We’ll teach you about Amazon’s top competitors, so you can find the best alternative to Amazon’s online general marketplace, and maybe find an even better deal!
Amazon.com has become one of the largest and most popular e-commerce websites in North America, if not the world. It has done so through a combination of good functionality and customer service, the ability to buy or sell for users, and a wide selection of products (including some exclusive to Amazon itself). However, prices of items on Amazon can be expensive, especially when you factor in shipping charges and the fact that you can’t haggle over them. And despite package tracking capabilities, it might still be a bit of a guessing game as to when your Amazon order will arrive (especially if you’re ordering from another Amazon user, instead of Amazon itself).
There are a number of similar sites like Amazon that all have ways of lowering the cost of items. These include auctioning off items (eBay.com), selling off excess stock from other websites (Overstock.com), selling direct from China with no middle-man (AliExpress.com), or specializing in electronic product offerings (Newegg.com).
We’ve got you covered with the complete package of what you need to know about Amazon alternatives, including:
- List of the best 13 Amazon alternatives for cheap online shopping
- Amazon competitors compared: delivery, customer service, and more
- Which Amazon competitors have free shipping?
- Which sites offer services like Amazon Prime?
- Other FAQs about sites like Amazon
- Additional resources to help your online shopping search
If you’re looking for a new online marketplace, here is everything you need to know about the other popular websites like Amazon that you can try out.
List of the best 13 Amazon alternatives for cheap online shopping
Amazon’s biggest competition: the bidding website for discount shopping
- Bidding feature allows you to pay what you want
- Offers frequent weekly, seasonal, and brand-specific discounts
- Buy It Now feature means you can make instant purchases as well
eBay.com is probably the most well-known Amazon alternative, and it started around the same time. Unlike Amazon, eBay doesn’t sell its own products; it simply acts as a liaison between businesses or third-party sellers and people looking to buy. One of the unique things about eBay is that while many of the products listed on it can be outright bought, many others are put up for auction. The winner of an auction gets to buy the item at the price of the second-highest bid. For some products, you will even have a choice as to whether you want to buy them or bid for them. You can also find amazing bargains with eBay’s “Best Offers.”
Want to see how each of the different purchase methods on eBay works? We’ll show you in our eBay course, or if you’re more interested in how eBay treats its sellers, check out our course on how to sell on eBay.
Overloaded ecommerce stock meets handcrafting artisans with unique products
- Club-O-Gold rewards program means you get free shipping, and 5% back off each order
- Has a “Deals” page so you can see what’s on sale instantly
- Is committed to community responsibility, including their Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and Best Friends Animal Society
Overstock.com is a website like Amazon that initially began as a seller of surplus goods from failed e-commerce websites; this often means you can get great deals while shopping on it. However, Overstock now sells new items as well, and has pretty good customer service to boot. It also has a unique program called Worldstock, which sells hand-made crafts from artisans around the world and gives at least 60% of its revenue directly back to the artisans themselves.
Leading the tech world in ecommerce
- Specializes in electronics and tech only
- Has a daily deal
- Has free 3-day (or quicker) shipping on all orders
Newegg.com is another online marketplace like Amazon, but it specializes in electronic goods such as desktop computers, laptops, televisions, digital cameras, and more. By focusing on rapid delivery and great customer service, Newegg has grown to be a major competitor to Amazon. With their price match guarantee and free “3 days or faster” shipping, you’re bound to find a deal on Newegg and have your new product in your hands quickly.
The best customer service in the business
- An unprecedented reputation for great customer service
- Accept returns up to a year after purchase (seriously, they do!)
- Safe Shopping Guarantee protects you from any cost due to credit card fraud
Zappos.com is a subsidiary website of Amazon that specializes in the sale of shoes, clothing, and accessories. You can earn Zappos rewards for each purchase you make, and you also have the option of getting expedited shipping in case you need your order fast. In many cases, you can even get free shipping and free returns. Zappos is also known for its customer service, as its representatives are encouraged to go above and beyond to make the online shopping experience the best it can be.
Cutting out the middleman so everyone wins
- Unprecedented low prices due to lack of middle man
- Have expanded their offerings to bring you far more variety than in the past
- Have plenty of items (you actually want) for under $5
Run by the Alibaba Group (they’re actually Chinese, not Middle Eastern, though), AliExpress.com offers factory-direct pricing on a wide selection of items. They also have many guarantees and protections in place to keep buyers safe from scams. These include not releasing your money to a vendor until you receive and approve the item(s) you get, giving you a full refund if your order never arrives, and – if the item you get isn’t exactly what you were told you’d be getting – allowing you to get a full refund (and you can decide whether to send back or keep your order!).
To learn more about this wholesale marketplace, visit our AliExpress course.
For name brand items in the U.S.
- Offers name brand items for low prices
- Has a “Refer-A-Friend” program to get you money off your orders
- Offers seasonal deals and promotions 50%+ off of retail prices
If you’re looking for brand-name products from well-known sellers delivered right to your door for low costs, then Jet.com may be the replacement for Amazon that you’ve been looking for. The brainchild of a former Amazon employee, Jet allows you to order low-price stuff from famous brick-and-mortar outlets, get it within 2 days, and pay no shipping charges if your order is over $35. Plus, you can return items for free if they don’t work out.
UPDATE: As of June 4, 2020, Jet.com is no longer operational.
7. Barnes & Noble
Amazon’s top book-buying alternative
- Focuses on books sales as well, if that’s what you’re primarily interested in
- Free shipping on orders of only $25 or more
- B&N Membership gets you free shipping and exclusive online discounts
BarnesAndNoble.com is similar to Amazon in many ways; it began primarily as a book seller, and has evolved to include many other items for sale as well. Barnes & Noble has over 6 million books in stock, most of which are ready to ship within 24 hours, and is one of the best sites like Amazon for buying books online. It also has a stock of over 4.5 million eBooks available for download. You can also find textbooks, magazines, toys, games, collectibles, hobby equipment, and so much more for sale at Barnes & Noble. Moving the sale of books to the online marketplace helps cut down on overhead costs, so you can save some money!
The fast-growing company with options
- “Super Points” program means you get rewarded for each purchase made – 1% back!
- A variety of departments to shop in
- Owns Ebates.com, which offers deals for online purchases you make, all over the web
Rakuten.com, an alternative to Amazon previously known as Buy.com, was purchased and renamed in 2010 by Japan’s largest e-commerce company of the same name (The Rakuten Group, Inc.). Like eBay.com, Rakuten doesn’t have its own inventory of stuff, instead preferring to connect businesses with potential customers directly. It also has a few other notable features, such as video reviews of certain products, as well as a “Super Points” program that allows you to earn store credit for buying certain products and then use that credit to save money on future purchases.
Your store with everyday low prices
- Offers bargains on all kinds of items, every single day
- Offers free 2-day shipping on millions of items, and orders over $35
- You can find sold-out items from the store online, and have them shipped to your local store
Walmart.com is one of the largest companies in the world, but it’s best known for its worldwide chain of supermarkets. The products sold at those stores can be purchased on the Walmart website, where they can be delivered straight to your door or picked up at a nearby outlet. Walmart is famous for its low prices.
More expensive, but more cutting-edge than Walmart
- Has prices almost as low as Walmart, but typically, higher quality goods
- Free 2-day shipping on orders of $35 or more
- Offers great seasonal deals
Target.com is another well-known supermarket chain in the United States, and its products can be ordered from its website. From there, you can have the items delivered to you, or pick them up at a nearby brick-and-mortar Target store. Though not as committed to discount selling as Walmart, Target’s products tend to be on the cutting edge of trends.
Home television shopping deals meets online convenience
- “Today’s Special Value” is a daily deal you can access anytime from the homepage
- Offers payment plans over time so you don’t need to pay all at once
- Has video of items in use/on real people to show you them in action
Short for “Quality, Value, Convenience,” QVC.com is a worldwide television shopping network. However, it has also made the transition to the Internet era, and now allows the products that it features to be bought through its website. They’re a bit pricey, but they come from high-end brand names and may be difficult to find anywhere else.
For the best deals in quality electronics
- Great deals on home electronics, including laptops, computer accessories, TVs, and more
- Periodically offers small-window sales (for example, 3-day sales)
- “Geek Squad” can help you fix your electronics, and offers fair warranties
BestBuy.com is an online marketplace for finding great deals on electronics, especially desktop computers, laptops, televisions, video games, and appliances. With BestBuy’s lowest price guarantee and free shipping, your online experience should be seamless. You can also reserve items online when they are in stock, and then go and pick them up at your local BestBuy store! BestBuy also makes returning items much easier than with sites like eBay and Amazon; simply fill out the online form, and never worry about paying re-stocking fees!
To learn more about BestBuy.com, check out our TechBoomers course on BestBuy here.
For hand-crafted goods from personable
- Handmade items means quality, and nothing is ever mass-produced
- Money goes to artisans, not billion-dollar conglomerates
- Customer service is amazing, due to sellers’ need to please potential customers
Etsy.com is a bit of a different online marketplace, in that the items listed on it are rather specific. Most of its items are handmade accessories, clothing, jewellery, pieces of furniture, and so on. Other items are “vintage,” being at least 20 years old, and are more-or-less difficult to find anywhere else. The creative things you’ll find for sale on this website are great if you’re looking to express yourself or spruce up your home decor, and they make great unique gifts, too!
Whether you’re looking for items that are handcrafted or have stood the test of time, we’ll show you how to get them in our Etsy course.
Amazon competitors compared: delivery, customer service, and more
|Website||Best for...||Delivery||Customer Service||Return Policy|
|Bidding on anything||POOR||Based on seller|
|Tech-related products||AMAZING||Full refund within 30 days|
|Electronic goods||GREAT||Refund or replace within 30 days|
|Clothing||AMAZING||Full refund within 1 year|
|Cheaper items||3-60 days; cost varies greatly||GOOD||Full refund for items lost/misrepresented|
|Household items||GOOD||Refund (minus savings) within 30 days|
|Books||GOOD||Free within 21 days|
|Clothing and home||1-10 days; cost varies greatly||GOOD||Depends on seller|
|Everyday items||POOR||Refund or exchange within 90 days|
|Everyday items and clothing||POOR||Refund or exchange within 90 days|
|Clothing and household items||Standard (7-10 days): $10||GREAT||Refund minus shipping within 30 days|
|Tech and electronics||GOOD||Depends on item (most are 30 days)|
|Handmade items||Depends on seller||AMAZING||Depends on seller|
Which Amazon competitors have free shipping?
One of Amazon’s best features is that it offers free 2-day shipping on most orders over $35. These websites similar to Amazon also offer free shipping on your orders, typically depending on how much money you spend.
- Overstock – free over $40
- NewEgg – free 3 days or less on all orders
- Zappos – free 4-5 days
- Jet – free over $35
- Barnes & Noble – free over $25 for 4-5 days
- Walmart – free over $35
- Target – free over $35
- Best Buy – free over $35 (excluding large, scheduled items)
Which sites offer services like Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime services include free 2-day shipping, discounts on orders, additional bargains, and access to Amazon Prime Music or Amazon Prime Video. Here are similar shipping services that offer yearly subscription rates for added benefits.
- Google Express – Easy online shopping catered to your interests, same-day delivery, and free shipping of orders of $15 or more.
- ShopRunner – Free 2-day shipping for hundreds of stores, including Staples, Lord & Taylor, Kate Spade, and even Newegg!
- NewEgg Premier – Expedited shipping for you, your friends and family, free returns, no re-stocking fees, and more.
- FreeShipping.org – Not its own ecommerce site, but a collection of free shipping promotional codes for the websites you love to use every day.
If you want to learn more and see a complete list, check out this article on Amazon Prime competitors.
Other FAQs about sites like Amazon
These are some of our other frequently asked questions about websites like Amazon:
Which sites like Amazon offer the lowest prices?
- AliExpress – cutting out the middle-man means low, low prices
- Walmart – everyday low prices and bargains
- eBay – bidding means you can get items cheaper
- Zappos – keeps prices competitive to Amazon (as its subsidiary)
- Target – seasonal sales and low prices
Which websites are as reliable as Amazon for delivery?
- Newegg – generally orders arrive within 2 days, and shipping is free
- Walmart – offers so many shipping options including Grab-&-Go local pickup points and pickup at your local Walmart store
- Best Buy – their delivery is quantified based on type of item, and clearly states when it will arrive to you before you buy, factoring in holidays and current demand
- Zappos – takes 4-5 days but is reliable and guarantees shipment on time
Additional resources to help your online shopping search
- How to delete your Amazon account – if one of these alternatives works for you, delete your old Amazon account
- 19 bargain websites cheaper than eBay – if bottom dollar is your main concern, these bargain websites will help
- Amazon Prime shipping discounts – maybe a Prime shipping discount will change your mind about using Amazon for your shopping
- Buying and Selling Online – our collection of articles, best websites, and tips and tricks for online shopping