Friday, May 22, 2009

Buying And Using A Kindle In South Africa

After my uphill battle with getting my Kindle,I now realise most of the drama was caused through ignorance.I am doing this post especially for South Africans who might be interested in getting a Kindle and how to go about getting that FIRST book onto your kindle, hassle free.

1-order your Kindle from Want It All.They are a South African import company who specializes in importing electronic gadgets into SA.They are professional and extremely helpful.Apparently you can order directly from Amazon UK but I did not want any customs hassles so I chose to go through them.A word of warning,the amount goes off your credit card immediately and not when the goods are despatched.Also expect it to take not less than 10 working days to arrive.I received e mails with updates on my order quite regularly so that was reassuring.

2-log onto your Amazon account.If you dont have one then create one.Go to Kindle Store and choose a kindle version book you would like to buy.You will be told you need a Kindle for this book.Go to "register" your kindle.Enter a name for it and the 16 digit serial number at the back.(Please note that by this time the import company should have de registered that serial no off their ac).

3-after you have registered your kindle on your account,you now need to purchase an Amazon gift card(using your credit card).Start with a $20 dollar one until all is working smoothly.The gift card code will be sent to the e mail address you stipulated.Once you receive the code go back to your Amazon account and redeem this code.It will now show $20 balance on your account.

4-enter a new address under your account.The import company will give you their US address to use(another reason why you should order your Kindle via Want It All).You absolutely need to have a US address as you cannot order a Kindle book without it.Add this new address as the default for One Click setting.Also make sure that your gift card balance is showing as a "method of payment".

5-repeat point no 2.This time you will be going right through after clicking.Ignore the success message saying your purchase will be downloaded wirelessly to your Kindle.This only happens in the US.Now go to "Manage Your Kindle".The book you purchased will show.You can now download to your computer.

6-connect your Kindle to your computer.Switch on.Locate file you downloaded and copy to the Kindle "documents" file if it was a book.Check out your Kindle.Miraculously the book will now show on your Kindle.Start reading........

I think the above rules will apply to anyone trying to get a Kindle from outside the US except perhaps the import company you use.Want It All does however take orders from anywhere in the world so try them if you like.Justin Or Peter are available to go through the entire process of registering and purchasing Kindle books with you over the phone.They have been a big help for me.

Further good news.I ordered Secrets In The Cellar by John Glatt and it was showing as $6.99 and once I bought it I got a further discount and only ended up paying $3.48.That is a big big saving for me.I usually pay between $10-$12 for a book.I love it!!

So the only problem now is the fact that I fiddled so much with my Kindle I have had to put it back on the charger so I can only start reading when my Kindle is charged.

I am going to use mine for about a week and then am going to do a post on pros and cons.To find out more about the Kindle please see Amazon link below


  1. thanks for visiting my blog Yvette. Hope its going well with your kindle. I'm totally loving mine!

  2. hey! Just noticed in the pic you have the new one... I'm jealous! Have you found the free books yet on Amazon?

  3. Hey Lynne
    Mine is the Kindle 2.And going well so far.I thought I would struggle to adjust but all ok so far.Just going to miss reading in the bath.I dont know the differences between Kindle 1 and 2 and so far I know that Kindle DX has a bigger screen but I really dont want that.I am really loving it so far.And it was my pleasure to visit your blog.I will be back.

  4. Hi Yvette!
    I am so glad the wait is over!!! And what a nice surprise that your first book was discounted!! Can't wait to see your review on what you think! Talk to you later!

  5. I'm glad to see that you got it going! I'm impressed that you figured out all that. I ordered my Kindle this afternoon and it should be here by May 26, can't wait. Looking forward to see your review of it next week.

  6. Suzanne I quickly went thru and ordered another 2 but no further discounts for me.Am done with 1 book.Was disappointed that there were no pictures.Am going to see if they all the same with the other TC books.If they are then I will not buy TC books anymore which is where your blog comes in with ur good book recommendations.
    Sharon,am glad u getting one too.we can compare notes.

  7. Hi Yvette,

    Thanks so much for writing this very helpful post. I was hoping to buy one as a gift for my husband and was begining to think it would be impossible outside the US, let alone in South Africa!

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Anita every time I checked my traffic I saw that many South Africans have visited and accessed this page and left no comments until now.I was wondering if they had come over by mistake and at last,thanks to you,I see that it was not for nothing.I hope the info comes in handy and I promise you,a Kindle might be the best present ever.I am really enjoying mine and have no idea how I EVER lived without it before.Don't forget you can also get magazine subscriptions.I got a 50% discount on the Marie Claire-very cool

  9. Hi Yvette
    Thanks for the helpful and practical advice. I'm considering buying a kindle but did not have the time to try and figure out all the issues as you have.

    What is the average size of the books you download?


  10. Hi Sieg
    The average size of my books are about 350 pages but I did download a 768 page one just last week.Still really quick.I've seen a few comments where people mention 5 minutes but seriously I am with Telkom ADSL and it is NEVER more than 30 seconds.Hope you get one and the price has gone down now.Especially for me in SA I can get my books immediately which is WAY better than waiting 10 days for online books to be delivered.But beware,because it's so easy now you tend to spend a lot more money.I have had to set a budget and I ran out for this month on the 21 so I am impatiently waiting for 1 August(lol).Also you read much faster with the Kindle.Hope this helps.Come back soon.I have book giveaways for international readers too you know.Prize is an Amazon gift voucher which works out perfectly for the kindle.Tell all your friends about my blog PLEEEEZE!!!

  11. Hi Yvette
    Thanks for the info. What is the size of the books as downloaded on your computer in MB? Just curious. if it downloads in less than a minute it can't be that big.

    I'm hoping to get a kindle from the US - my son lives there and at $300 it is a lot less than the R4,500 charged locally. With the saving I should be able to buy quite a few books.

    I will pass your blog on to other interested people.

  12. Hi Sieg
    I went and checked and the Michael Jackson book which was 768 pages is 2.67MB but for the most part all my other books are an average of about 500KB.Just a little tip further to me trying to "recruit"you plse remember all comments are entered into a bag at month end and a winner chosen to receive a $10 amazon gift voucher.The more comments the more entries.I just need to have a way to contact you though if you do win so having a blogger profile with a linked e mail address means that you are entered automatically every month.Just sum info to give your friends who might want to join??
    And about buying in the US that's definitely a better option.I paid R5000.00 for mine when the Kindle was still $399.00.Just find out how much it will be to post from there and the insurance.I posted 3 books recently to US and that was R380.00.
    Hope the info helps.Come back and let me know what you think of your kindle.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

  13. HiYvette
    This has been really helpful. I travel quite a bit so having a kindle instead of schlepping a pile of books makes a lot of sense for me.

    i'm not in a big hurry to buy, but my son will be coming out to SA later in the year. i'm not risking sending that type of thing through the post, althoug having it couriered might be an option. Even it does add a few hundred rand.

    Good reading for the weekend!


  14. Hi Yvette

    Thanks for sharing info on the Kindle. I am planning to get one, but was concerned that downloading books would be a problem. I also though that Amazon would be the best option, but realize that I will have problems downloading because I do not have a US address (but from your post I understand that the importing company would solve that).

    I have been doing some research and it seems that Want it all is the best place to get it from. Just not sure if its the best price?

    Well, will see what els I can find


  15. Hey Lize
    I don't think it's the cheapest option but once you weigh the price of posting and customs and all else it actually owrks out better and hassle free.

  16. Amazon is now selling Kindle internationally (from October 19 2009). South Africa is on the list and will have wireless coverage (both 3G and GPRS/EDGE). They’ve also dropped the price considerably. Duty is included in the checkout price for South Africa.

  17. Hi Yvette, thanks so much for all your trouble. I now know where to go once I receive my kindle (9th Dec!!!!!!!!!!!!) CAN NOT WAIT. My friend in the States has already downloaded 100's of books (most of them free or almost free). I travel a lot, where I have lots of time inbetween and my kindle is going to work overtime. This is the most exciting gadget for bookworms ever. I think we should start a Kindle Club ? I am on the East Rand - Gauteng.
    Rgds, Agatha

  18. Hi please help me, I got my kindle 2 on Christmas 2009, and yesterday tried to open it, it freeze up, I panicked and pressed all the buttons continously, I think it is double freezed up, haha, I've tried the soft and hard reset but both didn't work, what can I try or do or who can I contact, my manual is also on the kindle and I am unable to access it, please if anyone can help?


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