You’ll either love it or hate it dear readers, but Myer’s Chinese based website experiment, which aims to repeal the GST that customers pay on locally sourced goods has gone live today. The problem with the site (Myfind.com) is that the majority of its ‘deals’ hardly look inspiring enough to make the shift across from cheaper and more established e-tailers.
For instance, among the site’s many ‘specials of the month’, there is an $18 frypan, the same kind I saw at Coles last week for about the same price minus the shipping. For gadget heads, there is a $498 eMachines laptop (generic brand) that chuggs along with an older generation Pentium Dual Core 6000 series CPU. That’s not really a bargain; considering for a little more you can easily purchase Core i3 models now for under $600 if you hunt around online. A $50 generic branded shirt hardly inspires either – this is Lowes and Big W territory and they do it cheaper still.
Last year, retailers led by Harvey Norman, threatened the government, telling all who would listen that online sales should include GST – placing local based stores, which run up rents and considerable staff costs at an unfair disadvantage. Myer’s solution became MyFind, with offices strategically based in Hong Kong and China, making good on their threat to go offshore. But given it’s hardly the earth shattering e-bargainer we were led to believe it could be, the site is likely to land with an online whimper, instead of the financial thud that it was intended for.
Update #1: It appears that most of the site’s links are broken. We’re guessing that the site wasn’t ready for all the curious sticky beaks and is buckling under server/traffic load. If that’s the case, then it’s clearly a major embarrassment for Myer and the future of their GST-free retailing experiment.