I went onto the kindle store in amazon.co.uk to buy a copy of “Spectral Shadows”
When I clicked to buy the book for £5.68, the message below appeared.
I still wanted the book, so bought it from amazon.com for $7.82, which is more or less the same price.
So there’s no problem.
Except that this kind of thing pisses me off.
If Amazon were really sorry that they couldn’t complete my purchase then they’d put some corporate muscle into enabling me to buy from whatever Kindle store I choose.
“The Kindle Store on Amazon.co.uk is for UK customers only”
WHY? I can buy the physical version of the same book from amazon.co.uk and have it delivered to Switzerland so why not the ebook version?
Amazon seem to want to put a digital fence around their customers, telling them what they can or can’t buy, based on where they live. It’s called a channel strategy. It’s supposed to improve the customer experience. In fact it doesn’t do anything for the customer except restrict choice.
I live in Switzerland. There is no Amazon Switzerland. We’re too small for Amazon to care. So Amazon graciously allows me to buy from amazon.com (although they keep asking me if I wouldn’t rather be on amazon.de). If I lived in the UK, I’d ONLY be allowed to buy Kindle books from amazon.co.uk.
I don’t think Amazon is sorry. I think they see ebooks as a media service, like videos and TV programs, which they want to market via country-based portals so that they can control release dates and prices.
Amazon are happy to sell you a Kindle cheaply because they plan to make you pay them every time you use the Kindle to do anything. For this strategy to work, they want to link sales of Kindles in a market to sales of media services in the same market.
Amazon wants to benefit from globalization BUT they want to corral their customers by geography and control their choices.
I think that’s a very dangerous position for them to be allowed to hold.