On my daily commute, most people I see glued to their smartphones or tablets are usually watching Running Man. Sometimes, I catch a glimpse of Vicki Zhao in Tiger Mom. (It’s okay, I’m not planning to sue her for staring.) Alternatively, it’s something from across the Pacific, like Grey’s Anatomy or Game of Thrones. But with those two shows having ended their US run, what alternatives are there? May I suggest an eBook reader? Like the Kindle Paperwhite?
Why an eBook reader?
As an alternative to tablets or smartphones, an eBook reader is cheaper and has a battery that lasts for days. There’s no need to bring a couple of power banks around with you every time you leave the house. As an alternative to books, it’s lighter and much more convenient. You can easily store hundreds of books in an eBook reader (not that you’ll ever be reading so many at any point in time).
The Kindle Paperwhite is an eBook reader from Amazon that is considered one of the best in the market today, only comparable perhaps to the newer (but 150% more expensive) Kindle Voyage. Unfortunately, the Kindle Paperwhite (and all other Kindle models, really) remains elusive to Singaporeans. You just can’t order it from Amazon and indicate your Singapore address. (Believe me, I’ve tried.) So here are three methods to enjoy the Kindle Paperwhite.
Method 1: Get your Kindle Paperwhite via a forwarding service
Amazon won’t allow you to ship a Kindle directly to Singapore, so you’ll need a US address. Assuming you have no friends and family in the US, what you can do is sign up with a forwarding service. Most Kindle buyers in Singapore prefer Borderlinx, but other forwarding sites like comGateway and vPost work as well.
If you have a CitiBank credit card, you can sign up for their Citi Globeshopper program and get 5% cash back on your shipping charges through Borderlinx, comGateway and vPost.
Just be sure to avoid import taxes. If you’re buying more than one Kindle Paperwhite, that your total cost does not exceed $400. Shipments beyond that amount will incur the 7% GST (as an import tax) upon arrival in Singapore.
How much will it cost you in total: $170-$190 per Kindle including shipping costs (which should not cost more than $20 per unit), and you may even get cash back or rewards by buying directly from Amazon using the best credit card for online shopping.
Who is this method for: Buyers who prefer to be independent and purchase directly from Amazon. You save money by not involving resellers.
Method 2: Get your Kindle Paperwhite from a reseller
There are a couple of sites like SGKindleShop and Intergizmo that offer to get the Kindle on your behalf. These are not authorised dealers so don’t expect any warranty or support from them. However, they often have stocks already on hand, which means you can get your Kindle as soon as possible.
How much will it cost you in total: Up to $250 for a Kindle Paperwhite without ads. Do shop around, of course. Some sites have discounts or bundles. Note that you may not be able to pay via credit card or Paypal with some resellers
Who is this method for: Buyers who need a Kindle within 48 hours. This means you, husbands and boyfriends who forgot that her birthday or your anniversary is this week and haven’t gotten anything yet.
Method 3: Get your Kindle Paperwhite from Lazada.sg
Lazada.sg promotes itself as a one-stop shop for kitchen appliances, fashion and beauty products and travel items. They’ve got a great range of electronics too, including Kindles. Of course, since they are essentially a directory for resellers, you’re not buying it from them directly.
Do note that the Kindles on Lazada’s catalog may not be the US version, but the Japanese version. The Japanese version is usually cheaper and is essentially the same as the US version. However, if there’s a problem with the Japanese set and you need to get it exchanged, you will need to communicate directly with Amazon Japan, which usually requires you to speak and read Japanese. So if you want to save money by buying a Japanese Kindle, do take note of this.
The good thing about buying from Lazada is that you can enjoy cash back rewards via a Shopback.sg coupon. Couple this with the Shopback.sg sign-up bonus of $10 if you have a Citibank credit card.
How much will it cost you in total: Just from Lazada alone, a Kindle Paperwhite could cost anything between $139 to $189.
Who is this method for: Buyers who like the idea of buying electronics at ridiculous discounts (i.e. all Singaporeans). However, do take note that the time of delivery is based on the different resellers. Lazada cannot guarantee how quickly the reseller will send it to you.
What do you think is the best way to get a Kindle Paperwhite in Singapore? Let us know.