Shock and horror! This week I made a mistake that you should know about; a really annoying one. Well really I made the mistake during busy Christmas trade last year. The mistake was simple: I ordered too much Lunchbots Australia stock so that when it arrived I was hit with a fee representing 25% of the retail value of the goods! The fee was made up of duties and tax as well as processing costs. I can’t tell you how frustrating this simple error is – a keying error when submitting my order that bumped it over the acceptable $1000 value limit and would mean that after costs I would pay more for the lunch boxes than I sell them for.
Immediately I was thinking of how much effort we put into processing all of our orders and felt deflated that this would be for nothing with this lot of stock. I’m sure you can appreciate my feeling; if you were going to your job but not getting a pay check you might feel like me in this photo! HAHA ;P Since this one example of the threshold affecting our little business was so upsetting, the only thing to do to turn this situation into more of a positive was to share some news with you all or remind those of you who had already heard this news that a change is coming.
In the 2016–17 Federal Budget the Government confirmed that from 1 July 2017 the GST will be extended to low value imports of physical goods imported by consumers. (Aust Govt ATO)
Abolished Import Tax Threshold and You
Why should you care about this? This situation made me remember that the tax laws are changing in July 2017 as the tax free threshold on imports is being abolished. This means that anyone who buys anything from overseas will have to pay an import fee. Notice that my fee was MUCH more than just GST. This will make it really hard for us to bring unique brands into Australia for you. We won’t be able to just bring in small quantities anymore. There will always be big fees to pay on accepting goods from international locations.
The thing is that these costs won’t just apply to us as retailers but as of July 2017 these fees will also apply to you, the consumer. While this will be great for retailers in some ways, meaning that there will be more pressure on Australians to buy from within Australia; I am also realistic that there are some products that just aren’t available here at all and likely won’t be.
How the Abolished Import Tax Threshold Will Affect Australian Consumers
If you buy anything from overseas, you will have to pay Australian tax on it before it is delivered, on top of the purchase cost you have paid a store. The bottom line is that if you have had your eye on something from OS you have less than 6 months to make that happen before the final cost increases dramatically. Buying OS is about to become a lot more $$. Heads up.