Despite Gerry Harvey’s war on GST free goods imported from overseas, an Australian startup Shopster.com.au has entered the market with hopes that good service and price will overcome the added cost of paying GST in Australia.
As the Australian dollar hits parity with the U.S greenback and strengthens against most other currencies, consumers have been looking to buy everything from clothes to shoes to books online at discounts up to 70 percent lower than in Australian retail shops. Online newcomer Shopster.com.au has entered the fray to even the playing field.
After hearing complaints of designer duds costing 3 to 4 times more in department and specialty fashion stores than overseas, Shopster’s founders decided to cut out the fat and directly import famous brands, allowing them to charge less and offer a different variety than what is usually available in Australia.
Alex Ruzenberg, Shopster’s sales manager, said the company scours the U.S, Europe and Asia for the best brands at the lowest prices and since they only sell online ‘’we don’t have to pay hundreds of thousands a year in rent, passing the savings directly to our customers’’.
“People should understand since we get our products at reduced prices and sell with lower margins, we may not always have the same style in a variety of sizes. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt to find the best designer piece at the lowest price. I’ve been told from some of our customers our prices are even cheaper than some no name clothes from Target.
To compete against overseas online retailers, Shopster.com.au is playing up its geographic advantages, offering free (overnight) shipping and exchanges (min $99 purchase), making it a compelling alternative to online retailers overseas.