miwahni (miwahni) wrote,

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Still not a level playing field

For years now, Australian retailers have been complaining about the unfair advantage that overseas online retailers have - namely the lack of goods and services tax (GST - the Oz equivalent of VAT) on overseas purchases. Now this is supposedly about to change, with the federal government introducing legislation to have GST payable on all online purchases by Australian residents.

I was curious to see what kind of difference this would make, so I did some shopping around. Pricing for the complete series of The Thick of It was $90 at its cheapest (surprisingly, at the ABC store) and $95 at Sanity. Series 7 of George Gently $35 was the best price I could find, for a total of $125 for both.

amazon.co.uk sold them to me, along with a book I was wanting, for $105. Even if GST had been applicable, at 10%, the transaction would have cost $115.50, still saving $10.

Just for comparison's sake I did a search on Dr Who, the 12th doctor DVD set. Sanity wants $79.99 for it; amazon.co.uk is asking 19 pounds sterling. Double that and add $10 for postage, plus 10% GST, I'm still way ahead. I really don't think the GST addition is going to help Aussie retailers, but it will add to the government coffers.
Tags: economy, politics

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