How to buy an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite in the UK
The Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon's latest Kindle and comes with a frontlit screen so you can read it in bed. Fantastic, that's just what we all want. But at the moment Amazon doesn't sell the Kindle Paperwhite in the UK, so just how can you get one?
You might think that the easiest answer is to fly to the US, walk into a Staples, and hope that they have one on the shelf waiting for you to pick up and take to the cashier.
There are a lot of things in that statement that might not be possible: the getting on a plane, for instance.
Other options include bribing a friend in the US to buy one for you and ship it over, although you might not have any friends; how about scouring eBay and hoping that someone has already imported one, then buy it off them at an inflated rate? Nah.
A simpler option is to buy it direct from Amazon.com in the US and have it delivered to a US mailbox which will then forward it on to you. It's not as far-fetched as it sounds, as we found out.
Step one: Get yourself a BundleBox account
We used BundleBox for the sake of this experiment: there are other services available, but BundleBox had been recommended to us. The urge to order the Kindle Paperwhite was overwhelming and a great opportunity to test the service. We haven't been disappointed.
Simply put, BundleBox provides you with as personal US parcel-forwarding address. You register, pay a $15 subscription fee - which is refunded with your first shipment - and in return get an address you can use to shop at any US website.
Once your purchase arrives at your BundleBox, you're notified by email and can keep your items in your BundleBox for 30 days, free of charge. After that storage is charged.
BundleBox offers a Fedex express delivery service of two-three days (which we used) and a Fedex regular delivery service of four-five days.
Step two: Buy what you are after
We bought the Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon's new ebook reader. It is currently sold only in the US, with Amazon in the UK not detailing when it might be available here.
Of course you don't have to buy electronics: the BundleBox service allows you to send anything to the mailbox, but remember you'll then have to ship it from there to the UK and that's where it can get expensive.
It's also worth noting that taking this "very above board" approach isn't going to mean you are saving bundles of cash. It might even cost you more money when you factor in shipping costs.
You will have to ship it to BundleBox in the US, then pay customs and excise duties, and the Fedex costs to get it to the UK. We would recommend you use this service for items you can't get in the UK rather than trying to save a couple of quid because of favourable US pricing.
Step three: Getting it to the UK
Once you've ordered your gadget, toy, or clothes from a specific US store, it will be sent to the BundleBox depot. In our case, somewhere in Kentucky. If you live in the UK you will have to pay duty on deliveries and to speed things along you can pre-pay this so it doesn't get held up at Customs - very handy.
To make things simple BundleBox has the dimensions of the most current objects it sends on file. For us that meant telling BundleBox we had received a Kindle Paperwhite and it knowing exactly how much that would cost to send on to us.
In the case of the Paperwhite we paid £26.75 in shipping and £20.09 in taxes. Add that to the cost of the Kindle (£80.93) and the experiment has cost us £127.77. As we said, no real saving, but you can't get it here so worth the premium - we can now read in bed with the lights out, tee-hee.
Step four: Wait for the Fedex man to turn up
The service constantly keeps you up to date with what's going on, giving you the chance to track the Fedex parcel if you want, but also to let you know that it has left the building and will turn up on a set date.
Et voila! Two days after it left Kentucky we have an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite on our desk, safely, legally, and without any issues. The best part is that you simply sign-in with your Amazon account and you're set to use it like any other Kindle.