There’s been a huge amount of publicity generated by Amazon Prime Day (publicity that, in all honesty, The Verge has contributed to, covering both Prime Day Deals and Prime Day boycotts). However, there are obviously other places to buy from out there in the wilds of the web. We took a quick poll of The Verge’s staff, and came up with a few favorite sources for books, gifts and other products that you might want to try if you’re not a member of Prime, want to do some comparison shopping, or just want to see something a bit different.
This is by no means a complete list. In fact, it’s only a beginning — there is an incredible variety of stores outside of the Amazon ecosystem (many of which also sell via Amazon). But we thought we’d offer a few alternatives, just to get you started.
(Keep in mind that not all of these vendors will ship to every country outside the US, if they ship outside the US at all.)
A long-lived (since 1997) marketplace for independent vendors to sell music, movies, and books.
A bargain basement for books; most are publisher overstocks, so tend to be in better condition than used books.
An independent bookstore based in Portland, Oregon that deals in new, used, rare, and out-of-print books.
A strong alternative for anything except just-released books. You can get almost any used book for a few bucks.
Founded in 1912, this is a great place to find outdoor and casual wear. Its “return whenever” policy has regrettably been changed to “return within a year,” but it still offers free shipping and returns to its credit card users.
A good place for shoes and boots. The Verge editor who recommended it says “I’ve gotten more compliments on the stuff I’ve bought from this site, and they’re well-made and comfortable.”
It’s a bit obvious, but if you’re looking to buy an Apple product, Apple.com will have it.
Having started as a photography outlet back in the 1970s (and still a major source for cameras and other photo equipment), B&H has become a great place to shop for all sorts of tech. Be aware that the site is closed Friday through Saturday evenings.
Best Buy is a major source for tech, and is a good place to check for deals, especially when it’s competing against Amazon for buyers with price-matched sales.
Perhaps not as well known as Best Buy, Micro Center is another good source to check for deals on electronics, including a wide selection of computer parts if you’re into building your own.
Described on its site as carrying a wide range of consumer electronics, entertainment, smart home and gaming products, Newegg has been a major source for tech since 2001.
Games & outdoor sports
A good place to shop for bicycling enthusiasts. One staffer writes, “weird site but bought my last two bikes there.”
An outlet for both major and indie RPGs and, according to one shopper, “it’s got a good recommendation engine, it has instant PDF download, and it remembers what you bought so if you lose access to your PDFs (say in a computer crash) you can re-download them there.”
Calling itself a co-op rather than a store, REI sells all sorts of clothing and gear for hiking, camping, boating, snowboarding and a multitude of other outdoor recreational activities.
Let’s face it, eBay is still the site to visit when you’re looking for something that you can’t find anywhere else, especially if you want to try to find it used.
Target offers deals on a wide range of products, including clothing, furniture, pharmacy goods, kitchen gadgets, and electronics.
Once concentrating on selling surplus goods, Overstock now is a major online retailer that also offers new products. It’s worth a glance to see if you can get something for a lesser price.
What’s there to say? It’s Walmart, known for being a bargain store for all sorts of home goods, from household supplies to furniture and toys; it also has a large technology section.
Gifts and crafts
While it’s gotten much bigger and harder to browse through than back in its more modest days, and there have been some recent controversies over new pricing policies, Etsy is still the site to visit if you’re looking for crafts and interesting hand-made gift items.
The site for anyone who likes pens, notebooks, or anything that has to do with reading and writing. Not inexpensive, but a great place to find a gift for a literary friend.
Formerly Love Knitting, this site caters to those who enjoy knitting, crocheting, and all sorts of needlework. A long-time user at The Verge writes, “Like most hobbyists, I appreciate a specialized site that’s trying to do one thing well. Amazon has a lot of yarn but I don’t trust it the way I trust Love Knitting; the collection of free patterns at Love Knitting is also great.”
Once a shop in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, the Penguin Gift Shop is the place to find all things penguin, including toys, costumes and housewares. And who doesn’t like penguins?
Home and furniture
While Home Depot is known mostly for its cavernous stores that offer supplies to professional and amateur home builders and renovators, its huge inventory — including furniture, kitchen appliances, and cleaning aids — is available online as well.
This Scandinavian furniture store is notorious both for its mind-boggling assembly directions and its popularity for offering good-looking lowish-cost products. You’ll need to pay for shipping, but you no longer need to find a store and stuff the flatpack boxes into a car.
Personal and family products
A well-known shopping site where you can buy clothing, toys, and gadgets for infants and toddlers; one staffer reports that he used it “a bunch when the kiddos were little.”
Offers a wide range of cosmetics and other beauty products. From a fan: “Fewer counterfeits, plus a brick-and-mortar store in case I want to try the skincare out IRL, or just pocket a sample for later.”
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