FILE PHOTO: An Amazon package is seen after being delivered in London, Britain February 29, 2016.
FILE PHOTO: An Amazon package is seen after being delivered in London, Britain February 29, 2016. Reuters/Toby Melville/File Photo

Amazon has officially launched Amazon Prime in Australia. The e-commerce giant’s paid subscription service has fewer perks than its US counterpart, but it’s also a lot cheaper.

On Tuesday, Amazon’s premium offering officially launched with a 30-day free trial. After the trial period, Amazon Prime will automatically renew at an introductory promotional membership price of $4.99 per month. The subscription price will then increase to $6.99 from January 2019. In comparison, Amazon Prime subscription in the US costs US$119 (AU$ 160) per year.

Unlike the US Amazon Prime, Australia doesn’t offer a same-day shipping or even a next-day shipping. Its fastest delivery is two business days, and it’s available nearly “90 percent” of Australians in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra, as well as regional cities such as Wagga Wagga, Gold Coast, Gosford, Shepparton-Mooroopna, Toowoomba, Albury-Wodonga and Bendigo. For those in remote and rural locations, they will receive “free expedited shipping in as fast as four or five days.”

There is no minimum purchase requirement for the free delivery. For non-Prime customers, Amazon offers next-day “priority” shipping for $9.99 per delivery in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra. Those who are in Perth and regional cities in NSW, SA and Victoria, one-to-two-day delivery is available for $11.99.

Amazon Prime also includes access to Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime Reading and Twitch Prime. Subscribers can voice-shop on Alexa-enabled devices. All these perks still can’t compare to the ones the US version has, but as the website is still relatively new in Australia, it is understandable.

What is perhaps the best lure for Amazon Prime for Australians is the access to about 4 million products from the US site. Australians will be blocked from shopping in Amazon’s US sites from July 1 because of the new GST regulations in the country.

Meanwhile, eBay Australia has also launched its own version of Amazon Prime, but cheaper. The eBay Plus also gives members access to free one-day or two-day delivery, as well as other benefits for $49 annual fee.