Amazon Alternative

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
darrvao777
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Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:34 pm

Amazon Alternative

Post by darrvao777 »

I used to be a huge Amazon supporter (spent > $10k there last year)

In the midst of a little battle with them currently over missing products during shipment

Are there any other online shopping sites you guys like to use? My wife tells me to limit my shopping to whatever is available at Costco ☺️
retire57
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:03 pm

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by retire57 »

I shop online at Walmart and Jet more often than Amazon these days.
THY4373
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by THY4373 »

Honestly given the breadth of Amazon you probably won't find a single solution. In addition to Walmart and Jet which I also use I find Target, Ebay and RockAuto (I do most repairs on my cars and Amazon has a pretty good selection of car parts though not quite as good as Rockauto) to be useful substitutes.
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Alexa9
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Alexa9 »

I don't like the website of eBay and Walmart but they're often cheaper.
AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by AntsOnTheMarch »

I try avoid Amazon like the plague. First of all, my own personal solution to almost any shopping question is that I don’t need it. But if I actually do need it, lately, I find myself ordering electronics at Best Buy or sometimes Staples and having items delivered to a nearby store for pick up. I prefer this to home delivery and having to look out for delivery people, signing for packages, etc. I have a Staples within walking distance and a Best Buy not far away. Prices often tend to be similar to amazon but I check for each purchase.

I refuse to sign up for amazon prime and Amazon’s “free” shipping is geared to make you buy more crap. Then, some items are not coming from Amazon so they don’t count towards the minimum order. It’s a losing game I don’t play. If you’re not a prime member, you never know when they are actually going to ship your items and end up waiting for a week or more sometimes for that little email that your item has shipped. Hooray! :annoyed

One place I avoid is Walmart. I tried ordering from them once and having item delivered to nearby store. Never. Again! Enough said. In my book Walmart is great deals for toilet paper and not much else.
MnyGrl
Posts: 251
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Location: DC

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by MnyGrl »

Target is becoming much more competitive with Amazon. Most shipping is free with a $25 order, and if you have a Target card most items ship free all the time. I use Target if the item is something I may want to return, as I can just take it to the store and not pay return shipping as I would have to with Amazon.

Am also finding that Walmart has better pricing than Amazon in most cases. You can shop online and they will gather everything for you at your nearby store, then you just do in-store pickup at the counter, which is very convenient.
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lthenderson
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Location: Iowa

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by lthenderson »

darrvao777 wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:03 am In the midst of a little battle with them currently over missing products during shipment
Is this Amazon or the shipper's fault? If the latter, how does going with someone else prevent that problem from happening again?
Topic Author
darrvao777
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:34 pm

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by darrvao777 »

lthenderson wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:33 pm
darrvao777 wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:03 am In the midst of a little battle with them currently over missing products during shipment
Is this Amazon or the shipper's fault? If the latter, how does going with someone else prevent that problem from happening again?
It's with Amazon, they shipped me a rather expensive item and while the product box was sealed, it was also empty

I understand the need to investigate given the price ($500+) but I'm miffed it's taking so long, particularly for someone who doesn't regularly return items and has a history of decent spend on their site

That being said, this might be the kick in the pants I need to curtail spending and I will just take my business elsewhere

EDIT: it'll be a good test for amex as well since I put the charge on my amex card. Already filed a dispute to block the charge, let's see if amex sides with me. If not, I'll be moving my spend to another credit card as well. What can I say? I'm petty ☺️
DetroitRick
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Location: SE Michigan

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by DetroitRick »

I do a lot of volume with Amazon, but in light of your purchase history, I'd definitely be unhappy too. Overall, I like Amazon - but it's not perfect. And I find it much more necessary to shop prices before ordering over the last year or so. One thing I've been seeing lately is poor packing. Delicate stuff sloshing around in a box. Non-fragile stuff over-packaged, etc. UPS guy and I are still laughing over last week's delivery - a normal, small, $10 car window ice scrapper/brush packaged in a massive 4'x2' box stuffed full of protective paper. Beats the alternative, but still....

Online sources I use and really like:
BHPhotovideo.com for A/V, electronics, accessories and software.
Prices competitive with Amazon, better packing and shipping, more capability to answer questions. User reviews typically have more depth.

Drsfostersmith.com (Doctors Foster & Smith) for pet supplies and medications.

manufacturer's sites for computers - dell.com, toshibadirect.com, etc.

Chewy.com com for pet food and supplies (I will start using soon, but haven't done so yet). Everybody I know who uses them loves them.

Plus a newer site I just found (I signed up last week but haven't yet done first order): boxed.com They have bulk products like food, personal care items, paper products, etc. It's getting very popular.

My goal is to confine my more frequent in-store shopping to only grocery, clothing, hardware and music stores. I'm almost there thanks to these sources. Good luck getting your issue resolved - I'd love to hear the outcome.
GratefulinNC
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by GratefulinNC »

Support your local economy. Shop at your local bricks and mortar stores. Keep your Main Street strong.
rjbraun
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by rjbraun »

I was pleasantly surprised when I ordered from jet.com yesterday. The site interface seems to have been totally overhauled from when I last accessed it, recently. As another poster said, it pays to compare prices (mainly vs. Amazon, as I didn't want to spend / waste lots of time). Still, the jet.com site isn't perfect, but it's highly improved from earlier.

I guess jet.com is eagerly trying to win over customers. They were very apologetic about the delay with an order I placed around the holidays. As the purchase did not include any time-sensitive gifts, it wasn't at all disruptive and I was very happy to receive a credit of, I think, $30 :moneybag When Amazon's price for shampoo seemed steep the other day I checked out jet and not only found the shampoo at an attractive price but also saw a credit in my account of $40 :greedy :greedy :greedy

Sorry to hear Amazon is being so difficult. Particularly given your past purchases history, it is somewhat surprising and, yes, disappointing. I imagine there's an element of chance to things but I have been pleased with how quickly they resolved issues I've had with a couple of orders in the past few months (which basically involved receiving credit for returned merchandise).
wilshuer
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by wilshuer »

I don't know if its a function of more automation and kinks being worked out, or other issues, but packaging from Amazon has been horrendous for me as well - sometimes beyond comical. Beyond some items taking days longer to arrive, some recent examples

- a small item, about the size of a pack of playing cards in a box about 2 ft x 3 ft x 2ft tall. when it arrived my wife's words were 'what did you order now' and I was thinking 'what did I order that big'. After digging through the voluminous amounts of bubble wrap, finally found my item.
- an AmazonBasics item, in it's unmarked plain box from the mfg, inside a slightly larger plain box packaged for shipment to Amazon, inside a slightly larger Amazon box to ship to me. It was like a matryoshka. Very easily could have slapped the shipping label on the side of the original box.
- latest, a pair of boots, shipped the completely wrong item, not even close from a fulfilled by Amazon supplier. Value of item was about 50% of what I had ordered. At least they were boots and the correct size, but odd how that was screwed up.

All items were direct from Amazon purchases, not fulfilled by or other 3rd party purchases. I've also had an assortment of extra quantities of items sent recently - seems they throw the whole display box in, not just the single item. Customer service always tells me to keep.
chw
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by chw »

I used EBay recently for several items would have bought on Amazon, but were much cheaper on EBay (15-25%) and free shipping as well (I don't have Prime). Haven't used Jet yet, but may start looking closer at it.
miles monroe
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by miles monroe »

AntsOnTheMarch wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:10 am
One place I avoid is Walmart. I tried ordering from them once and having item delivered to nearby store. Never. Again! Enough said. In my book Walmart is great deals for toilet paper and not much else.


first option is always costco. then amazon.

occasionally walmart. i find that sending the items to the "grocery only" stores is best as you almost never have to wait in line to et your item.
tryterry
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by tryterry »

jet or ebay or buy direct from independent websites. you can often get a better deal and verified authenticity of the product
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greg24
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by greg24 »

Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
iamlucky13
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Location: Western Washington

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by iamlucky13 »

Specialized retailers - eg: Newegg, Adorama, BH, or Best Buy for electronics, Campmor or REI for outdoor gear.

Whatever your interests, I think it's worthwhile to search more specialized places both online and brick and mortar to find related items than just Amazon or Jet or Target.
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crystalbank
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by crystalbank »

I recently started shopping more at speciality websites like Newegg, Crutchfield, BH etc., and started cutting down on Amazon. Simply because Amazon quality control dropped like rocks in the recent years and I'm getting a lot of fake products delivered. Mind you, Amazon always promptly refunded them, but the hassle just became too much. Even wading through countless counterfeit items on their website got tedious.

Also, most if not all e-commerce websites have free 2-3 day shipping and I don't have to sign up for anything.
AlwaysBeClimbing
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:39 am

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by AlwaysBeClimbing »

My main go-to's:
Walmart - ship to store
REI - ship to store
Ebay - ship to PO box
Best Buy - ship to store

I have a PO box which I use in lieu of home delivery. I use Amazon from time to time if price difference warrants it. What pisses me off is when Amazon(and occasionally some other retailers) doesn't ship a particular item to a PO box( no logical reason not to), in which case I purchase it elsewhere. For purchasing ammunition obviously home delivery only, but a pair of gloves??? :annoyed
Topic Author
darrvao777
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:34 pm

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by darrvao777 »

Thanks for everyone's recommendations. I've tried many of these websites before and while I've generally been happy, I find nothing quite compares to the ease of use and organization of Amazon's website. I guess I just got used to Amazon's layout. And I guess I'll have to get used to their competitors.

As an update, Amazon did not get back to me, I had to re-engage with them to see what their investigation netted. They are refusing to issue me the refund. They have a policy that states once the package gets shipped, lost item issues must be taken up with the shipping company. If that doesn't work, it needs to be escalated to the police and a copy of the police report needs to be shown to Amazon to get things refunded.

That was the last straw for me. I had to explain to them that USPS did nothing wrong, the package was delivered safe and sound to me but the product box within the Amazon box (while sealed) contained nothing. The issue is not with the shipper but with the company that provided the product. I further asked them how I would go about pursuing a police report and who would comfort me once I got tossed from the police station: "Hi officer, no crime was committed but I'd like to file a report."

I did call an Amazon agent instead of solely using the chat function and managed to find someone who did promise me a refund upon returning the empty box (although I'll believe that when I see it). I also sent an email hoping it would find its way to a manager. I understand Amazon can't go around issuing $500 refunds to people based on their word but I really thought being a Prime member for > 5 years and averaging 5 digit spend during those 5 years would buy me some goodwill.

Even with a refund, I think it's time to step back and spend at places that would value me more. Or try to embrace more of a Boglehead lifestyle and be more conscientious with my spending. My wife would find that to be the perfect end to this nightmare :)
GratefulinNC
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by GratefulinNC »

darrvao777 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:09 am Thanks for everyone's recommendations. I've tried many of these websites before and while I've generally been happy, I find nothing quite compares to the ease of use and organization of Amazon's website. I guess I just got used to Amazon's layout. And I guess I'll have to get used to their competitors.

As an update, Amazon did not get back to me, I had to re-engage with them to see what their investigation netted. They are refusing to issue me the refund. They have a policy that states once the package gets shipped, lost item issues must be taken up with the shipping company. If that doesn't work, it needs to be escalated to the police and a copy of the police report needs to be shown to Amazon to get things refunded.

That was the last straw for me. I had to explain to them that USPS did nothing wrong, the package was delivered safe and sound to me but the product box within the Amazon box (while sealed) contained nothing. The issue is not with the shipper but with the company that provided the product. I further asked them how I would go about pursuing a police report and who would comfort me once I got tossed from the police station: "Hi officer, no crime was committed but I'd like to file a report."

I did call an Amazon agent instead of solely using the chat function and managed to find someone who did promise me a refund upon returning the empty box (although I'll believe that when I see it). I also sent an email hoping it would find its way to a manager. I understand Amazon can't go around issuing $500 refunds to people based on their word but I really thought being a Prime member for > 5 years and averaging 5 digit spend during those 5 years would buy me some goodwill.

Even with a refund, I think it's time to step back and spend at places that would value me more. Or try to embrace more of a Boglehead lifestyle and be more conscientious with my spending. My wife would find that to be the perfect end to this nightmare :)
Shop local! Your hometown merchants value you and want your business.

There are three factors in sales: low price, service, and quality. Pick any two -- you cannot have all three.

“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory" -- Aldo Gucci
lgerla
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:07 pm

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by lgerla »

I understand that sending an email to Jeff Bezos will be responded to by someone who can give more than the standard customer service answers. Keep it short, mention your bona fides, tell them what you are willing to do and how they can make it right.

jeff@amazon.com
marc515
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:12 am

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by marc515 »

darrvao777 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:09 am Thanks for everyone's recommendations. I've tried many of these websites before and while I've generally been happy, I find nothing quite compares to the ease of use and organization of Amazon's website. I guess I just got used to Amazon's layout. And I guess I'll have to get used to their competitors.

As an update, Amazon did not get back to me, I had to re-engage with them to see what their investigation netted. They are refusing to issue me the refund. They have a policy that states once the package gets shipped, lost item issues must be taken up with the shipping company. If that doesn't work, it needs to be escalated to the police and a copy of the police report needs to be shown to Amazon to get things refunded.

That was the last straw for me. I had to explain to them that USPS did nothing wrong, the package was delivered safe and sound to me but the product box within the Amazon box (while sealed) contained nothing. The issue is not with the shipper but with the company that provided the product. I further asked them how I would go about pursuing a police report and who would comfort me once I got tossed from the police station: "Hi officer, no crime was committed but I'd like to file a report."

I did call an Amazon agent instead of solely using the chat function and managed to find someone who did promise me a refund upon returning the empty box (although I'll believe that when I see it). I also sent an email hoping it would find its way to a manager. I understand Amazon can't go around issuing $500 refunds to people based on their word but I really thought being a Prime member for > 5 years and averaging 5 digit spend during those 5 years would buy me some goodwill.

Even with a refund, I think it's time to step back and spend at places that would value me more. Or try to embrace more of a Boglehead lifestyle and be more conscientious with my spending. My wife would find that to be the perfect end to this nightmare :)
You need to get on the phone and get a Manager on the line, you'll get no where talking to agents/clerks, as there's only so much they can do/know how to do. Sometimes you just need to deal with a manager, and this is one of those times; once you do that, you should get this resolved ASAP. Over the years, I've had to talk to a manager two times, and when I did, the issues were resolved. I find Amazon customer support excellent overall.

I am totally satisfied with Amazon's selection, and quick shipping, and as someone above noted, no one has the breadth and scale they do.
Last edited by marc515 on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
JHU ALmuni
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by JHU ALmuni »

darrvao777 wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:25 pm
lthenderson wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:33 pm
darrvao777 wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:03 am In the midst of a little battle with them currently over missing products during shipment
Is this Amazon or the shipper's fault? If the latter, how does going with someone else prevent that problem from happening again?
It's with Amazon, they shipped me a rather expensive item and while the product box was sealed, it was also empty

I understand the need to investigate given the price ($500+) but I'm miffed it's taking so long, particularly for someone who doesn't regularly return items and has a history of decent spend on their site

That being said, this might be the kick in the pants I need to curtail spending and I will just take my business elsewhere

EDIT: it'll be a good test for amex as well since I put the charge on my amex card. Already filed a dispute to block the charge, let's see if amex sides with me. If not, I'll be moving my spend to another credit card as well. What can I say? I'm petty ☺️
AMEX usually very good at this, I would be surprised if the outcome isn't in your favor.
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Pajamas
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Pajamas »

If I understand the situation correctly:

- You bought an expensive item sold or fulfilled by Amazon and the sealed box was empty upon receipt.

- Chatting online and speaking on the phone with customer service have not resolved the issue.

then the suggestion to email Executive Customer Support at jeff@amazon.com is a good one.

Outline the problem very carefully and clearly in your email. Give enough details (eg., outer box was sealed, inner box was sealed and shrink-wrapped) so that the situation is clear.

You should get an acknowledgement of your email fairly soon and then a response after they have investigated.

My results with Executive Customer Service have not been 100% satisfactory in the past, but very nearly so, and I think they have been thoughtful and reasonable, although sometimes they bump up against certain Amazon policies that they can't or won't violate.

One thing you might do is check the weight of the physical shipped package vs. the shipping weight listed on the Amazon product page vs. the shipping weight according to the carrier. That might not be helpful if the item itself does not weigh much or if the shipper's records are vague about the weight, but on the other hand, it might be very helpful. The shipped weight on the Amazon product page doesn't include any additional shipping carton or packing materials added by Amazon.

The box could have been sent empty by the manufacturer, someone might have stolen the item at some point before or after it left Amazon's warehouse, or there could have been some kind of scam with a return of an empty box or even a dishonest seller sending in an empty box to inventory that is commingled third-party seller but Fulfilled by Amazon merchandise.
Carson
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Carson »

AntsOnTheMarch wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:10 am First of all, my own personal solution to almost any shopping question is that I don’t need it. But if I actually do need it, lately, I find myself ordering electronics at Best Buy or sometimes Staples and having items delivered to a nearby store for pick up. I prefer this to home delivery and having to look out for delivery people, signing for packages, etc. <snip>
I refuse to sign up for amazon prime and Amazon’s “free” shipping is geared to make you buy more crap. Then, some items are not coming from Amazon so they don’t count towards the minimum order. It’s a losing game I don’t play. If you’re not a prime member, you never know when they are actually going to ship your items and end up waiting for a week or more sometimes for that little email that your item has shipped. Hooray! :annoyed

One place I avoid is Walmart. I tried ordering from them once and having item delivered to nearby store. Never. Again! Enough said. In my book Walmart is great deals for toilet paper and not much else.
I couldn't agree more. Just to add to your post, I've picked things up at Target as well. I can look/shop online and then head to the store to retrieve the item.

But honestly, not being able to 'just amazon it' has made me a much more frugal and less consumptive consumer. The only thing I like about amazon is so many things in one place that it makes looking up when I purchased something and how much I paid for it a total breeze.
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.
Topic Author
darrvao777
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:34 pm

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by darrvao777 »

Thanks to everyone!

I did end up getting a resolution

I've had success using the chat interface in the past but it looks like both email and phone got me the result I desired. Item refunded. :happy
rjbraun
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Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by rjbraun »

darrvao777 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:08 pm Thanks to everyone!

I did end up getting a resolution

I've had success using the chat interface in the past but it looks like both email and phone got me the result I desired. Item refunded. :happy
Congrats! Amazon isn't perfect, but your positive result is more in line with my past dealings with the company when there has been an issue :sharebeer
phantom0308
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Location: Rochester Hills, MI

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by phantom0308 »

wilshuer wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:36 pm I don't know if its a function of more automation and kinks being worked out, or other issues, but packaging from Amazon has been horrendous for me as well - sometimes beyond comical. Beyond some items taking days longer to arrive, some recent examples

- a small item, about the size of a pack of playing cards in a box about 2 ft x 3 ft x 2ft tall. when it arrived my wife's words were 'what did you order now' and I was thinking 'what did I order that big'. After digging through the voluminous amounts of bubble wrap, finally found my item.
- an AmazonBasics item, in it's unmarked plain box from the mfg, inside a slightly larger plain box packaged for shipment to Amazon, inside a slightly larger Amazon box to ship to me. It was like a matryoshka. Very easily could have slapped the shipping label on the side of the original box.
- latest, a pair of boots, shipped the completely wrong item, not even close from a fulfilled by Amazon supplier. Value of item was about 50% of what I had ordered. At least they were boots and the correct size, but odd how that was screwed up.

All items were direct from Amazon purchases, not fulfilled by or other 3rd party purchases. I've also had an assortment of extra quantities of items sent recently - seems they throw the whole display box in, not just the single item. Customer service always tells me to keep.
The reason for the strange shipping dimensions is Amazon's packing algorithm. They optimize for the truck load of goods rather than the individual packages. They make some packages bigger so they don't jostle around in the truck. It's like growing the size of some boxes to make them Tetris into place better.
michaeljc70
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by michaeljc70 »

phantom0308 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:07 pm
wilshuer wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:36 pm I don't know if its a function of more automation and kinks being worked out, or other issues, but packaging from Amazon has been horrendous for me as well - sometimes beyond comical. Beyond some items taking days longer to arrive, some recent examples

- a small item, about the size of a pack of playing cards in a box about 2 ft x 3 ft x 2ft tall. when it arrived my wife's words were 'what did you order now' and I was thinking 'what did I order that big'. After digging through the voluminous amounts of bubble wrap, finally found my item.
- an AmazonBasics item, in it's unmarked plain box from the mfg, inside a slightly larger plain box packaged for shipment to Amazon, inside a slightly larger Amazon box to ship to me. It was like a matryoshka. Very easily could have slapped the shipping label on the side of the original box.
- latest, a pair of boots, shipped the completely wrong item, not even close from a fulfilled by Amazon supplier. Value of item was about 50% of what I had ordered. At least they were boots and the correct size, but odd how that was screwed up.

All items were direct from Amazon purchases, not fulfilled by or other 3rd party purchases. I've also had an assortment of extra quantities of items sent recently - seems they throw the whole display box in, not just the single item. Customer service always tells me to keep.
The reason for the strange shipping dimensions is Amazon's packing algorithm. They optimize for the truck load of goods rather than the individual packages. They make some packages bigger so they don't jostle around in the truck. It's like growing the size of some boxes to make them Tetris into place better.
Most of my Amazon things (not same day) come via UPS or USPS. How can they know what is on the truck?
michaeljc70
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by michaeljc70 »

Once you pay for Prime, it is hard to order from other places. That was the genius of Bezos. Even when I don't need something for a week or month, you get used to "needing" everything in 2 days. Though I occasionally order from other sites (Newegg, eBay, Target, Costco, etc.), Amazon is my go to.
Rhadamanthus
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Rhadamanthus »

Richard Stallman has a pretty hefty list of reasons to not use Amazon.
rjbraun
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Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by rjbraun »

phantom0308 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:07 pm
wilshuer wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:36 pm I don't know if its a function of more automation and kinks being worked out, or other issues, but packaging from Amazon has been horrendous for me as well - sometimes beyond comical. Beyond some items taking days longer to arrive, some recent examples

- a small item, about the size of a pack of playing cards in a box about 2 ft x 3 ft x 2ft tall. when it arrived my wife's words were 'what did you order now' and I was thinking 'what did I order that big'. After digging through the voluminous amounts of bubble wrap, finally found my item.
- an AmazonBasics item, in it's unmarked plain box from the mfg, inside a slightly larger plain box packaged for shipment to Amazon, inside a slightly larger Amazon box to ship to me. It was like a matryoshka. Very easily could have slapped the shipping label on the side of the original box.
- latest, a pair of boots, shipped the completely wrong item, not even close from a fulfilled by Amazon supplier. Value of item was about 50% of what I had ordered. At least they were boots and the correct size, but odd how that was screwed up.

All items were direct from Amazon purchases, not fulfilled by or other 3rd party purchases. I've also had an assortment of extra quantities of items sent recently - seems they throw the whole display box in, not just the single item. Customer service always tells me to keep.
The reason for the strange shipping dimensions is Amazon's packing algorithm. They optimize for the truck load of goods rather than the individual packages. They make some packages bigger so they don't jostle around in the truck. It's like growing the size of some boxes to make them Tetris into place better.
Interesting. Maybe they should get some dummy boxes or inflatable filler to take up the extra space. While I've not received the comical shipping containers others cite, it does seem a bit much to optimize packing only to have the customer take delivery of a ridiculously-sized box
rjbraun
Posts: 1692
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by rjbraun »

michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:17 pm Once you pay for Prime, it is hard to order from other places. That was the genius of Bezos. Even when I don't need something for a week or month, you get used to "needing" everything in 2 days. Though I occasionally order from other sites (Newegg, eBay, Target, Costco, etc.), Amazon is my go to.
As a Prime customer I can relate, though I have been amazed at how much some companies have picked up their games. REI delivered an order recently almost as fast as I get with Amazon. I was particularly impressed as REI has been poor at times in my experience with shipping / mail orders. Jet.com is still working out some kinks but is pretty good (and seems to be modeling themselves on Amazon with respect to customer interface, etc.).

When I was walking home last night I saw a delivery bed chock full of boxes: all Amazon save one little Jet box. Should have taken a photo to share here!
boglegirl
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by boglegirl »

Calygos wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:55 am Richard Stallman has a pretty hefty list of reasons to not use Amazon.
That article has some interesting links. Although the author ridiculously calls the Kindle the "Swindle", and he also claims that Amazon supports "right wing extremists" like Breitbart, which is funny considering Jeff Bezos is as liberal as they come!

In any case, I'm not an Amazon fan. But I'm also not a go-to-walmart-to-buy-stuff-for-my-household fan. It's a quandary.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by SmileyFace »

darrvao777 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:08 pm Thanks to everyone!

I did end up getting a resolution

I've had success using the chat interface in the past but it looks like both email and phone got me the result I desired. Item refunded. :happy
Does this mean you will stick with Amazon or move to some other sites?
I am primarily an Amazon shopper BUT also use:
bhphotovideo: For Camera equipment, electronics (including TVs and sometimes computers; hard-drives, etc.).
Occasionally I have also ordered from newegg.com for computers/electronics - compare prices to BH.
chewy.com: For Dog food and treats; Cat Food and treats
inbox788
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by inbox788 »

darrvao777 wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:25 pm
lthenderson wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:33 pm
darrvao777 wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:03 am In the midst of a little battle with them currently over missing products during shipment
Is this Amazon or the shipper's fault? If the latter, how does going with someone else prevent that problem from happening again?
It's with Amazon, they shipped me a rather expensive item and while the product box was sealed, it was also empty

I understand the need to investigate given the price ($500+) but I'm miffed it's taking so long, particularly for someone who doesn't regularly return items and has a history of decent spend on their site

That being said, this might be the kick in the pants I need to curtail spending and I will just take my business elsewhere

EDIT: it'll be a good test for amex as well since I put the charge on my amex card. Already filed a dispute to block the charge, let's see if amex sides with me. If not, I'll be moving my spend to another credit card as well. What can I say? I'm petty ☺️
Unfortunately, Amazon is a virtual monopoly for the services they provide. You can find alternatives for subsets of services, and sometimes competitive, but Amazon overall does a good job being under one roof. It's like taking on the government or some utility provider, where your choices are limited. Hopefully you get your situation resolved.

As far as who's fault, it's really this relentless drive towards getting shipping costs to zero that forcing Amazon to use the cheapest shipper, so even if it's the shipper's fault, it's really Amazon's for using them, and the customer's fault for demanding free shipping.

I received an empty container once. I contained a liquid that had leaked out, and after I realized that, noticed where it exited the box. Fortunately for me, the leak occurred elsewhere and not on my porch or inside the house.

In your case, I assume it's an item that never made it in the box. Was this sold by Amazon or a 3rd party? I avoid the latter unless absolutely necessary. Most of the issues I've had have been with the 3rd party orders, and they're a small minority of all orders, so in my experience about a 100x chance of having problems with 3rd party vs sold by Amazon.
Rhadamanthus
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Rhadamanthus »

boglegirl wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:33 pm
Calygos wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:55 am Richard Stallman has a pretty hefty list of reasons to not use Amazon.
That article has some interesting links. Although the author ridiculously calls the Kindle the "Swindle", and he also claims that Amazon supports "right wing extremists" like Breitbart, which is funny considering Jeff Bezos is as liberal as they come!

In any case, I'm not an Amazon fan. But I'm also not a go-to-walmart-to-buy-stuff-for-my-household fan. It's a quandary.
Well in fairness, he calls it the Swindle is for a legitimately Orwellian reason. As for the supporting of Breitbart, that'd due to Amazon's advertising there, though I don't know where that stands today (I've never even been to Breitbart so I only know a tiny bit about it through the grapevine.)

Nevertheless, having only run across Stallman's page on Amazon recently (he has others, too, linked on the same page), it's definitely given me pause on using them for anything. (We do now use AWS extensively at work, but compared to the alternatives like GCP and Azure, AWS is on a whole other level.)
Snowjob
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Snowjob »

GratefulinNC wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:32 pm Support your local economy. Shop at your local bricks and mortar stores. Keep your Main Street strong.
I refuse to use amazon.
Hanksmoney
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Hanksmoney »

Before I buy ANYTHING online, I check eBay. However, the best practice is to also search the product you want in Google's Shopping tab. There will almost always be a random retailer with a very low price. Works like a charm.

Amazon is rarely the cheapest. I disagree with the monopoly comments. It's a monopoly for people who ONLY want to shop at Amazon for the convenience and comfort factor.
Last edited by Hanksmoney on Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
michaeljc70
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by michaeljc70 »

Snowjob wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:47 pm
GratefulinNC wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:32 pm Support your local economy. Shop at your local bricks and mortar stores. Keep your Main Street strong.
I refuse to use amazon.
Amazon reportedly has 480 million products. Where I live, most of those products cannot be bought at Mom and Pop local stores. I live in a big city. Beyond service businesses, there are few that aren't specialty (wedding dresses, florists) or big chains (Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc.). I guess buying something at Walmart helps the local economy in some ways (property taxes, sales taxes, people making below middle wages), but I wouldn't call that being socially responsible.
rgs92
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by rgs92 »

I like amazon because if there is any sort of problem, they resolve it immediately with no question askeds. I've been using them with the same account for 18 years so they seem to trust me and treat me well. And I get the 5% off with their free credit card. So it's great too me. There is nothing like mutual trust with a retailer.

And with Amazon prime, I can get even the smallest shipment with zero shipping cost, like a single jar of vitamins.

I also use Ebay for some things with a similar long-term account. Ebay is good too, but it is more between you and the buyer directly than Amazon, but I have not had any Ebay problems either.

BH Photo has also served me well.

Ha ha, I never go to the store. It feels like a primitive practice and waste of time for me just personally. It feels like an imposition on my time.
I even get my shoes and other clothes online (Zappos is good, but they are part of Amazon.)
Cheyenne
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Cheyenne »

I recently had an interesting shopping experience with Amazon. I shopped for pants and found what I was looking for including positive reviews and a price of $34.99 with free shipping. I placed the order.

Then the first peculiar thing that happened was that I received an email from Costco stating that my shipment was on the way (I didn't remember ordering anything from Costco). The second thing was that when the package arrived I noticed that the return address was an individual in CA whom I have never heard of and don't know. The third was that the package was from Costco and it included a preprinted label to use in the event that I wanted to return the item, and it also stated that I could return it to a Costco store if I wished!

So I logged on to my Amazon account and looked up the order and vendor (a third party on Amazon), and discovered that the seller has a bookseller account with several dozen new and used books for sale, and also offers about a half dozen items of clothing for sale. Then, putting two and two together I visited the Costco website and low and behold I found the exact pants that I had ordered ( for $34.99) being offered for $17.99!

So, when an unsuspecting shopper like me finds an item on Amazon and orders, the guy with the bookseller account places a drop-ship order from Costco to me. How sweet! Just to be sure (and because I really like the pants) I ordered the same item from Costco for $17.99 and it's identical.

Now, I've owned small retail stores in the past, and on occasion I would purchase items from other retailers and offer them for sale in my store with a small mark-up, but his doesn't seem on the up-and-up to me. Any opinions would be welcome. Thanks.
AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by AntsOnTheMarch »

Cheyenne wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:32 pm Any opinions would be welcome. Thanks.
My opinion is to stop shopping at amazon because they allow shenanigans—and I believe on purpose. They ignored their counterfeit goods problem until it finally blew up in the media even though they must have known about it long before (since everyone else already knew).
inbox788
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by inbox788 »

Hanksmoney wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:53 pmBefore I buy ANYTHING online, I check eBay. However, the best practice is to also search the product you want in Google's Shopping tab. There will almost always be a random retailer with a very low price. Works like a charm.

Amazon is rarely the cheapest. I disagree with the monopoly comments. It's a monopoly for people who ONLY want to shop at Amazon for the convenience and comfort factor.
Amazon is insidious. I love what they're doing and use them, but I don't see anyone one else succeeding against them. They're like a drug dealer getting folks hooked on their product, and once you're dependent, they've got you. And I'm partly hooked.

They began selling books (bye bye Borders, B&N). Moved on to general merchandise (Macy's, Sears, JCP). Electronics. Toys (ToysRUs). Digital goods. Appliances and services. Groceries. Restaurant delivery. They're attacking Automotive Parts and rumors of Pharmacy.

Like the Apple walled garden, the Amazon walled garden is wonderful, but comes at a price. I do hope there will be enough competition to keep them in check, but slowly, competition is thinning out, and I have no doubt Amazon is going to take advantage of that. Maybe it's time to buy some Amazon stock, but as a BH, I have sufficient in my total market allocation.
michaeljc70
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by michaeljc70 »

Cheyenne wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:32 pm I recently had an interesting shopping experience with Amazon. I shopped for pants and found what I was looking for including positive reviews and a price of $34.99 with free shipping. I placed the order.

Then the first peculiar thing that happened was that I received an email from Costco stating that my shipment was on the way (I didn't remember ordering anything from Costco). The second thing was that when the package arrived I noticed that the return address was an individual in CA whom I have never heard of and don't know. The third was that the package was from Costco and it included a preprinted label to use in the event that I wanted to return the item, and it also stated that I could return it to a Costco store if I wished!

So I logged on to my Amazon account and looked up the order and vendor (a third party on Amazon), and discovered that the seller has a bookseller account with several dozen new and used books for sale, and also offers about a half dozen items of clothing for sale. Then, putting two and two together I visited the Costco website and low and behold I found the exact pants that I had ordered ( for $34.99) being offered for $17.99!

So, when an unsuspecting shopper like me finds an item on Amazon and orders, the guy with the bookseller account places a drop-ship order from Costco to me. How sweet! Just to be sure (and because I really like the pants) I ordered the same item from Costco for $17.99 and it's identical.

Now, I've owned small retail stores in the past, and on occasion I would purchase items from other retailers and offer them for sale in my store with a small mark-up, but his doesn't seem on the up-and-up to me. Any opinions would be welcome. Thanks.
My opinion is you should shop around before buying something online. It doesn't take long. Wasn't there a brand or item name for the clothing? You stated you did the same thing but now when you are on the other side of it is isn't on the up-and-up!
mhalley
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by mhalley »

I understand Sams club has instituted a prime type account with 2 day shipping for 100 bucks a year.
. What are the benefits of Plus membership?
In addition to Free Shipping for Plus, there are many benefits to a Plus membership:
Earn Cash Rewards. Get $10 for every $500 spent in qualifying purchases – up to $500 annually.
Five free prescriptions on select medications. Plus, over 600 generics for $10 or less.
Early shopping hours. We'll open at 7 am for you Monday – Saturday.
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Rob5TCP
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Location: New York, NY

Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Rob5TCP »

I have gotten too used to ordering from Amazon.
Though, I am cutting back (and going through some withdrawal) I am trying.

Currently I use
Newegg.com - electronics, some home appliances
B&H Photo: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/ camera, computer accessories
Ebay: lots of small inexpensive items (batteries, cases, phone accessories,
Monoprice.com: any kind of cables, usb ports,
Costco: ALL my bulk foods, household stuff, in dollars buy more here than at Amazon, large electronics, drug store sundries, eyeglasses, and loads more other stuff
tj
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by tj »

AntsOnTheMarch wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:54 pm
Cheyenne wrote: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:32 pm Any opinions would be welcome. Thanks.
My opinion is to stop shopping at amazon because they allow shenanigans—and I believe on purpose. They ignored their counterfeit goods problem until it finally blew up in the media even though they must have known about it long before (since everyone else already knew).
My suggestion would be to only purchased items sold and shipped by Amazon. The third party sellers give you the most opportunity for shenangians.
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by FrugalInvestor »

You can always just Google the product you're looking for, click on the 'shopping' link and then pick whatever price/vendor combination you're comfortable with.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify, but most importantly....Ignore the Noise!
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