A Finder.com.au research showed about 73 per cent of Australians have purchased goods worth less than $1,000 from overseas retailers in the last two years.
On average these shoppers are spending $80 per purchase, at an average frequency of five times per year.
Collectively, that represents an estimated $5.8 billion spent on international purchases in the last 12 months.
Bessie Hassan, Money expert at Finder.com.au, said prices could well go up as overseas businesses cope with the change.
“It’s unclear which retailers will absorb the tax, which will bump their prices up or which will stop shipping to Australia altogether,” Hassan said.
“Australians love shopping online so it’ll be interesting to see whether this tax deters some from spending with overseas retailers,” she said. “Others might turn to local stores instead, which would give the retail industry a much needed boost.”
Had the tax been completely passed on to consumers, Aussies could have spent an extra $583 million on online purchases from sites like ASOS, Boohoo, Net-a-Porter and Marks & Spencer.
According to Hassan, the reality is overseas retailers are all in the same boat: they want to show competitive prices and keep their Aussie customers.
“Make sure you compare prices from a couple of retailers before you buy,” Hassan said. “Prices will still vary and you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal.”
“Once you add shipping to your purchase, you could be better off buying from a local retailer.”
Finder.com.au’s research showed Gen Y purchases overseas goods online the most (86 per cent) compared to Gen Z (80 per cent), Gen X (74 per cent) and Baby Boomers (61 per cent).
Men spend significantly more than women, forking out on average $91 per purchase in comparison to $66 per purchase.
The survey also shows that 16 per cent of respondents only shop online from local retailers, and a further 11 per cent don’t shop online at all.
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