This morning, Amazon finally launched its online shopping portal in Australia, putting an end to months of wild speculation and shopper anticipation. Unfortunately, the prices we’re seeing aren’t nearly as revolutionary as we were hoping. In fact, some of them are downright terrible.
For months, industry analysts have told us that Amazon would be operating at a loss in Australia in a bid to dominate the market. Local retailers were supposed to be shaking in their boots at the prospect of ultra-cheap prices they couldn’t possibly hope to compete with. So how do those prices stack up in reality?
If you were hoping to get your Christmas shopping sorted on a budget, we have some bad news for you: the initial launch offerings aren’t nearly as impressive as we were led to believe.
Take, for example, the ever-popular smartphone category. The iPhone 7 Plus (128GB 4G LTE) will set you back $1375. That’s actually more expensive than buying from Apple direct, where the AU pricing is $1199. Likewise, the Samsung Galaxy S8 currently commands a price tag of $1570.87 on Amazon. Other Aussie retailers, including Kogan, are selling it for well under $900.
The price of action cams are similarly disappointing. The GoPro HERO5 Black GPCHDHX-501 is selling on Amazon for as much as $699. This is well above the average price in Australia - even Harvey Norman is selling it for $200 less than Amazon.
Laptop pricing is also very hit-and-miss. We spotted a Lenovo ThinkPad P51 (E3-1505M v6) for an eye-watering $5,732.95. The same machine goes for $3799 on Lenovo’s Australian website.
It’s worth noting that these are the maximum prices on Amazon for these products. It’s possible to find cheaper options if you refine your search and do some hunting around the site.
Much like eBay, the pricing varies considerably for the same exact product. Quality control also appears to be non-existent. We spotted a run-of-the-mill USB-C to USB Adapter for $12,939.95. No, really.
In other words, it has become clear that Amazon isn’t the all-conquering, price-beating juggernaut that many were expecting. Some prices are good, some are average and others are flat-out terrible.
With that said, there are still some impressive bargains on offer if you know how to find them. For example, you can snap up a Nintendo Switch for a very reasonable $399. That’s a good $50 or $60 cheaper than the average price in Australia.
We’ll be gathering up the best Amazon Australia bargains later in the day but if you can’t wait, here’s some advice to ensure you get the best deal:
Search for full product names under ‘relevance’
DON’T CLICK ON THE FIRST RESULT. Scroll down and click through multiple pages to find the best price.
Stick to a budget by using the Refine Price filter on the left-hand side of the site.
Compare the cheapest Amazon price to other outlets via Google Shopping.