Where to shop online that isn’t Amazon, Target or Walmart – ProWellTech
As the closing orders extend indefinitely, online shopping has become a lifeline for people forced to avoid the outside world. Often choosing to shop with a mega company like Amazon, Walmart or Target is the path of least resistance, but there are many reasons to sponsor an alternative.
There are currently ethical issues that revolve around things like worker safety, as COVID-19 takes a toll on the often low-cost essential workers who keep these businesses up and running. It is probably now more important than ever to support small and local businesses, and more and more bricks and mortars announce that they will simply not be able to rebound after the disastrous economic effects of the closure.
Not all of the companies listed below are a small business (Chewy, for example, is owned by the giant PetSmart), but the list compiled by our editorial team below should offer a good variety to help you mix your online purchases.
Food / Household
Prosperous market: organic and non-GMO brands of food, household and beauty products, including healthy food, clean beauty and bath products, safe supplements and non-toxic household cleaners.
Great for: stocking up on healthier food items for pantry and other household needs.
Grove Collaborative: essential eco-friendly household items, including cleaners, personal care, bathroom, products for babies / children and pets.
Great for: stocking up on concentrated cleaners that reduce plastic waste and save travel to the store.
Packaging: online wholesale shopping for groceries, household products and health supplies.
Ideal for: an online alternative to Costco and Sam’s Club for the items you want to buy in bulk. (However, T.P. is often out of stock!)
Products for animals
Chewy: Online pet store offering food, toys, waste and other pet needs, including over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions.
Great for: high quality food and delicacies and skip the vet for prescription refills.
The Farmer’s Dog: subscription service for the delivery of completely natural dog food. Food is proportionate for your dog and delivered to your home.
Great for: delivery of fresh food and for those who want a “set and forget” option for purchasing dog food.
Beauty / baby supplies
The Honest Company: ethical baby supply and beauty company.
Great for: diapers, baby’s needs and beauty, bath and body products without cruelty.
Ulta: hypermarket of beauty products that offers pick-up from home to home and on the sidewalk.
Ideal for: Zoom meeting makeup; skin care products for all the indoor air you live in now.
Sephora: online beauty shop that offers direct shipping.
Great for: makeup, skin care and self-care items, as well as gift packs for those who need a boost.
More polished: online beauty brand that is first of all skin, second make-up.
Great for: skin care, body and makeup.
Books and entertainment
Bookshop.org: This newly launched offering is designed specifically to support independent bookstores in a post-Amazonian era. You can browse a wide range of titles and designate the specific store you want to support and they will get all the profits. With so many bookstores struggling to stay afloat well before the COVID pandemic, this could be Bookshop time.
Ideal for: support of independent bookstores when shopping online.
Powell’s: For book lovers, few things stomp in this Portland mecca. Until things turn on again, online shopping is the next best thing.
Great for: used books galore.
Amoeba Records: for psychic music releases, going directly to the label is often the best solution. Record stores are also a great option. California Amoeba is one of the largest small music chains in the world, but it is among those with an uncertain post-COVID future, having recently announced the expected closure of its Hollywood venue.
Great for: vinyl, CDs and new and used books.
Forbidden planet: this Manhattan pillar has become a reference point for lovers of traditional and indie comics. The store is one of countless currently struggling to stay afloat during the COVID crisis. They started a GoFundMe, but better yet, go order comics.
Great for: Comics, from superheroes to super indie.
Trident Bookstore: This gem from a Boston bookstore has survived a season of fires and endings, so you know it’s special. He’s selling books across the United States right now (and if you’re in Boston, he’ll add brunch too).
Great for: famous and undercover titles. Also, professional tip: you can purchase a “creative add-on” in the package like a surprise puzzle or a greeting card package, depending on availability.
Los Angeles Clothing: This site sells three packs of masks in a variety of colors and all purchases help fund their ability to donate masks to essential services and provide living wages.
Great for: a comfortable cotton mask that is also good for you.
Donkaka.com: fashionable masks sold directly to the consumer with free shipping.
Great for: stylist, reusable comfort.
Small pleasures and ornaments
The Little Market: This non-profit organization sells fair trade goods produced by needy people, from people with disabilities to women who pass by homeless people.
Excellent for: candles, tote bags, soaps and sugar scrubs.
Uncommon items: unique gifts, decorations, games and more
Great for: unusual items to break the boredom of quarantine, especially children’s crafts and toys for parents whose children are now tired of every toy in the house.