Amazon pricing sucks

July 9, 2021

After the issues with an Amazon gift card earlier this week, I thought I’d try to buy a book for one of my nephews. The link from the author’s page went to Amazon’s US site, where the price of the book was about US$14. According to xe.com, at today’s exchange rate, that’s AU$18.85. Amazon.com's price for Whole Whale hardbaok book is US$13.59

But I couldn’t buy it! Instead of a ‘buy now’ button, there was a message to buy it from the Australian site:

Message reads: Shipping to Australia? Get FREE delivery on eligible international orders with AU Prime (Membership fee applied) and pay in AUD, with a button to buy it on Amazon's Australian site So I clicked on that button and found the same book available on Amazon .com.au at a price that was nearly DOUBLE the price on the US site—AU$31.98:

Amazon.com.au's webpage for Whole Whale, shwoing a price of $31.98 for the hardcover book And free shipping? Nope. You only get free shipping if you spend more than AU$49 in your order.

Message: Free delivery by [date] on Prie International orders over $49.00

Bottom line: I can’t buy this book from the US site even when logged into it using my Amazon .com credentials—they force me to the Australian site, where the price is nearly double (AU$32 compared to AU$18.85 on the US site, converted from USD). And then I can’t get free shipping unless I buy something else that takes my order over AU$49.

When I added it to my cart on the Australian site, the shipping was surprisingly low for an Amazon book at just AU$5, but that now takes the total price to AU$37, TWICE the price that US customers pay.

So, even with credentials to Amazon’s US site, I can’t buy something from there—instead, they force me to the Australian site where they then try to charge me double the US price!


Just for giggles, I looked at some Australian booksellers’ websites, where I found the same book for $27.99 (no idea of postage as they wanted all my details before they’ll tell me this); $33.75 (+$7.95 postage); and $36.17 (free shipping; they state the Australian RRP is $46.18). I also found it on a UK bookseller’s site for AU$41.98 (+free shipping).


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