Anyone who lives outside the US – that is, the vast majority of the world’s population – knows the feeling. You’re often treated like a second-class citizen online. You can’t access special deals, or new apps or great new products. But this is the worldwide web, right?
When it comes to ebooks, and you live somewhere like Australia, you know about geographical restrictions. You can only get at just over half Amazon’s ebook titles, despite having access to all those restricted books in paper form. It’s the same with all the major ebook vendors, and Apple’s iBooks.
Make sense to you? Me either. Not with an intangible product like an electronic file. Then we learn that for Australian consumers there’s nothing unlawful about buying ebooks anywhere you can, if you can. The only restriction is on buying ebooks for resale.
So we try to find ways around these bogus restrictions.
I’ve found ways to jump the geo-restriction wall here. Try them out, see how you go. Sadly a couple of sites now seem to be able to tell that my credit card is from Australia, and have closed these loopholes.
But here’s another good tip – this time for Apple’s iBooks
- Create an iBooks account – if you already have one, make up a new address in the US. You moved, right? Don’t worry, no-one’s ever going to send anything there. Paper mail? What’s that?
- Get on eBay and buy a US iTunes card. In this pic above I bought the $50 version, and only paid $51 Australian dollars. There are heaps for sale but make sure you buy from someone with a great feedback score.
- You’ll almost instantly be sent the iTunes card’s code. Write it down and, at the bottom of your iBooks/iTunes account page – find the “Redeem” button, that’s where you type in that voucher code.
- Hey, presto – you have credit. Go and buy whatever books you want. And if you get the kind of deal I did, you’re buying iBooks in US dollars with the equivalent amount of Aussie dollars. So you’re saving 15-20%, depending on the exchange rate. You can buy apps too. Nice.
- Don’t worry. You paid for your iTunes card, and your iBook. You’ve done nothing wrong.