My question this time is about alternatives to Amazon. I know Amazon is a terrible company with monopoly power that treats its workers terribly, and I know I should use them less. But I had a hard time doing that until recently when all of a sudden I was paying for Prime shipping and not *getting* Prime shipping. At first I thought it was a mistake (this just happened starting in June 2021, so not a covid thing, but maybe a not wanting to pay workers thing), but after being on the phone with several customer service people and getting a really irritating letter from them saying that Prime shipping has NEVER been getting something in 2 days, it’s always been 2 day shipping after the item is sent (not true!) … it’s now less convenient for me to use them and this might be the push I need to cancel Prime and start supporting other businesses. . . within reason. I’m not rich and I can’t always afford to pay shipping and handling that costs the same amount as the item does.
So, it’s been hard to figure out alternatives. Most recently I’ve been trying to find a new Bloom Daily planner and birdseed (since my local grocery store no longer carries birdseed). I’m out of the habit of knowing where to shop if it’s not Amazon. What are some alternatives?
Does Chewy.com carry birdseed? That’s where we’ve been getting our cat supplies if the grocery store doesn’t carry them. If you buy enough stuff in one order, s/h is free.
Walmart.com is also an evil company, but it does carry Bloom Daily planners. I feel like it’s not quite as evil as Amazon (but maybe I’m wrong?) Like, it’s evil, but a lot of the damage was done decades ago when it killed local businesses and now it has to compete with online shopping? They’re still bad.
I do a lot of shopping at Target and Home Depot. Also big companies, but I can either get stuff delivered directly to me or to the store.
Etsy sometimes has off-the-wall things that I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere other than Amazon.
Those are big companies. You can also go the exact opposite direction: Do you have a Buy Nothing group? Freecycle? Craigslist? Nextdoor? These won’t help for planners or birdseed, but maybe for things you don’t mind getting used. For us, these worked well when we’ve lived in cities, but not so well where we live now.
Similarly you can buy directly from the company you’re trying to get the item from. Though I’m also having the same problem with planners… I’m having a hard time paying $10-$15 in shipping (it varies by the day) to buy a Passion Planner from their website. If they were in stock on Amazon, you bet I’d be buying from there to save on shipping. I will eventually buy one sometime in July (they have an August start), but I suspect Amazon will have them in stock by then. I may buy from the company anyway once DH starts getting paychecks and reimbursements. (Though yes, we can afford $45 for the planner + shipping even before he gets paid.)
Grumpy Nation: What are your Amazon alternatives? Also, have you been having problems with their shipping suddenly being slow?