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).
Amazon has a number of alternatives 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 its product offerings (NewEgg.com).
If you're looking for a new online marketplace, here are thirteen other popular websites like Amazon that you can try out.
eBay 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.
Want to see how each of the different purchase methods on eBay works? We'll show you in our eBay course.
Overstock 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.. Overstock 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.
NewEgg 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.
Zappos 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.
Run by the Alibaba Group (they're actually Chinese, not Middle Eastern, though), AliExpress 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.
If you're looking for brand-name products from well-known sellers delivered right to your door for low costs, then Jet 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. Jet comes with a 3-month free trial, but costs $50 per year afterwards.
Barnes & Noble 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. 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 by going to barnesandnoble.com!
This alternative to Amazon was previously known as Buy.com, but it 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.
Wal-Mart 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.com website, where they can be delivered straight to your door or picked up at a nearby outlet. Wal-Mart is famous for its low prices.
Target is another well-known supermarket chain in the United States, and its products can be ordered from its website at Target.com. From there, you can have the items delivered to you, or else pick them up at a nearby brick-and-mortar Target store. Though not as committed to discount selling as Wal-Mart, Target's products tend to be on the cutting edge of trends.
Short for "Quality, Value, Convenience," QVC 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.
BestBuy 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 Amazon or eBay; 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.
Etsy 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.
Have you used any of these websites like Amazon? What was your shopping experience like? Are there any other Amazon alternatives that you would recommend to our users, and would like us to create courses for? Have your say in the comments below, or leave a note on Facebook or Twitter for us! Also, if you’re thinking about leaving Amazon for one of these competitors, and you need to cancel your Amazon account, be sure to check out our step-by-step tutorial on how to delete your Amazon account.
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