Amazon Rankles Australian Customers by Pushing Them to a Local Site

Amazon Rankles Australian Customers by Pushing Them to a Local Site

Amazon Rankles Australian Customers by Pushing Them to a Local Site

Amazon is set to block Australian consumers from buying products from its overseas e-commerce sites in response to the nation's good and services tax changes.

In a statement about the change, Amazon said it regretted "any inconvenience this may cause customers". This rule now exists, but only on purchases over $1000.

Amazon announced plans to block Australian users from ordering from its main United States store (Amazon.com) and will redirect customers to its local Australian site (Amazon.com.au) instead.

It may also benefit Amazon's main rivals, from California-headquartered online market eBay to smaller Australian merchants which had campaigned to have the GST apply to all goods shipped from overseas.

Ms. Wong, the visually impaired Amazon customer, said the company's main site offered products she just couldn't get from Australian retailers, including many created to help visually impaired people like her.

Amazon has decided that rather than try to collect Australia's Goods and Services Tax (GST), it's going to force locals to shop only at its Australian store.

"This isn't an anti-trade move by the Australian government", he said.

'Australian consumers have become quite accustomed to purchasing from large overseas retailers, Amazon begin the biggest example but also department stores like Nordstrom's, Macy's, and global retailers like ASOS, ' he said.

It is understood that Amazon baulked at the massive administrative burden of tracking Australian GST from all overseas transactions.

"I've been pushing for this for years", he said, adding: "Retailers like Amazon and their subsidiary the Book Depository have been able to avoid collecting G.S.T. from Australian customers whereas we are legally bound to collect, so immediately we are at a disadvantage".

At 1422 AEST, shares in local e-commerce site Kogan.com were up 11 cents, or 1.2 per cent, at $9.18, while shares of electronics retailers JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman were up about 2.3 per cent and 1.0 per cent, respectively.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the new laws "level the playing field for Australian businesses".

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