Kindle Book Refunds And Storage

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Here are two things that may be the most important, yet least known, bits of information you can have about Kindle books.

Click the downward-pointing arrow and select "Kindle Cloud Reader"  before you click the 'Buy Now' button, and your book will go to the Cloud instead of your device.

Click the downward-pointing arrow and select “Kindle Cloud Reader” before you click the ‘Buy Now’ button, and your book will go to the Cloud instead of your device.

1. When You Buy A Kindle Book, You Don’t Have To Send It To Your Kindle Or Fire

Most people don’t seem to notice that little drop-down list under the ‘Buy Now’ button, so they click ‘Buy Now’, the Kindle book is immediately sent to whichever is their default Kindle book reader, and pretty soon they’re getting annoyed with all the clutter on their Kindle’s home page or Kindle Fire’s carousel.

You can store all your Kindle book purchases in the Cloud* by selecting the “Kindle Cloud Reader” option from the “Deliver to:” drop-down box BEFORE you click on the “Buy” button, and only download them to your device or reader app when you’re actually ready to read them. When you’re done, you can remove the book from your device and your Cloud copy will remain, available to be downloaded again any time you want it.

*UPDATE – 4/23/13: It’s come to my attention that some books don’t list “Kindle Cloud Reader” in the drop-down box. I don’t know if this is something the publisher can choose to disable, or if it’s just some kind of glitch on the Amazon site, but I’ve come across a few books where the “Kindle Cloud Reader” option is missing. In that case, you have no choice but to select another delivery destination from the list. However, there’s a workaround: since a copy of every Kindle book you’ve ever purchased is stored to Amazon’s Cloud by default, you can always delete the Kindle book you were forced to download from the device where it was sent (long-tap and select ‘delete from device’), and the Cloud copy will still be there for you to re-download when you’re ready to read it.

So long as you don’t login to the Amazon site, go to the My Account menu, click on the Manage My Kindle link, then click on the Books link, check the box next to a book and manually delete it from the Cloud (and why would you ever do this, since it costs you nothing to just keep storing it in the Cloud?) every Kindle book you’ve ever bought from Amazon will remain available to you in the future.

2. Kindle Books Are Returnable and Exchangeable

You have 30 [**UDPATE** Since the time this article was written, Amazon has changed their policy – you now have SEVEN] days from the date of purchase to return a Kindle book for a full refund, no questions asked. The book is deleted from your Kindle library and any devices where you’ve downloaded it, and you are issued a credit back to whatever your original form of payment was. See this page on Amazon to read the official policy.

Time and again, I see nearly livid 1-star book reviews from customers who bought the wrong book (got it confused with the book they really wanted), were disappointed to find the book wasn’t what they thought it would be based on the brief description, were annoyed by formatting problems, broken links or missing content in the book, and say they’ve been ripped off for the cost of the book.

Apparently they don’t know they can just go to My Account > Manage My Kindle > Books and select “Return for Refund” from the drop-down Action list at the right.

Anyone who’s received a Kindle book as a gift can also employ that little ‘Action’ button to exchange the book for a preferred title, up to the value of the original book.

You’re welcome.

Refunds and exchanges are easy-peasy, but you only have 7 days to exercise either option.

(Click to enlarge the image) Refunds and exchanges are easy-peasy, but you only have 30 days to exercise either option.

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21 Comments

  1. Comment by Richard Miller:

    Two great hints. If this was posted on Google+, I’d give you a + for sure. I really enjoy your brilliant writing.

  2. Comment by JenB:

    I was aware of both of these, but they are great tips. I always just send things to the cloud. I DO still wish I could label/organize things in the cloud (keeping kids books, cook books, non-fiction separated from my novels when I want to just browse). I have returned a few books and never had a problem.

  3. Comment by Kathy S:

    sure wish my kindle fire had an archive like my 2 year old nook does. It’s hard to tell when you have a bunch of books in the cloud some new and some read what is what. There should be a place where you can move a book to after it has been read

    • Comment by Mom:

      Amazon is aware that Kindle Fire owners are clamoring for the same ‘Collections’ functionality that’s available on the older, black and white models. Some savvy users are re-purposing the Free Time app for this purpose. Free Time is intended to let parents set up separate groups of content for their kids to use under different usernames, but there’s nothing stopping the user from setting up usernames for each different genre of book and grouping their libraries that way. I don’t necessarily recommend it though, because Amazon is working on a *real* Collections function for an upcoming software release and it would be a pain to go through all that trouble and then have to do it all over again when the *real* function is released. As for Archiving, the Cloud is intended to serve as an archive. Many users set up an account at Goodreads.com (it’s free) and use the ‘To Be Read’, ‘Currently Reading’ and ‘Read’ list functions there to keep track of their libraries.

  4. Comment by Elizabeth Dodd:

    But the book I got on my Kindle that duplicates a print book I have does NOT have the “refund” option. Why is that?

  5. Comment by paulette atkins hicks:

    Good to know this since I will be purchasing a Kindle in the next month!

  6. Comment by Josephine Cox:

    Thank you good to know

  7. Comment by Diane Whiteford:

    Wish I had known this before I got my Kindle. Is there anyway to transfer from the Kindle to cloud??

    • Comment by Mom:

      Everything you buy is also stored in the Cloud by default, so you should never have to transfer from your Kindle or Fire to the Cloud.

      Login to your Amazon account, then follow the ‘Manage Your Kindle’ link from the My Account drop-down box. On the Manage Your Kindle screen, you’ll see every piece of Kindle content you’ve ever bought. So long as you’ve never purposely deleted anything from this My Account > Manage Your Kindle screen, you can delete anything you like from your Kindle or Fire and be secure in the knowledge that a copy is there in the Cloud for you, anytime you want to access it in the future.

  8. Comment by Nancy:

    I checked this out tonight on my account and the only drop downs I had were for my 2 Kindles, my PC, and Android App or Transfer to Computer. This is under the Buy with 1 click. There is no Kindle Cloud reader option. Can you tell me when this option is supposed to have started being available because I’d like to use it! Is anyone else having this issue? Do I need to call Amazon?

    • Comment by Mom:

      It’s supposed to be in the drop down list. Are you sure you’ve scrolled all the way down the list? If so, and you’re not seeing it, then yes: contact Amazon customer support.

  9. Comment by Leigh Phillips:

    Hello! I purchased a kindle book two weeks ago and then realized I had already read it. When I saw your blog, i was delighted to think I could return it, however, when I went to my account and clicked on the book, it did not give me several of the options you mentioned, including return this book. Is this really a valid kindle option Thank you.

  10. Comment by Tori Garvey Manzi:

    Amazon’s policy on the site says 7 days after purchase…..

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