The best alternatives to Amazon at a glance

Amazon offers consumers a business model that scores points with low prices and a convenient ordering process. Being the most popular online store in the UK makes it harder for any of its competitors to get a look-in. However, Amazon doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to the press: the Seattle-based company isn’t a stranger to facing worldwide criticism. Among other things, the working conditions in the internet giant’s mail centres have been criticised. In addition, the industry fears that the market leader is abusing its power to dictate prices.

If these headlines put you off, you’ll quickly realise there are many alternatives to Amazon in the UK. We’ve found the top ten Amazon alternatives:

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Amazon alternatives for fashion and lifestyle

Amazon’s share of the fashion market is dwindling. When it comes to fashion and lifestyle, the British also opt for other online shops from time to time. Popular alternatives include Boohoo, Rakuten, and ASOS. These suppliers often ship for free and offer discounts to students!

Boohoo

Boohoo is a UK-based online fashion retailer, aimed at 16-30 year olds. The company was founded in 2006 and specialises in own brand clothing with over 100 new products appearing on the site daily. It has won a number of awards such as City A.M’s Business of the Year Award in 2017. Students can sign up to make the most of discounts as well as a chance to win £5,000. Boohoo often has sales where everything is 20% off. If you purchase Boohoo Premier for £9.99, it enables you to get unlimited next day delivery for a whole year, otherwise next-day delivery is £5.99 each time you order. Returns have to be sent back within 14 days and are free.

Advantages of Boohoo

  • Students discounts available
  • With Boohoo Premier, you get free next day shopping for a year
  • Regular deals on products
  • Free returns

Rakuten

Rakuten, founded in 1997, was previously known as “Buy.com” before it was purchased and renamed in 2010. Rakuten doesn’t actually sell its own products, but connects businesses with potential customers (just like eBay, mentioned below). Rakuten’s product categories include fashion & accessories, entertainment, electricals, home & garden, footwear, leisure, jewellery, toys, travel, gifts, among many others. The site boasts video reviews of some of the products and a “Super Points” program where you get rewarded for each purchase.

Advantages of Rakuten

  • Large variety of categories
  • Video reviews of products
  • Has daily deals to help merchants attract attention
  • Super Points program enables you to earn store credit

ASOS

ASOS (AsSeenOnScreen) is a British online fashion and cosmetics retailer that was founded in 2000. The company sells over 850 brands as well as offering its own range of clothing and accessories. Students get 10% off and sometimes as much as 20% off depending on certain deals. Premier delivery for £9.95 a year gives you unlimited next-day delivery, otherwise it costs £5.95. Standard delivery is £3, or free with a qualifying order of over £25. There’s also a Click & Collect option where you can select your collection point to go and pick up your order. Returns are free and you have 28 days to send your item back.

Advantages of ASOS

  • Student discount
  • Great seasonal deals
  • Free delivery over £25
  • Premier Delivery enables free next-day delivery for a year

 

Boohoo

Rakuten

ASOS

Headquarters

Manchester, U.K.

Tokyo, Japan

London, U.K.

Founded

2006

1997

2000

Website

boohoo.com

rakuten.co.uk

asos.com

Product range

- Shoes

- Clothing

- Jewellery

- Accessories

- Lingerie & nightwear

- Make-up

- Beauty & body

- Gifts & home

- Fashion & accessories

- Entertainment

- Electricals

- Home & garden

- Footwear

- Leisure

- Jewellery

- Toys

- Travel

- Gifts

- Shoes

- Clothing

- Accessories

- Activewear

- Face & body

- Living & gifts

- Bed & bath

- Bar & kitchen

 

Type of shipping

- Hermes

- InPost

- HubBox

- DPD

 

Dependent on seller

- Collect+

- Hermes

- DPD

Delivery costs

 Next day delivery: £5.99. Standard delivery: £3.99. Free next-day delivery with Boohoo Premier

Dependent on seller

Next day delivery: £5.95. Standard delivery: £3 (or free over £25). Free next-day delivery with Premier Delivery

Right to return

14 days

Dependent on seller

28 days

Item return

Free

Dependent on seller

Free

Forms of payment

- Visa

- Visa Debit

- Mastercard

- Maestro

- Electron

- American Express

- PayPal

Dependent on seller

- Visa

- Visa Electron

- Mastercard

- PayPal

- American Express

- Delta

- Klarna

Apps

- iOS

- Android

- iOS

- Android

- iOS

- Android

Amazon alternatives for technology

These alternatives to Amazon’s technology and electronic departments focus on options that continue to provide a service after you’ve purchased from them - so you’re not left in the dark if something goes wrong with your electronics. For example, Newegg provides a weekly livestream of tech commentary and reviews, and Currys PC World has Team Knowhow, which is a service for installing devices or fixing broken electronics. Customers may be more willing to buy from these options, rather than from Amazon, if they feel accompanied through the whole process.

Newegg

Newegg is similar to Amazon, but only sells electronic goods. Categories include gaming, software & services, automotive & industrial, hobbies & toys, and lots more. The company was founded in 2000, and in 2005 was named one of the internet’s top 10 retailers. It also won the Computer Shopper Shopper’s Choice Awards in 2011, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, and 2003. Newegg is known for its quick delivery and great customer service. The online retailer plans to expand globally and be available in 50 countries.

Advantages of Newegg

  • Offers daily deals
  • Has free 3-day (or less) shipping on ALL orders
  • Provides a weekly livestream of tech commentary and reviews

Currys PC World

Currys PC World is a combination of Currys (founded in 1884) and PC World (founded in 1991), which was trialed in 2015 and proved to be a success. From kitchen appliances to computing and PC accessories, the computer superstore has everything. There is free standard delivery on ALL orders, next-day delivery is £4 and same-day delivery is £10 for small items. You can also collect your package from over 800 stores. If you want to return a product, you have 21 days, but sometimes Currys PC World extends the return period for special occasions such as Christmas. Team Knowhow are on hand to repair a wide range of products for peace of mind. The company also offers to take away your old appliance when delivering the new one so it can be properly recycled and it saves the customer a lot of hassle. Your Plan option means you can pay off orders over £99 at your own speed.

Advantages of Curry PC World

  • Free delivery on all orders
  • “Team Knowhow” service for installations or fixing broken electronics
  • Regularly has sales
  • Offers a recycling option when delivering new appliance
  • Your Plan allows you to choose a payment plan that suits you (on orders over £99).

 

Newegg

Currys PC World

Headquarters

California, U.S.

London, U.K.

Founded

2000

2015

Website

newegg.com/global/uk-en

currys.co.uk

Product range

- Computer systems

- Electronics

- Gaming

- Networking

- Office solutions

- Health & sports

- Software & services

- Home & tools

- Automotive & industrial

- Kitchen appliances

- Small appliances

- TV & entertainment

- Cameras

- Audio

- Computing

- PC accessories

- Phones

- Smart tech

 

Type of shipping

No information

- Hermes

- DPD

Shipping costs

Depends on weight of item. Some products qualify for World EggSaver Standard delivery, which is free.

Free standard delivery on all items. Quicker delivery for small items: £4 - £10. Quicker delivery for large items: £20 - £40.

Right to return

30 days

21 days

Item return

Free although subject to restocking fee

Free

Forms of payment

- Visa

- Mastercard

- American Express

- PayPal

- Bitcoin

- American Express

- Maestro

- Mastercard

- Visa Credit

- Visa Debit

- PayPal

- MasterPass

Apps

- iOS

- Android

- Windows

- iOS

- Android

 

Amazon alternatives for unique presents

It’s often not easy to buy the perfect present for someone that has everything, so this is why websites with one-of-a-kind gifts are perfect. Although Amazon has many unique gifts, it also has a lot of mass-produced products. But with websites such as Overstock and Etsy, you’ll find unusual products that are individually made and can sometimes even be customised. You can also rest assured knowing that you’re helping artisans, rather than global corporations, as well as owning a product that hopefully no-one else has at home.

Overstock

Overstock was originally founded in order to sell goods from websites that weren’t doing very well, and was able to often sell goods such as furniture, bedding, and home décor at a reduced price. Nowadays, the company sells new products too and boasts a program called “Worldstock” where it’s possible to buy hand-made crafts from around the globe while supporting artisans at the same time, since they receive at least 60% of the revenue. The company was founded in 1997 and ships to over 180 countries.

Advantages of Overstock

  • Takes community responsibility very seriously
  • Has deals to help you save money
  • Club-O-Gold rewards program enables free shipping and 5% off.

Etsy

Etsy is a marketplace for very specific and unique gifts that was launched in 2005. Most of the products offered are handmade clothing, jewellery, and accessories. Vintage items can also be bought on the Etsy platform, but must be at least 20 years old. In 2017, its annual revenue was $441 (£340) million and the number of active sellers amounted to 1.9m. Sellers pay just 20 cents (13p) to list each article, which then remains active for 4 months.

Buyers can check out the seller’s positive percentage feedback to work out how reliable they are. You don’t even need an account to buy from Etsy: it’s possible to log in using your Facebook or Google account.

Advantages of Etsy

  • Money goes to artisans, supporting them and not big companies
  • Great customer service
  • Many unique items that can be customised with specific colours or designs

 

Overstock

Etsy

Headquarters

Utah, U.S.

New York, U.S.

Founded

1997

2005

Website

overstock.com

etsy.com

Product range

- Furniture

- Rugs

- Décor

- Bed & bath

- Home improvement

- Kitchen

- Outdoor

- Jewellery

- Jewellery & accessories

- Clothing & shoes

- Home & living

- Wedding & party

- Toys & entertainment

- Art & collectibles

- Craft supplies & tools

- Vintage

 

Type of shipping

No information

 

Dependent on seller

Shipping costs

No information

Dependent on seller

Right to return

30 days

Dependent on seller

Item return

Free, if return is due to Overstock error

Dependent on seller

Forms of payment

- Visa

- Mastercard

- American Express

- PayPal

 

Dependent on seller, but if shop is enrolled in Etsy Payments, then:

- Credit cards

- Debit cards

- PayPal

- Apple Pay

- Android Pay

Apps

- iOS

- Android

- iOS

- Android

 

Amazon alternatives for household and grocery shopping

Not everyone has time to head out to the grocery store for household essentials, so being able to order your laundry detergent or coffee from Amazon is a lifesaver! Luckily, not just Amazon offers shampoo and toothpaste straight to your door, but also other websites such as Iceland, Asdaa, and eBay. Some even offer household products at prices lower than what you find in a brick and mortar store. With many of these alternatives to Amazon, it’s also possible to fill out your shopping list online so your shopping can be done for you, then you simply collect it from the supermarket.

Iceland

Iceland is a British supermarket chain, founded in 1970. Iceland actually topped a list of the UK’s best supermarkets with a customer score of 77% as to whether they would recommend the store to others. If you spend more than £35 on online shopping, your products will be delivered to your door for free, at a time that’s convenient to you. The shop’s bonus card gives exclusive offers and bonuses and helps you save more on your orders. Iceland is engaged in a “no palm oil” action to help save the rainforests and therefore has removed and replaced palm oil in its own brand products. Its £1 range means that even those on the strictest of budgets can afford their shopping, ranging from multipacks of crisps and crumpets, to bleach and dog biscuits. It also boasts its own luxury range, which won the Grocer Gold Awards 2018.

Advantages of Iceland

  • Has a £1 range as well as a luxury range
  • Has many seasonal deals for more savings
  • Bonus card for extra savings
  • No palm oil used in own brand products
  • Free next day delivery when spend over £35

Asda

Asda was founded in 1949 and as well as offering its supermarket services, it also provides financial services, optician services, pet insurance, and offers its own mobile phone provider. Its George clothing range and George home range make it stand out from other supermarkets, as well as its frequent seasonal deals and “2 people dine for £10” meal deals. Categories include fresh food & bakery, free from, health & beauty, laundry & household, home & entertainment, pets, and plenty more. You can make use of the Click & Collect option: if you order by midday, you can pick up your items as early as 4pm the same day. Asda has a minimum order amount of £25 and delivery charges range from £3 to £5.50, unless you purchase one of the delivery passes (costing between £24 to £55), which means you don’t have to pay for your delivery each time.

Advantages of Asda

  • Frequent deals for extra savings
  • Range of delivery passes to save on delivery fees
  • Click & Collect to save time and trouble 
  • Also provides services for personal loans, opticians, pet insurance, travel, etc.

eBay

eBay, founded in 1995 as “AuctionWeb”, is probably the most well-known Amazon alternative. It doesn’t sell its own products, however, but acts as the “middle man” between sellers and buyers. There are two ways to buy products, either straightaway with the “buy it now” option or by winning an auction. The website even has a section entitled “Best offers” where you can find great bargains. Low-value items often take one or two months to arrive, since they are delivered in the cheapest way, but there are options available to the buyer to speed up the process. Categories include motors, fashion, electronics, collectables, home & garden, sports & leisure, toys, home entertainment and several others. Featured sales and events help shoppers save money. Buyers are covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee in case they don’t receive the item they bought, or if the item wasn’t described properly. eBay also connects people with their favourite charities to help them donate to good causes.

Advantages of eBay

  • Two buying options: buy it now or auction
  • Offers frequent discounts and deals
  • Different delivery options available if you want items more quickly
  • eBay Money Back Guarantee protects buyers

 

Iceland

Asda

eBay

Headquarters

Wales, U.K.

Leeds, U.K.

California, U.S.

Founded

1970

1949

1995

Website

iceland.co.uk

asda.com

ebay.co.uk

Product range

- £1 value

- Frozen

- Fresh

- Food cupboard

- Household

- Drinks

- Bakery

- Groceries

- George clothing

- George home

- Mobile

- Photo

- Toys

- Baby

- Tyres

- Good Living

- Fashion

- Motors

- Electronics

- Collectables

- Home & garden

- Sports & leisure

- Toys

- Home entertainment

 

Type of shipping

Iceland vehicle

 

Asda vehicle

Dependent on seller

Delivery costs

Free delivery on order over £35, otherwise £2 fee

£3 to £5.50. With delivery pass: free

Dependent on seller

Right to return

No information

Produce: 30 days

George clothing & home: 100 days

Dependent on seller

Item return

Free

Free

Dependent on seller

Forms of payment

- Visa

- Mastercard

- PayPal

- Visa

- Visa Electron

- American Express

- Mastercard

- Maestro

- PayPal

Dependent on seller

Apps

- iOS

- Android

- iOS

- Android

- iOS

- Android


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