Gifting a Kindle

Gifting a Kindle

Now that the price of both Kindle sizes have been reduced, and Kindles are becoming more easily available (in Targets and some airports), I expect a lot more of them will be given as gifts.

I’ve been seeing quite a few questions about giving a Kindle as a gift, and some confusion about buying books ahead of time, returns, and accounts.  I thought it was worth taking a post to address this.

Buying the Kindle

Right now, there are two Kindles you can buy new from Amazon:

Kindle 6″
Kindle Graphite 9.7″ 

 You may be able to buy retired models refurbished from Amazon, and you can get Kindles from third parties.

Amazon authorizes sales at Target stores (across the US) and in some airports.

Personally, I would not buy a Kindle from a third party (through, say, EBay or Craig’s List), due to the risk of it being stolen.  The person from whom you are buying it may not even know that.  If a Kindle has been reported lost or stolen and blacklisted, it can not be registered. 

I think your best bet is to buy a new one directly from Amazon…then you get the thirty day trial period. 

When you buy it, you can indicate that it is a gift.  To do this, place the Kindle in your cart, then check the box that says Add gift-wrap/note.  If you ordered without doing that but it hasn’t been shipped yet, you can go to Your Account at Amazon (there is generally a link in your top right corner), and modify the order.  Once it has been sent, you would have to deregister it.


If you mark it as a gift, it will arrive without being registered to any account.  In this situation, you can not buy books for it until it is registered.  When the recipient gets the Kindle, she or he can register it to his or her own Amazon account.  If they don’t have an Amazon account, it’s easy for them to set one up.  If they already have an account, they can register it directly from the device.

If you do not mark it as a gift, it will probably arrive registered to your account.

It is a very important decision as to whether the recipient will be registering the Kindle to a different account, or whether it should be registered to your account.  This decision should be made before the first book is bought for the new Kindle: the accounts can’t officially be merged afterwards (although I’ve heard of Kindle Customer Service doing that…don’t expect it, though).

If you share the account, there are some real advantages. 

First, the recipient will have access to all of the Kindle store books you already bought.  That can give a nice initial library. 

As you buy more Kindle store books in the future, you can both read them for one download price…at the same time.  That’s one of the things we like the best, if it’s a hot new title, or a travel guide. 

There isn’t a limit as to how many devices you can have registered to one account.  The limit is on each title, and it’s set by the publisher.  Unless it says otherwise on the book’s Amazon Product page, the number is six.  Some are fewer, some are unlimited.

Having more than one person on the account also makes for a smooth transition should anything happen to the first person.  My offspring is on my account, for example.

If the Kindle is going to be on your account, you can also put books on it before it even arrives.  So, you could gift a Kindle and have it have a special book for the recipient on it.

The disadvantages of sharing an account?

If you have separate finances, that can be more complicated.  You pay for Kindle books with what is called 1-click.  That draws first from any gift card/certificate balance you have on the account, and then from a designated credit card, if any.

Even if you got the gift cards for some other reason, the Kindles sap those first.

You could switch credit cards before you purchase a book, but you have to do that on your computer in

not from the Kindle.

One person could contribute gift cards/certificates to the account, but you need the password for the account to add it.

Also, some people certainly consider it a disadvantage that the recipient will be able to see all the books you’ve got in your archives.  No hiding those…um…books you might rather hide.  😉 

My feeling?  If it’s a trusted person in your immediate circle, sharing the account is probably better…but that’s not going to work for everybody. 

Returning the Kindle

Amazon has a very  generous

return policy

for the Kindle: thirty days from the time you received it.

Note: that’s thirty days from the day the person who bought it received it: not a gift recipient who was given it at a party later.

Note: the thirty day return policy does not apply to Kindles purchased somewhere other than Amazon (such as Target or an airport

So, before you buy a Kindle:

  • Decide which Kindle you want (the 9.7″ is bigger…that’s the main difference, although the Graphite is supposed to have better contrast)
  • Decide if it will be registered to your account or not: if not, mark it is a gift in your shopping cart

Does the person need anything else?

Everything you need for a Kindle comes with it.  I think everybody should additionally have a cover (and there are cool ones out there) for protection.  You could also consider:

  • a recovery services sticker, like *
  • a book light, like the Octovo or the Kindle Kandle
  • headphones with a 3.5mm audio plug…anything that says it is for an iPod is fine
  • Skins: lots of colorful options for these super stickers that make a Kindle look good
  • Amazon gift certificates…those can be used to buy books or anything else on this list

* TrackItBack is a company (there are others) that gives you a sticker you put on your device with a toll-free number.  If someone finds it, they can call the number and you get your Kindle back.  Full disclosure: after I wrote about them once, they sent me some free stickers.  I did not know they were going to do that when I wrote the piece, and I have bought a sticker from them as well for a Kindle

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

4 Responses to “Gifting a Kindle”

  1. Tom Madsen Says:

    One note about buying the a Refurbished Kindle is that they do NOT come with an AC power plug. I believe the USB cable does come with it. The power plug and cable sell for $19 I think.

  2. Richard Askenase Says:

    If you buy a Kindle from Target, they have a 90 day return policy (Usually with NO stocking fee), so you can give your giftee that much more time to decide. Also, if they come out with a new kindle in August- they can return it and get the new one, all within 90 days.

  3. The Kindle Ereader Says:

    The Kindle Ereader…

    […]Gifting a Kindle « I Love My Kindle[…]…

  4. mindInmind Says:


    […]Gifting a Kindle « I Love My Kindle[…]…

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