How Amazon's changes will affect online shopping landscape

·2-min read

From July 1, when the new GST regulations start, local customers will only be able to purchase goods from the Australian Amazon website, which launched in 2017.

There may be ways for people to still purchase goods from the US site via a Virtual Private Network and freight forwarder, but a marketing expert has told Yahoo7 the law change should have minimal impact on Australian online shopping.

Gary Mortimer, Associate Professor in Marketing and International Business at the Queensland University of Technology, said that while a VPN or freight forwarding could work for desperate shoppers, the legalities surrounding both options can be a “grey area” as international purchases aren’t under Australian consumer law.

From July 1 Australian customers will only be able to purchase goods from the local Amazon website and will be blocked from the US site. Photo: Getty
From July 1 Australian customers will only be able to purchase goods from the local Amazon website and will be blocked from the US site. Photo: Getty

While there has been an uproar over the block to Australian consumers, Mr Mortimer believes it will only affect a small number of people.

“At the end of the day, the numbers show there isn’t many people spending a lot of money overseas,” he told Yahoo7.

“80 per cent of what we’re buying online we buy domestically.”

He said he does not think the average Australian consumer will go to the trouble of using a VPN or freight forwarder to access the US Amazon site.

Instead, Mr Mortimer thinks it will shift more people to sites such as eBay and AliBaba.

It is expected the Amazon change will have little impact on the Australian market. Photo: Getty
It is expected the Amazon change will have little impact on the Australian market. Photo: Getty

“Geo-blocking will affect a very small number of people who are passionate about buying out of the US,” he said.

“The others will buy alternatives out of eBay and pay the 10 per cent GST.”

Amazon will still have its Australian website, which launched last year, but those with a US account will be locked out from July 1.