feature-booktime._V304875542_If you’ve been considering picking up an e-ink Kindle, now would be a good time. Amazon is currently running a $20-off sale on several e-ink Kindle models. You can get a brand new Paperwhite with Special Offers for $100 instead of the usual $120. The Kindle for Kids Bundle (an ad-free plain-vanilla e-ink Kindle, a case, and a 2-year warranty) is $80 instead of $100, and the plain-vanilla e-ink Kindle with Special Offers is $60 instead of $80. The $200 Kindle Voyage isn’t included in the sale. The sale is good through October 21. (They should also be good at places that price-match Amazon and sell Kindles, such as Best Buy or Fry’s Electronics.)

One other thing that interested me is that Amazon is offering an installment plan on its two most-expensive models. [Update: Or not, see below.] They may have been doing this for a while now and it’s just the first time I noticed, but I see that you can get the Paperwhite via five monthly payments of $20, or the Voyage for five payments of $40. The most interesting thing about this is that they’re not charging any interest or financing fees on the installments. (Well, I suppose they do cost one penny more, given that you pay five times $20 for a device that’s technically priced at $99.99.)

That means that they’re theoretically losing a little money on each sale, given that it’s axiomatic in business that money you have to wait longer to get is worth a little less—that’s why charge interest in the first place. But when you’re talking about amounts of $100 or $200, you’re not losing all that much money. Anyway, thanks to agency pricing, Amazon has a pretty healthy profit margin on big-publisher e-books now—so it’s that give-away-the-razors-and-sell-the-blades thing again.

Besides, consumers know installments usually cost extra, too, which means they could look on these Kindle installments as a savings themselves. And the ability to split their payment up and not pay anything extra has got to be an appealing option, especially to people who have a hard time parting with an extra $100 or $200 all at once.

[Update: As noted in the comments below, it turns out that Amazon is only offering the installment plan selectively. Amazon support told Todd Pack they “randomly select customers” to receive the offer, though I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the offer isn’t so much “random” as it is based on particular criteria about a customer’s recent purchase history and such. Given that I recently ordered both a Kindle Paperwhite and a 7” Fire, I suspect those device purchases could be what put me on Amazon’s short list for getting offered an easy way to buy more devices.]

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TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.


  1. Todd, it was right below the list price with the Amazon Prime logo next to it. It said in fine print, “or in five monthly installments of $20.”

    I didn’t see it while not logged into my Amazon account when I checked just now, but did see it when I was. It’s possible, now that I think of it, that it might be a Prime member only offer. I don’t know.

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