With the GST being applied to all products bought online from overseas from July, Amazon has announced it will no longer ship from its overseas sites to addresses in Australia from that date.
Instead, Australians shopping on Amazon sites such as amazon.com and amazon.co.uk will be redirected to the Australian site, amazon.com.au, known as the Amazon Global Store.
“We have taken this step 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,” Amazon said.
While the Australian site offers about 60 million products across 23 categories including books, toys, fashion, beauty, homewares and electronics, it’s only a fraction of the 480 million products available on amazon.com.
This is likely to drive traffic to Amazon’s Australian site which has not had a big take-up here since it was launched in December because of its thinner product range and uncompetitive prices.
The strategy could also benefit competitor eBay which this week announced it would be offering Australian online shoppers free delivery and returns in competition with Amazon.
“You have to wonder if they are trying to funnel more traffic to its Australian website,” National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb told Reuters.
Australian consumers will only be able to shop on Amazon’s US and UK sites if they have orders sent to an address in the US or UK or use an online freight forwarding service.