There are many reasons that someone may choose to seek out alternatives to Amazon, ranging from a dislike of their platform policies to disapproval for their socio-economic impact. Regardless of what your reasons are, there are many options available for both online buyers and sellers.
To determine which one is the best option for you, you should assess what your goals are, as well as what type of product you are looking to buy or sell. This should make the choice much easier.
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Like Amazon, AliExpress is an online retail service that offers a wide range of products, such as clothing, beauty products, home decor, electronics, pet supplies, and tools. The Chinese-based company not only caters to buyers, but also offers a platform for small-to-medium-sized businesses to sell their products.
Free standard shipping is available, and items typically arrive in 15 to 45 days. There is also a premium shipping option that allows you to receive your package within approximately seven to 15 days.
2. Buyback Boss
https://depositphotos.com/ is a service that buys back used and broken iPhones. This Arizona-based company allows you to send your used or broken iPhone for free. All you need to do is get your online quote and send the device using the prepaid shipping label provided to you.
Buyback Boss can be a convenient alternative to Amazon for reselling old iPhones. It can be a superior option if the phone is damaged.
BuyDig is a New Jersey-based online store that, similar to Amazon, offers a wide variety of products, including electronics, office supplies, auto accessories, houseware, and fitness equipment. Free shipping is available with the exception of large items like televisions. The average shipping time is seven to 10 days.
Decluttr is a platform that lets you buy and sell used tech products. This company is based in Kennesaw, Georgia, and allows you to send your used tech products for free using a prepaid label. Payment will be processed upon receipt of the item.
Free shipping is also available for buyers, who can expect their items within approximately two to four days. This can be a cheaper and more convenient option than Amazon in terms of buying and reselling used tech products.
eBid is an online auction platform where, similar to Amazon, users can both buy and sell items. The U.K.-based company allows independent sellers to list their items for free, but does charge a 5% final value fee.
Alternatively, you can register for a SELLER+ account and pay a regular subscription rather than paying final value fees. Shipping times and the cost of items can vary widely for U.S. buyers.
Etsy is a platform that allows users to buy and sell uniquely crafted items. The company is based in Brooklyn, New York. For independent sellers, there is a listing fee of $0.20, a transaction fee of 5%, a payment processing fee of 3% plus $0.25, and an off-site ad fee of 15%. Shipping time and cost can vary widely for buyers.
Like Amazon, this website offers a platform for both buyers and sellers, but caters more strongly to unique and hand-crafted items.
FYE is an online retail store that specializes in entertainment and collectibles. The company is based in Albany, New York. Standard shipping for their products is $3.29 plus the weight of the item, at a rate of $5 per pound. Items take approximately five to 15 days to arrive using standard shipping.
Although it is an online retailer like Amazon, FYE’s focus on entertainment and collectibles can give you a larger and more unique selection for products of that type.
Gazelle is an online platform that allows you to buy and sell used electronics. The company is based in San Diego, California. Shipping to the company is free for sellers, and shipping cost and time varies for buyers. This can be a more convenient and lucrative option for buying and selling used electronics compared to Amazon.
Overstock is an affordable online retailer that specializes in houseware and home decor. Shipping cost and time varies for buyers. The Salt Lake City-based company also offers a platform for independent sellers through Overstock Marketplace.
Although — similarly to Amazon — this website offers a platform to both buyers and sellers, its focus on houseware and home decor may provide a greater breadth of unique options in that category.
It is free for sellers to register, and final value fees start at 3%. However, it is free to relist an unsold item. Sellers also have the option to buy listing enhancements or a subscription. The flat rate for the subscription can be very helpful for sellers who intend to sell multiple items.
Zappos is an online shoe store based in Southern Nevada. Packages typically arrive within five to 10 days with free standard shipping. As one of the pre-eminent online shoe retailers, Zappos is a good alternative if you can’t find the shoes you want on Amazon.
How to Shop Smart Online
This list is far from exhaustive, and therefore, it can also be helpful to know what to look for and what to look out for when choosing and perusing online stores.
Building Good Habits
It’s easy to get reeled in by the convenience of online shopping and to allow your spending to spiral out of control. The following tips can help prevent this from happening:
- Include online shopping in your budget, rather than allowing it to be a nebulous additional expense.
- Leave an item on your list or in your cart for 24 hours to determine whether you want or need it.
- Use apps like Leechblock, Freedom, or StayFocused, to block shopping websites during certain times of the day.
- Find activities other than online shopping to pacify you when you are bored.
Comparison Shopping and Identification of Scams
There are an overwhelming amount of choices when it comes to online stores, or even similar, individual items. However, some tried-and-true strategies can help you choose the best option for you, including:
- Checking company, seller, and item reviews;
- Being wary of “too-good-to-be-true” deals;
- Determining the manufacturing location;
- Avoiding duplicate items that are advertised under various company names;
- Buying from retailers you already trust;
- Taking peripheral costs such as subscriptions or shipping into account;
- Considering not only price, but also longevity;
- Reviewing return, refund, and warranty options.
Avoiding Cybersecurity Threats
Many people are wary of personal security when shopping online, and this concern is not unfounded. There are a few simple precautions you can take to avoid being duped, including:
- Only shopping on secured websites;
- Not clicking on suspicious links;
- Declining to provide personal information;
- Using third-party payment platforms rather than directly providing your credit card information;
- Not using public Wi-Fi.
Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/
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