When shopping online many people’s first thoughts are of checking to see if Amazon has the item or things you need for a heavily discounted price.
What’s better than 2-day free shipping right? Well Amazon itself has a lot of problems and that often can lead to people needing or wanting to search elsewhere for those things they need to be shipped.
Amazon’s rates can be really good for some products, but for a large amount of others, there is a huge shipping charge. If you are trying to get something a little less common, and it needs to ship from overseas, like a carpet or even rock carving tools (that one is a true story from me), the shipping costs can be up to even 30$! That’s completely unreasonable.
There are a number of trustworthy other online goods distributors. This list is going to name a few of the big ones, and give our definitive opinion as to which we think is the best alternative to Amazon.
Amongst the number of things we will consider are usability, prices, universality (for shipping reasons), and reputation. We will not be considering the design or other primarily opinion based ideas, however, this doesn’t make this list definitive. It’s always up to the buyer’s preference!
Aliexpress is one of the biggest competitors out there. If I were to pick any of these below online retailers to stick it to Amazon it would be Aliexpress.
They are a very large China-based online retail service. They have been around just about as long as Amazon as well. Discussing the features however is a different thing altogether.
Aliexpress is known for selling primarily clothes, and electronics. They have been known to have lower prices for these items specifically because of where a lot of their distributors are located. Though this doesn’t mean that’s all they sell. Their catalog is unknowably huge, the numbers we do see are along the lines of 60 million active buyers. Along all of the score categories, Aliexpress is a huge hitter. A big selling point for using Aliexpress is they have daily flash sales that retail great products for a huge discount.
If you are looking for quick shipping, you might as well look elsewhere. As most of the products featured (just like most other platforms) come from China. So order way ahead of gift season. Another major concern along the same line, is that in a way you are getting what you pay for, so if something is unreasonably cheap there is probably a reason.
You can’t have a list of best online marketplaces without mentioning the ever resent Ebay.
Ebay has been growing and expanding from the bidding site you may have known it as in the early 2000’s. It has continued to move and adapt with the times. This means that they now offer a lot of different services that you may not know about.
They aren’t just for bidding, for one. You can buy items directly from online sellers like Amazon. They often have items at lower their retail value, and with a moderate cost for shipping. That doesn’t alleviate some of the drawbacks though.
One of the major drawbacks we have with Ebay is that not all the sellers are the most trustworthy. Ebay is practically known for being the place where a scammer is going to try to go first to run their scheme.
This doesn’t mean the whole platform is contaminated, but it still can be more of a risk than you may be used to. Paying attention and staying vigilant can help with this common problem. The return policy can be a bit of a hassle, but that is a more minor point compared to the first.
Wish is one of the more interesting choices on the list here.
They offer discounts so massively cut that it can seem like a scam. Items that were originally retailing for 200$ can be found on this site for 10$.
While these attractive deals definitely can draw in customers there are some major underlying problems that many of the other options don’t have.
The main and recurring issue is the validity and authenticity of the products that they feature. Many customers and review have been left that they bought jewelry that ended up being plastic, or their clothes ripped on the second wear.
As long as you are being careful with the sellers this can nearly be avoided. Wish also has been critiqued for not having the best return policy, and their customer support team has quite a few negative reviews. Most of these referencing the knock off items they thought were the real deal.
You have to make an account to be able to view the large deals, so we’ll leave it up to you whether or not you trust Wish as a site to shop on. If you aren’t worried about the risks you might find some truly outstanding deals here.
You may have seen the TV ads for Zappos. They are known for having some good deals, and selling practically every type of she imaginable.
While Zappos doesn’t offer much beyond the are of shoes they have been growing their accessories catalog. They have made themselves one of the premier online retailers of clothes accessories, so if you are in the market for any of this Zappos would be one of the main choices.
Right out the gate, we can’t really recommend Zappos for anything beyond the shoe and accessory market. You won’t find cheap cell phone chargers or bulk toilet paper here. But what they do sell they are great at doing.
Zappos has some good deals on things lie free shipping and free and simple returns. They are currently owned by Amazon so you can expect that level of quality from their customer service and shipping operations.
This is a big plus when looking for an alternative to Amazon. You won’t be missing those features. In those aspects, Zappos is particularly known for having really spectacular and top of the line customer service, better than their parent company. So if you have any issues with your orders they will likely get it resolved fast.
Etsy is the dream of independent merchants. If you are looking for goods that may be very niche, like handcrafted products Etsy is the shopping platform that you will probably want to use.
If you can’t find certain products on Etsy like custom costumes or jewelry, Etsy has a very large group of third party sellers and creators that can make it for you.
One of the best things about Etsy is that you can communicate very easily with the sellers on the marketplace. Etsy is known for this because many of the vendors do custom requests, which is a huge bonus. Etsy also has good customer service, and is very friendly to both merchants, and the customers who buy from them.
There are a couple major letdowns of the platform. It doesn’t sell a whole lot of things that aren’t considered custom or more niche. I bought a beautiful phone case from them but I wouldn’t go shopping for electronics themselves on Etsy.
Only custom and uniquely designed things. Etsy’s search function also leaves something to be desired. If you can look past these faults or just need something in particular Etsy is a good choice, perhaps the best.
While Bestbuy isn’t necessarily the first thing you think of when thinking about a replacement for Amazon, their online store shouldn’t be overlooked. Bestbuy is known for being a big retailer of consumer electronics, and this is no different on their website.
On their website you can find practically every item of technology that you may need. From dishwashers to game consoles, they have it all. One of the huge downsides out of the gate is that they don’t sell much outside of that range.
Like a lot of the other platforms we mentioned, if you are looking for what Bestbuy considers its specialty, you will get some of the best results here.
Another consideration is that Bestbuy is known for being on the more expensive end of the spectrum.
Their large brand name and guaranteed support does come at a cost to purchasers. Items here will likely be at their higher end of costs.
IF you can afford the quality however, Bestbuy provides a lot of support and help for setting up sometimes complicated devices. Bestbuy also has a relatively stellar reputation for being reliable and consistent, which are two great characteristics in a marketplace.
Google Shopping has to make it on to this list. If not just for the fact that anytime you search a product on Google itself, Google Shopping is going to pop up and try to find the best seller for you.
Google Shopping runs in an interesting way. Rather than taking you away to its own marketplace google shopping tends to direct you to various other websites and locations to find the best price for whatever you have just searched up. This means that Google tries to find the best prices for you but doesn’t wholesale retail an item to you.
This is a huge pro and a bit of a con. On the con side, Google isn’t responsible for any part of the transaction, they are just the gatekeeper. This means if they find you a bad seller that is just it. Not much can happen from there.
On the other hand, it means that Google tries to be the best in finding the best price for items that you need. They want people to keep searching using their service. We recommend at least using this as a utility if not a direct platform.
Newegg is a technophobe’s nightmare.
Newegg sells practically every gadget, tool, part, or device you could possibly want. Newegg also has the major bonus of having a marketplace. Just like Amazon and most of the options we have brought up.
A marketplace allows other sellers to use Newegg to distribute their products. Due to this Newegg has one of the biggest tech marketplaces out there. There will be a huge catalog of items, and Newegg has one of the most expensive number of tech-related items sold out there.
A major bonus of Newegg is that it has really good prices. Across most of the options we have listed Newegg probably features the cheapest tech. There aren’t many scammers on this platform, compared to others. These are verified brand names as well, so there is not likely to be a bunch of scammers stealing your money. It is actually one of the most trustworthy marketplaces with third-party sellers out there.
Naturally, the biggest downside is that they don’t sell much of anything else besides technology-based items. So you shouldn’t expect much more from Newegg beyond that. Hobbies and computers are all they do but they do it well.
Now the actual winner. Considering all the aspects that we looked at, usability, prices, universality (for shipping reasons), and reputation, there was a lot to think about.
We believe that Aliexpress is probably the closest to the most universal product-wise, and most expensive of all the other options out there.
Cheap prices, good review structure, and numerous other factors make Aliexpress our choice at being the best alternative for Amazon.
Out of all of the different options, we had a bit of trouble picking the best one. Before we give our answer there are a lot of points to acknowledge. Your personal taste should obviously from which platform you decide to use.
Another major point is that some of these platforms are designed to sell certain types of products. Nothing will ever beat doing your own research before you make a purchase, being informed will help you find the best and most reliable deal out there.
If you need computer parts, Newegg is probably the best choice for you.
If you need custom jewelry, Etsy is going to be the one you will go for.
So when considering which platform always consider the product you need first. This list can help guide you to choose that specific one.