According to an email sent to Marketplace sellers earlier this week, Amazon Australia would soft launch at 2pm AEST for a select number of customers. Well, 2pm has come and gone and Amazon Australia still only displays Kindles and books - not the wide range of appliances and consumer tech we were expecting.
But if you're anxiously awaiting Amazon's arrival Down Under there's no need to be alarmed.
If you've arrived at Amazon.com.au and haven't been greeted with a storefront bursting with cheap products and assorted knick knacks, there's no need to freak out. The original email sent to Marketplace sellers specifically states that this 'launch' will begin with "an internal testing phase" featuring "a small number of customers." The email was to ensure that sellers were adequately prepared for the launch of the Amazon Marketplace and prepared to receive any orders from 2pm AEST onward.
At present, Lifehacker has communicated with various sellers on the Marketplace who have loaded their products into the system and some of those are visible to plucky Amazon hunters, but they cannot be purchased. Any potential buy just redirects back to the Amazon Australia homepage.
However, searching specific terms allows you to access the 'Everything Else' tab and see what products are available outside of the Kindle books and apps. For instance, this search for Sony products reveals a cable, the Xperia XA1 and a Sony projector. As you'll notice, these links typically redirect back to Amazon Australia's homepage.
The current positive? Amazon Australia's home page hasn't crashed and burned and considering the amount of web traffic that it's likely seeing as a result of the soft launch time being widely publicised, you can at least be a little more confident Australians don't break the web tomorrow when it is expected Amazon will launch.
It is worth nothing that Lifehacker has not received any correspondence from Amazon Australia regarding an official launch tomorrow and though this has been widely reported, there are no confirmations. It is possible that Amazon Australia won't launch tomorrow at all and we've all been played by the online juggernaut and there are plenty of reasons why that still might be the case: There's been no press releases about their arrival, no news coverage and no official statements. We're all starting from the same 'soft launch' date and assuming.
You know what they say about assuming things.
One thing is for certain: With all the talk about an imminent launch over the last 24 hours, Amazon have drummed up a huge amount of interest and they haven't even pressed the big red LAUNCH button yet. It's clear that Australian consumers are clamouring for the retail market to be shaken up. Hopefully we won't need to wait much longer.