3 Ways to Buy the New Kobo Forma eReader in the USA

Kobo Forma

Kobo’s latest ebook reader, the 8-inch Kobo Forma, is now shipping. It officially gets released on October 23rd.

There are three places you can order a Kobo Forma from in the United States. Each has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages.

Unfortunately if you live in the US there isn’t going to be anywhere you can go to see one in person before buying.

Kobo’s Walmart partnership has turned out to be rather half-assed so don’t expect any to show up on display at Walmart stores anytime soon, if ever.

However, you can have the Kobo Forma shipped to your local Walmart to pickup in-store, and if there’s any problem with it you could easily return it at the store instead of having to ship it back to Canada, where Kobo is based.

Ways to Order a Kobo Forma

Kobo.com – You can order Kobo ereaders directly from Kobo’s website. Shipping is free so the price of the Kobo Forma is $279.99 total plus tax if applicable. The last two times I ordered from Kobo their shipping was fast and the package was delivered by UPS and required a signature.

Chapters.Indigo – They are based in Canada but ship to the US. This is the cheapest way to get a Kobo Forma in the US because they charge in Canadian dollars. Even when having to pay extra for shipping the price is closer to $250, depending on the current exchange rate, but be careful because some banks charge extra for foreign currency transaction fees (to bypass this you can use PayPal). My experience with ordering from Indigo is their shipping is much faster than the estimated date, but my last order got stalled at customs for an extra week compared to the Kobo order. My packages were delivered by the USPS and required a signature.

Walmart – Walmart is probably the fastest and easiest way to buy the Kobo Forma because you can return in to a store if something is wrong or if you decide you don’t like it. They also have free 2-day shipping, or you can pick it up at a local store. The only downside with ordering from Walmart is the added sales tax makes the price even higher. However, they offer a discount when using the in-store pickup option, which brings the price down to $262.83 before tax.

21 Responses to “3 Ways to Buy the New Kobo Forma eReader in the USA”

  1. I’m waiting for your review! any time soon?

  2. Whether the WalMart option is cheaper depends on sales tax in your area. I just added a Forma to my cart and clicked through enough to get the final price, including tax. Because of the sales tax rate in my area, the price is $0.08 (eight cents) cheaper going the WalMart route with store pickup. The ability to return it at a local store is a significant advantage.

    The Forma looks like a nice device, but I have some questions. The biggest one is will the plastic eInk tech make it susceptable to the light bleed problem experience on the early front lit readers? I believe that the plastic is BEHIND the display, so the Forma still probably has a glass layer over the screen so the answer to my question is probably “no”, but it would be nice to be sure before dropping $250 to $300.

  3. I’m actually trying to order the Clara HD from Walmart but it doesn’t seem to be available. Any idea?

  4. Hi Nathan–please report on highlighting & notetaking on this device. The deciding factor for me will be if Kobo still has its crazy-slow, “kinda works, but maybe you won’t care” standard of highlighting and notetaking. This dysfuctional note-taking (shortage of RAM/ too little processesing speed?) drove me bonkers with the HD Plus (c. 2014) and eventually into the waiting arms of android e-ink devices, which have distinct (web browser, etc.) advantages, but not the battery life and dependable sleep functions, of a Kobo. You did tested and commented on highlighting etc. with your Aura 1 review, I recall–that device still had Kobo’s signature crazy, half-broken highlighting (slow, balky, irregular) and note-taking, which are utterly crucial features in an ereader that Kindle has almost always gotten right.

    • It seems to have improved some with recent updates but I’ll make sure to test it a lot on the Forma.

      • Thanks! It is apparently up to you to spend some quality time on the Forma’s highlighting/ notetaking functions. I am suspicious because every video review or walk-through currently on-line does *not* spend any time actually performing these functions. One reviewer cautiously highlights one word and shows that the Kobo will kick into a dictionary window. Ok, great, but will it highlight and annotate?

  5. Ordering from Kobo in the US charges 279 but there is tax. At least there was a sales tax on my order. Though my state and city love sales tax.

    Pre-ordering for home delivery from launch day from the experience of people I know

    Kobo- shipped the next day estimated delivery to US location is the 22nd

    Indigo- shipping estimate 22nd with delivery on the 23rd to a location in Canada

    Walmart- shipping the 23rd with estimated delivery on the 25th.

    How this shakes out for orders after the Forma is released who knows. But I think Indigo might give Walmart a run for fastest and most convenient given how lackluster the kobo/Walmart deal seems to be.

    Though the lackluster deal didn’t stop Rakuten-Kobo from slapping Walmart on the registration screen for current firmware. So Walmart is getting something out of this. Hopefully Rakuten demands better store representation but I’m not holding my breath.

  6. I ordered the Forma directly from Kobo. It actually came up to be 1.00 more due to taxes from Kobo compared to Walmart. I have had fairly good experiences with Kobo and would rather order from them and wait for delivery than to trust it being delivered to a Walmart store. The people who work at the Walmart near me do not give any indication that they like their job or want to expend any extra energy to provide good customer service. I have also ordered from Indigo Chapters and had no problems at all. I ordered the Forma on the 16th and have received the shipping confirmation for delivery on the 24th.

    • And I am eating my words. I have ordered from Kobo before with no problems. My Forma was slated to be delivered on 10/24 but the UPS tracking number provided has shown no activity since the label was created on 10/19. Kobo said it was a UPS system issue – UPS says they never received the item to ship and now I am in limbo waiting for the escalated Kobo Team to determine what is going on. Walmart in my area is not offering the Forma – it is out of stock and the ‘alert me when back in stock’ button does not work. ☹️

      • Hopefully they get it sorted out. I’ve had that happen a couple times with Amazon this year where UPS just never seems to get the package. My order from Kobo ended up arriving a day earlier than expected.

  7. I wish Walmart would have floor demos of these in their stores. I’m skeptical of the Forma’s usability because the design is a bit weird. I’d have to see what it’s like in-person before buying it.

  8. Today I was in Indigo Toronto, they still they don’t have Forma in store.
    They told, probably next week.

  9. I just ordered it from indigo. Ended up being $246 and some change to Texas. They charged $21 CAD for shipping. The Oasis was $234 a week or so ago. Now it’s $284. The comfort light is the biggest thing for me. I have a PW2 and a Nook Glowlight 3. I prefer the nook at at night. But the Nook is so slow. I’ve already converted my Kindle books on Calibre. So I’ll be ready for the Kobo when it comes.

    • Hello, I am live in Texas too, so I am curious about how long did you received your Kobo? And what is the final cost including the custom tax charge? Thanks in advance!

      • The custom charge on my $279 Kobo was $41.85. It was also not noted on the website that this would happen (direct sale from Kobo). So far the response to this is customer no service.

        • I’ve never been charged for customs in the US so it depends on where you are ordering from.

        • Kobo has responded and said they will take care of the custom charges. I will update with what happens.

          • It was a long week but Kobo has taken care of the custom charges and I will be receiving my new e-reader with no extra costs. So, although the chat representatives are not much help because of their script the employees in the shipping department are great. They did what they promised and took care of everything.