Green Lifestyle

26 UK alternatives to shopping at Amazon

One of my goals for 2021 is to boycott Amazon for a whole year. In 2020 due to circumstances outside my control, like many people I ended up buying a lot from Amazon. In 2021 I am committed to not buying any Amazon products or using any of their services. 

If you’re not aware of why it’s a good idea to avoid Amazon, here’s a few articles going into detail. There’s plenty more out there on the internet too if you want to do your research. 

If you would like to join me on my boycott of Amazon or simply want to use it less, here are some online alternatives. I am not arguing that all these options are ethical (though many are) but they offer alternative services that have a less negative impact than the monopoly of Bezos. 

Making the switch, like any lifestyle change, can be difficult. Switching to these alternatives can start you on your journey to becoming a more ethical and responsible consumer.

Books

Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash
  • If you want to buy new books, head to Hive or Bookshop. They both contribute to independent bookshops. Bookshop was created as an ethical alternative as the founders recognised the threat Amazon poses to local bookshops and the publishing industry.
  • World of Books is the place to go for secondhand books. And reading secondhand books is better for the planet, yay!
  • Audible is seen as the go-to place for audiobooks but it is owned by Amazon. Instead of joining Audible, use Libra.fm instead.
  • If youn like using Amazon’s Unlimited book subscription service, you can switch to Scribd instead. They also have audiobooks and comics.
  • If ebooks are more your thing, get a Kobo instead of a Kindle. Whilst Rakuten who own Kobo do have their own issues, at least with Kobo you can access library books or buy ebooks from more ethical shops like Hive. And there are plenty going secondhand.
  • Do you use Goodreads to review and discover new books? It’s owned by Amazon. Storygraph was created as a more intuitive alternative to Goodreads. It’s currently in Beta so it still has a lot more features to come yet but I already prefer it to the mess that is Goodreads! 
  • Also, never forget your local library! As well as the option to borrow books for free, many libraries now lend ebooks for your devices.  

Looking for nature, sustainability & science books? Visit the Wild & Green Bookshop!

Media

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  • Spotify is a brilliant and affordable tool for streaming and saving your music collection, no need for Amazon Music!
  • If you like to livestream TV and want a lot of choice, Netflix and Rakuten TV are great options.
  • A new free livestreaming service for documentaries called Waterbear has launched. It has a large selection of documentaries about nature, society and the environment. It also lets you know how you can support and take action for the causes featured in the documentaries.  
  • For new DVDs and CDs (do people actually buy those anymore?!), head to Hive.

Electronics & Games

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  • CEX is a great place to buy games and electronics like phones. It’s all secondhand which is an added bonus. And whilst it is a chain, each store is owned by individuals so by using CEX you are supporting small local business. All their products come with 24-month warranty.
  • GAME also sells games and consoles both new and secondhand. 
  • Giffgaff sells secondhand and refurbished phones. Refurbished phones are a great sustainable option instead of buying a new phone. 
  • Currys PC World is a great option for buying new electronics such as TVs, laptops and PCs.

Gifts & Art

Photo by Angela Pencheva on Unsplash
  • Etsy is the ultimate online store for handmade, custom and arty products. Set your search filters to shops based in the UK to keep things local. Etsy have implemented a policy of carbon offsetting the delivery of every purchase made. Imagine if Amazon did that!
  • Not on the High Street is the ideal place to find unique and personal gifts whilst also supporting small businesses. 
  • Support artists by visiting Redbubble and Society6. They are filled with beautiful art and home decor.
  • Displate sell stunning metal posters you can stick on your walls with magnets. They plant a tree for every Displate sold!

General Goods

Photo by Daria Volkova on Unsplash

Many of us turn to Amazon because we don’t know where else to look. When you need something quickly and cheaply Amazon often appears to be the only option. Try the below sites before resorting to Amazon if you’re struggling to find what you need:

  • The Ethical Superstore has nearly everything and it’s always my first stop when I need something. And the best thing about it is everything they sell is ethical or eco-friendly!
  • For regular deliveries of store cupboard groceries and household basics, try Bother.
  • If you’re looking for furniture or household items, Wayfair has a huge selection at a range of prices.
  • For clothes and accessories, try DePop. I’ve always been able to find good quality secondhand clothes to suit my needs. 
  • Ebay is your catch-all when all else fails. Whatever you need you will be able to find it on eBay, sometimes secondhand and often with free postage. Ebay often has outlet items so you could be helping prevent waste. You may also be supporting small businesses. Try to avoid buying anything that delivers from China, however. 

There we have it, an extensive list of online shopping alternatives to Amazon. Avoiding Amazon doesn’t need to be a challenge! Do you already avoid shopping at Amazon? What alternatives do you use?

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9 thoughts on “26 UK alternatives to shopping at Amazon”

  1. I like CEX (we have it in Ireland too) – the majority of stuff is used, so it’s also providing a more sustainable (and affordable) option to buying games, DVDs, CDs, etc. on Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And yes, Ebay, of course. My small Christmas presents to my immediate family (in Ireland and Germany) came from Ebay. I just went to the ebay site (.uk or .de) and found the product that I wanted that came from a seller local to my family member 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really love the tips Sally! I’ve also been trying to move further away from Amazon. I replaced my Kindle with a Kobo eReader which I thought was great, until I looked Kobo up and it turns out they’re basically considered the “Japanese Amazon” who have some questionable practices themselves. It seems you can’t win! But we’ll keep trying 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jake, I’m glad you love them! Oh no 😣 I didn’t realise that about Kobo! Not all these alternatives are ethical (Spotify for example has issues with not paying artists enough) but at least they open up some other options creating less of a monopoly on everything. I guess at least with Kobo you can buy ebooks for it from other places (like Hive books) or get library books on it, which you can’t do with Kindle, rather than giving money directly to Rakuten. Yeah, it’s always an uphill battle trying to find the best path. But yes, we’ve always got to keep trying! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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