Australian consumers distrust Amazon

While Amazon is steamrolling the retail sector in the United States:

It is struggling to capture the hearts and minds of Australians, who seem distrustful of the American online retail giant:

New Roy Morgan research into online retailer Amazon shows the shopping giant is well behind on several consumer indicators when compared to other major retail brands, such as Bunnings and Kmart…

When Australians were asked the statement ‘I’d consider shopping at’ a total of 26% say they would consider shopping with Amazon. This compares to 61% for Bunnings, 58% for Kmart, 56% for Big W, 51% for JB Hi-Fi and 35% for eBay.

People surveyed were also asked to name any store that ‘Has good quality products’. Only 14% say Amazon has good quality products. This compares to 47% for Bunnings, 25% for Kmart, 27% for Big W, 41% for JB Hi-Fi and 14% for online only auction site eBay…

Those surveyed were also asked to name any store that ‘Has products that are good value for money’. Just 16% say Amazon has products that are good value for money. This compares with 44% for Bunnings, 44% for Kmart, 42% for Big W, 27% for JB Hi-Fi and 22% for eBay…

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says that despite the high expectations surrounding Amazon’s relatively recent entry into the Australian market (following years as a U.S. retailer accessed by Australians), it appears as though the retailer has some work to do on its public perceptions.

“Given Amazon first entered the Australian market with a dedicated local store in 2017, it’s still early days for the online retailer. However, the consumer data we have on the company is underwhelming. On a variety of consumer indicators, Amazon is well behind brands such as Bunnings, Kmart, Big W, JB Hi-Fi, and to a lesser extent eBay,” Ms. Levine said.

I am grateful that Amazon has not taken over Australia’s retail market.

Amazon has questionable labour market practices and has fostered widespread shop closures and helped to crush wages of both retail and warehouse workers.

Leith van Onselen


  1. keep getting emails from amazon about goods i might want to buy but none of these emails are about sales on the items just that they are available at the standard price. no idea what they are thinking.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      They are practising that old principle: there’s one born every minute – sucker, that is.

    • Yeah, I’m yet to buy a single thing from them despite doing quite a bit of shopping online. Most of what I want will still come from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the US or UK. I don’t get it. Half the time postage pushed it to be more expensive than local retailers.

      And if I buy cheap shyte from AliExpress, Ebay or Banggood, I know what I’m in for. Amazon seems to have cheap shyte at a premium price and I can’t determine if the quality will be any better. If I want quality, I go to a reputable retailer like Prospectors or Mouser.

  2. Though Australians have gotten behind Uber, another company with questionable labor and business practices, that has quashed the competition by questionable means.

    • Yeah but you are starting from a much lower bar there – the taxi industry was sh1te. I have terrible experience with taxi drivers but uber drivers havent been all bad.

      • This.
        Uber is vastly superior to the regular taxi service. I can only speak for Brissy here but the taxis are often filthy, they stink to high heaven and the driver can’t speak English and asks you to direct him to your destination. Atrocious.

        Obviously Uber is forcing the traditionals to up their game, which they are, but for that alone they are to commended.

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      heh. Yeah, I suspect it is not about morals, but price and product availablility. The offerings on Amazon AU is thin and expensive vs the US site (or other international sellers). The delivery cost and speed is also questionable from the local Amazon operation. I have purchased many things from Amazon over the years, but only a handful from the Oz site. Most of it is still via the US site.

      • C.M.BurnsMEMBER

        the value proposition for Amazon Australia changes significantly if you have Amazon Prime

      • 100%. They have almost nothing to offer – there are plenty of local sites offering a much wider range at great prices.

        I have a mate who has an online store but also offers through Amazon’s platform – does almost no business through that at all. I reckon they’ll pull out of this country at some point.

      • Yup, amazon is just a marketplace in oz so they’re only as good as the retail companies here (i.e. not very). In the US they stock and sell products and at a discount to the market so are a no brainer, here they have no edge. They either need to compete or pull out.

  3. Jumping jack flash

    Mostly the same products as found at AliExpress. Similar shipping time.
    I did once find something at Amazon that I couldn’t find anywhere else though. It took 35 days to arrive.

    Have they got around the problem where after you find something that you like and need, add it to your cart and then proceed to checkout, credit card in hand, index finger at the ready, you’re told that it doesn’t ship to Australia? That was the most annoying thing and the reason why I usually try to find items on eBay, AliExpress and Banggood before heading over to Amazon, because chances are that if I find what I’m looking for they won’t deliver it here.

    At the end of the day it is all cheap Chinese crap, and it all takes about month to arrive.

  4. Goldstandard1MEMBER

    Sorry, think I’m going against the trend here.
    Amazon is forcing the whole online industry in Australia to catch up – from apps to delivery logistics. They have been EXACTLY what Australia needed.
    I am a prime member and with Prime video it’s Gold Jerry.
    I’ve had 2 things turn up a day late because of Australia post being crap – worth about $400, and they (amazon) refunded me and I kept the goods. They back their system even when Aussie post lets them down time and time again.

    I have nothing but praise for them coming to Australia. Their company morals are not the highest I agree. They have some good, some bad and it’s never good having one guy with that much money. However, they have moved online shopping in a better direction in Aust and I thank Christ every day I don’t have to deal with lazy, expensive B&M retailers or unreliable online staores anymore.
    +1 Amazon for me- try prime for a month free and get refunded if you hate it. You won’t, especially with the virus arriving with full force soon.

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      You cannot fault their customer service and they deal with foul ups quickly and without argument, even when it is clearly not their problem or fault (say courier company damaged / lost the goods). They are a joy to deal with compared to most of the local businesses that blame point, argue and deny. Kudos to Amazon for raising that bar if nothing else.

        • Sorry, the hate should be directed to Amazon, not you. They are a predatory company I just don’t like

          • Goldstandard1MEMBER

            Fair call.

            I get it, but they are moving online shopping forward in australia, even if it means star track express, australia post and TNT improve the service. If they disappear afterwards whatever.
            It’s not all bad for us.

  5. As I suspected, you prefer the game of mates that keeps retail prices a premium compared to other markets.

  6. LOL a disruptive TECH company has questionable employment practices? WTF who ever cared? No-one gives a toss. No-one. Couldn’t even give a rats if they paid tax. DID THEY DELIVER MY PRODUCT? That is all they care about.
    Disruptive TECH companies what do they remind you of? Robber railroad barons. Same methods same means. Nothing new under the sun, except maybe CV19!

    • Please tell us why retailers in Australia should have to deal through a middleman who put in place restrictions of who can and cant sell a particular brand and thereby putting up prices.
      At the end of the day consumers know what they want to buy, why should they have to subsidise Australias inefficient business that indirectly subsidises high rents?