Amazon Alternative

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
danaht
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by danaht » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:17 pm

AntsOnTheMarch wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:10 am
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.
I also avoid Amazon now - as I believe it's not as customer friendly as it used to be. I prefer ordering with Ebay, Home Depot, Lowes, Target, and Walmart now. I still take advantage of the free 30 day Prime trials when they have them (like right now). But, I plan to cancel Prime right before the 30 days is over (will make sure to set a reminder on my smart phone).

Nyc10036
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Nyc10036 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:05 pm

AntsOnTheMarch wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:10 am
In my book Walmart is great deals for toilet paper and not much else.
I don't buy toilet paper at Walmart.

On sale, it is cheaper at ShopRite.

tj
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by tj » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:20 pm

Nyc10036 wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:05 pm
AntsOnTheMarch wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:10 am
In my book Walmart is great deals for toilet paper and not much else.
I don't buy toilet paper at Walmart.

On sale, it is cheaper at ShopRite.

Never heard of it. Seems to be a regional grocery store.

Rashen
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Rashen » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:37 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:57 am
I don't like the website of eBay and Walmart but they're often cheaper.
ebay is cheaper than amazon? unless you are posting from 2010, this is simply 100% incorrect.

Silverado
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Silverado » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:55 pm

Calygos wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:55 am
Richard Stallman has a pretty hefty list of reasons to not use Amazon.
Thanks for the link, interesting page. A bunch of those are reasons I use Amazon. Keep up or go away.

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Tycoon
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Tycoon » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:11 pm

Rashen wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:37 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:57 am
I don't like the website of eBay and Walmart but they're often cheaper.
ebay is cheaper than amazon? unless you are posting from 2010, this is simply 100% incorrect.
It's been my experience that Ebay is cheaper than Amazon. I have accounts with both Ebay and Amazon. I'm a lowest price shopper - lowest total price gets my money. I haven't purchased anything from Amazon in years. I've found that I can find better prices elsewhere.

Trust me! If Amazon were cheaper I would buy from them. The bottom line for me is how much comes out of my pocket, loyalty be damned.
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Alexa9
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:39 pm

Rashen wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:37 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:57 am
I don't like the website of eBay and Walmart but they're often cheaper.
ebay is cheaper than amazon? unless you are posting from 2010, this is simply 100% incorrect.
For more obscure items, eBay is often cheaper. Car parts, electronics. Not always. Good to compare.
eBay has items that Amazon doesn't even offer as well. Amazon won't allow you to sell some things too. You can sell almost anything on eBay.

rgs92
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by rgs92 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:22 pm

Rob5tcp ( a few posts back) hit on all the online stores I have used over the last few years, so I can vouch for this.

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F150HD
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by F150HD » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:31 pm

chw wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:38 pm
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.
I've received multiple "used" items from Ebay when they were supposed to be new. Many turned out to be a hassle to return. In 2 situations I had to get Ebay involved and it took a few weeks.

Now I'm a lot more careful on there and often buy things that cant be sold used (like beads for balancing vehicle tires)
Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.

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F150HD
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by F150HD » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:37 pm

AntsOnTheMarch wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:10 am
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.
I believe, in a way, we've all benefited from Amazon and their shipping policies. Its forced other companies to step up and offer cheaper shipping for a $25 order or whatnot (like WMart). Though I (like someone else posted) often do site-to-store and pickup at my leisure that way there's not a package sitting on my steps while I'm at work.

Walmart- hit or miss. Though, one bonus to Walmart vs Amazon, is you can do a return at a brick-n-mortar and you don't have to mess w/ repackaging an item and heading to UPS etc. Maybe Amazon will someday have brick-n-mortar return locations.

Agreed on Prime. I used to be, then cancelled long ago. Though I still order there, items I order I usually don't immediately need, so waiting a week for shipment is no issue whatsoever.
Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.

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tc101
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Alternatives to Amazon

Post by tc101 » Thu May 10, 2018 12:07 pm

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

Amazon is incredibly convenient and for lots of things the prices are good, but on some items the prices are ridiculously high. I don't want to go all over the web looking for the lowest prices and ordering from dozens of companies. I would like to find one or two other places to check prices and use as an alternative to amazon.

I have found that petsmart.com has better customer service than amazon, and better prices on some things.

I am thinking of checking out walmart online.

Any other suggestions?
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

aristotelian
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by aristotelian » Thu May 10, 2018 12:09 pm

I do not do Prime, so if I am looking for a specific cheap item I will go to ebay. We get all our dog food from Chewys (which is owned by Petsmart). I do occasionally order from Walmart.

e5116
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by e5116 » Thu May 10, 2018 12:10 pm

Google. Just type in a product and the google shopping results will be at the top. They are paid ads, so you're not going to get the price of it everywhere, but it should give you a sense of what the price range should be and potential suppliers of the item. You can click the details to see the price at all the stores listed (online and brick-and-mortar) as well as reviews for each site.

For example, I typed in KitchenAid Artisan mixer, and it gives 10+ sites to buy it ranging from $229 to $419 with seller ratings for each one.

Seems to work for me...

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JoeRetire
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by JoeRetire » Thu May 10, 2018 12:42 pm

tc101 wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 12:07 pm
I would like to find one or two other places to check prices and use as an alternative to amazon.

I have found that petsmart.com has better customer service than amazon, and better prices on some things.

I am thinking of checking out walmart online.

Any other suggestions?
- Target.
- The manufacturer's site for some things.
- Lowes or Home Depot for some things.

I tend to start with Google. It shows prices from many sites with just one search.

I usually end up buying from Amazon for most items. For the things I buy, they tend to have the best prices.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Thu May 10, 2018 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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goodlifer
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by goodlifer » Thu May 10, 2018 12:43 pm

I hardly ever use Amazon anymore. Walmart seems to be earning more and more of my business. I use Shipt for groceries. I'm even shopping at small online retailers more. I spent an hour online just yesterday looking for a stainless steel colander that was not made in China. Amazon's search engine is horrible and most of the descriptions did not include the info I wanted. I finally found a US manufacturer that directed me to a restaurant supply company near me. I will probably go there this week end. I'm shopping like that a lot more often now.

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tc101
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by tc101 » Thu May 10, 2018 12:47 pm

I think I'll try walmart. How does it compare to Amazon, other than price? Easy to use web site? Quick delivery? Good customer support?
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JoeRetire
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by JoeRetire » Thu May 10, 2018 12:49 pm

tc101 wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 12:47 pm
I think I'll try walmart. How does it compare to Amazon, other than price? Easy to use web site? Quick delivery? Good customer support?
For me, Walmart is:
- not as easy to use web site
- not as quick delivery
- not as good customer service

Overall, it's not bad and much better than some, just not as good as Amazon.

If you choose in-store pickup, it's much, much worse, IMHO. But then I personally hate going in Walmart.
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goodlifer
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by goodlifer » Thu May 10, 2018 1:04 pm

Meh, it isn't so bad for me but I live within walking distance of a Walmart. If I don't feel like going there, I get it shipped. I usually get my package in two business days from Walmart, even when the 2 day option isn't available. Their shipping is free over $35 and you don't need to pay a yearly fee. Plus, I can get cash back from shopping portals through Walmart. I find their website a lot easier to manage than Amazon's but not as many choices. I really don't need a lot of choice though. I want something specific when I'm shopping.

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tc101
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by tc101 » Thu May 10, 2018 1:09 pm

Someone mentioned ebay. I thought that was just for auctions.
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SpaethCo
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by SpaethCo » Thu May 10, 2018 1:30 pm

Ebay.

I’ve found that almost everything available from Amazon marketplace sellers is also available on Ebay for less. Most of the “Buy It Now” stuff is brand new merchandise sold by marketplace merchants that ship either USPS Priority 2-day, or actually use Amazon logistics for delivery.

abner kravitz
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by abner kravitz » Thu May 10, 2018 1:56 pm

I use Walmart.com a lot now. I bundle the purchases so I spend $35 and get the free shipping. I find their prices to be better than Amazon frequently. Their fulfillment has improved significantly also. It was common in the past for a 4 item order to come in 4 separate deliveries, but that hasn't happened to me in a while.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu May 10, 2018 1:59 pm

This question is asked here periodically. Answers from a few months ago:
viewtopic.php?t=240721

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Alexa9
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by Alexa9 » Thu May 10, 2018 2:01 pm

Target, Best Buy, directly from the seller's website.

Freefun
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by Freefun » Thu May 10, 2018 2:09 pm

I realize this isn't an Amazon alternative- but I've found camel camel camel to be useful in finding good prices on Amazon (if they exist)- it works well for items that change prices frequently. For example i have a favorite sneaker brand (and obviously a certain size) and prices change every day since different sellers may or may not have it. So I set price alerts on the camel site and i get notified if my target price is reached.

It can also show price history... not much effort required to check it out.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

gliderpilot567
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by gliderpilot567 » Thu May 10, 2018 2:09 pm

I have bought stuff from eBay that was fulfilled by Amazon and vice versa. They are all storefronts for each other.

My last several best deals have come from dealing directly with the manufacturer. This is hit or miss because some manufacturers don't have a retail website. But the ones that do have often given me the best prices, especially if you can swing a deal on shipping. Something to be said about avoiding middlemen.

drg02b
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Re: Alternatives to Amazon

Post by drg02b » Thu May 10, 2018 2:11 pm

I used to use Amazon a lot up until a year ago.

Google shopping search for the win.

I've ordered stuff from Academy, Walmart, Ebay and plenty of other sites with no issues -- rarely is Amazon the cheapest price anymore, most of these have been just as fast as Amazon (2-5 days). Have CC's set up with Paypal, which makes things pretty fast to order/check-out.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by LadyGeek » Thu May 10, 2018 3:05 pm

I merged tc101's thread into here. The combined thread is in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (shopping).

Also note a previously locked thread from 2017: Alternatives to Amazon The discussion got derailed.

Please stay on-topic.
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JEC
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by JEC » Thu May 10, 2018 3:27 pm

If you can wait a few weeks for items to ship, ordering directly from China without paying a retailer is much cheaper than Amazon. Often times when you buy from a third-party seller on Amazon, it's just a product they purchased from China and sold it with a mark-up for the faster shipping. I use AliExpress the most.

Loik098
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Loik098 » Thu May 10, 2018 4:07 pm

GratefulinNC wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:20 am

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
A couple of thoughts:

1) If my hometown merchants would consistently have the items I need in stock and at a competitive price, I would use them. After too many failures in this arena, I'm just not willing to spend more of my time learning the lesson that they usually do not. It's just far too easier to buy from Amazon and use their generous return policy.

2) Not sure Gucci's quote still holds true today. As more and more items come from distant sources, it's becoming increasingly difficult to know at the time of purchase whether a "high quality" item will retain such quality over the long-term. I'd rather find a semi-cheap item and set a reasonable time-frame for it to last given the price I've paid for it, than pay an exorbitant amount for a similar item and have it fall apart too soon.

zoneinfo
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by zoneinfo » Thu May 10, 2018 4:32 pm

Here's our list; I hope this helps you unshackle from Amazon's grips.

- local mom & pop stores first
- big chain local stores next
- costco
- monoprice.com
- bhphotovideo.com
- chewy.com
- newegg.com
- target.com

All of these guys give you free shipping and better prices than Amazon anyway.

We also no longer shop at Whole Foods. We went there 1 or 2 times right after the acquisition; the lights were jacked up insanely bright, crappy elevator music was suddenly prominent, and all the employees were apologizing for the sudden changes. I felt bad for them having to go through Amazon killing whatever uniqueness they had as part of them being absorbed into the Amazon Borg collective.

mouses
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by mouses » Thu May 10, 2018 4:50 pm

I bought from Jet for awhile, but I kept having to return things because they were used or damaged, so I stopped. Also I dislike that jumping around thing on their pages, makes me seasick.

I try to find items elsewhere before I buy from amazon. The only things I usually buy from amazon are ebooks, and that's because B&N downloading to my pc fails and their customer service can't fix it.

I buy from ebay, lowes, etsy. It's kind of amazing how much stuff etsy carries now.

mouses
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by mouses » Thu May 10, 2018 4:55 pm

JEC wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 3:27 pm
If you can wait a few weeks for items to ship, ordering directly from China without paying a retailer is much cheaper than Amazon. Often times when you buy from a third-party seller on Amazon, it's just a product they purchased from China and sold it with a mark-up for the faster shipping. I use AliExpress the most.
I would never shop at AliExpress because they are associated with AliBaba which used to sell shark fins. I don't know if they still do, but that was enough for me to write them off forever. Note that the fins are removed from live sharks and the rest of the animal left to die.

grenada
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by grenada » Thu May 10, 2018 6:06 pm

My wife and I are done with Amazon. Their third party sellers are incentivized to cut as many corners as possible to increase their profit, and have no brand name and customer relationships to worry about because they operate under the Amazon brand. We've called it quits after receiving multiple counterfeit items. I have also heard of others receiving obviously stolen goods (tags still on from other retailers). Like other tech companies, Amazon is all about presenting themselves as an online platform that is not responsible for the business conducted by their third party business partners.

We now shop online at Target, and it is great. Reliable two-day shipping that is shipped with real shipping companies (USPS in my case) instead of Amazon's sketchy independent shipping contractors. We get 5% off and free returns with the target card, and prices are almost always considerably cheaper then Amazon for brand name goods.

dustinst22
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by dustinst22 » Thu May 10, 2018 6:10 pm

Rashen wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:37 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:57 am
I don't like the website of eBay and Walmart but they're often cheaper.
ebay is cheaper than amazon? unless you are posting from 2010, this is simply 100% incorrect.
Ebay is cheaper quite often, and by pretty big margins sometimes on more expensive items. Amazon is actually rarely the most inexpensive option, it's just the most convenient. For anything that costs $100+, it's worth doing a quick search on google (shopping) as well as Ebay. Sure, you don't get the Prime CC 5% back, but often if you're using Ebates and a decent cash back CC, you'll beat the AMZ CC along with a better price anyway.

Larry2623
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Larry2623 » Thu May 10, 2018 11:36 pm

It is hard to beat Amazon subscribe and save when t is 15% off

JEC
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by JEC » Fri May 11, 2018 1:12 pm

mouses wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 4:55 pm
JEC wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 3:27 pm
If you can wait a few weeks for items to ship, ordering directly from China without paying a retailer is much cheaper than Amazon. Often times when you buy from a third-party seller on Amazon, it's just a product they purchased from China and sold it with a mark-up for the faster shipping. I use AliExpress the most.
I would never shop at AliExpress because they are associated with AliBaba which used to sell shark fins. I don't know if they still do, but that was enough for me to write them off forever. Note that the fins are removed from live sharks and the rest of the animal left to die.
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Pajamas
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Re: Amazon Alternative

Post by Pajamas » Fri May 11, 2018 1:16 pm

mouses wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 4:55 pm
I would never shop at AliExpress because they are associated with AliBaba which used to sell shark fins. I don't know if they still do, but that was enough for me to write them off forever. Note that the fins are removed from live sharks and the rest of the animal left to die.
If you buy items made in China from third-party U.S.-based sellers on Amazon, especially smaller ones, the vendor probably purchased the items on AliBaba or AliExpress in bulk, so you are just one step removed.

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