Postcard from Amazon

Fair warning - this postcard is going to be a whinge !

Amazon, this is directed at you. I've been using Amazon for decades, not long after the company offered international deliveries in fact. It's been great. I started buying real books (remember those) at prices that the local outlets could never equal with delivery times they often couldn't match either.

When Amazon moved to digital, I followed. I've bought a couple of hundred ebooks for the Kindle even though I've never owned a Kindle. I've bought a lot of self-published books, some of which were exceptional, others, let's be honest, weren't worth the electrons used to display them! But overall the experience was great.

Then the Australian government decreed that all companies outside Australia who wanted to sell to Australians had to collect 10% tax for the government. Idiots like Gerry Harvey felt that international companies not doing this was unfair, and took money away from Australian retail. Got news for you Gerry - the quality of service in your stores is poor and the offerings limited and often expensive, so why would I shop there?

Anyway, most companies have agreed, but not Amazon. Instead, they have announced that they will bar Australian customers from all the Amazon outlets except the Australian one from 1 July 2018, the date that collecting this tax becomes mandatory. The excuse seems to be "it's too hard". Bullshit. eBay can manage it, and Amazon is one of the biggest retailers in the world, so that's clearly not the reason.

The real irritation for me (and others I've spoken to) is that the Australian Amazon store has far less on offer than the international counterpart, and that's not likely to change. It also charges substantially more.

Like colleagues and friends, I'm moving my ebook purchasing away from Amazon, and it's the authors who are going to suffer, particularly the self-published ones.

Another example of Amazon refusing to pay it's way perhaps?


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