Why does a $79 Kindle cost £89 in the UK?

How does $79 in the US translate into £89 in the UK?

It seems like a minor point, but I've seen so much nonsense written about this on Twitter that I thought a quick post was in order.

The base model Kindle costs $79 in the US. That works out to £50. But if you look at the new Kindle over at on Amazon.co.uk you'll notice that Amazon's new shiny thing costs £89 in the UK.

Rip-off, right? Wrong.

The $79 price being thrown about during the press event was for the ad-supported 'Kindle with special offers' (details of the old deal can be found here). If you don't want the ads then the Kindle sets you back an extra $30, taking the price to $109.

The problem is that 'Kindle with special offers' is currently not available outside of the US, so the UK version is the ad-free version. $109 works out at £70, which means that those in the UK are still paying a premium ... but wait a minute, you gotta add on top of that 20% VAT (sales tax), so the price is now up to £84.

So you're not really paying that much of a premium after all.


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