Amazon.com was founded way back in 1994, and for decades it was known as the internet’s one-stop-shop for buying practically anything you can imagine at an affordable price and having it delivered right to your doorstep.
But since the New York Times exposé, which outlined Amazon’s questionable employment practices, Amazon has come under quite a bit of heat, and many shoppers are looking for more ethical solutions when it comes to their online shopping habits. Luckily there are many great alternatives out there for you to choose from.
What is the best alternative to Amazon?
In addition to Amazon’s alleged employee mistreatments, there are a few other reasons why you may want to avoid buying from this industry giant, including:
- They hold somewhat of a monopoly on online sales
- Amazon favour vendors that use Amazon for their shipping
- Amazon’s massive market share distorts the market
There are also countless issues when it comes to censorship, dodging taxes, vendor bullying, and sabotaging customers. The list is truly endless, but we won’t get into that in this article.
As consumers, it is our responsibility to research the companies we support and find more sustainable and ethical solutions. Do some of your own research and decide for yourself whether you still want to support Amazon or not.
Millions of people have always done all of their online shopping on Amazon and are now looking for more ethical solutions that offer the same, if not better, service. Depending on what you’re looking to purchase, here are some great Amazon alternatives:
While definitely not the most sustainable on this list, it should be mentioned that eBay is the obvious alternative to shopping at Amazon. In many ways, eBay and Amazon have proven to be very similar. If you do need a surplus of cheap, random items, eBay is probably your go-to. But there are many other online marketplaces on this list that allow you to shop more sustainably and support small businesses.
Rapanui’s slogan is ‘made to last’, and when it comes to ethical clothing, there is no better place to shop. All of their clothing is free from plastic microfibres. These clothes will last you a lifetime and are made from sustainable, ethical materials. You’ll find mostly knitwear and T-shirts in the site, and there is even the option to design your own shirt.
One of the most popular purchases on Amazon has always been books, as they’re known to stock almost every book under the sun. What could possibly replace Amazon in this regard Welcome to Hive! Hive is a UK-based online bookstore that also sells vinyl records, gifts, and e-books. One of the greatest things about Hive is the fact that they offer free delivery within the UK and the fact that by shopping on Hive, you can support independent book shops. Hive sets the example for what sustainable and ethical online marketplaces should look like in the UK.
Have you noticed how thrift and secondhand clothing has become a huge trend lately” Depop allows you to buy from nearby individual sellers. You can download the app for easy browning and find everything from trendy streetwear to vintage handbags for affordable prices. Not only will you be supporting individual sellers, but you’ll also be taking your buying power away from fast fashion houses.
When it comes to finding a wide range of premium furniture and homeware products all under one roof, you can’t go wrong with John Lewis. It has been a go-to site in the UK for many years now, and it has garnered the respect that they deserve for selling quality products and providing a reliable service. John Lewis is also known for their electronics range, which is known to boast the latest in technology from big name brands in the industry.
John Lewis is also sure to have a few other products that will surprise you, so you can definitely pick up a few extra bits and bobs while you’re on their site.
Are you looking for a wide range of general goods that are ethical and eco-friendly” Your best bet is definitely an Ethical Superstore! This incredible online marketplace has groceries, pet supplies, hygiene products, gifts, and so much more. The best part is that you can rest assured that the products have been ethically sourced, and you needn’t do further research. This is definitely a site that is on the rise, and it’s expected that their customer base will grow exponentially in upcoming years as people become more ethically minded.
Wayfair is a good, trustworthy site when you’re looking for things like furniture, lighting, and textiles in the UK. They are also known for their extensive range of gardening essentials. You can definitely find some affordable deals at Wayfair, and with their huge selection, you should definitely find what you’re looking for!
Not On The High Street
Not On The High Street is a quirky site that is the ideal place to find unique gifts and art pieces. The site focuses on offering a personalised shopping experience, and it gives you the opportunity to support small businesses. This is a great place to look for jewellery, gifts, and handmade items that are made by artists and craftspeople.
While the site is relatively small, there are still hundreds of beautiful options for you to choose from.
Peace With The Wild
If you’re looking towards living a waste-free and plastic-free lifestyle while still shopping for all of your household, beauty, and fashion accessories, Peace With The Wild is a fantastic online shop to check out. On this online shop, you’ll find things like bamboo toothbrushes, organic soap and toothpaste tablets. This site really brings out the fun in leading an eco-friendly lifestyle. Even with the eco-friendly focus, there is definitely something for everyone on this site.
If you have not heard of Lush, where have you been hiding” Lush focuses on making fresh, handmade bath and beauty products with sustainable packaging or even package-free solutions. Lush’s range of products is known for its delicious smells, bright colour, and interesting shapes. Whether you are looking for a gift for a friend or are wanting to spoil yourself, Lush is a great brand to support.
There is a definite reason for their popularity. They are known for popularising shampoo and conditioner bars which boast zero-waste packaging and offer a solution to the traditional shampoo and conditioner tubes and tubs.
Alternatives to Amazon Music and Amazon TV
If you’re currently a subscriber of Amazon Music and Amazon TV, quick and easy switches would be Spotify for your music needs and Netflix for your movies, TV shows and documentaries. But frankly, you have dozens of great options available to you in this regard.
With just a little bit of research, it’s easy to find ethical Amazon alternatives for almost any product when doing online shopping in the UK. By simply changing your online shopping habits, you could help start making steps towards a more sustainable world.
What are some alternatives for Amazon vendors?
If you’re currently a vendor on Amazon or are looking at starting up an eCommerce business, you may want to look into what alternatives you have available when it comes to selling your products on an online marketplace. Some good options include:
Etsy has become one of the fastest growing online marketplaces and is geared towards providing a platform for handmade items. Etsy has a massive focus on sustainability, and all of its operations are run off renewable energy sources.
Etsy has given incredible opportunities to entrepreneurs and handmade artisans. If you have a business that focuses on selling handmade goods, it’s definitely a good idea to look at becoming a vendor on Etsy.
Game Marketplace is known for its memorabilia, merch, and tech. It has been considered as a ‘geek haven’, so if that is what you’re into, get on board! Game Marketplace has stood the test of time and has been around for well over a decade.
Fruugo has dedicated marketplaces in over 20 countries and covers a wide variety of product categories. They have become a trusted marketplace in the UK as well as internationally. There are no joining or listing fees, and the Fruugo site is able to translate your listing into multiple languages and currencies.
OnBuy is another popular online marketplace that sells a wide range of different products, including everything from outdoor furniture to computer games. Becoming a vendor on OnBuy is a great way to expand your current customer base and start bringing in more sales. Their fee structure is very reasonable, and a small monthly fee is in place of a joining fee, translation fee or listing fee.
While Amazon may have more web traffic, smaller, sustainable online marketplaces are often geared towards a more niche target market, so picking the right one could give you a better chance of connecting with your ideal customer base.