Australians would buy local if it wasn't cheaper overseas: MasterCard

98 per cent would rather buy local, but 85 percent go for a better deal overseas, according to study
Australians would buy local if it wasn't cheaper overseas: MasterCard

Unless they have to pay more, most Australians prefer to buy from Australian websites when shopping online for the holidays, according to a MasterCard study released today.

The study found that 98 per cent of Australians would rather shop with local online sellers, but gave the caveat that price often convinces them to go overseas.

“Consumers want to shop locally if they can get the same value they get from overseas retailers,” said MasterCard Australia country manager, Andrew Cartwright.

Parliament currently has an inquiry into why Australian prices for IT and digital goods are frequently higher than in the US and other countries. For example, the Apple iTunes store in the US sells most digital albums between $9.99 and $12.99, while in Australia albums are frequently sold for $16.99 and higher.

In an attempt to discourage people from shopping overseas, Australian retailers recently coordinated sales for the “Click Frenzy” event, to mixed results.

Meanwhile, Choice, a consumer group that has protested high Australian prices, recently released a guide on how to use IP spoofing and US forwarding addresses to shop overseas and beat high Australian prices.

MasterCard found that 59 per cent of Australians said they preferred to buy locally because of faster shipping, while 46 per cent said it was important to deal with retailers they know and trust.

However, 85 per cent said a lower price will prompt them to shop overseas. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said overseas online retailers offer a better range of products, MasterCard said.

“So local retailers have the advantage over overseas competition in delivery and after-sales service but international online retailers are overwhelmingly favoured when it comes to price,” Cartwright said.

MasterCard surveyed 1,250 Australians aged 18 to 64 who shopped online in the last 12 months. The survey was conducted online by Galaxy Research from 19 to 23 November this year.

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