Canadian Currency Converter

Buying a Kindle in Canada: Do You Know the Hidden Costs?

Did you know that you can only buy the new Amazon Kindle in the U.S? And are you ready for the extra costs at checkout time?

Amazon is the only on-line seller of the Kindle and they choose to sell it only out of the U.S. In other words, if you are a Canadian, say, don't waste time going to – you'll just be redirected.

And this means you should be prepared for some extra charges at checkout time. They are legit, needless to say, but Amazon does a poor job of flagging them so your check-out total usually elicits an involuntary verbal response. Keep the children away.

Here's what you are going to find out when you get to check out.

* You are charged for shipping – the free shipping offer doesn't apply to you.

* You will pay a deposit against import duties.

* All figures are in also in U.S. Dollars – which should not come as a surprise.

As a result, your credit card is going to be whacked for some $223 for that mid-range Kindle 3G+Wi-Fi model listed at "$189 with free shipping".

But cheer up!

First, the currency exchange right now is negligible. Second, the Kindle is a fantastic device and you'll love it. And, three, you don't have a choice if you want to buy one.

So let's take a closer look. The end-price we pay for living north of the 49th parallel is influenced currency conversion, shipping costs and customs duties. Here's how these stack up against the price paid by a U.S. Resident buying the same item.

Currency conversion: not a factor. The rate in early 2011 is around 1.0436, meaning that it will cost a Canadian $1.65 more to buy the top-end Kindle DX at $US379.

Shipping costs: basic shipping is $9.98. This is a cost you would not have to pay if you lived in the U.S. Amazon has a free shipping policy for selected items but they do not volunteer that it is only to U.S. Addresses.

Import duties: you have to pay Canada Customs import duties for bringing in a Kindle – a cost which a U.S. Resident obviously would not need to pay. Amazon at least makes it easy for you by assessing an estimated amount at checkout and remitting it for you.

There is also the issue of sales tax. Amazon charges no sales tax for Canadian delivery. American buyers at Amazon pay sales tax in five states.

The bottom line.

So when you see those numbers on the Amazon site, here are the numbers you really need to consider:

Kindle Wi-Fi. List price US$139. Your total cost, delivered, around C$166.

Kindle 3G+Wi-Fi. List price US$189. Your total cost, delivered, around C$223.

Kindle DX. List price US$379. Your total cost, delivered, around C$436.

A word of advice: don't waste time moaning. Remember, you don't have a choice if you want a Kindle. So buy one – they are fabulous.

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