Alternatives to Amazon

Hugh

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
1,979
I've been increasingly lazy for several years in buying more and more online from Amazon or from companies that Amazon owns.

I'd like to start buying from alternative suppliers. Does anyone have advice on this?

This article in today's Guardian got to me:
 

M. Robert Gibson

Member 41015
Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
1,704
A search for "Amazon alternative" throws up a few sites with lists

Here are the top three from duckduckgo.com



 

Hugh

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
1,979
These are really helpful, particularly the last one. I will check these out carefully from now on whenever I get that buying impulse.
Many thanks indeed.
 

-K2-

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
2,047
Just my opinion... nothing more.

Why not buy from local to you retailers? Most can order in what you want, they support the community through employment, wages and taxes... And it helps YOUR community and YOUR neighbors prosper. If you cannot leave your home yourself, and they don't have a website or phone (maybe they have teletype ;)), boost the local economy even more buy paying someone to go to the store for you.

I mean that sincerely. Why give strangers your money when you can help support your community.

K2
 

CTRandall

I have my very own plant pot!
Supporter
Joined
Jan 4, 2018
Messages
1,031
Location
North-east England
For books that I can't find locally, Bookdepository is good. They can be slow but shipping is free on most things. For some books, I buy directly from the publisher (some smaller/specialist publishers sell directly to the public online).

For things other than books, I use Amazon as a search engine. Once I've found what I want, I look up the manufacterer's/retailer's own web sites and order directly from them. Every company has their own site and most have low shipping costs and quick turnaround times. For things I buy regularly (music, tools, art supplies, garden stuff), I've found a few specialized online retailers that have what I need.

For me, Amazon is becoming an superfluous middleman.
 

Av Demeisen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
316
Local retailers also have my preference, as long as the difference in price is not too large. Otherwise small businesses that opperate online and are located abroad, like Jazz Messengers in Barcelona for jazz cds. Great packaging, items always arrive undamaged, whereas AmazonDE has recently downgraded it's packaging and all sorts of items started arriving damaged over the last six months or so.
 

Danny McG

a good cosslain follows its kessentai.
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
6,718
Location
Cumbria UK
I just think it's wonderful that I can order all this stuff without moving from a comfy armchair.
Twenty years ago at this time of year me and my wife would travel forty plus miles and then spend a long foot-sore day going from shop to shop looking for Christmas things, all the while I was getting laden down with more and more bags and packages.

There would inevitably be a bit of compromise "Billy really wants 'A' but there's none in the shops, however 'B' is almost the same so he'll have make do with that"

Nowadays you can search worldwide!
Local businesses don't want to help too much IMO, some bored adolescent behind the counter who shrugs and says "no, there's none in the storeroom"
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
9,649
Location
Scotland
I try to buy locally if I can and when I use Amazon I always try to buy from a 3rd party rather than Amazon itself. I simply use it as a centre from which to buy elsewhere as much as I can.
 

-K2-

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
2,047
Oh, just for the record (considering my above comment), I've never purchased anything, including services, from Amazon. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever purchased anything online... whoops, I take that back. I have bought PC components from newegg a few years ago.

K2
 

Hugh

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
1,979
Oh, just for the record (considering my above comment), I've never purchased anything, including services, from Amazon. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever purchased anything online... whoops, I take that back. I have bought PC components from newegg a few years ago.

K2

Admirable admirable admirable

Why not buy from local to you retailers? Most can order in what you want, they support the community through employment, wages and taxes... And it helps YOUR community and YOUR neighbors prosper. If you cannot leave your home yourself, and they don't have a website or phone (maybe they have teletype ;)), boost the local economy even more buy paying someone to go to the store for you.

I mean that sincerely. Why give strangers your money when you can help support your community.
K2

Absolutely. Our washing machine, TV, toaster, kettle, hoover, probably other stuff too, all come from an independent retailer ten minutes from here. But this is a small seaside town without that many shops and there's stuff that they no longer stock (or never stocked) because they don't have the space. For instance after going into several shops to find a cheap 60cm bike lock with key not combination (not for a bike of course), I got fed up and ended up ordering it online last week.
 

Hugh

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
1,979
For books that I can't find locally, Bookdepository is good. They can be slow but shipping is free on most things. For some books, I buy directly from the publisher (some smaller/specialist publishers sell directly to the public online).

Unfortunately, I believe Book Depository is owned by Amazon (since 2011 according to Wikipedia).

Likewise Abebooks has been a subsidiary of Amazon since 2008 (Wikipedia again). sigh!

For things other than books, I use Amazon as a search engine. Once I've found what I want, I look up the manufacterer's/retailer's own web sites and order directly from them. Every company has their own site and most have low shipping costs and quick turnaround times. For things I buy regularly (music, tools, art supplies, garden stuff), I've found a few specialized online retailers that have what I need.

For me, Amazon is becoming an superfluous middleman.

Excellent advice! Many thanks!
 

Hugh

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
1,979
I just think it's wonderful that I can order all this stuff without moving from a comfy armchair.
Twenty years ago at this time of year me and my wife would travel forty plus miles and then spend a long foot-sore day going from shop to shop looking for Christmas things, all the while I was getting laden down with more and more bags and packages.
yes indeed!

Local businesses don't want to help too much IMO, some bored adolescent behind the counter who shrugs and says "no, there's none in the storeroom"
I've had that.
 

Av Demeisen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
316
I try to buy locally if I can and when I use Amazon I always try to buy from a 3rd party rather than Amazon itself. I simply use it as a centre from which to buy elsewhere as much as I can.
If a 3rd party has their own website besides their listings at Amazon that is likely an even cheaper option, e.g. Dodax.
 

Av Demeisen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
316
Local businesses don't want to help too much IMO, some bored adolescent behind the counter who shrugs and says "no, there's none in the storeroom"
I used to feel joy at no longer having to negotiate myself past smallbusiness salespersons who frankly often act like bouncers with their haughty superior attitudes towards the plebs entering their stores, judging customers by their looks or whether they are regulars. But buying books and CDs online and not being sure if they will arrive in one piece has become a real issue with Amazon in Europe who have recently downgraded their packaging materials to their pre-existing North American standards, like the 100% plastic bubble mailer for paperbacks and hardcovers that will fit through a letterbox.

Nowadays, however, I value having knowledgeable local retailers who still operate where many others in other cities have gone out of business long ago. Like a good classical music specialty store is hard to find nowadays, even in Amsterdam, but here in Haarlem we have one of the best in the country. Or local (rock, pop) record stores that import audiophile (jazz) SACD reissues and even have a selection in stock (along with audiophile vinyl which I am not interested in). We have one of those as well.
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
9,649
Location
Scotland
If a 3rd party has their own website besides their listings at Amazon that is likely an even cheaper option, e.g. Dodax.
You're probably right but the reason I do it this way is that I don't need to input my card details (already in there via Amazon). My logic being that the fewer times I have to put these details in, the fewer opportunities for a hacker/scammer to get their hands on these details. I may be completely wrong with this but it makes me feel safer. You could say that I'm an Amazon parasite. I use them but try and limit the reciprocity:)
 

Av Demeisen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
316
You're probably right but the reason I do it this way is that I don't need to input my card details (already in there via Amazon). My logic being that the fewer times I have to put these details in, the fewer opportunities for a hacker/scammer to get their hands on these details. I may be completely wrong with this but it makes me feel safer. You could say that I'm an Amazon parasite. I use them but try and limit the reciprocity:)
Right, that makes sense. In the Netherlands we have a payment system called iDeal which allows you to pay with your Maestro card instead of a credit card. The retailer will link you through to your bank's website via iDeal, you pay similar to logging in for internet banking by placing your card in a scanner, and afterwards get redirected back to the retailer. More and more international sites accept iDeal for Dutch customers these days. Including AmazonDE.
 
Last edited:

-K2-

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
2,047
@Hugh ; just for the record, I was not smugly bragging about not ordering online, or deriding anyone who does. Whether my own ignorance, valid or unjustified fears, or whatever... I simply haven't. Eventually, not doing so turned into habit, and so it goes.

What I will say is, I don't receive spam at my emails because I'm not adding it to an online order form. People I know who do, seem to often find themselves flooded for years with unsolicited emails... how many are toxic/virus/etc., hard to say. But, what isn't is how these retailers also make money by selling every email address they get, feeling NO responsibility toward the client like a local retailer would. Naturally, if your credit information is not available online, you've protected yourself in that regard (somewhat), even further.

Understand, I'm not someone who pushes nationalism, but, when I discovered how many people make a business on simply offering the cheapest product they can find internationally, and only work as an initial contact to you... then shift your order to this guy, who sends it on to that, and so on, all to have Bob's Gifts in X-nation ship it from there (as though I bought it directly from them)... Well, I don't see that as helping my community, even my state or country. It's helping some guy who discovered a way to sit in his underwear all day, making money for doing nothing, and then casting my money like eroded soil round the globe.

In the end, many in that chain, even the end all manufacturer feels little to no responsibility for what they sell or how they sell it... that's what makes me hold my line.

Thanks for the topic!

K2
 

Hugh

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
1,979
@Hugh ; Eventually, not doing so turned into habit, and so it goes.
K2
And this is how I'd like it to be with myself and Amazon - after some initial effort and research I just get into the habit of using Amazon absolutely minimally or not at all.

@Hugh ;
Well, I don't see that as helping my community, even my state or country. It's helping some guy who discovered a way to sit in his underwear all day, making money for doing nothing, and then casting my money like eroded soil round the globe.
K2
That's just it: I'd like to be able to benefit local retailers rather than the underwear brigade. Mind you, as @dannymcg pointed out, local retailers do not always make it easy for you to support them.
 

Similar threads


Top