The best Amazon deals and sales in Australia for May 2018

Best Amazon deals in Australia

UPDATE: The price on the Nintendo Switch and the GoPro Hero6 Black have reduced further, so snag a great bargain on Amazon before the savings disappear.

Amazon might be the world's largest online marketplace, but its Australian storefront still has meagre offerings. Yet the Australian inventory is gradually increasing, meaning there's always a great bargain to be found.

Finding the cheapest prices on the tech currently sold on Amazon Australia can be rather time consuming, so we've taken it upon ourselves to help you sift through the chaff and find the best bargains on the hottest products.

We'll keep this list of Amazon deals updated regularly, so be sure to check in often and make sure to score the cheapest price on a variety of tech.

Nintendo Switch console for $399 (usually $469): There aren’t too many places discounting the Nintendo Switch at the moment, so if you’re after the Japanese company’s latest console, you’ll need to shop on Amazon Australia and scoop up either the grey Joy-Con model or the Neon console for $399. 

If you happen to be a first-time Amazon Australia user, you can apply the code AMAZON20 at checkout and snag a further $20 off, bringing the Switch down to just $379.
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PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB gaming console for $519 (usually $559): 

There aren't too many great PS4 Pro bundles going around at the moment, but if you need a brand new console, Amazon Australia currently has the cheapest price on both the the black and the white 1TB PS4 Pro.
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Bose QC35 II headphones (black) for $409.95 (usually $499): 

While it's possible to shut the world out for cheaper, Amazon Australia has a pretty decent price on the black Bose QC35 II noise-cancelling over-ear headphones. It's one of the best NC cans on the market and highly coveted.
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GoPro Hero6 Black for $509 (usually $599): 

While you’ll need to spend nearly $600 to get yourself the latest 4K GoPro action cam from most reliable retailers, you can save $90 on Amazon, where the Hero6 Black is available for $509, cheaper than what we had last week.
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Nikon D5600 kit + 18-55mm VR lens + 55-300mm VR lens for $1,308.95 (usually about $1,600): 

Given that Nikon’s slapped a price of $1,199 on the body of the D5600, snagging a kit with two VR lenses for a couple of hundred dollars more than the RRP of the body alone is not a bad bargain. While this kit isn’t the cheapest option out there, it’s straight from Nikon, so there’s an element of trust there.
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Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance smart bulb starter kit (E27 screw) for $223.20 (usually $289): 

If you’re looking to get into home automation, you can begin with setting up a smart lighting system and the Philips Hue starter kits are a great way to do that. The White and Colour Ambiance kit is currently on sale on Amazon Australia with 20% discount added at checkout. Keep in mind that you won’t see the discounted price until you’ve filled in your delivery address and payment method.
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Amazon Echo Dot for $53 (usually $70): 

Amazon’s a tad late to the smart speaker party in Australia, but Alexa is finally here and you can already save on the smallest Echo speaker. The Echo Dot, in both black and white, is now just $53 on Amazon Australia, saving you $17 on the purchase.
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Amazon Echo smart speaker for $119 (usually $149): 

Amazon is celebrating Aussie mums by offering a discount on its Echo smart speaker. With Alexa, you can get daily updates on news, weather and traffic, listen to music and set up home automation. It’s time to save $30 on the already affordable Amazon Echo.
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Amazon Echo Plus smart speaker for $179 (usually $229): 

If you want Alexa in a bigger chassis, the bigger brother of the Echo speaker is also currently discounted on Amazon. You can save $50 on the Echo Plus and do everything you would with the smaller Echo speakers, just bigger sound.
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Fitbit Ionic smartwatch for $299 (usually $399.95): 

Don’t just tell the time, tell the time smartly while getting fit, keeping up with the weather, your music and plenty more. Fitbit’s first smartwatch is on sale on Amazon with a $100 saving on the Ionic – perhaps the cheapest we’ve seen the smartwatch sell for recently.
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How to safely buy tech from Amazon

The Australian store still doesn't have the high volume inventory we see on the US version. Here's how you can import products through Amazon from overseas if you can't find what you're looking or in Australia.

Shopping on the overseas versions of Amazon from Australia can be a frustrating experience, with only a limited range actually shipping Down Under, and other issues such as differing product specs, warranty problems, not to mention varied power and plug requirements and import duties.

Thanks to the ‘Australia Tax’ (where we often – and inexplicably – pay more for products than our US or UK counterparts, even after accounting for currency conversions, taxes and shipping costs), buying internationally starts to look fairly appealing, but it’s not always an easy process.

To help make the advantages and disadvantages a little clearer, we’ve put together a guide to buying tech from Amazon when in Australia. The same general advice also applies to other overseas online retailers – and often other categories of products, too.

Of course, it is also worth double-checking if your item of choice is available from marketplaces such as eBay.com.au – just make sure you set the preferred location of sellers to ‘worldwide’.

Tech choices

Buying the latest gear from Amazon’s US store can potentially be a great way to save some money, but there are some things to watch out for:

  • Smartphones (or any device that connects to a mobile network) may operate on different frequencies, and not work correctly in Australia. Whirlpool has an excellent resource for checking what bands are used by different providers in Australia, which you can then compare to the overseas handset you’re considering.
  • Audio-visual items such as TVs may use different formats (the television broadcasts vary widely from country-to-country, for example) and DVD and Blu-ray players can be region locked, although region restrictions are less common for the latter. Different power plugs and power requirements can also be an issue – we’ve got a bit more details on that further down the page.
  • In general, the best savings come from items simply not available locally, or for more expensive items where the Australia Tax is particularly severe. Tech such as laptops are a good choice, but don’t forget to account for GST (see our section on import duty below).

Warranties and consumer protections

Big ticket items such as phones and laptops will sometimes be covered by an international warranty, but in cases where they are you don’t get the same purchase protections that buying in Australia provides – we have some of the strongest consumer protections in the world. 

Smaller items are not usually covered by an international warranty, or will need to be returned to Amazon or the manufacturer in the US, which is cost prohibitive. 

Warranty varies a lot between items and manufacturers, so make sure to double-check before purchasing.

Power and plugs

The good news is that most tech these days either charges from USB – like smartphones, fitness trackers and ebook readers – or for larger items such as laptops, uses a power supply that can automatically run from both 110V and 240V power outlets without any issues.

These ‘universal’ power adapters will work just fine in Australia with just a plug adapter, however, be aware that some US-based items will only run on 110V. These are usually items that draw a lot of power, such as hair dryers.

It’s possible to get a transformer that will convert the voltage, but unless it’s a particularly cheap or rare item, it’s usually not worth the trouble or expense, as these ‘stepdown transformers’ can cost $50 or more.

Items with US (or other) plugs will need an adapter to be able to be plugged into Australian power sockets – these can be bought cheaply at many places both off and online, including Amazon, eBay, electronics shops and at airports. Many electronic items use standard removable power cords, so the best (not to mention safest and cheapest) bet is often to just buy a cord with the correct Australian plug, rather than use an adapter. 

Regardless of the plug you’re using, always double-check the voltage on a device’s power supply and if it specifies ‘110V only’ then it cannot be used in Australia – and plugging it in will burn it out (and potentially fry the rest of the device, too).

For some more problematic items, it may also be possible to replace the entire power supply with a third-party option. First check what voltage and amperage it needs – such as DC 12V, 1A, as well as the DC plug type.

It’s important to match the voltage, but it’s perfectly fine to match or exceed the amperage rating – such as 12V, 2A. Companies such as Jaycar Electronics stock replacement power supplies and the staff can usually help find a match.

Shipping forwarders

When searching on Amazon, you can choose to limit the results to products that will ship to Australia. You don’t need to be restricted to just those, however – to access a broader range of options, consider using a shipping forwarder.

The company effectively acts as a middleman – the item is sent to their US address, whereupon it’s forwarded on via international post or courier (depending on what the forwarder offers and/or you’re willing to pay for) to Australia.

Many of the companies offer handy services, such as combining multiple packages into one, or storing packages until others arrive and they can be combined. Some of the more premium providers even have a concierge service that will buy the items for you – at an added cost, of course.

It’s worth noting that any insurance and tracking from Amazon will only be valid until it reaches the forwarding company, and returns can be problematic.

You may also need to confirm that any items that can be shipped domestically in the US can also be legally be shipped internationally from the US.

While shipping forwarders do add to the cost and complexity of buying overseas, the overall savings can be well worth it.

Shipping forwarders exist all around the world, but we’ve put together some of the better ones for ordering from Amazon in the US. Shipito has pretty decent prices (plus a shipping calculator), and can store and consolidate your packages. Stackry offers the same features, and is a good choice for first time users, with straightforward pricing and no complex membership options.

Import duty

One advantage to buying internationally from the States is that you don’t need to pay any US sales tax and many prices don’t include it. But keen not to miss out on any of those dollars, the Australian Government may actually slug you for GST on the local-end instead.

International purchases under $1,000 used to be GST free, but from 1 July 2017 GST became applicable on all imports – no matter the price.

If a purchase goes over the threshold, you pay 10% of the value of the goods + 10% of the international (but not domestic) shipping charges. While some items can certainly end up undeclared or have the incorrect values, customs does its best to check shipments and enforce the tax.

Tech you can buy on Amazon (safely)

So what bits and bobs can you buy on Amazon for use in Australia without having to think about it too much? Some popular ‘region friendly’ tech categories include camera accessories (lenses, tripods, filters and so on), wireless Bluetooth speakers, headphones, power banks, SD and microSD cards, portable external hard drives and ebook readers. You can also snatch a great bargain on some gaming gear like controllers. Even fitness trackers are an easy purchase online on Amazon.

[Hero image courtesy of Flickr user Mugley]