Earlier this year Amazon stopped shipping products to Australia from its online U.S. and UK stores. That decision has now been reversed, conveniently in time for Black Friday sales period.
The original change came in on July 1 due to online GST changes. Former-Treasurer Scott Morrison slammed Amazon for this decision at the time.
"The second biggest company in the world, run by the richest man in the world, shouldn't get a leave pass from paying tax in Australia, and they won't under these new laws to be introduced from July 1 that level the playing field."
That was less than six months ago, and now the online retailer quitely changed its mind, with the reversal taking place overnight. Amazon cited customer complaints as the reason for the decision.
"As a result of customer feedback, from November 22 Amazon customers will be able to ship eligible items from Amazon.com to Australian delivery addresses,” an Amazon spokeswoman told news.com.au.
Customer backlash was fierce when the ban was announced earlier this year, but there may be more to it than that. One has to wonder if underwhelming local performance has also been a contributing factor to the change.
It has been widely reported that Amazon Australia hasn't been raking in as many dollars as expected. It's been over twelve months since it launched and the product choice is still consisderably smaller than its overseas counterparts - less than 10 per cent as of August 2018 according to Forbes.
So while Amazon may have expected to transfer the hundreds of millions of dollars that Aussies spend with them into the local branch - perhaps it didn't work.
The timing is certainly interesting - the Black Friday sales period is already in full swing and Christmas is only a few short weeks away. Perhaps copping the online GST is worth it for the retailer after all.
But before you go on a spending spree, there is one important caveat to the change - only items sold on amazon.com will be shippable to Australia. If you want to buy something from a third party seller on the site, you won't be able to. So make sure you do your research.