Here’s what we think about every Amazon Australia rumour so far
Here's what's confirmed, what's not and what we think.
Amazon is coming to Australia! And really, that's about as much as we know right now. Rumours are swirling left, right and centre and Amazon is telling just enough to keep us waiting with bated breath.
So what's legit and what's not? Well, we're still not sure about most things, but we've got a few educated guesses and a little bit of insider info. Read on to see finder's thoughts on every Amazon rumour so far, plus what's confirmed.
Rumour – Amazon Australia is launching on Black Friday, 24 November
We've heard whispers about this from a few other publications, plus it just makes sense. Black Friday is a huge deal for Amazon in the USA, so it makes sense that Amazon would choose this significant day to go live and blow all the other retailers out of the water with a huge Black Friday sale.
We've also heard a few whispers that Amazon will launch on a different day this month, but this just doesn't seem to make as much sense timing-wise. Our gut tells us it will be 24 November.
Rumour – Amazon won't offer Prime in Australia
Prime is one of the things that makes Amazon so popular in overseas markets. Pay an annual fee of US$99 and you'll get free shipping on 50 million items and guaranteed delivery within two days.
Here at finder, we've been betting on Amazon launching without Prime for a while. Offering super-fast, affordable delivery across Australia is a huge challenge. Australia is big and sparsely populated. Even if Amazon had a distribution centre in every major city, it would still be impossible to service all the smaller towns from these centres within three hours. And we've recently heard some info which suggests our suspicions are correct – Amazon will launch into the Australian market without its Prime shipping subscription.
However, we imagine that as Amazon grows in Australia it will work out a solution to this problem. We think that perhaps it will introduce Prime later on but perhaps it will only service metro areas, just like the 3-hour shipping option at THE ICONIC.
Rumour – Appliances and whitegoods will be missing from Amazon's initial product offering
From what we've read in a few other publications, Amazon's initial product offering will include baby products, beauty, books, cameras, phones, apparel and consumer electronics (including DVDs). What's notably missing from this list is appliances and whitegoods – two of the biggest categories for Amazon in international markets.
We're not 100% sure if we think this rumour will pan out since appliances and whitegoods seem like such an obvious winner for Amazon in Australia. Maybe they couldn't find a way to make the prices cheaper than the current market prices?
Rumour – Amazon offices are based in the Sydney CBD
A friend of finder clued us into the location of the Amazon offices. Apparently, they have three floors of office space in the Citigroup building. While we haven't ventured into the building to confirm, we're sure this one is true.
It's interesting that Amazon would place its corporate office in Sydney while its first distribution centre is in Melbourne.
Fact – Amazon has a distribution centre in Melbourne
This one was a rumour that turned out to be true. Amazon confirmed at its seller summit this week that the company's first distribution centre is indeed in Melbourne. We're not quite sure why since (as mentioned above) we think the corporate offices are in Sydney. Perhaps Melbourne is a better port to service the rest of Australia? Maybe the real estate is cheaper? Regardless, Amazon does, in fact, have a 24,000 square metre centre located around Pellicano M2 Industry Park.
Rumour – Amazon will introduce the launch to the Australian public with celebrity guests
In the past, Amazon has often introduced new Amazon developments, products or offering with notable celebrity guests like Jeremy Clarkson introducing the Fire TV Stick. So will Amazon use the same tactic to launch into the Australian market? Maybe. But we're thinking maybe not.
Amazon's roster of home-grown Amazon Prime Video stars is a little thin in Australia, thanks to Netflix, Stan and Foxtel snaffling up rights to the lion's share of the content Amazon provides in markets like the US or UK. So unless it's going to march out the boys from The Grand Tour, there's not much room for Amazon to go down the celebrity route.
There's so much buzz about this launch anyway, we're not sure if Amazon needs celebrity endorsements to generate news.
Fact – Amazon Marketplace will be accessible on launch
This is an interesting piece of info we heard at the Amazon Seller Summit. It makes the Australian launch quite different to its launch into other markets. For example, in Italy Amazon didn't launch its Marketplace offering until a year after its Retail offering.
More than 2 billion products are sold through Amazon's Marketplace offering, which is essentially a collection of third-party sellers selling through Amazon, much like how people sell through eBay. To be honest, we weren't expecting Amazon to launch Marketplace so soon. In fact, here at finder we initially thought that Marketplace wouldn't arrive until well into 2018, but we're pleased to hear that we're getting access to this Amazon offering really soon.