The right way to keep away from Amazon: the definitive information to on-line procuring – with out the retail titan | Amazon

With the shutters down on excessive streets and retail parks world wide, that means that house supply is the one choice for nearly something apart from meals and drugs, it’s no shock that Amazon is seeing enterprise growth. The web retailer, already a one-stop store for many individuals, has seen prospects flock by way of its digital doorways within the weeks since coronavirus hit.

The positioning is experiencing an prolonged interval of gross sales on the degree often reserved for the procuring frenzy of Black Friday, with reported surges reaching $11,000 (£8,800) a second. Its share worth is booming, too, making its already wealthy founder, Jeff Bezos, even richer.

However whereas the positioning affords every part you might want in the mean time, from meals to movies, through fish tanks and photograph frames, there are numerous who really feel uncomfortable about including to its dominance. Issues about its remedy of staff, how little tax it pays and its affect on smaller retailers are usually not new, however this disaster has shone the highlight on them once more.

Within the US, some Amazon staff are protesting in opposition to their remedy, accusing the corporate of placing income above security by not supplying sufficient face masks or checking that staff are usually not sick once they flip as much as work.

In December, the UK marketing campaign group Truthful Tax Mark put Amazon on the high of an inventory of corporations that it stated had been “aggressively avoiding” tax, saying it had paid simply $3.4bn in tax on revenues of $960.5bn and income of $26.8bn. With nations needing to rebuild their funds after the disaster, consideration is prone to fall on companies that aren’t seen to be paying their fair proportion.

Additionally it is price remembering that nonetheless fast the supply is likely to be, it’s not all the time as helpful as with the ability to go to a store and convey one thing house immediately. We’ll, sooner or later, be again to that scenario, so it’s price defending your native retailers within the quick time period in case you can. Additionally it is price in search of on-line alternate options.


You’ll be able to typically minimize out the intermediary if you’re shopping for electronics. For computer systems, telephones and TVs, Dell, Apple and Samsung are all providing free supply on their merchandise, though Samsung has suspended orders to Northern Eire, the Channel Islands and the Scottish Highlands. For gaming, Nintendo has the Change Lite on the market on its web site, though the Change is out of inventory. sells kitchen home equipment reminiscent of toasters and occasional makers alongside gaming consoles, TVs and computer systems from its base in Birmingham. Free supply takes 5 days, however you possibly can pay to get objects the following day. Through the disaster the corporate is providing a complete of £10,000-worth of merchandise to deserving people who’re nominated by way of the web site.

Currys PC World is taking orders and has a sale on among the gear that you just is likely to be in search of in the mean time, together with printers, wifi extenders and occasional machines. Subsequent-day supply prices £5; commonplace supply is free, however will take 5 to 10 days.

John Lewis is providing free commonplace supply on orders over £50 or next-day supply for £6.95. It isn’t providing two-person deliveries, and is looking forward to test whether or not prospects are self-isolating. Orders will be delivered to Waitrose, Co-op and Cubicles shops, too.

It’s price seeing if impartial retailers close to you’re nonetheless working. In Carlisle, for instance, @Dwelling PC is promoting contact-free supply on laptops and equipment.

Within the US, you will discover most digital items on Greatest Purchase, which has an Amazon-price-match assure. With an added in-store Geek Squad to take care of all of your digital woes (as soon as the shutdown is over, after all), it strikes a pleasant stability between on-line comfort and in-store customer support. It’s at present providing curbside deliveries, too, which helps to maintain you and your courier protected.

Family merchandise

Environmentally pleasant cleansing merchandise, pet meals and child gear can be found at Commonplace supply within the UK is free on orders over £50, or £3.95 on smaller orders. It’s a good place to purchase in bulk – Ecover laundry liquid, for instance, is out there in a variety of sizes as much as 15 litres, which sells for £49.59. Its web site has a prolonged description of what it’s doing to maintain workers protected.

Wilko’s shops are nonetheless open, and so is its on-line store. It’s providing supply inside seven days for a £5 charge. Cleansing merchandise, pet meals and nappies are all accessible, in addition to objects from its DIY, gardening and stationery ranges. Nevertheless, the digital toiletries aisle seems to be fairly naked (once we checked, most toothpaste and bathe gel was out of inventory). often provides places of work, however people can register. It sells all types of stuff you would possibly want at work, house or the present hybrid of the 2, together with bin liners, dishwasher tablets, bathroom rolls and biscuits. Supply is free on orders over £30 and is often subsequent day.

For US prospects, Goal has all of it, from nappies to youngsters’ toys to groceries. The shop lets you choose objects by supply choice, together with same-day supply and retailer pickup. The identical-day choice makes use of Shipt, that means free supply for Shipt members, or these utilizing a free trial; the free trial lasts 4 weeks. If you’re not a Shipt member, the markup is utilized per merchandise, so it may well find yourself getting expensive. At present, you possibly can anticipate purchases made originally of the week to be delivered on the finish of the week – however these home windows are significantly delicate to vary in the mean time.

Magnificence and private care

Superdrug’s retailers are open, and it’s operating a same-day supply service from some retailers through a courier agency known as Stuart. The supply cost begins at £5.40. You must test that it really works from an area department earlier than you make your order. If it doesn’t, you need to use the standard supply service, which is free for loyalty card holders on orders over £10 and for everybody spending greater than £15.

For top-end magnificence objects, check out the businesses’ personal websites. Clarins’ on-line store continues to be open, as an illustration, and supply is free on orders over £50. Profit warns that its orders are taking a few weeks to reach, but it surely does have a sale on so it could be well worth the wait.

For electrical toothbrushes, razors and the like, producers typically provide direct gross sales. Philips is providing free supply on a variety that features private care objects, child bottle sterilisers and really upmarket juicers. is successfully a web-based division retailer, with an enormous vary of magnificence merchandise at completely different worth factors, and tech from males’s grooming merchandise to hairdryers. It additionally shares toys, home equipment and a small vary of DVDs and music.

Within the US, Sephora affords high-street and luxurious magnificence merchandise. Sephora is a multinational chain, so in contrast to platforms the place you purchase from particular person sellers, there’s much less cause to fret about counterfeit merchandise. Plus you get two free samples with each order. Commonplace transport orders can take as much as two weeks to reach, or you possibly can select a variety of speedier supply choices, usually at the next price.

Depop is like eBay, however for fashionable clothes and sweetness merchandise. The platform has listings from a variety of particular person sellers and shops, and there are star scores so you possibly can select to purchase from trusted sellers. Purchases are protected by PayPal.


It’s onerous to keep away from Amazon if you wish to watch one thing that it has purchased the rights for, however for movies and music there are numerous different choices.

The BFI has new and traditional movies to hire on its web site. One-off leases begin at £2.50 every, or a subscription affords older movies. That prices £4.99 a month, however there’s a 14-day free trial in the beginning.

Curzon is providing the cinema expertise at house, with very latest movies reminiscent of Portrait of a Girl on Fireplace accessible to stream for lower than £10. You don’t have to subscribe to look at, and there’s a free movie if you register your particulars.

Cinema Paradiso has a wider vary of movies and TV programmes, however this can be a DVD rental service so you possibly can’t watch immediately. Once more there’s a 14-day free trial; the month-to-month price relies on which subscription you select. The essential one is £5.99 and affords two leases a month.

Zavvi isn’t on the excessive road any longer, however lives on-line promoting DVDs, music and video games – each digital and board. You should purchase a supply cross for £9.99, which supplies you commonplace supply for a 12 months and reduces the price of the next-day service. It’s warning that, to guard workers, orders are taking 48 hours longer than standard.

HMV does most of its enterprise on-line as of late, too, and is another choice in case you don’t want to look at one thing immediately.


Final week, Amazon was revealed to be the thriller donor of £250,000 to a fund to assist bookshops struggling hardship. The organisers welcomed the gesture, whereas additionally noting that there was nonetheless “no higher risk to high-street bookselling” than the US big.

Books are the truth is among the best objects to discover a good different supply for. Many impartial retailers are providing deliveries – so much will order titles for you even when they don’t have them in inventory. You will discover native retailers through the Booksellers Affiliation’s web site.

There are additionally online-only retailers reminiscent of, which has greater than 10m books accessible and in addition some notebooks and a really small variety of video games. It affords free supply worldwide, though there’s fairly an extended listing of nations that it can not at present ship books to.

The Large Inexperienced Bookshop will order what you need and get it despatched to you. It runs a weekly “purchase a stranger a ebook” scheme on its web site and Twitter feed, so you probably have spare money you possibly can deal with another person. is promoting ebooks and books for house supply and paying double fee to the smaller bookshops it usually makes use of for assortment service. It’s at present taking orders just for the UK and depends on Royal Mail for deliveries, so how lengthy your order takes will fluctuate relying in your native service. You’ll be able to select which store the fee goes to, so in case your native store isn’t at present buying and selling, this can be a solution to get some cash to it. It often sells CDs and DVDs, too, so hold an eye fixed out in case they’re added to its providing.

The Guardian Bookshop helps the newspaper and affords books at a reduction. There may be at present 20% off kids’s exercise books, which may show helpful. Supply is free on orders of £15 or extra.

For ebooks, many libraries, as an illustration, are providing loans on-line – try your native council’s web site for particulars. It’s attainable to transform ebooks purchased elsewhere to Kindle’s format utilizing free software program reminiscent of Calibre. serves prospects world wide and has titles beginning at 99p within the UK. It’s got the thumbs-up from Moral Shopper journal and is the one e-book vendor in its high 5.

By way of Indiebound, readers within the US can seek for and purchase from impartial booksellers. You’ll be able to search by zip code or retailer title – in case you want to assist a selected retailer. Velocity and value of transport relies on the bookstore.

Alternatively, Bookshop is a platform that has been set as much as assist impartial shops make a revenue. Shops earn 30% fee on any gross sales they generate, whereas Bookshop handles the packing, transport and returns for them and runs the web site. It additionally places 10% of its non-bookstore affiliated gross sales into an total earnings pool that’s evenly divided up and shared with taking part shops each six months. In March, it raised greater than $230,000 for impartial shops.

This text was amended on 5 Might 2020 to take away an incorrect reference to solely with the ability to purchase Kindle variations of ebooks on Amazon.

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