After months of speculation and false starts, Amazon has finally launched its Australian operations -- to disappointing reviews.

While had an existing presence selling ebooks, in the early hours of the morning, the site began displaying additional categories, including beauty, clothing, electronics, and toys.

Much of the lead-up hype was along the lines of ‘how Amazon will destroy retail in Australia’ but early indications show its prices are similar, if not more expensive, than what local retailers are charging.

Early reviews from users on Twitter were not great, with many expressing disappointment at the scant selection and inflated prices.

Amazon has launched in Australia without Amazon Prime, its annual flat-rate fee for delivering goods within a 2-day timeframe for no additional charge.

In Australia, delivery is free on orders over $49.

Amazon has set up its local fulfilment centre in Melbourne to ship goods out to customers.