I find it a little difficult to accept the big retailers’ claims that ensuring GST is applied to mail order goods ordered online from overseas will make a big difference. GST is only 10%.
Take for example the DVD of Edge of Darkness, which I mentioned the other day.
Amazon UK price: 3.97 + 3.68 postage = 7.65, or A$12.18 (and note that more than half the postage cost is a “per delivery” charge, so it’s cheaper to order more items at once).
Cheapest price shown on DVD Plaza’s Pricecrawler: A$24.45
(It’s also notable that the version most local etailers are selling appears to be the no-extras version; Amazon has the 2003 edition with a number of special features. And yes, it matters, at least to me. I’m a sucker for that stuff.)
An Age article the other day noted that most Australian bestselling books are in fact cheaper if bought locally. That may be significant if a lot of the books you buy are Australian bestsellers, which I expect includes a number of locally published books.
But that’s not usually the type of stuff I buy.
Ultimately shopping around is the way to go. For the stuff I buy, often it’s cheaper if bought off-shore. And it’s not a 10% GST difference, either… If that’s the only difference, I’m likely to buy it locally so I can have it immediately.
But if it’s a big difference as in the above example, and I don’t need it straight away, then sorry, my wallet tells me I should buy off-shore.