The 10 Best Amazon Alternatives

Discover deals and hard to find items at these alternate online stores

Amazon might be the first place you go online to buy something, but that doesn't mean it's always the best choice. Sometimes, it's not the cheapest or its shipping costs may be prohibitive. Whatever the reason, there are plenty Amazon alternatives that offer great products, deals, and hard to find items.

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Best for New and Old Stock: eBay
What We Like
  • Many millions of items on sale.

  • Bidding feature means bargains are possible.

  • Quirky items available.

What We Don't Like
  • Ripe with scammers.

  • Not always ideal for instant purchases.

eBay is a household name now, making it simple for users to buy and sell items either as an auction or as part of a buy it now offer. There are millions of items available at any one time, with everything from brand new gift ideas to obscure DVDs you didn't even know existed. You can even buy food and household supplies from the site. 

eBay has some minor issues with scammers trying to dupe people out of their money, but if you stick to tried and tested buyers with high feedback scores, this is as safe to use as Amazon. It's a community full of outlet stores for established brands, as well as individual sellers trying to make a few bucks. You might be surprised at the bargains you dig up.

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Best for Loyalty Schemes: Rakuten

What We Like
  • Extensive varied stock.

  • Video reviews of certain items.

  • Loyalty scheme.

What We Don't Like
  • Some low quality items are listed.

Rakuten was previously known as and now offers a huge wealth of items. Like eBay, it's a middle man for selling, giving customers the opportunity to connect with businesses directly. Where things differ is that Rakuten is big on loyalty schemes and cashback deals. At any given time, there are always plenty of cashback deals available, such as getting 3% back on sales with Disney or 6% back with The Body Shop. If you're a shrewd buyer, it can be worthwhile checking out regularly to earn good cashback. 

The only issue here is that Rakuten is also home to some low-quality items, so you need to be careful about what you're looking for. It's a similar issue that affects auction sites like eBay, but it's not hard to avoid. 

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Best for Surplus Goods: Overstock

What We Like
  • Regular supply of seasonal offers.

  • Artisan products also sold.

  • Good customer service.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't cancel or change orders.

Overstock started out as a place for surplus goods, hence the name. It continues to be great at that, keeping prices low with a vast supply of great home-focused goods. It also has a separate artisan crafts section called Worldstock which gives at least 60% of its revenue directly back to the creators themselves. There's also a rewards program with 5% back on each order with Overstock also concerned about helping communities and charitable efforts.

Sales tend to be focused on goods to improve the look of your home rather than entertainment items, but it's a great change from the sometimes samey experience of Amazon.

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Best for Hand-Crafted Goods: Etsy

What We Like
  • Personal handmade items.

  • No mass-produced stock.

  • Excellent customer service.

What We Don't Like
  • Rarely cheap.

Etsy is a fantastic resource for gift ideas. Everything it sells is hand-made by individuals, with a lot of the focus being on improving vintage items so they look just as great (or better) than before. If you want to get something unique for a loved one, there's nowhere better to try than Etsy. There are beautiful hand-crafted items on there as well as delightful cards to send for every occasion.

Customer service is generally great, too, as the makers want to impress. Just don't expect a bargain. All these items tend to involve plenty of hard work and their price tags reflect it.

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Best for Branded Names: Jet

What We Like
  • Big discounts on branded goods.

  • Free returns.

  • Varied stock.

What We Don't Like
  • Mainland USA only.

Jet's origins lie with a former Amazon employee so it makes sense the site would be a good rival. It focused on providing branded goods at a lower price than elsewhere. It also promises to deliver items within 2 days and there are no shipping charges for orders over $35. It has a free returns policy, too, which is sure to be welcomed by many. Items include everything you could need, from home and kitchen equipment to fashion, beauty, and even groceries. It's a great rival for Amazon, assuming you don't live in Hawaii or Alaska as neither is covered by Jet.

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Best for Technology: Newegg

What We Like
  • Great prices for technology.

  • Daily deals.

  • Fast shipping.

What We Don't Like
  • Limited stock variety.

Keen to buy components for your PC or Mac? Or simply looking for a new laptop or TV? Newegg is one of the best places to go after Amazon. It has competitive prices thanks to a price match guarantee, and promises free '3 days or faster' shipping. Each day, it has different daily offers so it's worth checking out regularly to see what bargains you can find. It can seem a little intimidating if you don't know much about technology, but the site has branched out in recent times to include more household items, as well as toys and hobby equipment.

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Best for Warranty: BestBuy

What We Like
  • Regular deals.

  • Can collect purchases at local stores.

  • Free shipping.

What We Don't Like
  • Not always the cheapest. 

BestBuy is a store you probably regularly visit. Going online makes the process quicker as you can find the item then have it shipped to your local store at no expense. There's free shipping and simple returns, so you won't have to worry about any additional hassle. The site often offers regular deals for limited times only. It also has the Geek Squad warranty service which can be useful for electronic purchases, giving you some extra peace of mind that online-only presences can't offer.

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Best for Clothes: Zappos

What We Like
  • Fantastic returns policy.

  • Loyalty scheme.

  • Great customer service.

What We Don't Like
  • Not the cheapest out there.

Zappos specializes in selling shoes, clothing, and other accessories. It does a fantastic job, too. Besides offering clothing for all age ranges and genders, it has a great reward scheme so you earn points for every purchase you make. It also prides itself on great customer service and offers returns for up to a year after purchase. There's also free shipping and returns. Enjoy clothes shopping without the hassle of heading to your local store.

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Best for Books: Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Nobles
What We Like
  • Useful membership scheme.

  • Good recommendations.

  • Also sells eBooks.

What We Don't Like
  • Not always the cheapest.

Want to buy books that aren't from Amazon? Barnes & Nobles is the place to go. It has over 6 million books in stock, with many ready to ship within 24 hours. It also has over 4.5 million eBooks for download. B&N membership gives you free shipping and exclusive online discounts. It's also a great resource with more interesting descriptions of books and better recommendations than Amazon, thanks to more refined algorithms. It's great for finding an interesting gift for the book lover in your life.

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Best for Bargains: Walmart

What We Like
  • New deals every day.

  • Free 2-day shipping on many items. 

  • Easy to pick up in store.

What We Don't Like
  • Not the most appealing looking website.

Walmart is that safe bet for many of us. Its website has millions of bargains with new offers every day. It's not the most exciting website to browse, but it has mostly everything you could need. It also provides free and simple returns in-store or by mail. A useful toggle helps you see what items are available for next day delivery, too, meaning that last-minute purchase is actually possible and doesn't require an Amazon Prime membership. 

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