Amazon has announced to it’s Aussie customers that the “Shipping Options have changed” for their global stores – which essentially means you can’t shop at Amazon in the US any more.
The email to customers states that “As a result of changes to Australian GST law, on 1 July 2018 Amazon’s international shopping options for Australian customers will change.
While we regret any inconvenience this may cause, from 1 July we will be redirecting Australian customers from our international Amazon sites to amazon.com.au where you can shop for products sold by Amazon US on the new Amazon Global Store, available today. We have taken this step to to provide our customers with continued access to international selection and allow us to remain compliant with the law which requires us to collect and remit GST on products sold on Amazon sites that are shipped from overseas.”
Now, call me a cynic here, but I call BS on this. Adding GST to purchases is a difficult ask for millions of shops around the world, so I’d accept it if the odd retailer here or there shuts down Aussie shipping – but Amazon is a marketplace, a single store, single checkout for millions of items.
I shopped on Amazon’s US store for the first time just last week – five items, all from random different retailers and I made one purchase.
Amazon can simply charge the GST on that purchase, and account it back to the Australian Government as required.
What’s really going on here is clear from the next paragraph of their email:
Amazon Global Store will allow Australian customers to shop on amazon.com.au for over four million items that were previously only accessible on amazon.com. This selection is in addition to the more than 60 million products that are already available on amazon.com.au across 23 categories, including books, fashion, toys, and electronics.
Yep, they want you on amazon.com.au – you see these two sites operate independently of each other. You won’t see the same products on Amazon.com.au – plus, there’s a question over the success of Amazon.com.au in Australia since it’s launch.
So shutting down Aussie buyers from going global means they are more likely to shop locally.
Problem is – the Aussie store is rubbish. There’s nothing like the range there – yep, its growing, but the range is poor, and the prices are extraordinary.
Last week, I purchased items in the $20-$25 USD price range, which are listed in Australia for over $100!
So yes, the Government’s GST change is a big one for global retailers, but of all of them – Amazon is the best equipped to handle it, and I call BS on it being a requirement of their business to knock back Aussie buyers. As leaders in the global e-commerce economy, if it’s in a warehouse in the US and we’re willing to pay the postage – ship it here!!
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.