Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Amazon Kindle 3 out of stock outside the U.S. and UK / Black Friday sales

  per Kindle 3 product pages

This situation came without warning, except that about 2 weeks ago, one could order up to five Kindle 3's (UK: K3's) at a time, and then it became only three at a time "due to strong customer demand."

  While Kindle 3's are still available for immediate shipment in the U.S. and UK for now, a look at the product page for deliveries outside those two areas shows the following estimated ship date: "Expected to ship in 2 to 3 months."

Even Canada and Australia, two areas very much represented in Amazon Kindle Community Forum discussions, have this shipment delay shown.

At the Kindle forum thread about this today, a posting by Rod Govers reports:
' This is Amazon's reply to a query regarding the 2-3 months delivery on K3s to **international** addresses:

"Due to strong customer demand, Kindle (Latest Generation) is temporarily sold out.  Order now to reserve your place in line.  Orders are prioritized on a first come, first served basis.  We will ship your Kindle to you as quickly as possible and will keep you informed by e-mail as we get more precise delivery dates." '

From some experience with past temporary stock shortages (some longer than others), the DEFAULT time period is given as 2-3 months, but more often than not, in the past year, the factories seem to catch up much sooner than later and the wait is not as long as mentioned in the alert.

  However, that long a period covers Amazon in case, I imagine, they don't get more in stock soon enough.  But I remember this happening with the Kindle 3's when new, also, and the estimated shipping dates with temporary shortages were way off.

 Amazon is now sold (in dribbles and as fast as the stores stock the VERY LIMITED supplies for some reason) at Target, Staples and Best Buy, but in the U.S., the Kindle 3's are still available online.  I tend to prefer to buy these at Amazon online due to their very fast, flexible handling of returns if you don't want the Kindle after all (within 30 days) and of replacements if needed, usually within a day or two.

Interestingly, the far more expensive, less portable Kindle DX Graphite ('KDXG'), better for PDFs, textbooks, and sheet music) is not seeing similar shortages that affect international shipment.  An entire Kindle 3 fits in the screen of the KDXG and it's 1.2 lbs, so is quite a bit heavier.  These are due to be in the stores for holiday shopping, and some of us wonder if there'll be any changes that have kept them from going to stores sooner.  Remember that Amazon has a 30-day full-refund return policy on Kindles for any reason, such as just not wanting it after all.

  They seem very secure with this unique policy on e-readers.  Amazon also has 30-day price protection, returning the difference if a product's pricing is reduced within 30 days of purchase.  That's along with the 30-day full-refund return policy for any Kindle that is just not wanted.

At any rate, I expect that the Kindle 3 shortages will not be the stated 2-3 months.  That would indicate poor planning or far-higher-than-expected demand, and there are a lot of competing products these days even if Consumer Report gives the Kindle highest marks again this week.

BLACK FRIDAY Specials - U.S. and U.K.
While we're on the topic of the online store, both Amazon U.S. and Amazon UK have started their Black Friday week alerts, with some pre-Black Friday specials also..

Bookmark these for significant sales from approximately the 22 through the day after Thanksgiving and probably beyond to some extent:

U.S. Black Friday specials page: Shortcut:

U.K. Black Friday specials page: Shortcut:

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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  1. This is still an almost unspoken curiosity, but I'm quite eagerly wondering when they'll release 3.0 firmware for the also-new DX Graphite. I bought it when I did, since the Kindle 3 wasn't yet in-stock and I thought its form-factor would be better for the kinds of books I normally read (which are physically DX-or-larger sized). I just wish I could enjoy the same 3.0 firmware as K3 owners.

  2. going to loose them a lot of Ozzie and German Christmas sales...

  3. I suspect this shortage means we won't be seeing Kindle 3's marked down to $99 until sometime next year. Sigh, I was so hoping to pick one up for that price at a Black Friday sale. Patience, patience, patience...

  4. Mike,
    Yes it's been unlikely because they limited quantities further recently.

  5. octo,
    I mentioned the DX and the coming shipment of these to stores and I think something might be afoot on that. We'll see. I agree w/ you that a software update should be coming sooner than later.

  6. If you live in Canada and are desperate to order a Kindle for someone you can still buy and ship to a US address through (not .ca). Didn't run into any problems.

    Of course, you still need to get it back to Canada somehow. ;-)

  7. I apparently inadvertently deleted the following Comment, which I have a copy of in email: Here it is, from Anonymous:

    "Could somebody elaborate on what negative effects can happen if i buy a kindle in the UK store but use it outside the UK (in Hungary)? I have a friend living in the UK and coming home for Christmas, i'm just not sure
    if there will be any problems with it. Thanks in advance"

    People often have friends buy Kindles in the U.S. and bring them to them. Since the UK models do work in Hungary even for web browsing if one is a resident of the UK, then you should have no problem with its basic functioning and Whispernet there.

    You'd need to register it to YOU of course and then give Amazon your main address and country, and eventually they ask for a credit card to use.

    Have fun.

  8. Seven to nine weeks for a standard Kindle delivery is not acceptable. I wanted mine for Christmas bur delivery is now for Valentines day next year!

    Amazon just doesn't answer any questions regarding why the delay. I want to know the details.

  9. Anonymous,
    They're apparently too low in stock to be able to deliver worldwide right now but the February deliveries are dates generally for 'latest' delivery and they often are able to deliver weeks earlier if they can get supply fast enough.

    I will be watching this though. Sorry for the situation - demand IS high for the Kindle 3 and the same manufacturers tend to make screens for all the e-reader companies worldwide so now that these are also sold at street stores, they seem even harder to keep in stock though it's the Kindle that seems to be most in demand, of the e-Ink type.

  10. T_T
    I'm from Thailand.

    I plan to order it for new year and take it to long vacation( for me, my younger brother and my friend).

    Shock when see estimate shipping date and now I will get it in late January(the month with no public holiday!)


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