Proudly Australian and Paying GST

Over Christmas there was a lot of coverage in the media about overseas online retailers and the fact that they don’t have to pay Good and Services Tax (GST) on goods supplied to Australian customers. In response to perceived Australian Government inaction on this issue, domestic retailers Gerry Harvey, Myer et al. have threatened to take their retail operations offshore in order to avoid the GST and to achieve a ‘level playing field’.

At this juncture, we thought it was appropriate to tell you where we stand on the subject.

We’re an Australian business, we’re located in Australia (and always will be), we predominantly sell Australian books to Australian people, we support Australian authors, and we buy books from Australian publishers and distributors.  Unlike Amazon, The Book Depository and other foreign online bookstores, Boomerang Books pays GST, employs Australians, pays Australian contractors, supports Australian charities, and contributes to the environment by being carbon neutral.  Boomerang Books is a proud member of the Australian Made Retail Supporter program and proudly carries a distinctly Australian name.

We don’t believe that the GST situation is going to change any time soon.  Australian consumers will continue to have access to products from overseas retailers who don’t pay GST – and we believe that’s a good thing.  After all, we’re consumers too and we like to get a good deal ourselves!

In spite of the prices on offer overseas, we hope that you will consider shopping at an online bookstore that is proudly Australian, socially responsible and environmentally friendly.  And paying GST.

Published by

Clayton Wehner

Clayton is the founder and managing director of Boomerang Books. In a past life, Clayton worked for 12 years as an intelligence officer in the Australian Army and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College Duntroon and holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science and a Master of Management Studies (Human Resource Management) from the UNSW. He is also a trained Indonesian linguist and served with the United Nations in East Timor as an interpreter/translator.

7 thoughts on “Proudly Australian and Paying GST”

  1. I am all for buying Australian, but when the price disparity is so drastic it is very hard to say no. For example, my mother purchased Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion on pre-order from a well known overseas retailer for $28. Yes, you are reading this correctly. I didn’t miss a digit. This book retails for a whopping $125 in Australia, give or take a few bucks. Australia just can’t compete with our taxes the way they are.

  2. Gee, that is cheap Susie – I would be inclined to purchase the book from there myself…it is difficult to compete with these sorts of prices. This huge price differential is not just about GST though, it’s also about the legislated protectionism of the book industry in Australia and the higher wholesale price that retailers are obligated to pay for local stock. At the end of the day, these things won’t change quickly and we have to continue to compete on things other than price.

  3. Don’t forget to add: Boomerang and other Australia-based online retailers also support Australian publishers and authors. While some Australian titles are available through Ama*on and B**k D*pository, most are not and never will be.

    Without local booksellers such as Boomerang supporting publishers like us wouldn’t be able to publish books for the Australian market. More power to you.

  4. I think the Gerry Harvey led campaign about GST is misdirection at best, at least when it comes to books. The books I buy through that English bookseller are usually less than half the cost of the RRP in Australia so 10% more would be irrelevant. Surely it’s territorial copyright restrictions that really causes the inflated prices of Australian books.

    As for doing my book shopping locally … I read 150+ books a year – at Australian retail prices I simply couldn’t afford them and would revert to my pre-internet habbits of buying a handful of books each year and using the library for the rest. These days the only things I buy locally are new titles by Australian authors that are being published here first (or here only) and even then it grates to pay $32.99 when I know the author isn’t getting any more out of that than the author of the book I buy for $15 from the UK retailer.

    You’re right though about competing on things other than price. I’d support a bookstore that specialised in my genre of choice (crime fiction that isn’t written by mainstream names like James Patterson or Patricia Cornwell) but there aren’t any locally (either physical or online) so I go where the books are and where the information is.

    Funnily enough I do buy most of my eBooks at Australian stores though – mainly because copyright restrictions prevent me from buying from English stores and American ones too (I don’t use a Kindle). I hope that Boomerang and other local stores are able to take advantage of this new market segment in the near future, perhaps via the Google books store when that becomes available in Oz.

  5. Thanks for the comments Bernadette. In relation to ebooks, we will be launching our ebook download platform in the next two months – stay tuned…

  6. How interesting to hear a bookseller NOT support the current reltailers’ cry. We DO all want a good deal – and I will continue to support the range for booksellers available to me – at home and abroad – depending on my need, the deal, and serendipity! Thanks for adding to the debate.

  7. Hi Boomerang Books, I support your philosophy of employing Australian staff and supporting Australian authors. I feel that we need to support our own industry in order to continue having the the lifestyle enjoyed by many here. No-one wants to end up with unemployment and financial troubles similar to the USA or Greece.

    I think we need to support organisations such as yours and if that means I only buy two books per month instead of 5 then I am willing to do so. I see this sort of approach as part of my responsibility of citizenship – just like paying a levy to help out the people devastated by floods in Queensland. It’s all part of being who we are as a nation.

    Thanks for doing what you Boomerang.

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