Booksellers vs Online E-tailers
Christmas traditionally means a financial shot in the arm for most retailers, but with the strong Australian dollar and lower tax rate many Australians are being tempted out of their local bookshop by online booksellers. But according to a recent Age article bookshops are still cheaper.
The article’s survey says that 7 out of 10 bestsellers would be “cheaper if bought in an Australian bookshop or from a local online retailer compared with ordering them from an overseas website”. But the article also highlights the “increasing clamour from retailers over the federal government’s lack of action over GST-free shopping online”.
With no GST or import tax charged for overseas orders less than $1000, booksellers believe overseas booksellers are getting an unfair advantage. According to Australian Booksellers Association chief executive Joel Becker “Along with the rest of the local retailing sector, the domestic retail book industry has been hit hard by what is effectively a 10% discount that the consumer enjoys by sending their dollars off-shore.”
While consumers might be looking for a cheaper book, Becker cautions that the impact on booksellers and publishers will be far reaching. “The short-term gains that some consumers might think they are getting will be outweighed by the long-term damage to the economy of sending money off-shore.”