Guide to buying Amazon mp3, ebooks, videos and downloads outside of USA

Update 9 Aug 2012: I found out the common problem is caused by associating a payment method with the shipping address.

This guide will help you bypass Amazon.com geographic restrictions to buy the digital content you want. By digital content, I mean mp3, ebooks, digital movies, video games and other downloads.

This guide is written for anyone who uses Amazon.com outside of USA.

There are a few things you need.

1. USA IP address

Amazon uses your computer's IP address to determine your location. You'll need is a software that gives you a new IP address, specifically one that's located in USA. You'll need that for purchases.

Below are three software that can do the job. Most are not free. But some offer trial versions so you can test if they work.

  • A combination of AlwaysVPN and Tunnelblick. They offer pre-paid usage plans. A typical 2 hour non-HD movie is about 300mb.
  • Hotspot Shield offers yearly/monthly plans, but it's not always USA IP address they assign. So you have to log in and out to check if it's a USA IP address you have.
  • Unblock US - I've not use this before so let me know if it works.

After you install and run the software, it will assign you a new USA IP address.

You can test your IP location at IP Location Finder to see if it's working.

2. Shipping address

On your account page, find the link called "Manage Address Book". Enter a new address, an USA address. It might be easier to use the address for a hotel address, or your favourite USA company.

Do not associate a payment method to that address when asked by Amazon. The reason is so that Amazon won't retrieve your non-USA credit card info.

If you have an existing address with Amazon, just create a new one.

On the address book management page, set that address as your default 1-Click address.

3. Credit Card

This is obviously required for online purchases.

But you can't buy digital products directly with a non-USA issued credit card. So to do that indirectly, you have to use Amazon Gift Certificates which you can buy.

Remember you have no associated payment method with your shipping address? That's to make Amazon use the Gift Certificates automatically during your purchase.

Test to see if it's working

To test to see if your setup is working correctly, just go download some free mp3. After which, you can then proceed to buy Amazon Gift Certificates.

Summary

To conclude, you need an USA IP address, shipping address, and Amazon Gift Certificates.

You still need the USA IP address for viewing movies/shows you've bought, but not for downloading mp3.

Doesn't work? Common Problems

'We could not process your order. The sale of MP3 Downloads is currently available only to US customers located in the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.'

Check to see if you have a non-USA credit card as a payment method for your default shipping address. Your shipping address should not have any payment method associated with it.

After you're done shopping

It is highly recommended you switch back to your original shipping address after you've done shopping. This step will prevent future orders from getting shipped to the wrong address.

If you have further questions, let me know. If this guide works for you, let other readers know too.

The first version of this guide was written in Dec 2009.

BRILLLINT!!! thankyou!! One question would this also work if I'm buying from UK to Japan?

Many thanks Again!!!

@Shadytrees
The IP address assigned is actually a US address, so I don't think it will work if you're going to buy stuff from UK or Japan.

For digital content, I guess US still has the largest variety.

But after the purchase, can it be ship back to singapore?

I see..i didn't read carefully. Thanks

Hi there,

If you set your billing/mailing address as your actual address though (say in Singapore), won't Amazon catch on to the fact that you're not actually in the US even though you have a US IP address?

@Sherlyn
The terms and conditions prevent Amazon from selling to customers with non-US IP address, not to those with non-US physical address.

For example, you can be really in US at the moment but actually staying in Singapore, like when you're traveling.

I've tried and it works.

I tried using the same tactic and succeeded in purchasing from amazon.com but when I tried it on iTunes US store, I can't because it required a credit card with a US billing address. What can I do? Use the PayPal system? Can I fool iTunes Store with that?

Don't know why, but after a few purchases on Amazon, my latest attempt failed and the error message shown was that I was purchasing from outside the US hence I would not have access. Seems like the trick no longer works.

Hi, this sounds very useful - will try it. Does the payment via a Singapore credit card still work if you set to the new IP address and US billing address?

Thank you so much. I will definitely try. Presume you are then able to download the content / ebook etc to a Kindle ?

In reply to by Rahul (not verified)

ebooks sold on Amazon are not as restrictive as digital music and videos.

There should be no problem buying. Just change the billing address alone will do, I heard. It's on your account page under "Manage Addresses"

Hi Parka, I wonder is it legal to download this way? I understand that using this method we did pay for the songs but the terms, condition and restriction have already stated that only for USA. So are we trying to pay money to get a illegal song. I have this issue in mind because i intend to DL a song for my wedding, my hotel allow to play mp3 that is legal purchase. So if i purchase this way is it still a legal purchase (using address that does not belongs to me and the condition is not met).

Didn't work for me either...
I used a proxy from https://www.hidemyass.com/proxy-list/search-3#browsersettings

I got informations about my IP on the web to verify if it was located in US, and it was.

I keep receiving the same annoying message:
We are sorry...

We could not process your order. The sale of MP3 Downloads is currently available only to US customers located in the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Any suggestions?
Thks!

hi! thanks for the information but i cant get it to work either:/
want to buy a boyce avenue album.

fixed! removed all traces of my old address and installed proxpn! now it's sweet

So I tried all the steps u mentioned and I've even gotten myself an Amazon gift card.
I used Hotspot shield, and even made a check on my IP address - which puts me in Chicago.
However Amazon is still telling me that they can't process my order since Im not physically in the US and not "located in the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. "
This is so messed up.
They let me purchase the gift card but won't let me pay for the album that I want.
And yes, my 1-click address is a US address.
Please help, thanks!

many many thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks!!!!!!!!!!! it worked.

Parka, I've tried to follow the instructions, but I couldn't manage to buy any audio file. Can you help me buy just a couple of mp3 files from Amazon?

Thank you so much! I had to use the ¨buy gift-card¨option, but I don´t care. It works great. Do you have the full hotspot shield program? Do you think is worth buying? Many thanks again.

I downloaded an MP3 after buying a $1.00 gift card successfully, afterwards I disconnected hotspot shield. Later I connected hotspot shield again and bought another giftcard $15.00 from amazon to get a cd, but this time I got the message telling me the mp3 downloads are not available outside the US. Do you have any idea/suggestion why it worked so well the first time and not the second? I will try again later anyway and let you know if it works. Thanks for replying so quickly to my previous message.

In reply to by RobZ (not verified)

@RobZ
Same thing happens to me sometimes, the you're-not-in-US message.

I've got to investigate some more and see if there are workarounds.

Have you tried updating your address book on Amazon to a US address, and making that your one-click address?

Yeah, I registered a US address as my one-click address already. If I find something else I will let you know.

Hi,
I just managed to do it.
The important thing is to delete any previous credit card records that are non US.
that was the problem for me, and after I did it, the gift card credits became the default and thus the purchase was approved.

So the steps are:
1. create a billing address in the US
2. make it the default for 1 click
3. remove any addresses that are not US
4. remove any credit card/payment method that isn't a 100% US.
5. use a US vpn to get a US IP.
6. purchase mp3

I still can't get it to work. I've deleted all my billing addresses and the credit information that I used to buy the gift card. The only information I have left is the US address and it can still detect that I am not in US. Sigh.

Anonymous, maybe you should create a new account and follow steps by - amazonian.

Hey Parka,

Everytime i go to amazon.com or when i try and purchase the music or stuff, it always shows The connection to www.amazon.com was interrupted.

Im using google chrome and i am using hotspot sheild
Any Help?

Thanks

I downloaded an MP3 after buying a $1.00 gift card successfully, afterwards I disconnected hotspot shield. Later I connected hotspot shield again and bought another giftcard $15.00 from amazon to get a cd, but this time I got the message telling me the mp3 downloads are not available outside the US.

Hi Parka,

I did as what have been mentioned e.g. running hotshield and changing to a US address and all that. But, still they prompted not in the US. What is wrong here again?

TQ.

anyone received a welcome email after buying the Kindle? I would like to know what they write in the header, as I think it sounded a little odd...

This one?

"Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to Amazon Kindle. Your Kindle is on its way.

We built Kindle with the goal of creating an exceptional and hassle-free reading experience. As such, we wanted to point out a few details before you get started.

Your Kindle is automatically registered to the same Amazon.com account you used to make your purchase. This enables you to shop, purchase, and download books, newspapers and magazines wirelessly from your Kindle right out of the box.

If you purchased Kindle as a gift for someone else, you should de-register this Kindle from your Amazon.com account. You can de-register Kindle from the Settings page on the device or at Manage Your Kindle on Amazon.com. The gift recipient can then re-register the device to their Amazon.com account right from the Settings page on the Kindle.

Visit the Kindle Accessories Store on Amazon.com to shop for great Kindle covers and accessories.

You can start building your library before your Kindle even arrives by shopping for books, newspapers, magazines and more at the Kindle Store on Amazon.com. Amazon's unique wireless delivery system, Amazon Whispernet, will auto-deliver your purchases directly to your Kindle. Once you receive your Kindle, you can also shop the same great selection directly from your device.

Your Kindle purchases are made using your existing default 1-Click payment method at Amazon.com. To view or change the current payment method associated with your Kindle, please visit Manage Your Kindle on Amazon.com. For general information on 1-Click, please visit the 1-Click section on Amazon.com help.

To get more information about your Kindle before it arrives, please visit Kindle Support to find the Kindle Users Guide and other references.

We hope you enjoy reading on Kindle and look forward to hearing about your experience. Send us your feedback at kindle-feedback@amazon.com.

Sincerely,

The Amazon Kindle Team"

yep..

Hi

I wanted to buy a mp3 file from amazon UK. Do you know how to do it?

Really appreciate your help.

Hi,
ive been using this for a while,ive recently had the purchases made with an amex card refused but visa and mastercard still work.All were US credit cards but I recently have had the bills sent to non US address as ive been living abroad for over a year.I think the prob with amex is that verify that card number corresponds to cardholder EXACT name AND given billing address..I know for sure about the name part from when i worked retail in US, if you gave the name as JIM SMITH as the guys name on the amex card was JIM .A. Smith it wasnt approved..and that was "back in the old days" when we had to call in each Amex purchase for an pproval number by PHONE.So maybe the probs some peaople are having come from the various credit cards used ?Id stay from amex anyway ;)

After many failed attempts in the past - your directions worked a treat.

Thanks for the guide!

I don´t know if anyone already has answered, but Unblock US doesn´t work for Mp3 shopping at Amazon. It´s a pity.

This worked great, thank you so much!
Most suggested VPN sites are blocked for where I was trying to access them, but I used proXPN, which has a free basic account, works fine.

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