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Better Websites Than Amazon Shop Online – Rolling Stone

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We can all thank (or blame) Amazon.com for revolutionizing the way we shop. The e-commerce behemoth’s endless virtual aisles, seemingly infinite inventory, and convenient same-day delivery help save precious time, and it allows us to do everything from watch movies to order groceries from Whole Foods without leaving the house.

Sure, the endless online store may take the cake when it comes to sheer inventory, but it can also induce decision fatigue as you’re scrolling through a dozen of identical products with different brand names. That’s just one reason that some shoppers are looking for the best Amazon alternatives online.

Some want to support a smaller company (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is worth about $180 billion), and others have been persuaded to take their hard-earned money elsewhere after questioning the online retailer’s ethics and sustainability.

And while Amazon has launched a number of initiatives to support small business owners, many shoppers still feel uneasy about supporting a site that’s become such a monopoly in the e-commerce space.

Prefer to support small businesses directly? Sites like Etsy let you shop directly from the makers and designers themselves. Redbubble.com is also another great marketplace for independent artists (with their pieces printed on everything from T-shirts to tablecloths).

Looking for larger-ticket items? Here are some other great places to shop online besides Amazon.

What Are the Best Amazon Alternatives to Shop Online?

There are a number of good Amazon alternatives that you can support online. These online retailers offer a curated selection of goods that eliminate that overwhelming feeling of swiping through thousands of options. Eco-conscious and social justice-minded consumers will also be happy to know that many of these companies are B corporations, which means they must uphold a certain level of transparency and accountability, and abide by strict environmental and ethical standards. Keep reading for our favorite non-Amazon places to shop online.

1. Thrive Market

BEST FOR FOOD AND WELLNESS PRODUCTS

Certified B corporation Thrive Market launched in 2014 with a cause-driven mission to offer organic and natural groceries and other sustainable products at affordable prices. The membership-based online grocer allows shoppers to save 25 to 50 percent off on more than 6,000 products spanning across healthy foods, meat, pantry staples, wine, bath and body products, beauty and skincare, baby care, supplements, and home goods.

Membership plans start at $5 per month, and you can shop by diet and lifestyle (vegan, vegetarian, non-GMO, keto, paleo, raw, and more) as well as by values such as non-toxic, Environmental Working Group-verified, certified organic, cruelty-free, and others.

We love using Thrive Market to stock up on grocery and pantry items, household goods and everyday essentials. The site has hard-to-find organic and specialty brands too, which you can’t get at the big box chains or on Amazon. Start shopping at ThriveMarket.com.

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2. Hive

Think of HiveBrands.com as your favorite general store or emporium, filled with unique snacks, drinks, health and beauty products and household goods. Almost all of the options are sustainably-made, ethically-sourced and from socially-conscious companies. But they’re also just great products too – think organic nut butters and homemade sauces for the pantry, and clean salves and lotions for your skincare routine. We’ve found super gentle and eco-friendly cleaning supplies and bug sprays too — just in time for summer.

Everything ships in recyclable boxes printed with non-toxic ink and filled with 100% recyclable packing materials. Every order is carbon neutral, too. What we like: Hive lets you shop by cause too, whether you want to support brands helping small communities improve their livelihood, brands dedicated to championing equality or female-owned businesses. You can shop by your preferred attributes too — like cruelty-free, Made in the USA, vegan-friendly and more.

Bonus: Use code ROLLING10 for 10% off at hivebrands.com through 12/31/22.

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3. Grove Collaborative

BEST FOR HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

If you’re looking for a one-stop eco-conscious shop for non-toxic and cruelty-free household supplies, beauty and skincare, personal care, and wellness products, and also want to save yourself from the hassle of last-minute restocks, then you’ll want to try Grove. The online subscription service offers everything from dishwasher and bathroom soap refills to medicine cabinet essentials and compostable plastic bags (and much more) from popular brands such as Dr. Bronner’s, Seventh Generation, Method, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, Tom’s of Maine, and others, alongside independent names.

It works like this: You’ll add product subscriptions that you can customize by frequency — say, you need dish soap and sponges every month and laundry detergent every three months. So long as your order meets the minimum of $29, you’ll get all of your must-haves in regular deliveries efficiently packed in recyclable materials. Oh, and it’s a B corp., too. Start shopping at Grove.co.

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4. Public Goods

If you didn’t get in on Public Goods’ Kickstarter campaign, you can still take advantage of the eco-friendly company’s Costco-meets-direct-to-consumer model. For an annual membership fee of $59, you’ll have access to the startup’s line of sustainable essentials such as grocery staples and canned sundries, home cleaning products, personal care items (like bamboo toothbrushes and haircare), vitamins, pet food, and even CBD oils.

The company touts transparency and ethically-sourced ingredients among its values, and it’s able to pass along savings to its members by manufacturing its own products. You can shop by categories such as gluten-free, vegan, tree-free, and organic, and Public Goods works with nonprofit Eden Reforestation Projects to offset its carbon footprint by planting a tree for every order placed.

You don’t need a membership to start shopping though: get two weeks free to pick-up products from the site and see how you like them. Signing up for the annual membership will get you continued access to the site (and exclusive discounts and offers) if you like what you see.

BONUS: Right now, Rolling Stone readers can get 10% off any purchase of $70 or more with code RSTONE10. Start shopping at PublicGoods.com.

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5. Package-Free Shop

Most of us recall that image of the sea turtle with a straw as among the reasons why single-use plastics are harmful to the earth. And given the conveniences of disposable goods and same-day delivery, living a zero-waste lifestyle can seem like an uphill battle. Online retailer Package Free Shop (which was founded by environmental activist and Trash Is For Tossers founder Lauren Singer) aims to help people reduce their trash by selling plastic-free products and shipping them in zero-waste, carbon-neutral packaging.

You’ll find everything you need to cut down on those hard-to-recycle items — think reusable stainless steel razors, compostable dental floss, beeswax food wraps, silicone storage bags, natural dish cleaning brushes, metal straws, and more. The store also offers zero-waste kits for grooming, travel, and cooking, and you can order subscriptions for dental care, hair care, shampoo bars, and other self-care staples. Start shopping at PackageFreeShop.com.

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6. Cost Plus World Market

BEST FOR DECOR AND HOME ESSENTIALS

If you’re looking to add globally-inspired flavors or flair to your cooking or home decor, Cost Plus World Market is our go-to for fair-trade products that meet sustainability and ethical standards. The San Francisco-founded retailer stocks gourmet groceries, fair-trade coffee and teas, international pantry essentials, handwoven baskets, kitchen accessories, vintage-inspired home furnishings, and more from every corner of the world.

Can’t wait for your delivery but need the convenience of online shopping? You can opt for same-day Curbside Pickup at your local store and score an additional 10% off when you join the Bed Bath & Beyond-owned company’s free membership program. Start shopping at WorldMarket.com.

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7. Chewy

BEST FOR PETS (AND PET OWNERS)

Pet parents can stock up on everything they need to keep their four-legged family members healthy at Chewy. The online pet pharmacy and supply company offers over 2,000 pet brands that cater to dogs, cats, horses, fish, birds, reptiles, and other animals.

The retailer stocks wet and dry food, treats, medicine, accessories, toys, and more from Blue Buffalo, Kong, Nutro, Purina, Rachael Ray Nutrish, Sheba, Tidy Cats, and many other popular and independent names. You’ll also save money when you subscribe to the retailer’s Autoship service, and the retailer also offers free one- to three-day shipping when you spend $49 or more. Start shopping at Chewy.com.

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8. Uncommon Goods

What began as founder Dave Bolotsky’s virtual handmade marketplace has grown into one of the best places for shopping handmade and one-of-a-kind gifts. Go to Uncommon Goods if you’re looking for cool finds by independent brands, designers, and makers. They’ve got everything from stylish jewelry and clothing, to gourmet condiments and kitchen accessories, to puzzles and home decor. Vegans will be happy to know that the ethical online retailer only stocks leather-, feather-, and fur-free products.

The B corporation also donates $1 from every purchase to a nonprofit partner, uses eco-friendly packaging, pays its employees more than double the federal minimum wage, and advocates for paid family leave and better pay in the state of New York. Start shopping at UncommonGoods.com.

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9. Instacart

BEST AMAZON FRESH ALTERNATIVE

Amazon Fresh has made it easy to get groceries delivered to your door, but you can do the same thing with Instacart. The site and app offers a wider range of offerings than Amazon Fresh, with the same, super-fast delivery times.

Instacart offers same-day delivery from almost 600 national and local retailers, like Sprouts Farmers Market, ALDI, Costco, Publix, Wegmans, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, The Fresh Market, Fresh Thyme Market and more. And it’s not just food and drinks either — Instacart can now deliver flowers, home accessories and even beauty products from Sephora in as fast as an hour.

Instacart is free to sign up for, though you’ll want to grab an Instacart Express membership to get free delivery (otherwise, delivery fees range from $1.99 to $9.99 in our experience). Right now, you can sign up for an Instacart Express free trial here to test out the service for yourself.

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10. Target

It’s hard to beat the Big Red Bullseye’s ridiculously convenient shopping options, especially on days like Black Friday. Target makes it easy to place an online order for deodorant, groceries, and bath towels and pick up your goods in-store or via its Drive Up option (simply wait in your car and store staff will bring your purchases to you), or get everything delivered using Shipt’s same-day service.

On top of their vast inventory, the mass retailer also offers a 5% discount whenever you use its RedCard debit or credit card. Don’t forget the retail giant’s smartphone app, which also boasts additional Target Circle deals. Start shopping at Target.com.

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