Alternatives to Amazon

26 Aug, 2020

Amazon is a name and company that resonates across the world as the company grows larger and larger every day. They make calculated sales to billions of customers to deliver packages faster and more effectively than nearly anyone else. 

With their strangle on the eCommerce market, it may seem impossible to even fathom shopping anywhere else online to get what you need. Thankfully, IO Scout has found some amazing alternatives to Amazon for the support looking to support other businesses and independent creators. 

Each Amazon alternative offers buyers something slightly different, so we wanted to break them down into more specific categories. No matter what you are looking to buy online, we are confident you will find at least one of these options perfect for your online shopping needs. Let’s first understand why you may not want to always shop on Amazon when choosing an online retailer. 

Ethical Alternatives to Amazon

Despite the global dominance of Amazon, it is very clear that they did not reach the top through charitable work and great standards of ethics. When looking for alternatives to amazon marketplace shopping, most people look to other websites because the quality of life for Amazon workers and their overall business model is not one people want to stand behind. 

One of the primary issues people have with Amazon is the structuring of the business that leads it to breed intensive conditions that are often too harsh on employees. Hitting often unrealistic quotas on the daily and having to deal with management that is very intense means that you either work at 100% all the time or are kicked out.

There are even ranking systems within the company that allow others to rank the performance of others in often unfair and corrupt ways. The competition in the Amazon hierarchy is fierce and results in people taking extreme measures to try and get a leg up on their peers. This push to do more than what is realistic or often safe for standard working conditions is something any shopper should recognize when placing an order. 

Alongside the somewhat harsh business practices employees have to deal with, many people are not happy with the current state of Amazon shipping and handling. The army of vehicles they have around the world at any given time is a contributing factor to the overall global emissions issues we are dealing with. Until they move to greener energy sources and a more effective way of streamlining their company practice, Amazon just isn’t the most ethical company to buy online from. 

All the ethics aside, let’s see what other companies are doing to make a name for themselves in an attempt to penetrate the market amazon is currently dominating in. 

Amazon Alternatives for Fashion and Lifestyle

Zappos

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When it comes to company culture, Zappos has to be easily one of the most well-regarded online stores. They started with humble beginnings selling shoes online in relatively small numbers. As they grew and grew into a more impressive company, they started to catch the eyes of bigger names and even Amazon.

Eventually, Amazon bought Zappos and turned them into a smaller subsidiary company. Thankfully for shoppers, Zappos still retains their impeccable corporate culture that makes them one of the best places to work. It seems like almost any business could learn a thing or two from how Zappos runs.

Today, they offer a wide range of shoes and other clothing items at competitive prices. They have a rewards system and faster shipping options to keep customers happy and coming back. If how employees are treated is of utmost importance to you, buying from Zappos is an easy decision.

Rakuten

Rakuten may not be a common household name like eBay or Amazon, but they offer a very similar service that is convenient for shoppers to work with. Rakuten does not sell their own products but rather connects customers to other marketplaces where they can get the best deals currently available on any number of items.

Connect with top clothing brands like Puma and Calvin Klein easier than ever before to get the clothes you want at prices that are hard to beat. If you shop with Rakuten often and want to get more out of your online experience, you can enter into their points program that rewards you for shopping with them. 

Another handy tool offered by this store is that they have a browser extension that allows you to see their deals on other sites. Always get the best prices when shopping online with Rakuten by your side. 

thredUP

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If you love to go to the local thrift store to find some unique and vintage pieces, then you are going to love threadUP. This unique and exciting online marketplace allows clothes to get a second chance at life and gives great discounts to what would otherwise be very expensive pieces. 

You can find almost any clothing brand you desire on this website and find clothes in a range of conditions. For example, you can find essentially new pieces with tags and everything while also finding a jacket that was worn and loved by someone else that you can grab for a great price.

You can even sell your own clothes on their marketplace to get rid of some clothes that other shoppers may be dying to wear. When looking for alternatives to amazon and eBay for selling and buying used clothes, thredUP is going to be a great option.

Lululemon 

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Quickly becoming as recognizable as brands like Nike and Adidas, Lululemon started small and has grown into a fashion and lifestyle empire. The signature pants that were offered by this company were praised by millions and allowed them to grow and branch out into new markets. 

Branching out from yoga apparel and gear to fitness wear and accessories for everyone, this company sends positive messages and great clothing to anyone in the market for great gear. Lululemon great has the ability to work wonders in the intense gym environment and looks just as good anywhere else. 

Hundreds of retail stores and online shopping access means you can try a wide array of options from the company and find something that stands out to you. Their quality guarantee and return policies also ensure every customer is satisfied with their purchase. 

Amazon Alternatives for Technology

Newegg

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While Amazon can offer some good deals on random tech devices, Newegg is one of the best options when it comes to the real tech enthusiast. Popular among those who love the latest and greatest technology, Newegg allows people to do everything from build their own computer from the ground up to choose from a wide range of phones.

Newegg has great customer service and wants to help ensure everyone is getting the experience they deserve on their platform. From helpful guides to categories that help even the least tech-savvy person find what they are looking for, Newegg is a haven for anyone looking for something that uses electricity.

You can get faster shipping and great discounts if you sign up for an account with them. Their wide range of products mean you can stop by to grab some batteries, a new remote, or even pick up some general household appliances. Overall, Newegg is the spot to go to when electronics are needed.

AliExpress

AliExpress can feel like uncharted waters for many consumers as it is Chinese based and doesn’t offer many name-brand products, but they do offer a huge variety of technology products. Once you get to the products you really want, AliExpress becomes a great place to buy online.

Their incredibly low prices are often scary to some customers as they feel that the quality won’t match the price. While there are some products that aren’t all that great, AliExpress is great when you need some less important electronics for casual needs. Tehri diverse range of options at low price points makes AliExpress a very unique entry into the online retail marketplace.

As far as customer satisfaction goes, AliExpress is very open about their dedication to customer satisfaction. They don’t release your money until it is confirmed you are getting your order and will accept returns if you are not happy with what you ordered. For cheap tech deals, AliExpress is the way to go.

BestBuy

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The giant yellow price tag that can be seen from afar is what many people associate with their technology retailer of choice, BestBuy. With a large retail presence and steadily growing online presence, BestBuy is very quickly looking to take on Amazon in the technology department.

BestBuy has almost any technology device you could imagine ranging from laptops to smart fridges for the home. They have all the popular brands at respectable prices and even have their own branded products for even more savings on tech. 

If you have a location near you. You can even use their online store to order items for reserved pickup and just get them when you show up. Returns are also a breeze with BestBuy as their online returns are easier to fill out than almost any other online technology retailer. Their lowest price guarantee and solid customer service has kept BestBuy ahead of the pack for years. 

Amazon Alternatives for Unique Presents

Etsy

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When looking for a unique gift or present for anyone, Etsy has to be on your radar. This relatively new online marketplace is where small creators and artists can thrive by selling their work through Etsy. Supporting small businesses from around the world has never been easier than it is right now.

When looking for alternatives to amazon for small crafts and art pieces, Etsy blows amazon out of the water with everything they offer. You can find everything from vintage items looking for a new home to one-off pieces that are only available to the first buyer.

Etsy is great for the creators too as they are getting a much higher cut of their earnings than is seen on other platforms. No longer do you have to buy knock-off pieces from large manufacturers as Etsy creators are eager to create customer pieces to make the perfect gift for anyone. Support creators right and give gifts that will be cherished forever when you choose to buy with Etsy over a larger company. 

Uncommon Goods

In a similar sense to Etsy, Uncommon Goods relies on their dedicated and talented creators to make sure that there is always a unique gift for every occasion. When it comes to a company that represents caring for their sellers and customers, Uncommon Goods has to be at the top of the list.

As a bonus, Uncommon Goods also has a strong commitment to ensuring they are doing their part to reduce climate damage and pollution. The eco-friendly packaging and products created with care shows how much they want people to be happy and have a positive impact at the same time. 

The range of products on offer is also something that makes this online retailer a very promising option. You can find things like custom candles, handmade jewelry, and an assortment of other crafts that are sure to impress. Give a unique gift with anything found on Uncommon Goods

Overstock

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Overstock is an interesting website as it started out like most other eCommerce sites and transformed into something unique. As the name suggests, Overstock has many products that were either not wanted or in too large of a supply for other companies to sell easily. 

Thanks to this business model, you can very easily find great deals on all sorts of craft supplies and gifts that people are going to love. Their incredibly diverse array of products also means you can find just about anything you can imagine on this website. 

What makes their offering especially exciting is their program called Worldstock that acts as a system for creators to offer their products in association with Overstock. This means small and independent creators can sell to a much larger audience and buyers get access to custom crafts with ease. 

Amazon Alternatives for Household Shopping

Made trade 

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If you care about the ethics of the pieces your home is filled with, Made Trade is there by your side with the same values. They are a very new store that was started to create a place where ethical and sustainable goods could be sold to a wide range of buyers. 

They are really pushing to promote more women and colored-owned businesses so that there can be more diversity and options in the home space market. Every product they have on their site is made to high standards and is all made in the USA by their many creators. 

They make buying household products from great people and brands as simple as possible. No longer do you have to hunt down niche websites and stores to get the great quality products that are already out there waiting. Made trade is also big on donating a portion of their earnings to environmental charities to help save the planet alongside their carbon neutral shipping methods. 

Jet

Jet is an online shopping offering that gives shoppers access to a wide array of name brand products that all have discounted prices. They have everything from general cleaning products to more niche offerings to keep your home looking great.

As they evolve and grow, they have added new lines of products that ar4e focused on positive environmental impact to help promote a better world. This new brand image is helping Jet push others to also create more environmentally conscious products. If you are looking to buy bulk supplies as well, they also offer excellent discounts when you buy larger orders. 

The wide array of product types and options offered by Jet has led to Walmart making them a subsidiary and helps Jet reach new heights. With backing from Walmart, Jet now has better shipping options and more products to ensure your home always has what it needs. 

Target

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That iconic target that we have all seen on the side of stores is now making its way to the ecommerce scene with the same great deals. In the past few years, Target has gone through a major brand overhaul that has shown them creating new product lines and quality increases across the board.

Not only have they made a big splash with tehri impressive new clothing lines, but their home amenities and household brands look and feel great. They promote their own brands online in combination with name brand products so you are never limited to what kind of products you can use. 

If you want the trendiest pieces for your home, Target has you covered with an ever expanding line of household products that look five times as good as they cost. Everything from their soap dispensers to their wide array of cleaning products are all going to be perfect for the college student or family home alike. 

Home Depot 

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Despite being primarily known for their massive selection of lumber and seemingly every type of nut and bolt in the world, Home Depot goes way beyond traditional hardware needs. Their competitive prices and wide array of products makes this the one stop shop to go for when you need any home related product.

They have a wide array of cleaning solutions for the home ranging from counter cleaners to shower drain cleaners for more serious messes. Additionally, they offer a number of paint options from top brands that allows you to give your home a fresh new look or to just touch up the family living room. 

They have a large number of retail stores that allow you to find one near you and pickup larger orders from online to save on shipping time and costs. For larger items for the home, they can deliver them to you without you needing to rent out a truck just so you can get your lawnmower or fridge home. 

Alternatives to Amazon for Books

Better World Books 

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Better World Books is a great place to buy millions of books while also feeling like you are giving back thanks to their excellent social responsibility and passion for helping. When you buy a book, Better World Books will donate another book to someone who can’t afford one to help communities get access to books. 

Additionally, this online bookstore is a certified B Corp. who has dedicated themselves to being good for customers and the environment. They use carbon offsetting for shipping which means that they are doing their part in reducing emissions so you can get your book without the burden of harmful shipping.

A really cool feature they have added is called eDelivery which opens up new ways to get your books. If you order a book this way, they can get it scanned in an hour or two and you can have a digital copy. This saves on paper and time so you get your book and the environment gets a little help.

Barnes & Noble

Just like amazon, Barnes & Noble started out as a humble book store that grew into something much larger. You can find nearly any book on their website and their retail stores are a favorite for book lovers who want to see what options are out there to get invested in. 

In addition to regular books, they have millions of eBooks to purchase and read without the need for a physical copy. Their Nook tablet is similar to the kindle in that it allows readers to get that book look without needing a physical copy or to carry around a heavy book. 

As they branch out more, Barnes & Noble has started to offer more diverse products to customers. You can now buy things like stationery, journals, movies, and even records from their stores. When you want to find the latest bestsellers or find a timeless classic, Barnes & Noble will get it to you just as fast as Amazon. 

Hive 

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This UK based book company is offering a new way to support local bookshops around the world from the comfort of your own home. Breaking into the already crowded book market, Hive has revolutionized how we buy books to ensure we are keeping smaller stores supported.

What Hive allows you to do is to pick the book you want to buy and then choose which bookstore you want the money to go toward. Instead of large companies getting all the profit from a book sale, the smaller bookstores are now able to stay afloat amongst giants of competition. 

Hive has also started to offer other goods like records and smaller gifts to help fund their venture. Despite being relatively new and small in the book selling scene, Hive is showing their true colors by helping the communities around them. 

Alternatives to Amazon Prime and other Categories

eBay 

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What many consider to be the most relevant competitor to Amazon Prime has to be eBay. With them being around for about as long as Amazon, has grown alongside eBay into what it is today. Despite their difference, eBay and Amazon are both very similar platforms trying to sell products. 

What makes eBay stand out is that you don’t have to just buy products as they have implemented a bidding system. This means someone can post a product with a minimum amount and people from all over can get on and bid for that product. Once the time limit elapses, the highest bidder will be the one who gets the product. 

Despite the unique bidding mechanic that made eBay famous in the first place, they have also grown like Amazon to include features that allow you to simply buy things instantaneously. Unlike Amazon where they are usually the primary seller, eBay still relies on many of their sellers to be the ones offering the products.

eBay has also shown new direction with their addition of automotive and boat sales that allow users to bid or buy on vehicles to then receive by various means. eBay continues to grow alongside Amazon, but they are often regarded as a less intensive platform for buying. 

Walmart 

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The giant that is the Walmart Corporation was bound to create their online presence sooner or later. What was once just an afterthought to their massive retail presence has grown to be an essential part of the overall Walmart brand. Their newer website and online offering have changed how people shop at Walmart and allows them to offer previously impossible product offerings. 

The thing that Walmart is most often known for is its great deals and shockingly low prices. Their massive infrastructure allows them to undercut most markets so that customers are more convinced to buy from them. In the online space, this just makes them even more competitive than the competition and puts them up against Amazon. 

As one of the leading alternatives to amazon marketplace options, Walmart is able to offer similar or better service than Amazon to customers. You get the same shipping deals as Amazon and can even order things online that you can later pick up in store at your convenience. 

If you want to support a brand that gives back, Walmart does a number of different things to give back to their communities. They donate food and money when possible so that they can help others out. They may not be as charitable or green as a smaller store, but they are showing that larger corporations can still do their part. 

ShopRunner

ShopRunner is a very unique offering on the market that offers a new way to buy online. Where other online stores are going to have all the products they sell on their own website, ShopRunner works with affiliate websites so that they can offer you unique options when checking out with your items.

The way this site works is by having an account with ShopRunner that allows you to buy with other companies more effectively. For example, if you are buying clothes with an affiliate of ShopRunner, you will get an option to use them for checking out your purchase, ShopRunner will then allow you to buy the product with two day shipping and may potentially allow you to get a discount.  

You can use their website as your home base for shopping as it allows you a global search of every affiliate they have. Despite their niche style of operating, ShopRunner can be a viable option when looking to buy clothes and other products outside of the Amazon sphere of influence. 

Why don’t some Consumers Shop on Amazon?

With so many great alternatives to amazon and eBay out there, you are really spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping with brands you love. From small companies that focus on promoting their creators to larger brands that care about giving back to the community, you no longer need to be forced to use Amazon to buy what you need. 

With Amazon having questionable business practices that don’t align with what people care about, there has been a recent surge in people looking for alternative platforms to do business with. From clothing not electronics and everything in between, there are unique online stores that can be better options for people to work with when they don’t feel comfortable supporting Amazon.

Another reason that not everyone chooses to work with Amazon is the fact that they are such a broad company, they don’t really focus their expertise on one product line. Sure, you can buy a new record player and suit from Amazon, but the quality of each may not be the best that is out there. The amazon business model also relies on using independent sellers who cannot always be trusted.

If you are looking to sell through Amazon and need insights that will make you a top seller, using a personal assistant like IO Scout will help you stand out among the competition. Independent sellers can often help real people and can show that amazon does not always have to be about questionable ethical actions.