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Amazon alternatives - 2018
Old 06-11-2018, 11:20 AM   #1
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Amazon alternatives - 2018

So based on the recent threads I thought it'd be a good idea to gather input on the several Amazon alternatives mentioned. What other online retailers do you frequently buy from and what's been your experience?

For me:

eBay: I buy (mostly new items) from good reputable sellers (with lots of positive feedback). I've bought items from sellers in Hong Kong, UK and China even and never had an issue. Some International sellers actually had local stock so I was amazed to see the product sitting at my door step a day or two after placing the order.

Walmart.com: My other favorite: I've ordered tires, lawn and garden furniture, weight lifting equipment etc all delivered within a couple of days.

HomeDepot.com: I usually buy online and do a free pickup since there's one 5 mins from my house.

The one that I've been wanting to try is AliExpress (AliBaba the largest online retailer) but I haven't yet.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:33 AM   #2
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I have used Crutchfield for electronics. Their Customer service is excellent.

I generally use Amazon to look for products, then search for them elsewhere on-line, from competitors or from the actual manufacturer.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:34 AM   #3
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I mostly shop B&M (I like supporting local businesses, and most around my area provide exceptional service....as well as good prices). I don't buy much stuff (generally), so this works well for me.

As for online purchases, have occasionally purchased products I know online from Target----but have had some problems with how they pack the boxes...some damaged goods ---so driving 10 mins to the local target is generally better. [Although I'm there less frequently these days, because they've cut staffing (and displays are frequently a mess) and replaced higher quality goods with lesser ones (I'm guessing to compete with Walmart).]

Bed Bath and Beyond has worked reliably (although not always the best price).

REI for outdoor stuff (mostly re-ordering hiking shoes and/or socks that I know fit properly) works reliably, too.

Mom orders online from Costco and it's always good.

BTW, some B&M stores will match amazon prices, if a bigger purchase. That can be win/win for a local store and local economy.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:35 AM   #4
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A bit OT but I don't get the whole "buying on-line" thing unless it's something so specialized I can't get it locally (e.g. a platinum neck chain, a brand of clothing I just found that's made in the USA). I'm retired so have plenty of time and I want to look at the merchandise and check its country of origin. I make a weekly run to Costco and a grocery store; the latter is right next to the gym I use daily. I don't need to comb the entire Web to save a few bucks and I hate that nearly everything comes in too much packaging. I'm also not in "acquisition" mode; usually I buy only to replace things that no longer work, and my idea of a gift for DS, DDIL and the granddaughters is either experiences, or putting money into the kids' 529 accounts.

I've tried ordering on-line at either HD or Lowe's (forget which) when I was tiling a floor, got a message that my order was ready for pickup, and about 2/3 of the time it wasn't and someone in the back had to cobble it together while I waited.

I'd miss on-line shopping if it went away but it's not a big part of my existence.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:50 AM   #5
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I actually rarely use Amazon. Most of our regular needs are taken care of at Costco.

For online shopping we use eBay for new and used. I could write a whole thread on how to get the best deals on clothing and shoes at eBay, but that's another story.

For wine, we use Winebid.com. Sort of a treasure hunt, but you can find nicely aged wines at nice prices, if you don't mind the auction format.

Unique men's clothing at Carbon2Cobalt.com.

For quality, but good price jeans. Uniqlo.com


For bargin basement outdoor gear and clothing, sierratradingpost.com They send out coupons from time to time that makes some things dirt cheap.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:03 PM   #6
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For my hobby stuff (R/C airplanes) I buy almost all from horizonhobby.com with the exception of batteries here and there. I've also bought stuff from walmart.com, jcpenny.com, and overstock.com. DW buys from Lands End, both online and by phone, Bed Bath & Beyond both online and B&M, and Christopher & Bank, mostly B&M. Come to think of it, we actually spend relatively little at Amazon.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:22 PM   #7
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I adore Amazon and do most of my online shopping there.

However, I also occasionally shop online at Walmart dot com (which has a drive through pickup location for fresh food orders at an abandoned bank just a few blocks from me).

I also have had good experiences shopping online at Best Buy during their Black Friday and other sales. Just got my new printer from them during their Memorial Day sale, thanks to a tip I got here on this forum.

There is always Landsend.

I used to order online from Target now and then, until they had a credit card identity theft scandal a while back.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
A bit OT but I don't get the whole "buying on-line" thing unless it's something so specialized I can't get it locally
Not everyone has such convenient access to shop locally. I have to travel over 30 minutes to get to anything other than a few overpriced gas station convenience stores, small overpriced resort shops, a small IGA, and now a Dollar General (yuck). I really don't like shopping much either. I'd much rather go online then step in a Walmart. I also like to read reviews, much easier at home than on my phone.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:37 PM   #9
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I prefer online shopping to save time and avoid the overcrowded streets and stores. It's a convenience thing and it feeds my anti-social behavior syndrome - it's the male version of menopause that hits us around age 40 lol

Great feedback so far! A couple of others I forgot:

Macys.com (I returned in store once when I got the wrong size).

ToolTopia.com

InstaCart.com for grocery shopping from the local favorite grocery stores for a small but very reasonable charge.

And often times the good ole Google search.
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Old 06-11-2018, 01:48 PM   #10
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We have used Amazon maybe 3 times and that's probably being generous. I find its website to be hard to understand and/or too much info on a page for me to visualize.

Up here, shopping options are a bit sparse. In fact our "high end" national brand shopping is Kohls and also a WalMart and Meijers. That's pretty much it for general merchandize.

Thankfully there are a couple of nice Mom and Pops that we frequent--pay more but well worth it in our minds.

If I'm looking for XX online I go to that type of retailor. We do use Overstock, Wayfair etc but generally only after checking traditional retailers for what we want.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:06 PM   #11
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I just placed an order for a variety of odds and ends through Jet.com(owned by Walmart). Prices were just as good as Amazon. Two days free shipping on $35 orders. I have ordered products through Cabelas, B&H video, Overstock, Crutchfield, Adorama photography and Home Depot. From HD, last year i ordered a battery powered lawn mower delivered free to my house. At the time much cheaper than Amazon. I have ordered from Best Buy online but did have to pick it up from the local store. Oh yes....for my pup I order his food and supplies from either Chewy or Petflow.com. I believe those have a $49 min for free shipping which is never a problem.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
A bit OT but I don't get the whole "buying on-line" thing unless it's something so specialized I can't get it locally....
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
Not everyone has such convenient access to shop locally. I have to travel over 30 minutes to get to anything other than a few overpriced gas station convenience stores, small overpriced resort shops, a small IGA, and now a Dollar General (yuck).
Same here, the nearest decent-sized malls are at least 30 minutes away and one has to pick the time carefully to avoid sitting in rush hour traffic. I started buying a lot of stuff online 20+ years ago when we lived near Washington, D.C.. While good stores were indeed close by, heavy traffic made getting to them at any time of day such a PITA that it was much easier for me to order online and just wait a few days to have widgets delivered. And online prices were usually much better anyway.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:12 PM   #13
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We've purchased a number of outdoor items at Hayneedle lately. I saved about $500 on a carport kit, plus they give you back a percentage as credit on future orders. Not always fast, but a good variety and free shipping on orders over $50.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:40 PM   #14
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Not everyone has such convenient access to shop locally. I have to travel over 30 minutes to get to anything other than a few overpriced gas station convenience stores, small overpriced resort shops, a small IGA, and now a Dollar General (yuck).
Ah- I've lived in suburbs of major cities most of my life so never had to deal with that. Now that you mention it, though, my sister is in a lovely new development that's a 40-minute drive away from everything. I could see why on-line would be attractive in her (and your) case.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvalley View Post
So based on the recent threads I thought it'd be a good idea to gather input on the several Amazon alternatives mentioned. What other online retailers do you frequently buy from and what's been your experience?

For me:

eBay: I buy (mostly new items) from good reputable sellers (with lots of positive feedback). I've bought items from sellers in Hong Kong, UK and China even and never had an issue. Some International sellers actually had local stock so I was amazed to see the product sitting at my door step a day or two after placing the order.

Walmart.com: My other favorite: I've ordered tires, lawn and garden furniture, weight lifting equipment etc all delivered within a couple of days.

HomeDepot.com: I usually buy online and do a free pickup since there's one 5 mins from my house.

The one that I've been wanting to try is AliExpress (AliBaba the largest online retailer) but I haven't yet.

Thanks for starting this thread.

I've used Ali-Express, mainly for dirt-cheap electronics and hobby stuff. It's just unbelievable the variety of stuff I can get for very small $, including shipping. For the cheap prices, it's on the slow boat from China, might take weeks or even a couple months. But if it's a "nice to have around", or replacing dwindling stock, or some project that I might build someday, the wait isn't an issue. Sometimes you can find similar deals on ebay (like you, I stick to suppliers with a good rep), and often pretty good prices on US based sales if you need it quicker.

Used Walmart a few times, will try to do more. Their in-store pick up was slow though, I'd rather have it shipped to my home.

Parts-Express for cheap and DIY audio stuff.

Best-Buy, which is awful for most things, was surprisingly the best deal on a few purchases I've made. It pays to search.


Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
A bit OT but I don't get the whole "buying on-line" thing unless it's something so specialized I can't get it locally ...
There's just so many more different products and variations available, and often enough reviews to help guide me to what I need. And mostly, the on-line info is 100x what you will find in a B&M store.

Nice thing about Home Depot, if you shop on-line, you can do that comparing, and if you select your local store, it shows stock and the Aisle and Bay # the product is in - that can save lots of time in the store.

-ERD50
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:15 AM   #16
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I shop online because it’s so much easier than going to the store, only to find that they don’t have the size or color you want. Amazon is our main source, but have also ordered from pet websites (Chewy’s, PetMeds, PetSuppliesPlus, etc.), Macy’s, Kohls, Target, and Wal-Mart. I really like Etsy for unusual handmade items. Have had a good experience with E-Bay but both DH and I have had issues with Alibaba - ordered items that never arrived and it was a big hassle to get $$ back. I will generally not order from any non-US websites.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:18 AM   #17
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Besides Amazon, I've bought online from Ebay, Jet, Walmart, Target.

At times, the boxes didn't seem as durable from Jet and Target. I have had material arrive with boxes partially tripped.

If patient, sometimes order I buy stuff from China through ebay at a better price than Amazon. Bought some electronic parts on the cheap along with shows on DVD at a bargain.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:26 AM   #18
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Just keep in mind when buying from a China based vendor that ships from China if you have a problem and need to return something that it isn't as easy as from a USA based vendor since you have to deal with customs.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:05 AM   #19
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Just keep in mind when buying from a China based vendor that ships from China if you have a problem and need to return something that it isn't as easy as from a USA based vendor since you have to deal with customs.
Good point. When I buy stuff from China through ebay, I don't buy anything very expensive. The $19.99 and below mentality.

Another bargain I snagged that I just remembered are plastic hard drive holders. Through Amazon, they were about $3 each. Through ebay were about $1 each. Bought about 25 of them. So, doing the math, savings added up.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:12 AM   #20
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For those who want to avoid Amazon, don't forget that aside from WholeFoods, they also own lots of other online sales channels:

- AbeBooks
- Zappos
- Audible.com
- ShopBop
- Woot
- The Book Depository
- Souq.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ions_by_Amazon
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