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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.

What does Amazon sell? In short, just about everything.

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Shopping on Amazon 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. To create an Amazon account, all you need is an e-mail address or a mobile number and a password.

If you have an existing Amazon account for the US, UK or elsewhere, you can use the same login details.

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.

How do I contact Amazon AU?

If you have a question needing to be answered and it is not featured in the customer service section, you can put in a specific query to ask the Amazon AU team under 'Need more help?' which will lead you to the contact us page. There, it will direct you to choose either to phone or chat with a member of their team.

Shipping and delivery information

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.

Selling on to Amazon Australia

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

Amazon Prime Day 2022 in Australia

Amazon Prime Day is an annual shopping event exclusive to Prime customers. It is Amazon's biggest shopping event by far, with millions of products discounted across all major categories. To find out more about Amazon Prime Day 2022, head to our in-depth Prime Day shopping guide which includes dates, shopping tips and deals to watch out for.

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 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 reeaders 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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