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How to get Amazon to think I'm in France?
August 20, 2012 3:13 PM   Subscribe

How do I get Amazon to think I'm in France? Amazon-filter: I live in the U.S. and would like buy Kindle-books from the Amazon.fr (France) store. How do I get Amazon to think I'm in France?

Amazon restricts customers from buying Kindle books from its Amazon.fr (France) store via a US-based IP address. What's a secure method for making Amazon think that I'm in France so that I can buy books? I'm willing to pay for a trustworthy site given that I would be sending credit card information during the transaction.

(A) What technology setup do I need? "VPN" only?
(B) Who are the most reputable vendors? Is HideMyAss.com a trustworthy company?
posted by chefscotticus to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
You will also need a French billing address and possibly a French credit card to make a purchase from the French Kindle store.

Your best bet, sadly, is to pirate the book.

Publishers obtain rights to publish books in specific geographic regions. This practice follows the traditional publishing model pretty much to the letter. Amazon's contracts with vendors stipulate that the books can only be sold in the specified region, so Amazon goes to lengths to ensure that they don't accidentally sell books outside of the region it is allowed to sell them.

Note that you shouldn't have to send a credit card number over your secure link, if you go that route. You can set up your Amazon.fr account from the US, it is just the browsing session that has to appear to originate in France. You will have to type in your Amazon password unless you've got 1-click purchasing on, though.

You might be able to buy an Amazon.fr gift card, and then use that to buy the book - gift cards are also locked to the regions where they originated.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:37 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also - I wouldn't worry about the book after you've successfully purchased it. Amazon wants Kindle customers to be able to buy books when they are traveling, so having a French book on a US Kindle isn't a thing that Amazon wants to prevent. They just want to (a) avoid pissing off their publishers by selling books outside the regions they are allowed to sell them in and (b) pay the right publisher when a sale is made.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:40 PM on August 20, 2012


I can't answer the question about what to do to buy French books for the Kindle, but I will say that I've used Witopia.net's VPN service for the past year and a half and I'm quite happy with it.
posted by brianogilvie at 4:02 PM on August 20, 2012


I live in Canada, and have an "American" Kindle.

I have my Amazon USA account set up, using a US maildrop address. I just looked on Google for a UPS Store in New York and used their address - I've never had to send anything there to verify residency. I've also never had to use VPN or other services with my Kindle, let alone using the Amazon USA website to purchase books. I even have billing running through my Canadian billing address.
So far, the only Amazon service I use that requires a VPN is Instant Video.
posted by smitt at 4:09 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


B) Hidemyass works fine, otherwise there are greasemonkey scripts for changing IPs, too. Hidemyass has an option to just select a country you want to "be" in.
posted by MinusCelsius at 4:10 PM on August 20, 2012


what smitt said is interesting, I did the same thing with a 2nd account except that instead of using my european credit card I got some US Amazon gift certs and applied them to that US account.
posted by Spumante at 4:17 PM on August 20, 2012


Have you tried buying from another international ebook seller? Off the top of my head, kobobooks.com is Canada-based and thebookdepository.com is UK-based, plus doubtless others. Many sites sell in "Kindle" format (which I think is a fancified .mobi?), or you can convert the ebook file to Kindle format (or vice versa) with Calibre (calibre-ebook.com).

HideMyAss is AFAIK generally trustworthy but will not hide any illicit activity from the Feds; IIRC they released IPs etc that led to some Anonymous arrests. TorrentFreak.com has an article discussing VPN, privacy from a torrenting perspective.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:45 PM on August 20, 2012


Also check out the iTunes France bookstore: many Japanese online retailers I visit sell Japanese iTunes giftcards to use to buy Japan-only iTunes material; I assume the equivalent exists for France.
posted by nicebookrack at 5:50 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Try this:
Log in go Amazon.com, go to My Account -> Manage your Kindle. Scroll down until you see "Country Setting" at the bottom of the left navbar. Cliquez lá, e changez votre pays!

I discovered, when a purchase was blocked: not available in my country, that my Kindle had somehow been associated with Australia. So I cracked a tube and then changed the country code, following which my purchase was unobstructed. I've never been to, proxied via, or set up any form of paper residency in Oz.

Bon chance et Vive la France!
posted by Sunburnt at 7:55 PM on August 20, 2012


Log in go Amazon.com, go to My Account -> Manage your Kindle. Scroll down until you see "Country Setting" at the bottom of the left navbar. Cliquez lá, e changez votre pays!
Unless some major changes have taken place, that will only allow you to browse the content available in the selected country. When you try to buy it, you will get bounced out unless Amazon thinks you are in the appropriate location.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:21 PM on August 20, 2012


The country settings page says
"Country Settings
If you're moving, you can change the country associated with your Kindle account."

And in my previous misadventure, I was unable to buy a US-only book (on amazon.com, not .com.au or .fr etc.) but the Kindle store took me for an Aussie, despite that all my other account information and history places me in the US.

I see now that attempting to change one's country means putting in a legit address in that country-- I'd try what smitt did and fill in a legit address that belongs to a mail drop you don't use.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:06 PM on August 20, 2012


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