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Amazon - Australian geo-blocking backflip

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by downer, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. downer

    downer Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Amazon forced into spectacular backflip

    Amazon has caved in to customer complaints, backflipping on its controversial decision to stop shipping to Australia from its US store.

    Earlier this year, Amazon announced it was introducing the change from July 1 in response to the Federal Government’s online GST changes, prompting a backlash from customers and then-Treasurer Scott Morrison.

    As of midnight Wednesday, just in time for the Black Friday sales, Amazon has reversed the decision.

    “As a result of customer feedback, from November 22 Amazon customers will be able to ship eligible items from Amazon.com to Australian delivery addresses,” an Amazon spokeswoman said.

    Eligible items are only those sold by Amazon on Amazon.com. Items sold by third-party sellers through its international stores are not yet covered by the technological fix.

    “Earlier this year, Amazon assessed changes to the Australian GST law as a global company with multiple international stores and, in order to remain compliant with the legislation, made the difficult decision to suspend exports from our international stores to Australia,” the spokeswoman said.

    “Following the announcement of these changes, we listened to the customer feedback and assessed how we could respond. Since that time, our teams have continued to focus their efforts on building the complex infrastructure needed to enable exports of low value goods to Australia and remain compliant with GST laws.

    “We are pleased to be able to offer Australian customers selection from Amazon.com, complementing the over 80 million products available on Amazon.com.au. This includes almost 20 million items from Amazon US through Global Store on amazon.com.au, many of which are eligible for fast, free shipping for Prime members in Australia.

    “We will continue to work constructively with the government on the implementation and enforcement of its legislation to ensure it achieves its objective of a level playing field for all retailers and marketplaces.”

    In June, Mr Morrison slammed the move, saying if Amazon wanted to “take their bat and ball and go home” Australians had “many other choices available to them”.

    “Of course we’re going to proceed with this,” he told reporters.

    “It’s $300 million estimated revenue that will be going to the states and territories for schools and hospitals. We think it’s a very fair and reasonable step and I know retailers have been wanting to see this for some time.

    “I find it hard to believe that one of the world’s most technologically advanced companies, two years later now say they’re unable to work out a technological solution when it comes to the simple application of a sales tax on their products in Australia. They face different VAT rates all around the world, UK, Canada.

    “I think it’s disappointing that Amazon will take this out on consumers in Australia but that’s their commercial decision. If they don’t like selling things into Australia because they don’t like paying tax, there are plenty of options here at home.”

    Amazon’s launch in December last year was widely seen as underwhelming — documents filed with the corporate regulator revealed a net loss of $9 million last calendar year — but the retailer has slowly but surely built out its product range.

    Jamil Ghani, vice president of Prime International, said last month Australia was “definitely one of the fastest out-of-the-gate launches that we’ve had” for the flagship $7-a-month subscription service.

    “We’ve been incredibly humbled by the strength of the response we’ve received from Australian shoppers,” he said.

    “The growth of the program has been brisk since June. It’s the most robust set of benefits we’ve had in any launch on day one and obviously we’re doubling down with further investments across shipping, shopping and entertainment.”
  2. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    I still can't work out what their issue with the GST was because when I buy from any Amazon site that isn't Amazon Canada I get charged "import taxes" automatically and it's been happening for some time. So I have no idea why they could do that for Canada but not Australia.
  3. Sticks

    Sticks Forum Resident

    downer, ashiya, Pizza and 1 other person like this.
  4. MichaelCPE

    MichaelCPE Forum Resident

    Fantastic news for us Aussies.

    Most of my Amazon orders were from Amazon UK, so it's great for me to be able to access this again.
    Cousin It and mark winstanley like this.
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    Good to hear. Wreaked havoc on gift giving between My parents and I
  6. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    That’s fantastic news! I was fearful that Amazon was going to eventually block all of us to our own region.
    Cousin It and mark winstanley like this.
  7. A win for consumer power.Reports suggested that Amazon's sales in Australia had fallen by over 90%.
    I am personally still going to give preference to other overseas retailers such as Importscd,JPC and Burning Shed where they can match Amazon's prices.I still carry a grudge over the geoblock!
    Cousin It, Sticks and Frightwig like this.
  8. Coogee

    Coogee Well-Known Member

    Anybody know when this comes into effect - I tried various Amazon sites and they are still blocked.
    Jimmy Agates likes this.
  9. hazard

    hazard Forum Resident

    Well it's good news but everything will now cost 10% more so advantage of using Amazon is not as great as it was.
    Cousin It likes this.
  10. I have checked.Only American Amazon is going to be unblocked.We will still be blocked from all the others.
    Another epic Amazon fail.
    downer likes this.
  11. Coogee

    Coogee Well-Known Member

    Thanks Alan57 - agree! the UK and other European sites are often the best deals in Oz.
  12. Frightwig

    Frightwig Forum Resident

    Good news but only half way there - I won't stop bothering Jeff Bezos until the UK site is opened up as well.
    Cousin It, iloveguitars and downer like this.
  13. Sticks

    Sticks Forum Resident

    But still significantly cheaper (and with a far greater range) than the Australian stores which have been ripping off consumers here for ages. A trip to the UK years ago was a real eyeopener for me as to how Australians are ripped off with entertainment and food.

    Major bummer about no access to Amazon UK at this point.
    hazard and Archguy like this.
  14. Sticks

    Sticks Forum Resident

    I think it's a bit of a stretch for that news article to say that Amazon have been forced into a spectacular back flip. Amazon have simply made a pragmatic decision. The Australian revenue would be just a drop in the ocean to Amazon but they do want that drop.
    shadowhillway likes this.
  15. downer

    downer Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Agreed - in the overall scheme of things, the Australian market isn't on par with US or various Euro sites, but they will have seen the drop in revenue generated internationally out of Australia, and not being made up on the AU site.

    Their whole stance on it (not collecting GST for the Oz government) was ridiculous considering they have to deal with different tax law across the rest of the world, even within the US itself across different states - I believe they thought they'd easily channel the majority of sales thru AU, but range, availability and service didn't follow through (well, certainly in our market - I'd be interested in hearing how reliable 'other goods' availability and service has been...)

    I'm still done with them after the last couple of debacles - this US site availability is a step in the right direction, but until they restore geo-access globally (on which I will continue to voice my opinion to them), I'll still be shopping elsewhere.
    Dave, Frightwig, Sticks and 2 others like this.
  16. Frightwig

    Frightwig Forum Resident

    I think they've lost a lot of trust with the record buying public in Australia but, as I've said before, the Australian version of Amazon is really good for dog biscuits and dishwasher tablets if you got their cheap prime membership offer earlier in the year. As far as preorders and music delivery goes, they were and still are farcical. I do wonder how much that has to do with the Universal and Warners whose own shopfronts leave a lot to be desired.
  17. shadowhillway

    shadowhillway Active Member

    Washington DC
    is Scott Morrison known as a blowhard?
  18. Jimmy Agates

    Jimmy Agates Forum Resident

    This article wasn't even true. Australians do not have full access to the Amazon US site at all....
  19. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Greater Vancouver
    Perhaps try using a VPN and use a USA location. You should be able to use amazon.com then I would think.
  20. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    I think there would still be an issue with the delivery address if it was in Australia.
    E.Baba and Jimmy Agates like this.
  21. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Greater Vancouver
    You could be right but it hopefully could be different from a third party seller.
  22. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kinda guy.

    IMHO, this wasn't a great idea by Amazon. I used to be a prolific customer of US Amazon, but not now. The local site never took off and doesn't have the range of US Amazon.
    E.Baba and Jimmy Agates like this.
  23. MichaelCPE

    MichaelCPE Forum Resident

    I used to buy a HUGE amount from Amazon UK (music and movies).

    On the bright side their decision to block this site from those down under has saved me a lot of money.
    John Buchanan likes this.
  24. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kinda guy.

    Yes, although I now spend it all on Discogs and Import CDs purchases.
  25. E.Baba

    E.Baba Forum Resident

    Yep, I'm still pissed off about it and it motivates me to buy elsewhere, although virus has made it very hard to get anything international.

    Whole country Geoblocked by Amazon !

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