Jeff Bezos started Amazon over two decades ago selling books out of his Seattle garage. He's now the world's richest, worth over $190 billion. WOW. Hey, I'm really happy for Jeff. But in reality, our country's infatuation with Amazon comes at the expense of so many other entrepreneurs.
According to a 2020 NPR/Marist poll, 92% of America's online shoppers buy from Amazon. Amazon Prime boasts 100 million memberships! But there are some serious problems with shopping Amazon:
* Amazon's over-packaging is notoriously wasteful. Example: my mom received a lip liner PENCIL in two layers of plastic bubble wrap and a 8x10x3" box! What the heck? Customers pay for that waste.
* What about Amazon's 'free returns' that get dumpstered because it's not profitable to re-sort, re-stock and re-sell the thousands of their returns, so Amazon has to pass those losses on to their customers!
The more Amazon sells, the more smaller online businesses struggle or go under. Add the COVID hardships that small businesses must deal with, and it becomes clear that American entrepreneurs and small businesses need our support to survive. If you want to expand your online shopping options, why not look beyond Amazon?
Below are some alternative online websites for you. Happy online shopping!
1. THRIVE MARKET
Thrive Market offers over 6,000 choices in sustainable and organic food and wine! Items can be filtered based on your lifestyle and dietary preferences. Memberships start at $5 per month and include a free membership to a first responder or low-income family. https://thrivemarket.com
Etsy is a worldwide marketplace offering the work of artisans, crafters, and other creators. Here you can find a huge assortment of unique handmade items including jewelry, shoes, paper crafts, handbags, clothing, and artwork, and some custom-made! Etsy offsets 100 percent of carbon emissions from shipping and most sellers will ship worldwide. https://www.etsy.com
3. GROVE COLLABORATIVE
Grove Collaborative sells household and personal care products online that are eco-friendly, cruelty-free, nontoxic and affordable. Every shipment’s carbon footprint is offset to help our environment. Shop by subscription or à l a carte. https://www.grove.co
4. ZERO WASTE OUTLET
This Idaho based, family owned store is dedicated to the elimination of single use plastics in your home. You'll find kitchen items - silicone bags for cooking and storage, Swag Bags to keep your produce fresh for up to 2 weeks (and save you a ton of money), products for your bathroom, personal and healthcare needs. There's a nice variety of travel and cleaning products, great gift ideas, and a huge variety of cotton market/ tote bags, all packaged without any plastic. https://zerowasteoutlet.com
Thousands of sellers have created eBay's huge online marketplace for your shopping pleasure! You can find almost anything under the sun on eBay, from clothing, cars, electronics, musical instruments, books, electronics, art, textiles, furniture, clothing, you name it!
Most of eBay's offerings are used, but new items are also offered, including small electronics and appliances! Purchases are made via bidding or 'buy it now'. On eBay you can find one of a kind, vintage items. Have fun! https://ebay.com
6. MADE TRADE
A new company, Made Trade, has distinguished itself by offering unique, ethical, and sustainably made items for our homes. The company donates 1% of proceeds to environmental causes and provides carbon neutral shipping.
Offerings include household items with worldwide shipping. Made Trade's core values are fair trade, heritage, made in the USA, people of color-owned, women-owned, sustainable, and vegan. https://madetrade.com
7. THE DETOX MARKET
The Detox Market offers a large variety of green products for health and beauty. Hundreds of brands compete yearly to sell their products at The Detox Market, but less than 2% meet the criteria for quality, effectiveness and safety! The focus of this company are Brain, Body, Belly and Beauty. Ships to North America, Europe, Australia, and UAE. https://www.thedetoxmarket.com
Thriftbooks sells used books online with prices starting at $3.99. The company was born in Seattle in 2003, when two entrepreneurs wrote software for listing and pricing their books, and sold them on Amazon.com. Today you can find millions of books at Thriftbooks. They have eight locations throughout the country that stock and distribute their inventory which includes best sellers, out-of-print, and rare and valuable reference books. Shipping is fast and free after your order reaches $10. We found great prices on some books that were higher or not available on Amazon! https://www.thriftbooks.com
9. BLK + GRN
BLK + GRN was founded by Dr. Kristian, a natural lifestyle enthusiast. BLK and GRN offers products from black entrepreneurs and artisans, focusing on natural and nontoxic items that do not have damaging effects on black customers. Carefully curated and quality-tested by black health experts, their products range from hair care, makeup and vitamins to home products. https://blkgrn.com
10. UNCOMMON GOODS
Uncommon goods offers home, kitchen, jewelry and gift items with worldwide shipping. This company offers a give-back program, fair wages to their employees, and environmentally responsible packaging. Shop here for gifts and a wide array of unique items for yourself. https://www.uncommongoods.com
Credo specializes in selling clean, nontoxic, and cruelty-free beauty products, from mascara to foundation to face oil. All offerings are free of dangerous, harmful or 'dirty' ingredients. Credo offers many well-known natural and organic makeup lines such as Ilia Beauty, Vapour, and RMS Beauty and ships to all 50 states. https://credobeauty.com