Amazon is ramping up its Australian operations with the launch of a new pre-owned goods website before its major sales event, Prime Day, later this month.
Taking on competitors including Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Marketplace, Jeff Bezos’ online shopping behemoth launched its second-hand and returned goods platform Amazon Warehouse as a storefront on amazon.com.au on Tuesday.
The move comes before Amazon Prime Day 2021, a 65-hour online sales event that will run from midnight AEST on June 21 to 5pm on June 23.
Amazon Warehouse will give returned products “a new lease on life”, Amazon Australia country manager Matt Furlong said.
“Items are returned to Amazon for many reasons – sometimes a product is just not what a customer is looking for, or perhaps there’s a cosmetic defect or the packaging is damaged,” Mr Furlong said.
“These items can’t then be sold as new but are still great quality and in good working condition.”
How Amazon Warehouse works
Amazon Warehouse offers discount deals on pre-owned and returned ‘open box’ items across 30 categories ranging from electronics, home improvement, books, music, clothing and toys.
Second-hand products on offer include smartphones, home appliances and laptops, but the company said customers can buy with confidence because all orders will be “directly fulfilled and quality checked by Amazon”.
Buyers will also be entitled to Amazon’s existing customer service and returns rights.
Before an item is listed for sale, it undergoes “a thorough quality check to ensure it’s in good functional and physical condition”, Amazon said.
The item is then graded according to one of four standards: ‘Like New’, ‘Very Good’, ‘Good’, and ‘Acceptable’.
This rating determines “how deeply” the item is discounted.
Amazon Prime Day yet to go mainstream in Australia
Since launching in Australia in 2017, Amazon has been gradually expanding its reach in the local retail landscape.
But unlike in the United States, the platform’s annual Prime Day sales event is yet to take firm hold in Australia, with research by digital advertising firm Criteo finding that just over one in four Australian shoppers were familiar with the event.
“Amazon is still building steam in Australia. It doesn’t have the same level of ‘instant go-to’ that other markets have,” Criteo managing director Colin Barnard said.
“But they’ve come into the market determined. It’s a juggernaut. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Although Amazon is still working to cement itself, retailers in Australia have an opportunity to “up their game”, Mr Barnard said.
“We’ve still got good local competitors, [such as] individual retailers like JB HiFi and similar competitors like Catch,” he said.
“So there’s still space for Aussie retailers to not let Amazon have it all their own way.”
Consumers looking to support local retailers can still benefit from Amazon Prime Day, with many local shops offering sales at the same time, Mr Barnard said.
During online sales events like Click Frenzy and Amazon Prime Day “there are retailers who decide not to participate and then sort of hijack the events and do their own sales and divert attention to their own things”, he said.
“They use the awareness that other people have built up in the category of Click Frenzy or in this case of Amazon Prime to then hijack that and say, ‘Look, we’ve got offers too’,” Mr Barnard said.
“If I were a consumer, I would be looking around for deals on Amazon Prime Day even if it’s not from Amazon.”