by Frank Chung
AMAZON is finally here, and it's meh.
That appeared to be the general reaction from Aussie shoppers on Tuesday, who after months of fevered anticipation logged on to the e-commerce giant's local site to access the much-hyped bargains - only to find prices were more or less the same as local retailers.
And in an embarrassing oversight for Amazon, its own Kindle Paperwhite e-reader is $20 cheaper at Officeworks, $159 compared with $179.
"So Amazon has launched," tweeted Andy Hayes. "The Aussie retailers breathe a sigh of relief as they realise that the range is awful and the prices are exactly the same. No competition here."
You can grab an iPhone 7 Plus 128GB for $1199 at JB Hi-Fi compared with $1375 on Amazon, while a GoPro Hero 5 camera is $499 at JB Hi-Fi and $560 on Amazon. A Lenoxx 9-inch Twin Screen Portable DVD player, which retails for $149 on Kogan.com, is $172.38 plus $9.45 delivery on Amazon.
A Samsung T3 500GB Portable SSD hard drive is $299 plus $10 delivery on Amazon, and just $288 from Officeworks. And if you're a Pete Evans fan, his new cookbook One Pot Favourites will set you back $39.99 on Amazon as opposed to $27.99 plus $4.99 shipping from MightyApe.
The site has also experienced a number of glitches.
Shoppers attempting to purchase the Fire TV streaming device, which was being offered to Australian customers for the first time, received an error page. Others complained about the lack of a wishlist function available on the US site.
Meanwhile, some items are actually cheaper to purchase on the Amazon US site and have shipped to Australia.
The Microplane ribbon grater costs $29.95 plus $9.90 delivery on Amazon Australia, compared with $US18.16 ($24) plus free shipping to Australia from Amazon US, where you can similarly pick up a vinyl of Alice Cooper's Paranormal for $US23.72 ($31.21) compared with $54.99.
There are some bargains to be had, however.
Amazon is selling Nintendo Switch consoles for $399, significantly cheaper than $469 at JB Hi-Fi, while a Garmin Vivofit Jr. kids fitness tracker is $50 on Amazon compared with $89 at JB Hi-Fi, and the popular Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is $93.09 on Amazon compared with $99 at Sephora.
Gamers can grab a copy of Star Wars Battlefront II for the PlayStation 4 or Xbox one for $39 compared with $59 at JB Hi-Fi, and a popular skin mist from beauty brand Caudalie is about $10 cheaper on Amazon than Sephora, $66.50 compared with $76.