Kindle International content pricing – a guide for the perplexed

October 12th, 2009

I’ve done a little research to work out what the Amazon Kindle is charging for international content in Australia. This is only relevant for people that are not in the US.

  • Books costs $US 2 more. This is in contrast to the UK, where there’s also VAT added, which adds nearly another $US 2 to most books. The UK is uniquely stuffed over by this.

  • Newspapers cost $US 14 per month more.

  • Magazine pricing is profoundly random. For most magazines it seems to be around $US 3.00. But I’ve seen a lot of $US 1.50 to $US 2.50 as well, and I’ve seen as low as $US 0.50. My guess is that there’s something more complicated going on in this one.

This is quite unfair, if you look at the rules for accessing content Internationally if you have a US account:

  • Books $US 1.99 extra

  • Magazines and Newspapers for a fixed $US 4.99 weekly fee

  • Each magazine issue $US 1.99

Which is a much better deal if you subscribe to several newspapers/magazines. And is that all important 1 cent cheaper for the books.

Update: Some more analysis on the magazine pricing. For the most part:

  • US Cost $1.25 = $US 1.24 surcharge
  • US Cost $1.49 = $US 1.50 surchage
  • US Cost $1.99 = $US 2.00 surcharge
  • US Cost $2.49 = $US 2.50 surcharge
  • US Cost $2.99 and higher = $US 3.00 surcharge

But, for some reason some magazines have zero surcharge right now, one has a $US 0.50 surcharge, and one has a $US 9.50 surcharge (!).

The very high surcharges on magazines are, to put it simply, completely unjustified as well. If the pictures were maintained, fine. But it’s more than the cost for international access by US users, and they take the pictures out as well. There is no way an issue of Analog Magazine has more text in it than the average book.

There’s a small caveat to this one as well: the US page for (as an example) Time magazine says ‘Delivered Weekly, Price Monthly’. The international store page says ‘Delivered Weekly, Price:’. It’s not at all clear if that’s the weekly or monthly price.