that at this time you cannot purchase the new Kindle Paperwhite from for shipping to South Africa.  For more info read my post on the Kindle Paperwhite.

Postscript 17th January 2013 - To make it easier - here is the link to the Internationally Delivered Kindle on - this will enable you to ship to South Africa

Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - for international shipment  

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  1. I'm very disappointed with Amazon. I have the full-blown fully supported “Amazon Kindle” application for my Android device. The reading experience is great, but the book store has a severely limited range of books that you can purchase for the "Africa" region. Why do this? Amazon will gladly ship you the device, but good luck trying to buy the books you actually want to read!

  2. I agree, I have mine registered as UK still so i think I will leave it like that. We must compare then to see if you have less titles than I can see and access.

  3. Thanks Marc. I was pleasantly suprised how easy the ordering process was, except for my bank needing to do a "fraud check call" before allowing the transaction, it was pretty smooth...Expecting delivery in 2 weeks of 2 units, 1 fore me and one for a lucky xmas present recipient:-)

  4. @ Lillian - cool, glad you found it easy. Two weeks seems a while, mine was through in one week, maybe you will be lucky. Best of luck with it.

  5. I am so dissapointed that they don't ship the one product that I would buy from them out of the U.S.

    The saving is almost 50% compared to what we pay here...


  6. Mark
    Did you also have to purchase separately a Kindle Power adapter (wall charger) suitable for South Africa?

  7. One question: Is no one worried about their Kindle getting "lost" in the mail when you have it shipped from the US to South Africa? Is Amazon using some other shipment method that circumvents the South African Postal Service and all the thieving going on there? Sorry to sound negative, I'd love to advise my readers to buy the Kindle directly from, but I worry about the shipping...

  8. Hi Sine - its shipped by DHL Courier so doesnt touch our beloved postal service :)

  9. so, do you have to buy a separate power adaptor - this is important for me because I live in the back of beyond.
    And it seems there are restrictions on book downloads? - limited to USA or UK books??

  10. No the kindle for SA comes with a SA adaptor.
    Your store is based on whether you have a amazon USA or UK or SA account.
    The SA account is limited to some degree.

  11. I've tried to check out of my UK Amazon account with a kindle but it says that shipping of that product is not available to SA??? Should I try the US store ?

    Thanks for any help!

  12. Hi Marc

    I am looking at importing a 3G Kindle from to Johannesburg. I just want to confirm that I understand correctly. There is no additional import fee over and above the $59 already included on Amazon when making the purchase? I just don't want to run into any "hidden" import taxes when it arrives this side.

    Thanks for the excellent information above!


  13. Hi Marc, thanks for the interesting information.

    I would like to buy a Kindle (or a Nook - but Barnes and Noble apparently do not sell Nooks outside of the USA) and I read somewhere that one would have to send the Kindle back to Amazon to have a battery replacement done (after 2 - 3 years), as one cannot do it oneself. Is this not a drawback to owning a Kindle, when living in South Africa?

    I would be interested to know what others think.

    Thanks for any advice

  14. just an update once you've add the kindle to ur cart it'll take u to a page saying amazon now ships to south Africa blah blah ,it well also tell you that import tax will be added to your yes smooth sailing through customs
    + all books will be charge in us dollars
    ps: amazon recently opened up a office in cape town thou i believe its only a call center

  15. I ordered a Kindle for my daughter last night from Amazon, and it was this easy. The price differ a little bit, because the exchange rate is not as good any more.

  16. Thanks to let me know that Marc fletcher,
    Now Amazon let's kindle touch to ship to south africa.

    1. Hi
      Im trying to order a kindle via amazon, but it keeps on kicking me out saying they dont ship to sa??? How do we bypass their system???
      Help please

    2. That may be so "Kindle Touch South Africa" but why would south Africans order through an affiliate site when they can order direct from Amazon with the piece of mind that that gives them. Thanks for your comment.

  17. Hi Marc, Now you have owned a Kindle for some time, what do you think of the Kindle Fire as opposed to the Ipad.There is so much stuff I wouldn't want to do on an Ipad but the note taking/writing etc. on the Kindle isn't much discussed. Can one write a page or two and save it in a folder, etc.? Derek

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  19. Hi Marc

    I tried to order the kindle online, but they say that the cannot ship it to SA. Am I doing something wrong? I have tried to buy electronic goods from them in the past, to no avail, so any advise you can provide will be great.

    1. Hi Rodney, you are probably trying to order from - the UK site does not facilitate delivery to South Africa you have to use the (the .com is the international site.
      Hope this helps.

    2. Tried ordering the Kindle paperwhite and also says it cannot ship to given adress and I am definitely on and have bought stuff directly previously, have something changed?

  20. Sorry - you are both right - got hold of Amazon Customer Services - the reply I received is posted here: