I thought I would introduce myself to you, my name is Gaye. My partner, Joop, and I are the importers of the absinthes you are referring to and the owners of Absinthesalon.
With all due respect, I think it wise to get your facts correct before you go off on a rant regarding prices, taxes and legislation here in Australia when it comes to the liquor industry.
We have been importing, wholesaling and retailing absinthe now since 2005..... all of course legitimately .... unlike some overseas online absinthe vendors. As Alan points out, obviously goods will be remarkably cheaper when trading beneath the radar of government legislation. Of course this will be more enticing to the consumer. There is absolutely no way to compete with these prices especially now the flying monkeys are offering ridiculously low prices on freight since the GFC, just to keep their planes flying.
If you think we base our business on greed for profit you are sorely mistaken especially as you do not seem to understand the layers of costs that are involved in just being able to offer the 24 absinthes that we bring in to this country. We are very passionate about what we do and the re education of people here regarding the nature of the Crapsinth they have all been throwing back for the last decade.
Buying absinthe online from overseas is buying ALCOHOL. This is considered as unaccompanied alcohol as it is an importation, whether 1 bottle or a pallet, whether for personal or commercial use. It is not the same as bringing back a couple of bottles on the plane with you duty free. Alcohol (and tobacco) when bought in unaccompanied attract an excise equivalent goods tax which goes straight into the governments coffer, as welll as customs duty and GST.
This is not like buying a book on Amazon Ignis.... which falls under your example of private purchases of $1000 or under and the whole GST debate. That is just a goods and services tax of a piddly 10%. EEG tax is a whole other matter and goes up twice a year with no cap.... ever! Australia is one of the highest taxed countries in the world when it comes to alcohol. Some bottles we have to pay up to $60 AUS in EEG tax alone.
So when you combine the boutique nature of our shipments, the road costs to get them to port in Europe, the shipping costs, the EEG tax, customs duty, GST, wharf handling costs, under bond storage, customs charges every time we take stock out of bond etc and then oh yes a renumeration for our business called a retail markup, you end up with an elevated price in relation to the overseas online prices.
And yes of course there are the import permits required which is basically just an inconvenience and not so problematic when you know how to attain them.
We are slowly growing and may be able to drop our prices a little in the near future but that is because of the support of our online customers in Australia as well as all those who frequent the Salon, who dearly want to see us succeed in a market jam packed with assbinth and big companies with plenty of advertising dollars to brainwash the masses. We will never be able to compete with the roque online traders with their untaxed prices and often times false declaration of goods. It would be gallant of them though to at least let their prospective purchasers know that there is the possibility their goods could be seized and taxes paid. But then they generally pass the responsibility of knowledge onto the purchaser and wash their hands of it.
So Ignis, apologies for my long rant, but things had to be clarified
I hope this information answers a lot of grey areas.