Used Kindle – Getting the right Used Kindle

The Kindle WiFi is just $139 so a used Kindle isn’t as good of a deal as it used to be. You might still find a used Kindle to be a good fit.

First, let’s look at where you can get the best deal on a used Kindle if you decide to get one. Next, let’s look at the arguments in favor of the Kindle WiFi, the refurbished Kindle, and the used Kindle.

Used Kindle – Getting the best deal on a Used Kindle

Which used Kindle should you get?

First, here are your options -

  1. Used Kindle where Kindle is Kindle 2 International. This is almost certainly the best option. It works inside the US and outside the US. It uses AT&T’s network. In most cases – you should get this. It’s priced at $140 or more at Amazon while the refurbished version is occasionally available for $119 or so.
  2. Used Kindle 2 US – Refurbished Kindle for $110 is currently available. This is a decent option – It uses Sprint’s network and the 3G works only in the US. If you don’t travel much this is fine. Refurbished version is $110 and used ones are selling for a rather high $160.
  3. Used Kindle where Kindle is Kindle DX International. This is a good option if you want a larger screen Kindle. It works inside and outside the US and uses AT&T’s network. Used Kindles of the DX variety are available from $240 while refurbished versions are around $280 to $300.
  4. Used Kindle DX US – Refurbished Kindle DX for $220 is currently available. Just like the Kindle US this has 3G only inside the US and uses Sprint.

The Kindle 2 is great if you’re looking for a 6″ screen eReader and will mostly read books. The Kindle DX is great if you’re looking for a larger 9.7″ screen eReader that you’ll use for books, magazines, and newspapers. It’s good for PDFs too but the PDF support is limited.

Where should you get your used Kindle?

Always Amazon.

Your main options are – Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, from a friend, from another site. Amazon is the safest bet and also tends to have the best prices.

A few examples on used Kindle prices -

  1. Used Kindle 2 US – Refurbished at Amazon for $110. Used at Amazon for $160 and higher. Used at eBay for around $150.
  2. Used Kindle 2 – Refurbished not currently available. Used at Amazon for $140 to $150. Used at eBay for around $155.
  3. Used Kindle DX US – Refurbished at Amazon for $220. Used at Amazon for $240. Used at eBay for around $250 to $290.

The eBay prices are the ‘Buy it Now’ prices. Auctions also fall into a similar price range with the added danger of the price going up to unrealistic levels. At Craigslist you’ll waste a lot of time searching for deals and there’s zero security. 

Amazon is secure and always has a steady supply of used Kindles. Additionally, Amazon occasionally has refurbished Kindles available which are much cheaper and come with a one year warranty.

Used Kindle – Refurbished Kindle is a much better deal than the Used Kindle

Amazon offers the refurbished Kindle (Kindle 2) for $110 or $120. This is a much better option than buying a used Kindle for a few reasons -

  1. It’s refurbished by Amazon. 
  2. If you buy a refurbished Kindle from Amazon you get a 1 year limited warranty. 
  3. The price is much cheaper than the going price for used Kindles.
  4. It’s safe – no one is going to run away with your money or sell you a lemon.
  5. There’s a generous return policy – Usually 30 days and during holiday season its until the end of January.

Just to be crystal clear -

If you have to choose between a refurbished Kindle sold by Amazon with a one year warranty AND a used Kindle sold by a third party – ALWAYS choose the refurbished Kindle.

A refurbished Kindle at $110 is a much, much better deal and much safer than even a used Kindle at $90.

The problem is that availability of Refurbished Kindles varies a lot.

Refurbished Kindle availability – 11:23 pm on December 4th

  1. Refurbished Kindle 2 International – Not Available.
  2. Refurbished Kindle 2 US – It’s currently available for $110. Note that this uses Sprint’s network and 3G doesn’t work outside the US. It also came out earlier so the screen quality is a bit lower.
  3. Refurbished Kindle DX US – Available for $220. Just search for ‘refurbished kindle’ at Amazon.com and it’ll show up. Same qualifiers as for Kindle 2 US.
  4. Refurbished Kindle DX International – Not Available.
  5. Refurbished Kindle 1 – Not Available.

Note that refurbished versions of Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi are currently not being sold. These will probably appear around January or February 2011.

Used Kindle – Are you sure you wouldn’t rather get a Kindle WiFi?

The current price for a used Kindle (Kindle 2 international) is in the $140 to $150 range at Amazon. It’s even higher at eBay. You could pick it up at Craigslist but there’s little security.

Before going for a used Kindle you should make sure that the Kindle WiFi isn’t a better fit.

Reasons to get a used Kindle

The main reasons to prefer a used Kindle over a new Kindle WiFi -

  1. You get free 3G. This means you don’t have to depend on or look for WiFi hotspots. It also means free Kindle store browsing and free Internet browsing anywhere there is AT&T network coverage.
  2. If you live in the US you get free 3G even when you travel outside the US to one of the 100+ countries that have Kindle WhisperNet. 
  3. The newer Kindle WiFi might be too small for you. If you have bigger hands a Kindle 2 or Kindle DX is much better.
  4. It has smaller page turn buttons and the keyboard button placement is different – It’s easy to mistakenly press Menu and Back. Also, there are no number keys.
  5. You might not like that the Kindle WiFi is available only in graphite or you might prefer the look of the used Kindle (the white Kindle 2).

There are also a few reasons that are NOT good reasons to get a used Kindle -

  1. Low Price. If you’re paying $110 or more you might as well get a Kindle WiFi – unless you really need the 3G.
  2. Thinking you need a wireless connection to be able to read. Note that you only need 3G or WiFi to download books and to browse the Kindle Store and the Internet. You don’t need wireless connectivity while you’re reading books.
  3. Being concerned about Kindle WiFi complaints. There were a few issues at launch like freezing which are now mostly fixed. Also, Amazon instantly offers you a replacement if you get a faulty Kindle WiFi.
  4. That the user is promising books along with the Kindle. Those will be gone once you register the Kindle to your account.
  5. Kindle WiFi seems too small in size and too fragile. It does seem more fragile but after using it – there’s not really much of a difference.

Unless you’re getting a really good price (around $100) or really need the free 3G or really like the used Kindle 2 design and color it’s not a good idea to get a used Kindle instead of a Kindle WiFi.

Reasons to stick with Kindle WiFi

  1. It’s a 3rd generation Kindle with lots of new technology like the new eInk Pearl screen. A used Kindle is 2nd generation technology and it’s not as fast.
  2. At $139 Kindle WiFi is a good price. If you’re getting a $90 to $110 used Kindle it makes a bit of sense – But not at a higher price.
  3. It’s brand new and there’s a full 1 year warranty. Plus you’re buying it straight from Amazon.
  4. There’s a generous Holiday Return policy that lets you return Kindle WiFi until end of January 2011.
  5. You know for sure that it isn’t a stolen Kindle and it hasn’t been treated badly.

If you still feel you’d like a used Kindle then your first option should be getting a refurbished Kindle.

My recommendation would be to always get a Kindle WiFi unless you really need free 3G wireless. In that case always get a refurbished Kindle or Kindle US. A used Kindle should be your last option.

One Response

  1. I live in rural Delaware. Getting the Kindle WiFi is a waste since there isn’t a lot of places with free WiFi and using the 3G keeps me from having to use my really slow and download/upload limited satellite internet through Hughes Net. I think the 60 dollars are well worth it. I can buy books during my lunch break and read them since there is no public WiFi at work (blocked for security reasons). For government employees, people in rural area with 3g service available, and those traveling a lot, the Kindle with 3g Is a must.

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