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Wooh! I have been stressed out today. I had some Amazon gift cards that I had already applied to my account but when I logged in they were gone! Right when I was about to buy Christian’s birthday gift. Ugh! So I called Amazon to figure it out. Apparently I had two accounts under the same email address but with different passwords. I didn’t even know that was possible! But I got it figured out and just ordered Christian’s gift — a Kindle Fire.

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I had REALLY been wanting to get him an iPad so that he would be able to play some educational games and watch Netflix. I figured it would be something he could enjoy that would also serve the dual purpose of keeping him busy when I am working. But the price tag for the iPad was a bit more than I felt comfortable spending right now.

So last week my friend posted a video of her son playing a learning game on a tablet. The game seemed cool and Christian was actually trying to play along with it on the video. So I asked her if that was an iPad. She completely surprised me by saying that it was a Kindle Fire. Now, I really didn’t know anything about the Kindle Fire. I thought it was just an e-reader. But she told me that it has all kinds of cool features. So I started doing my research.

Compared to the features of the iPad that I actually wanted (mainly wifi capabilities and apps) the Kindle is pretty darn cool. But there are so many other great features:

The Kindle Fire is 7 inches and lightweight — which is great for Christian’s little hands. It has a touchscreen so it is interactive. The screen is also supposed to be scratch resistant. Awesome!

As far as content, it looks like Christian will have plenty to keep him entertained (and learning). In addition to the eBooks and audio books I expected, it offers music, video streaming, and countless apps, including Netflix and games galore. The one I got also includes a subscription to Freetime Unlimited which seems to be a great service for kids’ content.  It features 1000’s of books, videos, games, and apps that are specially selected for kids aged 3-8. I believe it comes with a one month free trial and then a minimal monthly payment if you want to keep it. And I am SURE it costs less for unlimited apps than it would to buy them individually. FreeTime is free and Unlimited would cost me between $2.99-$4.99 per month.

With the Kindle Fire you can set up different profiles. So things that I have access to on the device won’t necessarily be accessible for him. It also just makes it easier to keep things separate.

 

Also, they have a pretty cool feature called immersion reading which will help when Christian starts learning to read. It will synchronize written text with an audible voice track so he can see and hear the words at the same time when reading. Speaking of books, there over 1000 popular children’s books to choose from.

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The Kindle Fire has a huge library of tv shows and movies for kids of all ages. Plus they have a Netflix app which I will definitely be downloading since I have a subscription.  It also has a ton of free and paid apps for kids that I can download.

Ok, so let’s talk money.

A brand new Kindle Fire costs $159.99 at Best Buy. At first I was considering buying a used one but I have never bought any major  used electronics before — let alone online. I didn’t want to risk it. So I opted for a refurbished one. Refurbished electronics are technically pre-owned, but they have been tested and certified so that they look and work like new. They come with the manual, accessories, and new packaging. On top of that, they also come with a one-year limited warranty just like a brand new Kindle Fire. I feel a lot more comfortable with that than buying from a random person online.

I found a certified refurbished Kindle Fire for $99.99 on Amazon. I had a $45 gift card credit on my account (as I mentioned earlier). So that automatically knocked my price down. to $54. I balked at the idea of how much I was going to have to pay in shipping to get it here in time.Christian’s bithday is Tuesday and his partyis on Saturday. I [lan on leaving town on Thursday or Friday to prepare for the party so I needed it to be here before then. So I was thinking I was going to have to pay a pretty penny for expedited shipping. Luckily I was given the option for free 2 day shipping.

If I agreed to do a 30 day trial membership of Amazon Prime I could select 2 day shipping (which would guarantee the arrival of the Kindle Fire no later than Wednesday. I googled Amazon Prime to see what it is all about. It seems pretty cool, actually. You get unlimited access to thousands of movies and tv shows. You get access to thousands of bestselling Kindle books. And whenever you shop on Amazon you get free 2 day shipping. It sounded like a great program, but before I chose the option I called Amazon (they have really fast and effective customer service, by the way) and asked about the trial membership. I wanted to be 100% sure that there were no strings attached. If I wanted to cancel, I didn’t want there to be any fine print I was unaware of. Once I was assured of that, I went ahead and signed up for the free trial. So for the next 30 days I will have access to all of the features– for free. My plan is to watch movies and tv shows that aren’t available on Netflix. I only subscribe to the streaming service so there are a lot of movies that I can’t watch on Netflix. And who know, I may decide that the program is worth the $79.99 annual fee.

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So, since I got free shipping I ended up only paying $54 total out of pocket for what is essentially a new Kindle Fire for Christian. Yay! 😀

Now that isn’t the only good thing to come out of today. When I was still frantic about where in the world my $45 in gift card credit disappeared to a posted a Facebook status asking if anyone was selling their Kindle Fire for cheap. A friend said that she had an iPad 3 that she could sell me. She hasn’t even been using it because she has other devices. It’s just been sitting there! She said she could sell it to me for $250. Score! It’s a win-win for both of us. She gets $250 and I get something that I have been wanting for a loooong time to be able to run my business on the go. And I get it for a pretty great discount. Yay! Everything worked out great! I got Christian his gift and will be getting mine later. Woot!

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