19 great alternatives to Amazon for all your buying & selling needs

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We all love the convenience of Amazon. If you need something, you can order it in one click and have it delivered to your door as early as the next day. Amazon’s efficiency is second to none, which is why it’s hard for so many of us to ditch the service. However, there are some alternatives to Amazon that you can use.

Why Do I Need an Alternative to Amazon?

Although Amazon is efficient and convenient, it has a reputation for treating its employees poorly. Low wages, long hours and high stress are par for the course for most employees. It’s understandable to want to vote with your money and not support a company that operates this way.

It’s also understandable to continue using Amazon. They are the best in the business for a reason. You can buy nearly anything on the eCommerce giant and get it delivered the next day with Amazon Prime. There are many reasons to keep shopping at Amazon, from the free standard shipping to the one-stop convenience, but there are just as many reasons to explore alternatives.

What is the Best Alternative to Amazon?

Amazon is the best if you need a place to buy anything you can think of in one spot. However, there are a lot of great alternatives to Amazon if you are looking for specific items. There are thousands of great places to buy stuff online, and many of them allow you to support small businesses or individuals trying to make a living selling online. It’s best to support the little guy over the huge conglomerate when you can!

Although there’s no one “best” alternative, there are many options. Whether you are a buyer or a seller looking for everyday items or niche handcrafted goods, there is an alternative that is perfect for you. Here are the best alternatives to Amazon for everything that you might need.

Alternatives to Amazon for Everyday Essentials

A great thing about Amazon is that it has nearly everything you could need. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything from groceries to clothing to household items. However, it’s not the only game in town selling these products.

There are other online shops you can head to for the same great deals on household essentials. These online retailers cover home décor, apparel, household goods and anything you need for your home.

Overstock.com

Overstock is an online retailer that sells a variety of household items. They offer furniture, home goods, jewelry, and all types of home décor. One limitation of Overstock is that they don’t have a clothing and apparel product category, so if you are shopping online for new clothes, this isn’t the best option. Overstock offers free standard shipping on most items to the continental U.S. They deliver most products in one to two days.

Target

Target is the best option for household items. They have everything you might need, from groceries, personal care items, household necessities, and clothing. The great thing about shopping online at Target is that you are less likely to buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need.

Target offers free two-day shipping, but another advantage is that you can pick up the item in the store if you need it right away.

Brick and Mortar Online Stores

Most brick-and-mortar retailers have online stores as well. If you can’t find what you need at Target’s online store, check Walmart or Bed Bath & Beyond. These online retailers have everything that you need for your home, and prices are comparable to Amazon. Most of them also offer free shipping to remain competitive with Amazon in the online retail space.

Alternatives to Amazon for Books

Amazon started as a bookstore, so it makes sense that many people still use it to shop for books. However, there are three excellent alternatives to Amazon for books, most of which are far more socially conscious than Amazon is.

Bookshop.org

The best place to buy books online is Bookshop.org. Its mission is to support local, independent bookshops. Bookshop.org has built a network of independent retailers and splits profits among them to help keep them in business. It’s a breath of fresh air against Amazon’s profit-above-all-else ideal and has been a significant player in helping keep indie booksellers afloat.

Better World Books

Better World Books is another option for ethical book consumption. This online book store donates books to people in need and has made it their mission to fight for literacy. They’ve donated over 28 million dollars to literacy non-profits such as libraries across the nation. In addition, Better World Books also tries to be environmentally conscious. They recycle and reuse old, worn-out books whenever possible and offer carbon-reduced shipping options.

Barnes & Noble

If you can’t find what you need at the two socially conscious online booksellers, Barnes & Noble is the next best thing. It’s the largest brick-and-mortar book retailer in the country, and supporting them with your online purchases will help ensure that the stores stay open.

Alternatives to Amazon Prime TV

Amazon is trying to take over the streaming industry in addition to the retail sector. Amazon Prime TV has a wide variety of hit shows, and it makes streaming easy. Prime members don’t even have to pay anything extra for this service. However, there are plenty of other streaming services available, and most of them are better than Amazon Prime TV.

Hulu

Hulu has options for both live television and streaming your favorite shows. It has also partnered with Disney+ to give you even more viewing options. It offers a wider variety of shows than Amazon does, and the option for live TV blows Amazon out of the water.

Netflix

Netflix is the grandfather of all streaming services. It offers a ton of your favorite shows but is also an excellent choice for original content. Shows like “Stranger Things” and “Cursed” are only available on Netflix.

More Streaming Alternatives

Although Hulu, Netflix and Amazon are the giants of streaming services, many other options exist. Some are more niche, and others offer alternatives to basic cable.

Alternatives to Amazon for Pet Goods

Our pets are important to us. You can easily get most of your pet’s needs at Amazon, and as a bonus, you can set up reoccurring shipments for perishable items like food and litter. Amazon isn’t the only game in town, though.

Chewy

Chewy is the best alternative to Amazon for all of your pet’s needs. Not only do they have all the food, litter and toys that you could need, but they offer reoccurring shipments for perishable items as well. All you have to do is order what you need, set up your reoccurring shipments, and forget about it, having your items shipped directly to you exactly when you need them.

Alternatives to Amazon for Gifts

Amazon is a great place for one-stop gift shopping. The fact that you can ship directly to your recipient easily makes Amazon one of the go-to places for buying gifts. However, when you shop for gifts on Amazon, you are limited to the commercial products available. There are much better options for getting unique or handcrafted gifts that show how much you care.

Etsy

Etsy is the best place to find unique items for gifts. You can find handcrafted jewelry, antiques, and many digital products, from writing prompts to planners to drawing ideas on this platform. That is a great place to find the perfect gift for friends and family members who have unique tastes or want something that speaks to them.

TeePublic

Teepublic is an alternative to Amazon Merch. With Teepublic, you can buy t-shirts, mugs, binders, blankets and various other items with attractive graphics on them.

Another great reason for shopping on Etsy and Teepublic is that you are generally supporting individual creators. Although the platform always gets a cut, it’s better to support individual artists and content creators whenever possible.

Alternatives to Amazon’s Whole Foods and Grocery Delivery

Amazon is taking over every aspect of our lives. With its acquisition of Whole Foods, it got into the grocery delivery space, and it’s been tough to compete with. However, there are many other online marketplaces, so you don’t need to rely on Amazon for grocery delivery.

Instacart

Instacart is the best alternative to Amazon for groceries because you can shop at your local grocery stores and pay a local, independent contractor for delivery. The problem with Instacart is the cost. It is more expensive than the other services because you pay someone to do your grocery shopping for you. However, if you have the money, using Instacart is a great boon to the local economy.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market is an online retailer of healthy foods. They offer a wide range of natural, organic and non-GMO items for shoppers who are health conscious and concerned about what is in our food. Thrive Market offers automatic delivery of your favorite staples, so you will never run out of a much-needed pantry product. They are a great alternative to Whole Foods for your healthy and organic shopping needs.

Hive Brands

Hive is an online grocery that specializes in sustainable groceries. They source locally as much as possible, pride themselves on keeping their carbon footprint as small as possible, and use recycled packaging to the greatest extent possible.

Hive is the best option for the socially and environmentally conscious. Hive has product lines that align with a variety of causes, from animal rights to community development. It’s the best choice if you’re looking for an ethical online retailer.

Alternatives to Amazon for Everything

One of Amazon’s best features is that it has everything you need in one spot. Amazon warehouses have everything from food to pet goods to books to clothing. You only need to fill one online cart, only need to checkout once, and you can expect your shipment in a day or two.

There’s only one online retailer that can match the convenience and product categories offered by Amazon.

Google Shopping

Google Shopping is a relatively new feature of Google. Although it does have some of its product offerings, that’s not the main point of it. Google Shopping allows you to compare items from online retailers across the internet. It showcases items from other sites in one location. Google shopping can also show you local retailers to pick up the item you need on the same day.

The disadvantage is that you still need to go to the specific retailer to complete your purchase, but it’s nice to see all items in one spot. Google is ever-evolving, so one day, they might launch a cart middleman feature, positioning it to better compete with Amazon.

Alternatives to Amazon for Professional Sellers

Amazon is a behemoth partly because of its independent network of sellers. Millions of people and small companies have created their storefront on Amazon and utilize its fulfillment centers to sell their products to the public. Amazon is not the only game in town for sellers; there are tons of other options for selling things online.

eBay

Opening an eBay store is one of the best alternatives to Amazon for sellers. With millions of shoppers on the platform every day, it’s one of the top places to buy and sell goods online. There are thousands of product categories available on eBay. You can sell anything from antiques to clothing, collectibles to computers, household items to automobile parts.

Another great thing about eBay is that sellers have control of their shops. You can set your price at whatever you want it to be, and products are sold with either auctions or the set price “buy it now” option. Thousands of people have one or two items they want to sell on eBay, so it’s also the best option for those with just a few extra things laying around as well.

Etsy

Etsy is an excellent option for both buyers and sellers. It’s the best-selling channel for handmade goods, such as jewelry, arts and crafts, needle works, and even digital products. There’s a market for almost anything you can conceive of making on Etsy, and it’s a much better platform than Amazon for selling these types of items.

You can create a shop on Etsy for free. A great thing about the platform is that you can manage your items, decide your prices and market your shop however you see fit. The hardest part is deciding what to sell, but in my opinion, digital products are best because there is no shipping involved.

Create a DropShipping Website

A great way to avoid Amazon as a seller is to create your website. Dropshipping allows you to sell products on your website that are sourced from a third party. All you have to do is build the website, set up your WooCommerce account, and source your products. Buyers will come to your site for shopping and checkout, but the item will ship from the source.

The easiest way to start a dropshipping website is with Shopify. It’s the number one eCommerce platform for drop shippers. They have several themes available to help you build your site, and they have easy options to help you find and source products to sell. To be successful with dropshipping, you need to create a great customer experience on your website and be conscious of prices. Since the items are sourced from a third party, customers need to buy through you instead of from somewhere else.

Lots of Alternatives to Amazon

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, there are many ways for you to replace Amazon in your daily life. These alternatives may not be as well-known as Amazon. Still, they offer ethical consumption, free shipping, a myriad of products, competitive pricing and almost as much convenience as the internet giant.

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This post originally appeared on YourMoneyGeek.com and was
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14 holiday gift ideas for people who hate gifts

14 holiday gift ideas for people who hate gifts

Most of us end up giving tangible presents to family and friends, especially during the holidays. Wrapped in paper and bows, gifts seem to be an immovable fixture of the holiday season.

If you have a millennial or GenXer in your life, then you may have discovered that buying gifts may not be your best option. These days it’s all about collecting “experiences.”

Younger generations tend to place less value on owning things. Think about it. The most successful retailer in America right now, Amazon, has no stores. The largest transportation service, Uber, doesn’t own any vehicles, and the most popular place for people to stay while traveling, Airbnb, doesn’t own any hotels.

Younger generations are also increasingly living in rentals instead of owning houses. And with the rise of Marie Kondo and the minimalist aesthetic, people are decluttering their lives rather than acquiring new things.

All of this can make getting gifts for your children and grandchildren a daunting proposition. You may feel that buying an “experience” is a cop out. But, according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, giving an experience as a gift instead of a thing “forges stronger bonds between people.”

With that in mind we have put together a list of fantastic experiences you can gift to your friends, family, and little ones this holiday season.

These gifts may not fit in a stocking, but they will create memories that can last for a lifetime, the gift that keeps on giving if you will.

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Give the gift of the great outdoors. An annual National Parks pass costs $80. This covers entry for two people for 12 months into any of the 2,000 federal recreation sites including the 58 National Parks, which span over 84 million acres.

If your loved one is in the Military, the pass is free, and if you are giving this as a gift to a Senior (defined by the parks as some over over 62) it is $80 for a lifetime pass and $10 for an annual pass. Go explore.

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Escape rooms are wildly popular right now. These experiences are like video games brought to life. An escape room is a live action adventure game where you and your team are placed in a themed room and must solve clues and puzzles in an hour in order to escape.

Clues are hidden under rugs, secret codes are written in books and the tasks requires teamwork and skill to complete.

To find a local escape room use a service like Google or Yelp to locate one in your area, and you can also read the reviews to make sure you find the best theme to fit the interests of your recipients.

Some themes include; criminal investigations, escaping zombies, rescue missions and even something as innocent as cake baking! Great for a day of family fun.

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You could of course buy tickets for a family trip to the circus, but why only watch when you could take part? Circus classes have been hugely popular in the fitness world for a number of years now and they appeal to both adults and children.

Most circus schools offer a variety of classes in disciplines such as; trapeze, silks, juggling, stilt walking and tightrope. If you’re not sure which class to invest in, most schools also offer a sampler class. This class, or series of classes, usually includes a little of everything so that your recipient can sample the many different skills it takes to be a circus performer. Perfect for adults or kids – together or separately. Clown shoes and teeny-tiny car not included.

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Most of us have done scavenger hunts as kids. I remember an epic one my dad created for my 9th birthday which ended with us literally digging up a box of treasure in the yard. The fact that I can still remember it is testimony to the fun a scavenger hunt can be.

For this gift you can purchase a professional hunt here that takes you all around your local city or you could even create your own. Great for smaller children, a scavenger hunt can take many forms and even end with a little prize or toy.

Don’t worry too much about the prize though, I don’t remember what my dad put in that treasure chest, but I do remember the fun we had trying to find it.

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Spa days were once for “ladies who lunch” but these days spas are for everyone. In many cities, spas are now free standing establishments not merely sequestered in fancy hotels. Korean day-spas for example, can be found in many major cities all over the US and they provide a spa experience at a very reasonable price.

Treatments often included in day-spa packages include, saunas, steam rooms, salt rooms, mineral baths, with massage treatments available for an additional cost. The spas usually include a place to have lunch and often a rooftop deck to relax on too.

Turkish hammams offer a similar experience. Great for mothers and daughters.

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While we’re on the topic of wellness, why not consider gifting a stressed-out family member a yoga retreat for the post-holiday season?

A yoga retreat promises to relax body, mind, and soul by taking the practice of yoga and meditation in a beautiful, natural setting. A retreat can allow you to reset, connect with nature and feel a sense of rejuvenation, health, and happiness. Who wouldn’t want that? One of our favorites is Kripalu in Massachusetts, but many other are available.

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Immersive theater differs from traditional theater by removing the stage and immersing audiences within the performance itself. Often, this is accomplished by the use of a specific location, allowing audiences to explore the various sets and converse with the actors.

Shows take places in venues that typically are not traditional theater spaces, old hotels have been used in shows, as have office buildings and even an abandoned psychiatric hospital.

This type of theatrical experience is best enjoyed with a friend or family member as you can explore together, or have you own adventure and compare notes later. Immersive theater companies are located throughout the States and many of them tour too.

A great one to catch if you can is the British group Punchdrunk Theatre Co. who actually created the genre, they often tour the US and have an ongoing collaboration with St Anne’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY. A cool and unusual gift.

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I recently heard a child refer to an aquarium as “the liquid zoo” and it was too good not to share here. Kids love aquariums, and with new exhibits opening regularly, it pays to have a pass. What a sweet gift to give to a child who loves animals.

According to USA Today the top aquarium in the country is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, so if you’re based in that neck of the woods I’d say a season pass is a must.

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With the global success of dance shows such as Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, ballroom and latin dance classes are making a huge comeback.

Unlike ballet, ballroom and latin dancing is incredibly sociable and you’ll find lots of newcomers in the classes. Check out your local schools to find the right class for your friends or family.

If you’re looking for another form of dance to try why not give Brazilian Zouk a shot? Brazilian Zouk is a partner dance that became popular in the 90’s and evolved from the dance known as the Lambada. Improvisation plays a large role in this dance style so it’s perfect for beginners.

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Home economics used to feature heavily in schools, but these days it’s almost non-existent. A cooking class can set up a youngster with skills for life, as well as being a fun day spent whipping up treats.

If you have a friend who is a lover of The Great British Baking Show, maybe look for a cake decorating class. Other options include pasta-making, Indian cookery, and even sushi classes.

The options are endless and, if you’re lucky, they may bring around the fruits of their labor for you to sample!

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Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it can be incredibly expensive. Consider gifting a loved one vouchers for a flight or hotel (or both) that they can use at their leisure.

While you may not cover the cost of the entire vacation, you can make an out of reach destinations more manageable. Hotel vouchers can even be used for weekend getaways.

Combine this voucher with the promise of babysitting and you’ll have some very happy and grateful kids. This gift is also great as a wedding present.

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This unusual hobby is a great form of exercise and also a perfect kid’s party idea. You can gift a class pass or even purchase a party. It’s pretty fun for the grown-ups too, not to mention it’s one hell of a workout combing strength and cardio.

Climbing gyms have been popping up all over the country. Get on Google to find your local indoor rock climbing center.

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Even though physical gifts may not be right for your children or grandchildren, gifts are a great way to give back to your community. Instead of exchanging presents with your family, pool your resources and spend an afternoon together creating gift baskets for local charities and shelters.

Women’s refuges constantly need donations. Before you create your baskets call the shelter to ask about their donation policies but, commonly requested items include, diapers, feminine hygiene products, books, transportations passes, old cell phones and toiletries.

You can spend time with your family and know you are helping another family to have some comfort.

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One of the most precious gifts we can give another person is our time. A fun way to offer this is to create a book of love coupons. Styled like a traditional coupon book, you can label each one with things to do together.

For example “baking cookies with grandma,” or “a trip to the park” or “a night’s baby-sitting.” The recipient can use these whenever they like, all they need to do is present you with the voucher and pick a date.

Be creative and you may even find your social calendar is filled up before the end of January.

Have a wonderful holiday season this year and enjoy creating memories together, and being present – that’s the real gift.

This article originally appeared on Considerable.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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