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Amazon Australia: Everything you need to know

What does Amazon Australia sell cheaper? How long will you have to wait for Amazon Prime down under? How can you sell your own stuff through Amazon? All your questions answered.

What is Amazon?

Amazon is a US-based online retailer that started in 1994 selling books online. It has expanded massively over the years, now selling everything from its own branded tablets to washing powder to garden tools and pretty much everything in-between to a global audience. Australians have long been able to shop on Amazon.com, but 2017 has seen Amazon massively expand its Australian presence. Here's what you need to know to be a powerhouse Amazon Australia shopper.

Amazon Price Analysis

It's the biggest question for Amazon Australia: is what it's selling available cheaper elsewhere? Check out our analyses to find out.

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When will Amazon Australia launch?

In early 2017, Amazon confirmed plans to expand into Australia, offering a much wider range of goods from the amazon.com.au site. After some experiments in late November, Amazon Australia finally officially launched in the early hours of Tuesday 5 December 2017. We've rounded up everything you need to know about what's happening with Amazon in Australia.

What's the difference between Amazon and Amazon Australia?

Amazon Australia is, simply put, the local arm of the US retailing giant. Strictly speaking, Amazon has been operating in Australia since 2013, selling eBooks and its Kindle e-readers and tablets.

For years it was rumoured that Amazon was making plans to launch a more fully featured retail offering in Australia. Back in April 2016, it confirmed its plans to move into the Australian online retail market.

What this means in practical terms is that if you've already got an Amazon US account (or an Amazon UK account, or one in any of the other markets where Amazon already sells physical goods) it should transfer over to the Australian site without issue, potentially saving you a lot in direct shipping costs.

Latest Amazon Australia news

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Shopping and your account

Do I need an account to purchase something from Amazon Australia?

Yes. Amazon manages all of its customer sales via an account, which is free to set up and incurs no ongoing charges. So you'll need an account to buy from the site. If you have an existing Amazon account for the US, UK or elsewhere, you can use the same login details.

What kinds of products will Amazon sell?

Amazon's expanded range includes clothing, baby items, beauty products, books, music, homewares, sports/fitness goods, stationery, toys, electronics and video games.

When I buy from Amazon Australia, who am I buying from?

It depends what you're buying. In some cases, you will be purchasing from Amazon's Marketplace sellers which are independent small businesses. However, Amazon is also shipping goods directly from its own warehouses, including its own branded line of low-cost products, AmazonBasics range.

How do I pay for purchases on Amazon Australia?

Your account is linked to a purchase method which needs to be a credit card or debit card. You can edit this payment method at any time in your Amazon account.

While Amazon has experimented with bricks and mortar retail stores in the US, there's no sign of such plans in Australia, and in any case, it operates on digital cash only. There's no way to pay with physical cash, and that's not likely to change.

Will I still be able to order through international Amazon sites?

With the rollout of new laws governing GST on overseas purchases in July 2018, Amazon changed its policies regarding Aussies accessing international versions of its site such as Amazon US. From 1 July 2018, Australians trying to access international Amazon stores will be redirected to Amazon Australia. Those international stores won't deliver to Australian addresses either, so simply using a VPN to get around the geo-block won't do much good.

Shipping and delivery

What is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime is Amazon's subscription shipping service. It comes with numerous benefits such as access to Amazon Prime Video, but the key attraction is paying $59 per year to enable low cost or free shipping on all orders. Orders fulfilled by Amazon itself also benefit from a guaranteed 2-day delivery.

This is slightly different to how Amazon Prime works in the US, where the promise is next-day delivery, but US subscribers also pay significantly more for their Amazon Prime subscription.

Amazon has even taken Prime a step further in the US with Prime Now. Customers can pay an additional US$7.99 and receive their purchases within the hour.

Is Amazon Prime available in Australia?

At launch, Australian customers didn't have access to Prime, but on 19 June 2018 Amazon finally rolled out the service on Aussies shores.

How long will deliveries from Amazon Australia take?

This will depend on where you live, what you're ordering and what you're prepared to pay. Priority delivery is available on the same day in capital cities, and within 1-3 days to many other locations. If you spend more than $49, you can qualify for free delivery, which will taken 3-10 days depending on your location. Here's the full breakdown:

LocationPriority speedPriority costExpedited speedExpedited costFree delivery speedCost
Sydney1 business day$9.992-3 business days$5.993-7 business daysFree for orders $49+
Melbourne1 business day$9.992-3 business days$5.993-7 business daysFree for orders $49+
Brisbane1 business day$9.992-3 business days$5.993-7 business daysFree for orders $49+
Adelaide1 business day$9.992-3 business days$5.993-7 business daysFree for orders $49+
Canberra1 business day$9.992-3 business days$5.993-7 business daysFree for orders $49+
Perth1-2 business days$11.992-3 business days$7.993-7 business daysFree for orders $49+
Major cities in NSW, VIC, SA1-2 business days$11.992-3 business days$7.993-7 business daysFree for orders $49+
All other areas1-3 business days$19.993-7 business days$9.997-10 business daysFree for orders $49+

Amazon Marketplace sellers have the option to sign up for Fulfilment by Amazon, which will mean Amazon handles all the seller's deliveries from their Melbourne warehouse. This could allow for quicker delivery time. However, signing up to this isn't compulsory. Check delivery times and costs with each seller before you make your purchase.

Where will Amazon Australia ship from?

Amazon is a retailer, but the secret to its success has long been its mastery of supply chain logistics, which sounds all kinds of impressive, but is basically just a fancy way of saying "they know how to efficiently ship stuff". For long-term customers using the US site to shop from, you'd be aware of the higher shipping costs to Australia in cases where Amazon would ship, or the even higher prices some shipping agents would charge to be middlemen in the equation.

Amazon has opened a fulfilment centre in Melbourne's Dandenong South for the shipping of goods across Australia. That's not a retail location, though, so don't make any plans for a family shopping trip. Interestingly, while physical goods will come from Melbourne, the Australian operation will actually be run from a head office in Sydney.

The business guide to Amazon Australia

The Amazon market is officially open. Find out what you need to know about selling on Amazon Australia.

What is Amazon Marketplace?

Amazon sells products it warehouses itself, but it also opens up its infrastructure for other merchants to retail through, including advertising of products through Amazon, financial transaction management and even use of Amazon's warehouse facilities where suitable.

Which businesses will be able to sell on Amazon Australia at launch?

According to the email sent to sellers, any seller which has passed the Seller Identity Verification will be part of the testing phase and should be prepared to receive orders from Thursday, 22 November.

How do I sell on Amazon?

Selling on Amazon's Marketplace simply involves signing up on Amazon's website. We've written a full guide on what you need to know about selling on Amazon Australia here.

How much does Amazon Australia charge its sellers?

The following fee structure is in place for sellers on the Amazon Australia Marketplace:

  • $49.95 fee to list products on Amazon.com.au
  • 6-15% commission fee on top of sales. This fee is determined by the type of product you're selling.

How many products will Amazon sell?

A precise number of the product offerings for Amazon Australia is all but impossible given that it's not only launching its own retail offerings but also Amazon Marketplace locally. That could inflate the sheer number and range of products Amazon is offering through its local site markedly. One thing is certain, and that is that Amazon is unlikely to enter the local market with anything less than a significant splash.

Will Amazon also be selling its own products?

Yes. Amazon is selling its own branded goods, including the Kindle line of ereaders and tablets, as well as its own "AmazonBasics" line of self-branded low cost products covering everything from AV connection cables to exercise equipment.

Will Amazon affect local retail jobs?

One of the more contentious issues with the entry of Amazon into the local retail scene is the likely impact on retail jobs. In the US Amazon is a retailing giant and its impact on retail jobs has been quite marked, especially as the company favours automation over long-term staff hiring for most of its shipping tasks.

That being said, while Amazon has launched in other global markets, its effect in those places has been less pronounced than in its home market. Equally, while it may affect some bricks and mortar retailers, the possibilities for merchants selling through Amazon Marketplace could open up new job opportunities for some retailers.

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9 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DavidMay 15, 2018

    Hi I live in the U.K. and I want to send a gift card to Australia is this possible please.

    • finder Customer Care
      JoelMay 15, 2018Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Unfortunately, Amazon gift card redemption is limited to its website for the country of purchase.

      According to the Amazon Gift Card terms and conditions, it is only redeemable toward the purchase of products on its website and designated affiliate websites. Similarly, Amazon’s UK gift card is only redeemable on the UK website. The same is true for Amazon(dot)ca, Amazon(dot)cn, Amazon(dot)de and so forth.

      Cheers,
      Joel

    • Default Gravatar
      DavidMay 17, 2018

      Hi Joel. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

      David

  2. Default Gravatar
    RonanApril 24, 2018

    I have an account and have purchased before.
    When trying to purchase an item today – a Paige Men’s Dalton Garment Dyed Shirt Jacked Moss Green XXL, – my home or PO Box address was not deemed acceptable,
    and when I tried a close Pick up station – at Albion Park I was told that this item was not available for pick up. Could you please help. Why is it so difficult to purchase this item.
    I have not had trouble before. Thank you, Ronan.

    • finder Customer Care
      ArnoldApril 24, 2018Staff

      Hi Ronan,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      You may have to raise this concern to Amazon AU directly, there may be information on your PO BOX that needs to be changed or updated by using the physical address. It would be best to contact Amazon directly or by visiting their contact us page.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  3. Default Gravatar
    AmazonDecember 17, 2017

    Based on the recommendation of an overseas friend I have purchased a second generation Echo. Please, can you tell me when the Alexa App will be available in Australia so that I can operate the Echo?

    • finder Customer Care
      RenchDecember 20, 2017Staff

      Hi,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      As I have checked, Alexa smart assistant will be coming to Australia and New Zealand in early 2018.

      Cheers,
      Rench

  4. Default Gravatar
    HarryDecember 10, 2017

    How to join Amazon in order to buy daily foodstuff?

    • finder Customer Care
      RenchDecember 12, 2017Staff

      Hi Harry,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with Amazon or any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      Amazon manages all of its customer sales via an account, which is free to set up and incurs no ongoing charges. So you’ll need an account to buy from the site. If you have an existing Amazon account for the US, UK or elsewhere, you can use the same login details. Please visit Amazon official site and log in/register an account.

      Best regards,
      Rench

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