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Amazon Launches new Installment Plan Offer for Kindle Fire, Kindle

AmazonInstallements-400x32[1] must be pleased with the response to the installment plan pilot test they ran back in December, because they’ve just launched a very similar program.

The retail giant is now offering prospective Kindle owners the chance to buy a Kindle or Kindle Fire on an installment plan. The deal is good for all of Amazon’s ebook readers and Android tablets, and it spreads the cost across 5 payments.

A fifth of the price, plus taxes and shipping, is due when you order the device and the rest of the cost is paid in 4 monthly installments. That’s a little different from the installment plan Amazon tested in December; that older plan spread 4 payments out over several quarters, not months. And that older program was only good for the Kindle Fire HDX.

The basic Kindle can be had for 5 payments of  $13.80 (plus tax and shipping), while the Kindle Fire HD costs $27.80 per payment. You can find more information, and apply for the plan, on Amazon.

Are sales of Amazon’s hardware slowing down, do you think?

When I wrote about that plan in December I argued that it was not a sign that Amazon had excess stock; it only included a single model and was not open to everyone, so it was arguably an experiment.  But now that all of Amazon’s hardware is available for low monthly payments, you have to wonder whether they are getting worried about sales.

The Passive Voice

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fjtorres March 14, 2014 um 5:13 pm

They might be worried about sales or they might be trying to reach other demographics.
$14 a month is something a kid can buy with their allowance. (Or off a paper route or mowing lawns or errands.)
Not everybody interested in buy now-pay later has access to credit cards.

(A long time ago I used a similar program to buy my first scientific calculator for college, back when they cost about as much as today’s tablets and before inflation made such a price an impulse buy.)

Nate Hoffelder March 14, 2014 um 5:31 pm

Yes, but don’t these kind of plans require credit approval? I don’t think a kid would qualify. Also, I would think the overhead is higher than on a straight retail sale, which could be why Amazon passed on it until now.

fjtorres March 14, 2014 um 6:08 pm

From your own link above: 🙂

"Make your first payment at checkout. Pay the remaining balance in four equal monthly installments.

No interest
No finance charges
No hidden fees
No credit check or application required"

A kid could use Amazon Gift cards (available at all sorts of B&M locations) to pay for the reader and to buy ebooks afterwards.

Fbone March 14, 2014 um 6:28 pm

Amazon’s terms are as follows:

"To be eligible for this offer, you must reside in the United States of America, your account must have been active for at least two years and you must have a valid credit card associated with your account that expires no earlier than June 30, 2014. Residents of Florida and the District of Columbia are not eligible for this offer.

You authorize us to charge each payment to the credit card you use to make your initial payment or, if we are unable to complete a charge using such credit card, to any other credit card we have on file in your account. Please do not use a debit card to make your initial payment. You agree to maintain in your account at least one valid credit card that expires no earlier than 20 days after your last payment due date."

Heather March 15, 2014 um 8:21 pm

Wow, that’s starts sounding like Amazon is feeling around for their 'best' customers again. Sorta like raising the minimum spending bar for free shipping.

My take, in general? Someone at Amazon is bored. And they will try anything new to regain your attention or get their hooks into for SOMETHING.

Even if a new company sprang full grown from the ground, to compete with Amazon, they are nothing, now, but the sixth trad publisher. They got nada to worry about. Nada.


fjtorres March 14, 2014 um 8:12 pm

Well, now. That kinda defeats the whole exercise: the only people who could benefit are those with nearly maxed out credit cards.
Nothing to see then. Time to move along.

Chris Meadows March 15, 2014 um 11:34 am

Or those who don’t want to have to pay interest to their credit cards assuming they can keep the balance paid off each month.

Syn March 16, 2014 um 4:09 pm

Hard for Kobo, BN or even Apple to compete with that offer. I think Amazon is just a marketing genius. I myself don’t need one or have kids that would need one, but if I did. This might spur a few birthday and pre-Christmas gift purchases too.

My other thoughts are the kindle sales have slowed down? Or they are trying to reduce a lot of stock before the next one comes out, but that’s still six months away.

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