Does the Kindle make you spend more money?

by Nick on December 16, 2013

Business woman reading ebook device and lookingThere are few things I dislike more than impulse purchases.

Aside from the things that cause great human suffering in the world, impulse spending is definitely in my top five “things I can’t stand,” neck and neck with “people who take better care of their dogs than their kids” and tomatoes.

Well a new survey of Kindle owners caught my attention the other day because it concluded that Kindle owners spend $443 more on Amazon each year than Amazon members who don’t own Kindles.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean Kindle owners actually spend more money than non-kindle owners in general. Just that they spend more “on Amazon.”

Plus, it makes sense that people who have a Kindle buy more books (and at Amazon) than people who don’t have a Kindle.

As you can tell, I’m skeptical of 73% of statistics.  But $443 per year is a lot of money that suggests there are some impulse or convenience purchases in there…

So the survey does bring up an interesting question.

Does the Kindle make you spend more money?

I have the Kindle Fire HD.  I absolutely LOVE it.  I’m pretty sure I read more books last year with it than the five years before I had it combined.

And I definitely spend a lot of time on Amazon.

But, while I have read a lot more, I haven’t bought a lot more books than I normally would.

In fact, I probably bought less, since I take advantage of the free best sellers kindle books section almost daily and hit up the general best sellers section to catch deep discounts when they’re available.

How about you?  Do you have a Kindle?

If so, do you find yourself spending more time (and money) on Amazon? And did that replace other spending?


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

DC @ Young Adult Money December 16, 2013 at 8:48 am

Another thing to think about is that if you have a Kindle you are more likely buying more books, but they are e-books so they are cheaper than physical books. I don’t have a kindle or a tablet for that matter and I hope if I bought one I wouldn’t spend more, but the statistics apparently say otherwise.


Nick December 16, 2013 at 9:43 am

I buy about the same, but I read way more because of all the free ones. I don’t mind redirecting spending to Amazon, but it would irk me if I let it guide me to spend more for sure.


Jon @ MoneySmartGuides December 16, 2013 at 9:38 am

I don’t have a Kindle, but I was going to point that you can get a lot of free books on Amazon with the Kindle. Maybe these people read books that aren’t offered as free and therefore spend more. Or it could be impulse buys haha!


Nick December 16, 2013 at 9:45 am

Yeah, most of the books I read are free. It’s awesome. I don’t find the on-kindle purchase interface that great, so most of my buys are online, which is much easier for finding the freebies.


H @ Minding My Cents December 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm

No, we don’t have a Kindle but I’m thinking of getting one. My kids love e-books and I heard if you get a Kindle you get access to a library of kids books for free! I need to check that out cause that feature alone could save us tons.


Nick December 17, 2013 at 10:30 am

There are a ton of books for free, but you can get them with or without a Kindle because the kindle app is free and you can put it on basically any device. That being said, I love my Kindle and think it was worth every penny. It opened me up to read way, way more.


Moneycone December 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I don’t have a Kindle, but I can see the temptation! But if you do read what you buy, then I think it is worth it!


Nick December 17, 2013 at 10:31 am

Totally, especially if you’re reading high quality stuff. And even if you’re reading just to be entertained, there’s no crime in that either.


The First Million is the Hardest December 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm

I have a Kindle. I think it makes me spend more money only because I probably wouldn’t be buying books at all if I didn’t own one. Even still, I only buy a handful of books each year, typically when I see a big discount on something I’ve been meaning to read.

I can see how Kindle users spend a lot more on Amazon than your typical person. Especially if you have a Kindle fire, all your books, magazines and apps are purchased through Amazon. It adds up quick!


Nick December 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

Yeah… I’ve fought the temptation to buy too many books, but am the same with deeply discounted books (especially around this time). I do load up on the free ones that look good though.


jefferson @SeeDebtRun December 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm

The answer is most certainly yes. When I first bought my Kindle HD, which I love.. I started collecting books from many of my favorite categories.. Books on starting a business, books on the paleo diet, books on pop culture, etc etc…

Lucky for me, my 2 year old daughter has now made the kindle HERs, and since we already bought all of the little Panda toddler games (10 for about $1 each), there isn’t much else to buy! 🙂


Nick December 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

There are tons of the paleo books in the free section. I used to download them but there were just… too… many…

Business books are tough to resist when they’re on discount. But I’ve been managing so far.

I wonder if you can organize books by category… it would make it much easier for me. I’ll have to check that out.


valleycat1 December 23, 2013 at 10:26 am

If you’re talking about organizing books on your kindle by category, the answer is definitely yes. And the display of books overall can be sorted by collection name or alpha or by author. On my standard kindle the option is on the main menu (create new collection). Or go to the options for an individual book & select ‘add to collection’ – you can have a book in more than one if you want & can create new collections from there too, as I recall.


Nick December 23, 2013 at 10:33 am

Awesome! I need to set up some collections. Thanks for the heads up!


valleycat1 December 23, 2013 at 10:31 am

For us, having kindles hasn’t changed our total shopping bill, but as you said, we do tend to think more often about seeing if something is available on Amazon & often end up buying other items there. And, after the initial thrill of building a basic collection on the kindle died down, this year I have spent a LOT less on books for it than in the first year – most people seem to hit a set-point comfort level with how much they’ll spend on a given book or in a set amount of time.


Nick December 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

I think a lot of folks are like you in redirecting some purchases to Amazon from others. It’s a brilliant model Amazon has come up with, isn’t it!?!?!


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