Simple Steps to a Better World

Amazon Alternatives

Boycott Amazon

Thank you to Ethical Consumer, who lead the way in the Amazon boycott campaign.

Amazon are one of the least ethical companies on the planet.
Some reasons to take our custom away from them are:

  • They make billions of pounds in sales but pay workers poverty wages
  • They receive more in government subsidies than they pay in tax
  • They crush independent retailers that they claim to help
  • They employ human beings, but treat them like robots

To make it easy to stop supporting Amazon, below are alternative places to buy online, some of which are taken from Ethical Consumer’s alternatives to Amazon series. By subscribing to my newsletter you can also receive discount codes for these places to make it even cheaper.

Find Amazon alternatives for: Books | Films, DVDs & Online Streaming | Love Film Alternatives | Other Online Retailers | Alternative Online Marketplaces

Find a Facebook alternative | Find ethical search engines.

The Amazon Alternatives for Books:

I carried out my own survey, rating the consumer experience of the top ethical online book sellers, and came out with a definitive TOP 10 list of ethical online booksellers. Read more about that here.

Using this tool you can perform a single search for any book and see results from all of the ethical book stores I have listed below:

Many of the links to book sellers on this site are affiliate links. I do not allow this to determine which book sellers are listed. The order of the search results is by cheapest first.

WorderyWordery is one of the UK’s largest online independent book shops. They strive to offer the right books at the lowest price with the best service. They pay all of their UK taxes and offer free delivery.

Books etc.Books etc. – For books these guys tend to be the cheapest and often beat Amazon on price for new books. Plus they offer free UK delivery on every order.

HiveHive – Hive is a brilliant concept, enabling you to buy books, ebooks, DVD & blu-ray, music, stationery and gifts online in much the same way as on Amazon, but with the twist that every time you make a purchase you are supporting your local independent shop. Free UK Delivery on all orders.

Foyles BookstoreFoyles – A renowned, award-winning independent bookstore with a long history. Order online and collect in store on the same day, or get free delivery.

Better World BooksBetter World Books – Better World Books have over 1 million new and used books, textbooks and more at bargain prices with free worldwide delivery worldwide. The also donate a portion of all sales to fund literacy programs.

Blackwells LogoBlackwells – Trading since 1879, Blackwell of Oxford is the largest academic and specialist bookseller in the UK. They offer free delivery on all orders.

Oxfam BooksOxfam – Oxfam are the top-rated bookseller on Ethical Consumer magazine’s ‘ethical shopping guide to booksellers’. For paper books, their overall ‘best buy’ option is to buy second hand with Oxfam recommended as the best chain for doing so. As a charity it does well in all of their ratings.

World of Books World of Books – World of Books are a B-Corp who sell second-hand books. They are now a ‘Best Buy’ according to Ethical Consumer magazine but were not around when I carried out my own survey.

eBookseBooks – If you’re more of an ebook person then eBooks is the place for you. The eBooks team’s roots are in bookselling, not in technology, so they’re focussed on what readers want over complicated technical things that get in the way of finding the books you really want.

WHSmith (11/20) and The Works (10/20) also have decent ratings according to Ethical Consumer Magazine.

If you’re browsing from America here are two further options:

Bookshop.org Bookshop.org – Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores.

Libro.fmLibro.fm – Libro FM makes it possible for you to buy audiobooks directly through local bookstores.

Films, DVDs & Online Streaming

Other ethical places to shop for films & DVDs online include:
Hive DVDs
Oxfam 2nd hand Music, Film & Video Games
Dogwoof

Love Film Alternatives:

Cinema ParadisoCinema Paradiso are an independent UK on-line DVD and Blu-ray rental service with a catalogue of over 75,000 titles. They are the most ethical alternative to LoveFilm according to Ethical Consumer magazine (who give Cinema Paradiso a 60% ethical score compared to love film’s 5%). Cinema Paradiso are a long established independent British company who pay all of their UK tax! Sign up today and try it free of charge.

Other Online Retailers:

There are plenty of online retailers with offers featured on my website so do have a browse for their discounts. Below is a list of some of these online stores:

Wearth LondonWearth – A conscious online department store where values meet quality and style. Sign up to their newsletter here to receive 5% off your first order.

Social SupermarketSocial Supermarket – Connecting consumers with social enterprises who sell high quality products that tackle important social and environmental challenges.

Ethical SuperstoreEthical Superstore – Feel good choices with thousands of Fairtrade, organic & eco-friendly gifts, gadgets & healthy groceries.

TraidcraftTraidcraft – A huge array of Fairtrade products encompassing; groceries, houseware goods, stationery, toys, gifts, christmas decorations, clothing and jewellery.

Veo WorldVeo World – Earth-friendly marketplace – a place for ethical vendors to sell, and a place for conscious consumers to shop.

Big Green SmileBig Green Smile – A range of organic lifestyle products including natural and organic bath and skincare; and household products.

Alternative Online Marketplaces:

OnBuy MarketplaceOnBuy.com – For consumers who want everything in one place in the way Amazon offers it I have a tentative recommendation in OnBuy. On the surface they certainly seems to have better practices, but as a relatively new player, not yet looked in to by ECRA the jury may still be out.

OnBuy say, “We brand ourselves as an Amazon alternative. We don’t sell and distribute our own products, like Amazon, we never have and never will compete with our own sellers. Our sole vision is to get the both for both sellers and buyers, creating a fair marketplace for all.” They say they were, “born out of a belief that by being fair and transparent”.

OnBuy don’t sell and distribute their own products, meaning their core focus is to get the best for their sellers. The following quote from their CEO suggests they don’t avoid taxes: “We are an ethical company, we support local economies, our offices and staff are in the UK, and we are registered in the UK for corporation tax and VAT. We have no overseas head office taking profit out of our trading locale, either to circumvent or reduce our tax liability.” He is also quoted as saying he, “believes that humans matter”.

OnBuy have a process in which sellers are vetted and verified before they are able to join OnBuy as a seller. There are many cases where OnBuy will request invoices from a seller to verify their right to sell certain goods. In 2017 they ran a news story confirming their web hosting was to be 100% carbon neutral for the next two years. It’s unclear whether that contract has continued or not. They also have a focus on promoting refurbished electronics.


Sometimes these alternatives are cheaper than Amazon, especially when using the codes provided in my newsletter, sometimes they’re the same sort of price, sometimes a little more, but they’re always worth using ahead of Amazon.


To find out more about Amazon and reasons to stop supporting them visit amazonfree.co.uk and Ethical Consumer’s Boycott Amazon page.


Facebook Alternative

MindsIf you’re looking for an alternative to Facebook, where your privacy is respected, try Minds and get as many friends signed up at the same time as you in order to make the switch as easy as possible. Minds is a fully open source, decentralised, social networking platform. It started in 2011 with “the goal of bringing a free, open source and sustainable social network to the world”.


Ethical Search Engines

Read my listings on Duck Duck Go and Ecosia for my recommendations.


10 Responses to “Amazon Alternatives”

  1. Hi, I live in Italy but a lot of my reading/film viewing is in English. Any thoughts on how I can avoid Amazon (and such like) while being outside the UK. I will explore other avenues closer to home. But Amazon is of course big here too. Thanks, John

  2. Any recommendations for ordering old fashioned music CDs?

  3. Thanks for this list 🙂 I think that Foyles has been owned by Waterstones for a couple of years now, but I don’t know anything about their business practices. How ethical are Waterstones?

    • Hi Kate,
      You’re right. Waterstones have an ethiscore of 9 out of 20 with Ethical Consumer’s last round of ratings.
      I will be replicating my original Top 10 ethical bookseller review list soon so will have an updated list for you, including Waterstones and others.
      Cheers,
      Sam

      • Hi Sam, this is so useful thank you. Looking forward to seeing your updated list as I realise a lot can change over a few years, especially like the ownership of companies, and I’m going to use your list to suggest to friends and family before the Christmas online shopping bonanza hits them…

  4. Thanks for putting this site together. Ironically, it came up on page 1 of my Google search for “alternatives to Amazon”.

    My partner and I love the convenience of Amazon, but we are exploring other options given the ethical concerns. One paradox we’re struggling to reconcile is that Amazon does support small businesses, and we would have never heard of some of the companies we’ve bought from without the Amazon storefront. One idea we’ve had is to use the Amazon search engine and then go and find the business’s website, but that still supports the company in minor ways.

    The draw of Amazon and other big companies that federate the search for products across multiple companies is a powerful one. Another is the product reviews. I have to admit that both are key factors that have kept me as a Prime member for years.

    In any case, sites like yours help those of us looking to challenge those assumptions. Cheers.

    • Hi Sapo,

      That’s how they get us, the convenience. This is why we’re developing the ethical bookseller search tool. It’s a start – should make finding books a lot easier: Rather than trawling through all of the ethical booksellers, we are trying to make it easy to search them all in one go (and when you do it’s amazing how often you find that the book you’re searching is actually CHEAPER from an ethical bookseller than Amazon).

      Hopefully, once the book search tool is honed, we can move in to other areas as well.

      Thank you for the feedback – it’s really helpful to know the reasons that people such as yourself continue to use Amazon. This knowledge helps us all find solutions (although there will be a tipping point before then where Amazon change their practices to keep their userbase, which in itself will be a good thing).

      Cheers,
      Sam

  5. I second Sapo’s reasoning. The main reason I continue to use Amazon is because I live in a village without any locals towns. I’d love to live in an adorable little town with cute little independent shops or charity shops but sadly I do not. I’d have to ask for a lift to get to another town to buy what I need and I often fail to find what I need in stores. Additionally, I’m not convinced the retail stores available to me are ethical, which makes me wonder why I would go to that effort instead of ordering what I need online to be delivered the next morning. I know that doesn’t make it right, which is precisely why I’m here. I just had a look at my purchase history on Amazon and I can say that *most* of what we’ve purchased over the last year is fairly difficult to find in town but I do feel guilty about the things which could have been purchased in town. I also use Amazon to order niche pet food that it isn’t availabale from local pet shops. I also have to factor in that a lot of ethical or independent online stores have high delivery fees, which makes it financially difficult for me if I need to order multiple products from different stores, where as Amazon serves me everything on a single plate and delivers it for free the next day. It’s such a shame that Amazon is an unethical giant. I need to find a solution.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get in touch

The Only Way Is Ethics!

Sign up to receive no more than 1 email per month from Ethical Revolution containing offers, tips and steps toward a better world.

Your info will never be shared to 3rd parties. This form collects your name & email so I can add you to my newsletter to receive amazing deals on all things ethical. Check my terms & privacy policy for full details of how your data is managed & protected.