Overseas sellers decreasing in numbers in readiness for collecting the GST?

Most of us who use Amazon must have noticed by now that when you get to checkout there is mention of the GST, in preparation for when our government forces overseas sellers to become tax collectors. How many have noticed that the number of sellers willing to post to Australia has dramatically decreased since that announcement was made? This is not only noticeable on Amazon, but also Ebay, where postage prices from the US have risen much faster than postage has gone up in the US, presumably also in anticipation of this move and the extra work involved in selling to Australia. At this rate, the government will not need to collect GST revenue, which was always going to cost more than the revenue raised, because only a few brave companies will be willing to risk selling to Australians, and this will force more and more of us to use convenience addresses in the US; it so happens that Australia Post provides one of them with more features than any rivals, though I haven’t checked to see exactly what is on offer, but presumably tracking is included. The other services were very basic.


From the thread “Australia post Tracking ‘Service’ What a con”, that value could be huge. :smiley:

A timely post but this morning I got an unsolicited email from Sears.com advising me they now ship to Australia complete with an online account number for me to populate my details :expressionless:

Large companies would be in a situation to handleGST collection through their sophisticated and customised accounting programs that would calculate what tax is owed, much like our accounting packages over here calculate the GST, super, and other compulsory and voluntary deductions from wages and sales and generate the necessary financial reports. Smaller sellers are less likely to be able to this, particularly if they rely on Amazon, Paypal and their banks to keep track of their financial records for their online sales. While Amazon will collect GST, so its not going to affect their own sales, I haven’t yet seen a similar notification on Ebay, Sellfy and other small specialist sales platforms, which are mostly hosted in the US. It does depend on what one is buying, but I have noticed that over the last few months the numbers of small speciality sellers willing to post to Australia who use Ebay and Amazon as online platforms for their B & M stores has decreased. The small self-publishing platforms may also be badly hit, as will be Indie artisans, artists, and others who fill a small but specific niche.These are people who sell items one would not normally go looking for in a Sears catalogue, any more than I would expect to find them in Harvey Norman and they are going to find collecting tax on behalf of the ATO a burden, particularly if they have to file quarterly returns that can be programmed into any competent accounting package.
As for trusting AP to run an efficient delivery service, less said the better! I have used convenience addresses, but its easier to use a friend unless you have a lot of items to regularly come over in small packages.
Sears advertising deliveries to Australia will have a lot to do with an IT upgrade, but the more companies that do that, the more choice we get, as long as nobody minds losing their warranties. Larger companies can also use Fedex and other courier services and bypass Australia Post.