It was the move we all dreaded was coming: Australian shoppers will no longer be able to shop on Amazon's US site as the company shifts focus to its local offering. You have one more month to make your final overseas purchases.
From July 1, shoppers visiting Amazon.com (and other overseas Amazon sites) will be redirected to Amazon.com.au, which launched late last year. This coincides with changes to the Online Goods Tax that require online retailers to apply the 10 per cent GST to all online purchases shipped to Australia from overseas. (Currently, the rule only applies to purchased items that exceed $1000.)
We have some good news and bad news for online shoppers. First, the good news. A proposed GST amendment - which will see GST extended to all goods bought overseas - has been delayed for another year.
Now for the bad news. It will almost certainly come into effect on July 1 2018, and the similar 'Netflix tax' kicks in at the end of this month. Better start stocking up on those streaming subscriptions and overseas goodies while the going's good.
"While we regret any inconvenience this may cause customers, we have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple international sites," Amazon said in a statement.
We speculated this might happen back when Amazon Australia was about to launch. In addition to allowing Amazon's US arm to bypass complicated GST obligations, it also forces more customers to use the Australian service, therefore boosting its sales performance.
This is obviously a bit of a blow for Aussie shoppers - the US version of the site has a vastly larger selection of goods available, many of which were cheaper even after factoring in shipping costs.
There's been no word on whether this will affect Amazon's other online shopping sites such as the Book Depository. We've contacted the company and will report back as soon as we know more.
One thing's for sure, eBay Plus is starting to look more attractive by the minute.
Update: As pointed out on OzBargain, Amazon has begun emailing $20 vouchers to registered users in a bid to make up for the US site blocking. This can be used to redeem against your next purchase on amazon.com.au. If you've shopped with Amazon US before, we recommend checking your inbox - each voucher has a unique code, so you'll need to grab your own.
Call it the Amazon effect. eBay Australia is gearing up to offer customers free delivery and returns via a new membership option called eBay Plus. It also comes with a host of special offers and features exclusive to eBay Plus members. Here's everything you need to know.
This story is developing.