Australian online photographic print service providors are now competing with offshore suppliers, who are apparently shipping into the country GST-free.
In fact, one such operator, Malaysia-based Photobook Worldwide, has an Australian branch, Photobook Australia, an Australian website, a Melbourne phone number and suburban street address, and even quotes an Australian ABN – but does not add GST to its pricing.
The initial emailed response from Photobooks Australia when Photo Counter asked about GST, was that is was included in the prices on the website. When we then asked whether the recept issued would have a GST component Photobooks responded, ‘Unfortunately, the receipt that we issued does not include the GST amount.’
On phoning the Melbourne Photobook Australia contact number we were told that GST was not charged, and that orders were fulfilled in Photobook’s Malaysian lab. It was also confirmed photo prints were produced on Indigo printers.
Until recently Photobook Australia specialised, as the company name implies, in photobooks, greeting cards, etc, produced on Indigo digital presses in its Malaysia lab.
It has now branched out into photographic prints, also printed on Indigo equipment using a 260 gsm ‘E Photo’ paper in either gloss or matte finishes. Prints can be personalised with captions, a filter, ‘or any of our beautiful backgrounds’.
The first wholesale lab to offer photo prints made on Indigo equipment rather than silver halide paper was Brazillian operation Digipix, in 2012. The most recent is, of course, Nulab in Australia.
Photobooks Australia offers prints from 4×6 up to 11×14-inch. Ironically, because the price of photo prints in Australia has been so cheapened by the likes of BigW and Harvey Norman, even without a GST charge, the Photobook Australia prices aren’t particularly attractive to local consumers.
A 100-print order is $24.95 plus shipping, while it’s not until you order 500 prints at $84.95 that the Photobook pricing starts to rival what’s available in most shopping malls in Australia!
However, the 7-day guaranteed shipping time (‘or you money refunded’) makes some of the local wholesale fullfilment houses seem a little slow.
Another business, Canvas Street, which operates from the same address and phone number, specialises in canvas prints, presumably shipped in from Malaysia. No GST is charged. However, the Photobook/Canvas Street location at 1/475 Burwood Hwy, Vermont Sth, which at one stage was a Video Ezy store, is large enough to accommodate wide-format printing equipment. (So if anyone’s in the neighbourhood…)
Photobook Worlwide/Canvas Street operates in over 100 countries around the world, but while most of those countries have a mirrored website with pricing in their own currencies, the Photobook Australia operation seems to be one of the few with a physical presence in the country.