There’s no denying that online retailers like Amazon will greatly impact commerce from now on.
Data suggests that online sales will reach over $1 trillion within the next few years, meaning that consumers who understand this space will help themselves save time and money moving forward.
It’s hard to talk about online commerce without talking about Amazon.
The website offers plenty of great options for goods and conveniences.
It can also help folks grow their businesses in different ways, like how Amazon allows you to be a best-selling author.
However, it’s not the only choice out there, especially when you know you want to buy something specifically from one sector.
So, let’s look at some of the best Amazon alternatives and how they stand out from the competition.
- Best Amazon Alternatives: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed] (Overview)
- The Best Amazon Alternatives at a Glance
- An Overview of Amazon
- Best Amazon Alternatives: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed]
- The Best Free Amazon Options
- Notable Mentions: Other Alternatives to Amazon
- Even More Options to Check Out
- Other Alternative Roundups
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Best Amazon Alternatives: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed] (Overview)
We’ve included an overview of our top picks below. For detailed information on each pick, scroll down.
- eBay: Our Pick
- Overstock.com: Runner-Up
- AliExpress: Budget Pick
- Facebook Marketplace
The Best Amazon Alternatives at a Glance
While there are dozens of online retailers out there, we believe that these are the best Amazon alternatives out there for the average consumer:
- Facebook Marketplace
What Is the Best Alternative to Amazon?
Overall, the best alternative to Amazon is eBay.
The platform features many of the same items you can get on Amazon, plus the ability to find rare items such as collectibles.
The bidding feature that helped make eBay famous allows users to potentially get items for less than they could at another store.
What Is the Best Free Alternative to Amazon?
Facebook Marketplace is the best free alternative to Amazon due to its focus on local areas.
Because the platform matches you up with folks in the area looking to get rid of their stuff, you can expect lower prices and no shipping costs.
Also, many users will allow potential buyers to check out the item before confirming the sale, something you cannot do on sites like Amazon.
An Overview of Amazon
Before we cover the best alternatives to Amazon, you should know what Amazon is like and why someone might want to look for a place to shop.
What Is Amazon?
Amazon is a large online retailer and cloud service provider.
The company started as an online bookseller before steadily expanding into general retail and commerce services with a focus on the buyer experience.
Additionally, Amazon expanded into Internet service provision, including cloud-based data storage, web hosting services, and AI tool creation.
Where Does Amazon Excel?
Amazon does a great job of making the buyer feel like it is easy to purchase items from Amazon.
The company’s initial claim to fame was its two-day standard shipping, which allowed buyers to receive goods faster than Amazon’s competitors.
Nowadays, Amazon utilizes its growth in various Internet services sectors to produce reliable one-day or same-day delivery.
Other useful tools, like customizable purchase subscriptions and quantity selection, have helped Amazon keep ahead of the competition.
Where Does Amazon Fall Short?
Part of Amazon’s size comes from allowing both large and small companies to be selling on Amazon.
Unfortunately, this allowance doesn’t account for product quality, leading to poor quality goods showing up on the marketplace sometimes.
Also, Amazon has a poor reputation regarding its treatment of warehouse workers and similar employees.
Some folks do not want to support a company with these supposed employment ethics.
Best Amazon Alternatives: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed]
Amazon is among the best eCommerce platforms, but it’s not the only option.
Here are some of our top picks for Amazon alternatives, ranked and reviewed:
eBay: Our Pick
eBay is a commerce platform that allows users to buy, sell, and bid on user-submitted items and services.
The platform doesn’t sell goods itself, instead acting as the intermediary platform between the buyer and seller.
eBay is best known for its bidding feature but offers other ways for buyers and sellers to exchange.
Key Features of eBay
There are several reasons to consider using eBay for your commerce needs, some of which include the following:
- Bidding: The bidding feature allows buyers to spend what they want and pull out if the price gets too high
- Discounts: Regular discounts based on season and brand
- Buy It Now: The Buy It Now option allows users to decide between bidding and buying an item outright
- Dedicated buyer extortion policy: Favors buyers over sellers in cases of fraud or poor-quality goods
- Accessible: Easy account and sales setup
Amazon vs. eBay: How They Compare
eBay differs from Amazon in how it approaches commerce.
While Amazon branched out into other services, eBay focuses on its platform and transaction options to help buyers and sellers make commerce happen quickly.
The bidding feature on eBay allows buyers and sellers to set a price in real time, allowing both parties to come out ahead in some cases.
Why Is eBay a Great Alternative to Amazon?
eBay doesn’t have the clutter that Amazon does at this point.
Going to Amazon puts many of its services front and center, including its Prime membership subscription and other ongoing charges for convenience.
eBay doesn’t have these distractions since the platform focuses on its buyer and seller experience over expansion.
Also, eBay can access goods Amazon normally wouldn’t, such as collectibles and antiques, allowing eBay to attract buyers and sellers from niches Amazon cannot access.
Pros of eBay
We covered some of the benefits of using eBay already, but some of the biggest pros to using eBay include:
- PRO: Buyers and sellers have access to over 100 million users monthly
- PRO: The ability to buy and sell anything
- PRO: A bidding and buying system that favors buyers over sellers to prevent fraud
Cons of eBay
There are some downsides to using eBay, which include:
- CON: Sellers have to abide by a strict return policy, which can be harmful to certain businesses
- CON: A 13% fee collected by eBay on sales
- CON: The risk that you, as a buyer, purchase a fake or fraudulent item from the website
eBay doesn’t charge any money to start a seller or business account on their platform.
Instead, the platform makes money by collecting fees from sales and shipping options.
The most prominent fees are insertion fees, which cost sellers a certain amount based on how many items they sell, and the platform collects final value fees when an item sells.
Final value fees have different values depending on the category of the item you sell.
Can You Try eBay For Free?
eBay is free to set up an account. You can use this account to both buy and sell goods.
You receive 250 free insertion listings when you create a standard eBay account.
Once you use all these free listings, you will have to start paying a fee to list a new item on eBay.
This value should be good for most at-home sellers, but businesses will want to look at setting up a business account instead.
Conclusion: Should You Choose eBay Over Amazon?
If the item you want doesn’t appear on Amazon, eBay is a solid fallback.
Collectors, in particular, will appreciate the ability to buy and sell rare items, something they can’t do on Amazon.
Plus, buyers have an easier time returning items on eBay than on Amazon, thanks to eBay’s return policy.
The added insurance of that return policy means buyers can return low-quality items without worrying about eBay denying the return.
Overstock.com is an online discount home goods and furniture retailer.
The website pulls together home goods and furniture from various brands and locations to give its customers the lowest price possible for these items.
While they don’t have the same selection as Amazon, Overstock.com can help buyers find items for their homes that are not on Amazon.
Key Features of Overstock.com
Much like eBay, Overstock.com has several reasons to consider it over Amazon, such as:
- Quality Products: Access to brand-name furniture and home goods at a reasonable price
- Daily Deals: New daily deals thanks to a rotating and variable stock of goods
- Return Policy: A 30-day money-back guarantee on most items purchased from the website
- Rewards Program: A rewards program to help with things like shipping times and costs
- Shipping: Worldwide shipping options not seen from most other online furniture platforms
Amazon vs. Overstock.com: How They Compare
In terms of available goods, Amazon wins out over Overstock.com.
Overstock.com focuses on furniture, which makes up a small percentage of the sales Amazon makes every year.
Still, Overstock.com has many of the same features, shipping times, and rates Amazon has, including Overstock’s membership program.
This program rewards loyalty and frequent orders from the platform, something Amazon Prime members will recognize.
Why Is Overstock.com a Great Alternative to Amazon?
Overstock.com does furniture better than Amazon does.
Buyers can select high-quality, brand-name items from Overstock.com for the same price as many of the budget items on Amazon.
Thus, consumers can find better deals on Overstock.com for its niche than a generic answer like Amazon.
Pros of Overstock.com
There are several upsides to using Overstock.com, such as:
- PRO: Better pricing and quality for furniture and home goods than what Amazon offers
- PRO: Similar shipping rates and times to other online retailers, allowing consumers to get their furniture quickly
- PRO: An easy-to-use website that allows users to filter for goods based on price, brand, and seasonality
Cons of Overstock.com
However, there are some cons with Overstock.com, some of which are:
- CON: Shipping times can be long for orders outside the United States since that is where the website sources most of its inventory.
- CON: Some items, like mattresses, are not eligible for their otherwise comprehensive return policy.
- CON: The company goes through spells of poor customer support, meaning resolving issues with orders that come up might be tough.
Overstock.com has an annual subscription plan called Club O, which works like Amazon Prime for the website.
Folks in this program can receive better shipping times and return policies for $19.95 per year.
Additionally, certain orders from the website cost nothing for shipping.
For example, orders over $45 do not receive shipping charges, even those not in the Club O program.
Can You Try Overstock.com For Free?
Anyone can use Overstock.com for free.
There are benefits to committing to their annual membership, such as better rates for returns and faster shipping options.
Still, many customers are happy to occasionally order from the website without joining Club O.
Conclusion: Should You Choose Overstock.com Over Amazon?
If you want quality furniture for a reasonable price, Overstock.com will be hard to beat.
Amazon has plenty of furniture options, but most come from smaller retailers with variable quality.
Because Overstock.com buys from liquidation events, they can secure brand names at low prices and pass the savings off to their users.
AliExpress: Budget Pick
AliExpress is an online retailer owned by the Chinese Alibaba group.
The platform started as a business-to-business platform but has since expanded to include sales to consumers.
Like Amazon, AliExpress also dabbles in businesses like cloud software services and payment processing.
Key Features of AliExpress
Several features help AliExpress to stand out, such as:
- No Order Minimum: No minimum quantity when ordering wholesale items
- Free Shipping: Free shipping for all orders
- eCommerce Integration: Integrated with eCommerce platforms like Shopify and popular extensions on that platform to help eCommerce sites manage their sales
- Vast Catalog: A large catalog comparable to Amazon’s
- Low Prices: Low prices thanks to inventory sources from local manufacturing rather than resalers
Amazon vs. AliExpress: How They Compare
Amazon and AliExpress will look similar if you are familiar with Amazon.
AliExpress carries a wide range of items that users can filter using categories and keyword searches.
Many users will see that AliExpress can offer items from Amazon and lower prices.
We’ll see later that this can be both a blessing and a curse for the platform.
Why Is AliExpress a Great Alternative to Amazon?
AliExpress distinguishes itself from Amazon by offering lower prices than what you can find on Amazon.
Most of this comes down to the fact that much of the world’s manufacturing power is in China, allowing AliExpress to sell items directly from the manufacturer instead of going through retailers and similar intermediaries.
Pros of AliExpress
There are several positives when using AliExpress, some of which are:
- PRO: Low prices thanks to the platform’s reliance on local area manufacturers and retailers
- PRO: Direct, free shipping to customers without requiring a minimum number of items in the order
- PRO: The ability to message suppliers on the platform to work through problems or ask questions about products before buying them
Cons of AliExpress
There are some sizable downsides to using AliExpress, though. Some of those downsides are:
- CON: Most free shipping options take 20 to 60 days to complete, meaning consumers have to wait a month or longer on average to receive their goods
- CON: The website occasionally features underhanded listings that try to display a low price for an item before hitting the consumer with a higher price later
- CON: Customer service options are minimal without buying into the platform’s annual subscription
AliExpress doesn’t have a premium membership like Amazon or Overstock.com.
Instead, AliExpress makes its money off of buyer guarantees and premium shipping options.
The buyer guarantees allow AliExpress to ensure they can help buyers return goods and get their money back after a certain amount of time.
Meanwhile, the premium shipping options give buyers a way to get their orders faster than the slow pace seen with the standard free options.
Can You Try AliExpress For Free?
Anyone can use AliExpress for free.
All you have to do is set up the account using AliExpress’s website or mobile app.
However, don’t expect your items to come quickly like with Amazon free accounts.
While Amazon stores items in local warehouses, AliExpress ships items from China, meaning it takes a month or longer for things to come across the ocean.
Conclusion: Should You Choose AliExpress Over Amazon?
It’s hard to say if you should use AliExpress over Amazon since the answer depends on your needs as a consumer.
However, if you find something fun or interesting and don’t mind the wait, AliExpress will cost less money in the long run than Amazon.
Therefore, we think this platform is great as a budget option since the buyer guarantees and premium shipping can be expensive otherwise.
The Best Free Amazon Options
If you want to pick through some other free options, we found that these choices were among the best ones out there:
Facebook Marketplace works similarly to eBay but focuses on your local area rather than all of eBay.
Anyone with a Facebook account can go onto the platform and list their items for sale.
From there, buyers can choose what items they want to purchase and work with the seller to figure out the price and shipping if needed.
Why Is This a Great Option?
Because Facebook Marketplace matches you with local sellers, this platform could help users save on shipping costs from larger companies.
Additionally, many people use Facebook, meaning the marketplace generally has local listings for many goods in larger suburbs and cities.
Drawbacks to Facebook Marketplace
The strengths of Facebook Marketplace are also its drawbacks.
Relying on the local area can mean you won’t find what you want if you need a specific or niche item.
Additionally, options for those living in rural areas and small suburbs can be low or nonexistent.
Also, Facebook doesn’t monitor its sellers on Facebook Marketplace like other sellers as eBay does.
Craigslist is an online local classified listing for over 450 cities worldwide.
The website gathers listings for goods and rentals in these cities and displays them in a written or pictorial list.
Craigslist also has a forum for each city where folks can talk about almost any topic.
Why Is This a Great Option?
Craiglist does a great job of organizing its listings.
Users click on a city or area of the world, then click through the different categories to see what folks in the area have to sell.
You can also refine your searches using the filter options, including keywords and listing dates.
Drawbacks to Craigslist
The downside to the openness of Craigslist is that the website becomes an easy target for scammers to target desperate sellers.
Craigslist has a list of common scam techniques on their website to help, but buyers still have to be careful when roaming the website.
Notable Mentions: Other Alternatives to Amazon
In case the options above don’t suit your needs, we have this list of notable mentions that have their own strengths and weaknesses:
Walmart acquired Jet.com in 2016, bringing the marketplace under Walmart’s branding and management.
While the website doesn’t exist anymore, the marketplace operates similarly to Amazon, where Walmart and third-party products exist side-by-side.
The platform uses similar anti-counterfeit measures and fraud prevention policies as the other large platforms.
Why Is Jet.com a Great Option?
Walmart’s online marketplace uses Jet.com’s infrastructure to power its back-end, allowing Walmart to sell goods it couldn’t stock in stores.
The marketplace has many of the same features as Amazon, just with a different selection of third-party vendors, meaning that Walmart can offer items you might not see on Amazon.
Drawbacks to Jet.com
To get the most out of Walmart and Jet.com, the Walmart+ subscription offers a lot of perks that will look familiar to Amazon Prime members.
Folks used to these perks might not want to spend the extra $13 per month just to get perks like better shipping rates and times.
Newegg is an online computer parts and gaming system retailer.
While they specialize in parts for hobbyists and advanced computer builders, the platform also has equipment related to the cryptocurrency, automotive, and industrial sectors.
The range of tech equipment they sell outpaces larger marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart.
Why Is Newegg a Great Option?
Newegg offers almost any computer part you could need, making it a great stop for anyone looking to buy tech.
The platform also offers pre-built machines of all sorts.
Drawbacks to Newegg
In recent years, Newegg received many complaints about their customer service and how they handle computer parts.
Numerous customers received damaged or faulty parts from Newegg, meaning that ordering from Newegg can be a gamble.
Some of these issues are due to the current silicone shortage, forcing Newegg to rely on used and refurbished parts.
In addition to its main website, Overstock manages an online outlet store that features used furniture from various resellers and liquidation events.
Their stock source and its previous use mean buyers can pick up furniture, home goods, and office supplies cheaper than they could from many online and physical stores.
Why Is Overstock a Great Option?
Furniture can be one of the most expensive things for those moving to a new place.
Sites like Overstock allow folks to get furniture for their new home that is high quality despite its previous use.
Additionally, the prices are low thanks to the inventory coming from liquidation events, allowing Overstock to buy items at a fraction of their normal price.
Drawbacks to Overstock
While many categories of furniture and home goods are much cheaper than they otherwise would be on Overstock, not all categories have that going for them.
Some items, like office accent chairs, can be as expensive or more expensive than in a brick-and-mortar store.
Right now, demand seems to be the cause of this price hike.
Even More Options to Check Out
Finally, if you want to check out some niche options to the Amazon alternatives we have so far, then you might want to check some of these places out:
Decluttr is a website dedicated to helping people buy and sell used tech, books, and video games.
Users can set up accounts to list their items on Decluttr, allowing buyers to search for items using categories and filters.
The limited stock of the website is a function of Decluttr not keeping any products itself on the platform.
So, buyers looking for specific items might not find them on the website, depending on when they look.
eBid is an online auction platform similar to eBay.
Users can buy or sell almost any type of item through the platform, making it the second-largest online auction platform.
Most of the issues with eBid come down to its design.
The website is busy with UI elements that make it confusing for the average user to navigate.
Also, the website only accepts a few payment methods, preventing some folks from buying and selling on the platform because their payment processor of choice does not exist on the website.
BuyDig is an online consumer electronics marketplace.
The platform supports sellers of almost any time of home electronic goods, from kitchen appliances to home theater suites to personal electronics like smartphones and GPS devices.
Most of what prevents BuyDig from being rated higher is its limited stock.
Many folks go to Amazon for items other than home electronics, meaning it won’t fill these folks’ needs.
Additionally, BuyDig receives regular complaints about how it handles customer services, meaning that if you have a problem, BuyDig might not solve it immediately.
Other Alternative Roundups
While we covered plenty of Amazon alternatives earlier, there’s more than just Amazon competitors.
So depending on what you need to get, it may be worth checking out competitors for some of the other marketplaces and platforms.
Part of what makes eBay a popular platform is the ability to bid on items, potentially getting them for less than the retail price.
If that appeals to you, then knowing about the best eBay alternatives out there could help you cast a wider net and find what you want for a good price.
Etsy allows folks with a gift for arts and crafts to turn their passion into a business.
If you want to find more handmade goods or other platforms to sell homemade crafts, you’ll want to check out the Etsy alternatives.
Doing so might help you find a special item for your home or a better place to set up your online business.
As the largest online retailer and platform in the world, Alibaba draws a lot of attention, especially in the Chinese market.
However, it doesn’t always suit consumers to pick up items from this platform, especially those outside Asia.
Alibaba alternatives could help folks grab the items they need without relying on overseas shipping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers for some of the other common questions folks have about alternatives to Amazon:
What small company is like Amazon?
Etsy represents the closest thing to Amazon while working on a smaller scale.
While many consumers know Etsy due to its handmade arts and crafts, many sellers on the platform also stock items like computers and clothing.
The Etsy platform seems to do a good job of allowing solo and small ventures to make a living selling their custom goods.
Who is Amazon’s biggest competitor?
Amazon’s biggest competitor tends to be eBay or Walmart.
eBay is an online auctioning platform that features a broader range of items and bidding capabilities for items on sale, while Walmart maintains both an online marketplace and physical locations.
Overall, eBay will be the best Amazon alternative for most consumers.
You can find many items from Amazon on eBay, sometimes closer than Amazon would otherwise offer.
The bidding feature can help bring prices down, but the fact that you have a wider range of items than on Amazon is a big benefit otherwise.
Still, other options, like AliExpress or Facebook Marketplace, can be a great budget option for most.
AliExpress will have what you want, though with a long shipping time.
Meanwhile, Facebook Marketplace has great stuff in your local area but generally a much more limited stock.
We recommend you check into each of the Amazon alternatives we reviewed above, depending on what you are in the market for.
It’s better to compare prices and inventory across a few platforms than just relying on one all the time, as it can help you save money and time in the long run.