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).
Certain Amazon alternatives have ways of lowering the cost of items, such as bidding on them (eBay.com) or offering rewards points (Rakuten.com). Others, like Wal-Mart.com or Target.com, offer greater flexibility in ordering, allowing you to have your stuff delivered to you or picked up at a nearby store.
If you're looking for a new online marketplace, here are nine other popular sites like Amazon that you can try.
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, others are put up for auction, and are sold to the highest bidder 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.
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, 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.
Overstock is a website like Amazon that initially began as a seller of surplus goods from failed e-commerce websites, but now sells new items, as well. Not only can you find great deals on Overstock for this reason, but their customer service is pretty highly-touted as well, so you can shop with confidence. Overstock also has a unique program called Worldstock, where they sell hand-made crafts from artisans around the world, with no less than 60% of the sale price going directly back to the artisan.
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, including 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 -- you can return your order for a full refund, or you can keep the item anyway and receive a full refund.
To learn more about this wholesale marketplace, visit our AliExpress course.
WalMart 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. WalMart 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 store. Though not as committed to discount selling as Wal-Mart, Target's products tend to be on the cutting edge of trends.
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.
If you're looking for brand-name products from well-known sellers delivered right to your door with low shipping fees, 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.
Short for "Quality, Value, Convenience", QVC is a worldwide television shopping network. However, it, too, has 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.
Have you used any of these websites like Amazon? What was your shopping experience like? Are there any other alternatives to Amazon 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!
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