Online retailer Amazon will block Australian customers buying from its US stores, as well as other International stores, after new GST rules come into effect on July 1st.
Amazon recently announced that they will prevent Australians shopping from their International stores, which frequently have cheaper goods and a wider range compared to the Australian store.
From the 1st of July, Australian customers who visit an International store, will be redirected to the Australian site, which has been running for nearly a year.
The move is a response to GST’s new policy, that will apply 10% tax to all overseas purchases under $1,000. It was announced by the Turnbull government last year in order to “level the playing field” between Australian and overseas retailers.
However, Amazon previously criticised the policy for being unfair. They argue that delivery companies (such as Australia Post) should pay the tax, instead of the stores.
“We have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple international sites,” An Amazon spokeswoman stated. “From July 1st we will be redirecting Australian customers from our international Amazon sites to amazon.com.au.”
Some International products will still be available on a new platform called “The Global Store”, but compared to Amazon’s international stores, the variety will be much smaller. While ‘The Global Store’ currently has around 4 million items, the American store has approximately 500 million.
The ban applies to all shipments to Australia addresses, and while some customers have VPNs (visual private networks) that hide their location and allow access to an International store, they’ll still not be able to get the items shipped to their home. If they wish for an International product, they will have to send it to an overseas address and arrange for it to be forwarded from there.
Amazon Australia launched in December last year, but did not have the immediate initial impact that was expected, and prices were criticised for being far too high in comparison to local competitors and the international stores.
Many Australians are understandably not happy about this, with one particular Twitter using expressing worry about not being able to access his Amazon store that sells to US customers.
Depending on the process Amazon use to block Australians, I may not be able to access my amazon store that sells into the US.
…that was meant to increase my income. I would pay more tax here (something I was happy to do).
I'm currently trying to find out from Amazon.
— W (@WarWraith) May 31, 2018
I see Amazon have decided they will stop shipping to Australia from their US store on July 1 because something something tax something.
If you think that'll make me use your overpriced and *very* understocked AU store, gosh you have another thing coming.
— Cameron (@camulust) May 31, 2018
A spokesperson from eBay, Amazon’s main competitor, said that the online store will not block Australian customers, nor direction, and that the company are working on a solution that will “enable Aussies to continue to shop from all eBay sites, while also capturing the required GST.”
We all know Amazon don’t like the principle of tax (as reported many times before), but it seems a little unfair to ban Australian customers over it, don’t you think?
Story by Emily Clark
Featured Photo Credit: ForwardtoFBA