Author Topic: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st  (Read 3365 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline aargee

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 726
  • Country: au
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline Brumby

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 9403
  • Country: au
No surprise there.

I can't see Amazon willing to go out of their way to collect the GST for the Australian government, so excluding those sales is the obvious choice.


We'll just have to run with Amazon.au   (bleahhhh)
 

Offline thermistor-guy

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 207
  • Country: au
Uh-oh. I've been buying low-cost Win7 s/w licenses from Amazon UK. Usually they are not available on Amazon US. No doubt Amazon UK will block Aussies too.

Quote
...The GST collection requirement came after years of intense lobbying from local retailers in Australia such as Harvey Norman, Myer, JB Hi-Fi and David Jones, who have seen their traditional bricks and mortar sales suffer from online competitors...

Are these Liberal Party campaign donors that smart? Did they calculate that the likes of Amazon would simply block Australians, rather than continue to allow access and collect the GST? Clever move if they did.

So now it's time to work out how to circumvent it. Hat tip to Harvey Norman and friends - sometimes it's useful to be reminded who your enemies are.
 

Offline Halcyon

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3729
  • Country: au
Meh. It makes no difference to me. I'm used to certain items being unavailable in Australia (or are more expensive). I've been using the mail forwarding service Shipito for years. It costs me nothing to have a permanent US postal address for my items. Quite often even with the added shipping cost from the forwarder to Australia, some electronics are cheaper to purchase from the US than from Australia.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying GST on things but I don't accept being told I cannot have something due to some stupid restriction, I simply find a way around the restriction.

 
The following users thanked this post: SeanB

Offline thermistor-guy

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 207
  • Country: au
Meh. It makes no difference to me. I'm used to certain items being unavailable in Australia (or are more expensive). I've been using the mail forwarding service Shipito for years. It costs me nothing to have a permanent US postal address for my items. Quite often even with the added shipping cost from the forwarder to Australia, some electronics are cheaper to purchase from the US than from Australia.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying GST on things but I don't accept being told I cannot have something due to some stupid restriction, I simply find a way around the restriction.

Under the legislation, freight forwarders count as suppliers, and may have an obligation to collect GST. Since Shipito ships to Australia via TNT, AusPost, FedEx, etc., I expect Shipito to respond to the new legislation in some way. Simply classifying every item as a gift may not cut it (although it would be fantastic if it did).
 

Offline DeanA

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 46
  • Country: au
    • Design Electronics
Great, some things you just cannot buy in Australia and I've needed to buy it from Amazon.
What if other online retailers do the same as Amazon? If Digikey does the same it could make putting that prototype assembly together a little difficult.  At least with Mouser I could still order through X-on.
I don't mind paying the GST and even paying a little extra to buy locally, but often it is just not available here or the local distributor wants to gouge me for twice the price.

Offline fourtytwo42

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 798
  • Country: gb
  • Interested in all things green/ECO
The Ausies don't know how lucky they are :) I have not touched Amazon for more than two years since they tried to rip me off with there gold service or whatever it was that debited my credit card monthly even though I didnt ask for it and refused to refund me! (I got the refund from my cc company). I wouldnt touch the sharks with a bargepole ever again and I dont miss them one bit :)
 

Offline aargee

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 726
  • Country: au
Really, I think this is the tip of the brewing bun fight, the Amazon move is posturing to push this into the open early(ish). China is going to be interesting too (eBay, Ali Express, Banggood, Gearbest et al)
I think the federal government expected online foreign retailers to roll over and be compliant with the new legislation, not to remove services, we may see the Amazon action copied by other groups.

Last orders, gentlemen please!
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline Halcyon

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3729
  • Country: au
Meh. It makes no difference to me. I'm used to certain items being unavailable in Australia (or are more expensive). I've been using the mail forwarding service Shipito for years. It costs me nothing to have a permanent US postal address for my items. Quite often even with the added shipping cost from the forwarder to Australia, some electronics are cheaper to purchase from the US than from Australia.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying GST on things but I don't accept being told I cannot have something due to some stupid restriction, I simply find a way around the restriction.

Under the legislation, freight forwarders count as suppliers, and may have an obligation to collect GST. Since Shipito ships to Australia via TNT, AusPost, FedEx, etc., I expect Shipito to respond to the new legislation in some way. Simply classifying every item as a gift may not cut it (although it would be fantastic if it did).

You will probably find they throw the onus back on the customer, we are the ones filling out the customs declaration and are responsible for making sure that it's accurate, same with any other carrier. Customs of course have the power to inspect packages. I honestly don't think much will change. The cost of screening, inspection and enforcement is astronomical in comparison with the amount of GST that would be recovered.

Also, Shipito aren't the supplier of the goods inside the box, just the service responsible for delivering it to you. They will inevitably just forward the cost of GST (imposed by Aust. Post etc...) onto the customer, I'd be surprised if that isn't occurring already. Same as Australia Post, when you go to the post office to mail something, you aren't charged tax on whatever you're posting, just the service.

Amazon can only do so much to block Australian customers from using their US (and other) sites. As far as my user account goes, Amazon thinks I'm in the United States, the only give away that I'm not is by looking at my IP address and that type of block is easily circumvented. It's a bit like Netflix's attempt to block us from watching content on US Netflix, we all saw how (un)successful that worked out to be.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 08:15:13 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline Electro Detective

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2210
  • Country: au

Just in case fellow aussies haven't been paying attention to many of their bill$, and just let the companies have convenient access to their accounts  :scared: 

we are paying GST  PLUS  Stamp Duty, which would sound like a LOT of unpaid homework to the Amazon mob to keep up with,
plus any unforeseen legal BS lurking somewhere that some smartass will dredge up so they can keep their job and or score points   ::)


Hopefully we won't get blocked from viewing Amazon product details and buyer comments, those are very handy   :clap:

 

Offline Brumby

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 9403
  • Country: au
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2018, 11:08:49 am »
Hopefully we won't get blocked from viewing Amazon product details and buyer comments, those are very handy   :clap:

The only way they could do that is with an IP geo-block ... and that is insanely easy to bypass.
 

Offline TerraHertz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3593
  • Country: au
  • Why shouldn't we question everything?
    • It's not really a Blog
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2018, 03:54:00 pm »
My predictions:
1. Some Harvey Norman stores will spontaneously burn down. (You don't suppose that's the aim? Insurance fraud prior to going out of business?)
2. Smuggling will be the new thing.
3. Surprisingly large electoral backlash. Or not... I invariably fail to sufficiently estimate the stupidity of Oz voters, and the ability of both parties to have identical policies regarding something no one wants.
4. A lot more Aussies using VPNs than previously.
Collecting old scopes, logic analyzers, and unfinished projects. http://everist.org
 

Offline georges80

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 809
  • Country: us
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2018, 05:28:44 pm »
As an expat that moved to the US in '85 I've seen many changes in the US for the worse, but it just takes chatting with a mate back there about the insanity of what continues to go on to make me happy my working career has been here in the US and not oz.

Good luck getting the oz government to do what is right to help the people versus finding new ways to add fees and/or taxes on top of already high rates.

When I left oz it was essentially a primary producer and that appears to continue with the mining pillaging that was/is going on in the WA bush (invisible to the average city dweller). There's only so many rocks or oil or gas that can be extracted and shipped (while competing with 3rd world countries). So why not hit up poor average joe for his overseas purchases since it must piss off the oz government to see something moving by that they haven't taxed several times :)

cheers,
george.
 

Offline Nauris

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 146
  • Country: fi
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2018, 07:55:12 pm »
What if other online retailers do the same as Amazon? If Digikey does the same it could make putting that prototype assembly together a little difficult.  At least with Mouser I could still order through X-on.
I suppose Digikey and such just let UPS and DHL etc. handle it anyway so I doubt it is much of a problem for them.
At least here it works that way and works very well. First you get your parcel, next week you get invoice from UPS for the VAT owed, no handling fee. And no I am not business customer nor have any account with UPS.
 

Offline thm_w

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1593
  • Country: ca
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2018, 11:25:11 pm »
At least here it works that way and works very well. First you get your parcel, next week you get invoice from UPS for the VAT owed, no handling fee. And no I am not business customer nor have any account with UPS.

UPS/Fedex would put up a huge fight here or I suspect anywhere if they were asked to do this without a cut (currently $15+). Costs them time and money to process the payments.
 

Offline thermistor-guy

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 207
  • Country: au
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2018, 12:49:12 am »
..
Also, Shipito aren't the supplier of the goods inside the box, just the service responsible for delivering it to you. They will inevitably just forward the cost of GST (imposed by Aust. Post etc...) onto the customer, I'd be surprised if that isn't occurring already. Same as Australia Post, when you go to the post office to mail something, you aren't charged tax on whatever you're posting, just the service.

Amazon can only do so much to block Australian customers from using their US (and other) sites. As far as my user account goes, Amazon thinks I'm in the United States, the only give away that I'm not is by looking at my IP address and that type of block is easily circumvented. It's a bit like Netflix's attempt to block us from watching content on US Netflix, we all saw how (un)successful that worked out to be.

On the first point, it doesn't matter if Shipito is not the de facto supplier. The legislation treats it as such (de jure). Here is the ATO weighing in:

https://www.ato.gov.au/General/New-legislation/In-detail/Indirect-taxes/GST/GST-on-low-value-imported-goods/

Quote
...In summary, the reforms:
..
treat re-deliverers as the suppliers of low value goods if the goods are delivered outside of Australia as part of the supply, and the re-deliverer assists with their delivery into Australia as part of a shopping or mailbox service that it provides under an arrangement with the consumer..

Shipito = "re-deliverer", therefore Shipito = "supplier". Yeah, it doesn't make sense. Welcome to politics.

On the second point, you can use a VPN to connect to Amazon US, but if your credit card or paypal accounts are linked to Australia, you may not be able to buy anything. Dicks Sporting Goods (US) started blocking Australian orders earlier this year using financial information. To get around it, you'll need a debit or credit card from a non-Australian bank or institution.
 

Offline Halcyon

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3729
  • Country: au
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2018, 03:29:32 am »
Shipito = "re-deliverer", therefore Shipito = "supplier". Yeah, it doesn't make sense. Welcome to politics.

Sure, that's ATO's take on it, but I can't see it working. How can they tell what has had GST paid on it or not? As I said, the cost of screening and enforcement is going to be far more expensive.

On the second point, you can use a VPN to connect to Amazon US, but if your credit card or paypal accounts are linked to Australia, you may not be able to buy anything. Dicks Sporting Goods (US) started blocking Australian orders earlier this year using financial information. To get around it, you'll need a debit or credit card from a non-Australian bank or institution.

You may be right, I guess time will tell. I can see a business opportunity opening up here.
 

Offline thermistor-guy

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 207
  • Country: au
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2018, 04:18:06 am »
...
On the second point, you can use a VPN to connect to Amazon US, but if your credit card or paypal accounts are linked to Australia, you may not be able to buy anything. Dicks Sporting Goods (US) started blocking Australian orders earlier this year using financial information. To get around it, you'll need a debit or credit card from a non-Australian bank or institution.

You may be right, I guess time will tell. I can see a business opportunity opening up here.

I will be looking for one. If all else fails, I can imagine travelling to Singapore, or similar, and opening a bank account there (maybe denominated in US dollars), just to get a non-Australian credit card.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 04:37:27 am by thermistor-guy »
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9840
  • Country: us
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2018, 07:09:46 am »
The Ausies don't know how lucky they are :) I have not touched Amazon for more than two years since they tried to rip me off with there gold service or whatever it was that debited my credit card monthly even though I didnt ask for it and refused to refund me! (I got the refund from my cc company). I wouldnt touch the sharks with a bargepole ever again and I dont miss them one bit :)

That's strange, Amazon touts themselves as being customer-obsessed, and my own experience with their customer service has been exemplary. Not saying they didn't screw you over but it seems odd you had so much trouble.
 

Offline Harb

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 244
  • Country: au
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2018, 09:56:33 am »
Meh. It makes no difference to me. I'm used to certain items being unavailable in Australia (or are more expensive). I've been using the mail forwarding service Shipito for years. It costs me nothing to have a permanent US postal address for my items. Quite often even with the added shipping cost from the forwarder to Australia, some electronics are cheaper to purchase from the US than from Australia.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying GST on things but I don't accept being told I cannot have something due to some stupid restriction, I simply find a way around the restriction.

How do you find the service there, and what sort of shipping options do they give you.......I get near everything from the US....test gear parts etc etc and used to bring stuff in containers, but looking for a smaller single item at a time option.....
 

Offline Halcyon

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3729
  • Country: au
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2018, 12:11:41 pm »
Meh. It makes no difference to me. I'm used to certain items being unavailable in Australia (or are more expensive). I've been using the mail forwarding service Shipito for years. It costs me nothing to have a permanent US postal address for my items. Quite often even with the added shipping cost from the forwarder to Australia, some electronics are cheaper to purchase from the US than from Australia.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying GST on things but I don't accept being told I cannot have something due to some stupid restriction, I simply find a way around the restriction.

How do you find the service there, and what sort of shipping options do they give you.......I get near everything from the US....test gear parts etc etc and used to bring stuff in containers, but looking for a smaller single item at a time option.....

I can't fault their service. As soon as something arrives I get an e-mail along with photos of the box.

You usually get at least 5 or 6 shipping options. I actually have a book arriving from the US via Shipito soon (yes, the Amazon seller wouldn't post a book to Australia), so once it hits my US address, I'll link in the cost of the various shipping methods in this thread (give it a couple of days).

I've used Shipito several times and every time has been perfect. A few times it hasn't cost me any extra as some places offer free shipping to US addresses, you just pay the difference from your Shipito address -> Your country.

It costs nothing to maintain (I don't have large volumes going through it).
 
The following users thanked this post: Synthtech

Offline TerraHertz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3593
  • Country: au
  • Why shouldn't we question everything?
    • It's not really a Blog
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2018, 05:03:26 am »
I too find Shipito excellent in every way. Halcyon forgot to mention a few things about shipito:

* You can set your preferences for them to open parcels when they arrive, and send you photos of the contents. Not just of the outside of the box. I always do this, especially when I know I'm going to leave an item sitting at their warehouse for a while. So far their unpacking and repacking never damaged anything of mine.

* You can combine multiple parcels into one box. With options like size of box, whether they repack, or just put the original parcels in the bigger box. This can save a lot on international carrier fees. Plus you can add special instructions on how to pack, materials to use, etc. Fees are reasonable. You create a combined customs declaration, of line items and values.
 (Man, this is really going to get screwed up by the Oz govt duties insanity.)

* If you send a lot of stuff through shipito, you get discounts. Which are worthwhile.

* They have an 'assisted purchase' service, where they buy stuff on your behalf, where the seller would normally refuse to sell to 'them durned furriners.'  I've never used this, so don't know how well it works.

* The shipping quotes they get from the carriers, are a lot lower than they would be for individual parcels being sent from an ebay seller. Due to shipito's huge volume. So in most cases, the total cost of mailing inside the US, plus shipto's fee, plus international carrier charge, is LOWER than if the original seller had sent it direct to Oz via one of the carriers.

That was particularly obvious while TNT was its original self. Their quotes were always way below others like Fedax, and their delivery was far faster too. They routinely moved large parcels from Shipito's LA warehouse to my doorstep, in less than 48 hours. For cheaper than any other carrier at any speed, and with parcels handled carefully.
I don't know how they did it, but the parcels never seemed to spend time stuck in a Customs inspection stage. Practically landed in the country, then within hours onto a truck for delivery.
Then Fedex bought out TNT. Presumably to kill a great example of how to be vastly better in every way than Fedex. For a while TNT didn't even exist. Now they are back in name at least, but I don't yet have any experience with their service and fees.
Collecting old scopes, logic analyzers, and unfinished projects. http://everist.org
 
The following users thanked this post: SeanB, digsys

Offline digsys

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 2062
  • Country: au
    • DIGSYS
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2018, 05:33:40 am »
I've been with shipito for many years. Way back when Digikey and Mouser were total a$$wipes about sending anything to oz.
The final straw was when Digikey split up a 12 item order into 4-5 parts, wouldn't hold until all in stock, then charged $60-120 for EACH delivery !
All for crappy ICs / connectors etc, in huge empty boxes. With shipito, it was free or $5 delivery !! I wonder what shipito will do with the new rules?
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline thermistor-guy

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 207
  • Country: au
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2018, 12:31:30 am »
... I wonder what shipito will do with the new rules?

Yes, I'm waiting on this too.
 

Offline Halcyon

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3729
  • Country: au
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2018, 03:32:12 am »
Attached as some examples of what you see when Shipito receives a package for you (I've blurred out my personal information).

You get an e-mail notifying you that a package has arrive, from there, you login to the web interface where you can see 3 photos of the package (included for free with your account). You also complete the customs declaration online.

I've included a screen shot of the various payment options I got for this package, in this case it was a book being shipped from my Shipito box in California USA to my PO Box in Sydney, Australia. As someone has already mentioned, Shipito does deals with some carriers so you might get a pretty good deal. Basically you just select the option that suits you.

There are a bunch of extra services too which you can select from like additional photos, removal of invoices etc...
 
The following users thanked this post: SeanB, station240

Offline Halcyon

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3729
  • Country: au
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2018, 02:17:53 am »
Since it's after 01/07/2018, I thought I'd post an update.

As we already figured would happen, Shipito is now complying with the Australian Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value goods) Act 2017.

GST applies to the value of the item (presumably this will be derived from the customs deceleration the recipient fills out) as well as the shipping and insurance costs.

I successfully ordered an item from Amazon (US) dispite being in Australia. It doesn't look like Amazon (at this stage) is forcing users to their .com.au domain, but if you select an Australian shipping address, it tells you the item is not available for shipping to that destination.

If you provide Shipito with an ABN, you are not required to pay GST. I guess at the end of the day, what's stopping anyone from just quoting any ABN of any random business on their Shipito profile to avoid paying tax?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 07:27:35 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline knapik

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 95
  • Country: au
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2018, 03:39:43 am »
By the way, is there any information about whether this also affects amazon japan? I have bought quite a bit of music from there, and I wouldn't like to know that I won't be able to do so anymore in the future.
 

Offline sleemanj

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2423
  • Country: nz
  • Professional tightwad.
    • The electronics hobby components I sell.
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2018, 04:37:07 am »
Anybody able to report what Aliexpress is doing? 
~~~
EEVBlog Members - get yourself 10% discount off all my electronic components for sale just use the Buy Direct links and use Coupon Code "eevblog" during checkout.  Shipping from New Zealand, international orders welcome :-)
 

Offline sleemanj

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2423
  • Country: nz
  • Professional tightwad.
    • The electronics hobby components I sell.
Re: Amazon to block Aussies from their international sites from July 1st
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2018, 04:39:40 am »
Should have googled it first...

https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/388029
 
looks like they are adding your 10% GST at checkout.

~~~
EEVBlog Members - get yourself 10% discount off all my electronic components for sale just use the Buy Direct links and use Coupon Code "eevblog" during checkout.  Shipping from New Zealand, international orders welcome :-)
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf