Opinions on Amazon expanding their Australian business

Was listening to the news yesterday morning and heard an item that Amazon were going to move more into the Oz market by the end of the year . Just wondering what the opinions of other forum users are concerning this .


I just ordered 2 small $ products not available here in any form, and shipping was only $USD9.13. It is not all about GST or even prices in this case, although the item prices were sharp.

It depends on what Amazon does. Their original AU site was the original Amazon, ie broadly using the term, “books”. Not impressive if you don’t want “books”. If they essentially replicate the range of products available from the US site, fully for it. Then if Amazon provides the same level customer support it is a huge plus, and Amazon actually polices their US merchants when problems arise.

If they offer a limited range or typical dodgy AU-standard web site, it will be a wait and see.

My opinion is that our merchants do mostly lip service to on-line in many ways(1), although some have prospered anyway. Amazon’s standard could be a real awakening for them.

(1) not actually stocking items but acting as an order taker; web functionality; ignoring email; not answering phones; pretending to be AU while operating in HK, TW, CN, or other countries; etc.


Hi Mike

I’m all for it. You have no doubt read my moans elsewhere already about the woeful lack of on-line inventory/offerings and functionality when compared to o/s.

I think that Australian industry only pays lip service to on-line, and needs a swift kick up the clacker to motivate them out of their bricks and mortar mentality.

Equally, I am annoyed by the frequent ‘we do not deliver to your address’ messages from Amazon USA. It would be nice if they would act as conduit to complete range of products on offer from Amazon in the US.


Heya Tamas

I agree with you about the online industry here . I think if them moving in is good for the consumer then I look forward to it . Competition should , although sometimes it’s not he case , lead to better service and a broader product range .

I just hope the range of goods they present here is representative of their US site . Time will tell I guess .


Some of that is based on licensing constraints for distributors and other times where Amazon does not fulfill the order and the business ships direct but does not want to deal with customs forms and international shipping. When it appears to be the business you can usually find another supplier on Amazon happy to accommodate [unless it is a licensing issue for them].


My God after reading your link Tamas we will be in consumer "heaven " or the equivalent depending on your point of view :smile_cat:


It would be great to have a comparable Amazon Aust. Too often I have wanted to purchase from the US site, only to find the postage is astronomical, so I cannot then afford the product. I cannot reason why this is so when so many other countries their rates are reasonable. Admittedly other US sites postage is much the same, prohibitive.


When an independent merchant ships direct it can indeed be high. It depends on who fulfills the order, Amazon or an independent merchant.

My experience has been that most of the time Amazon shipping charges via DHL Global are cheap. My most recent order is probably about a kilo, $USD9.13 shipping, 3 weeks estimated delivery and has been typical.

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My concern is that they will follow all the others and charge 150-200%+ more for Australian orders on the same items. Their customer service is fantastic but I still would hold out for a trip to the US to shop if they are going to follow the crazy pricing trend.


A lot of items are controlled by regional distributors agreement.
While Amazon will definitely offer a lot of choices and low prices, not sure if any well known items would be as cheap as we wish to be. Would Amazon be a grey importer? be its own distributor? drop shipping?
or another special AUS pricing (aka AUS TAX) and GST on top AND shipping?
We will have to wait and see, I guess.


I placed an order on the 20th and it was delivered from the USA today, the 28th. $USD9.13 shipping. Excellent products, neither available in AU at any price.

My punt is Amazon AU might take some settling in, but even if they deliver at less than their US standards they will probably be so far above ours it won’t hurt their success.


My issue is will they pay their fair share of tax on their profits made here or will they be like so many other multinationals and pay nil or near enough to nil.


As I often write, our governments’ positions over years has been consistent. We are here to feed profits and to expect little to nothing in return beyond what we get to hold in our hands from a transaction.

I try to do business with “locals” and sometimes will consciously pay a premium to do so. But day-to-day, considering the standards of most of our “locals” I would rather do business with a tax minimising multinational that provided me with good products, good prices, and good service, than an arrogant “let the suckers be had because it is all about GST” mentality, where they are dismissive about product range, over the top pricing, and taking care of us customers (excepting during their marketing spin).


I’m all for it. Especially if it creates more jobs in the warehouse spaces(s).


It doesn’t create many jobs normally. They have very automated services in most warehouses see:

They do hire humans but many jobs are for tech, management and similar.

Also consider that they are going to create a further 100,000 jobs in the US over the period to 2018 which is about a 55% increase in their current workforce there. So for the market they support out of the US they employ very few people in comparison. Australia isn’t anywhere near that market size so employment opportunities will be very few.


I use Amazon regularly for things I cannot find here because it is a convenient one stop shop; the US website already converts purchases into the Aussie dollar for me, so what Amazon would do here would have to be an improvement on what exists in the US now. I don’t know if an Aussie would be able to set up shop on Amazon US at the moment, but I assume they can, though they would have to be highly competitive.
If all we get is a very parochial amazon-lite, then big-wow, I shall continue to use the US site to get the range of items and books I look for that I cannot get here. But if they force us to use Amazon-au like they force us to with Kindle, then I can live without Amazon and the limited range of goods available in Australia, because between Fishpond, Bookdepository and Ebay, I can often get it cheaper elsewhere.


in the case of non-delivery there is always the option of using amazon UK or Germany, sometimes a cheaper option anyway.


I have purchased items from an Australian website but this can take up to 6 weeks for delivery. One item was never delivered and when I queried it, was told that they would credit the amount to my account but this had to be used within 12 months. The same thing has happened again with an item delivered damaged.
Not all, but many of our websites do need more competition,


That is the worry I have, another big multi-national. Who will minimum tax in this country with all the profits going off shore?