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Amazon alternatives: do they even exist?

amazon alternatives

Amazon achieved annual sales of approximately USD 280 billion in 2019, employs more than 800,000 people, and is constantly growing, making it the largest online retailer in the world.

In the press, however, Amazon has been doing less well of late. Among other things, the working conditions in the shipping centres of the Internet giant and the methodical destruction of new products are criticised. In addition, the industry fears that market leader Amazon will gain too much “power” from the multitude of user data, abuse it, and use it for its own benefit.

Anyone who looks around for alternatives based on these headlines will quickly notice that it doesn’t always have to be Amazon. In this article, you can find out what alternatives to Amazon there are and what makes them stand out.

The most popular Amazon alternatives at a glance

Amazon Alternative #1: Thalia, the online and local bookstore

Thalia is a bookstore with over 340 branches in Germany and Austria. It is considered the market leader in the retail book trade in German-speaking countries. But Thalia is also represented online and, in addition to books, also offers music and films at reasonable prices. You will also find an amazing selection in categories such as technology, living, and toys.

The shipping conditions are also a big plus for buyers in the online shop: if your order includes a book, the entire delivery is free of charge, even if the order value is less than €20. If there are any other items in your shopping cart, the order is also free of shipping costs with an order value of 20 euros.

If you want to exchange ordered goods, you can do this both online and in a local branch; the online shop and the branches belong together.

This results in another advantage: You will be personally advised on your concerns by employees in the Thalia branches. The online and on-site bookstore is therefore an ideal alternative to the billion-dollar Amazon corporation.

Amazon Alternative #2: Otto.de: The all-rounder with good conditions

In the meantime, it is not enough to simply associate Otto.de with clothing or fashion. The mail-order company has greatly expanded its range, adapted to the needs of customers, and sells goods from all areas. Whether it’s items from the technology, sports, or household categories, you’ll find almost everything at Otto.

There are often special offers that are limited in time and greatly reduced in price. There are also a variety of payment options and 24/7 customer support.

With the first order, customers receive the so-called digital “UP savings book.” For each item that you have bought and rated, you receive 1€ on your UP savings book, thereby collecting credit that you can use for the next purchase.

In addition, Otto offers monthly voucher promotions where you can save certain percentages.

In contrast to Amazon, everything at Otto comes from one source, which means that you only pay shipping once per order for everything you buy. Shipping for available items takes one to a maximum of two days.

Amazon Alternative #3: Fairmondo: The Fair Online Marketplace

Fairmondo offers a fair Amazon alternative. Suppliers and customers of all kinds can buy or sell both new and used products. But Fairmondo also offers the possibility of exchanging, lending, or even giving away products. They pay attention to sustainable, high-quality, and fairly traded products. Fairmondo is organised as a cooperative, and over 2,000 members support this project.

Fairmondo is a good alternative to Amazon, especially when it comes to books. But the fair online marketplace also offers numerous products on topics such as living, fashion, or food. Customers can use various filters to search specifically for ecological or used items.

In addition, 1% of the sales proceeds are donated to initiatives that fight corruption. Surely anyone can say that. Fairmondo, however, provides insight into its earnings and makes its banking transactions transparent.


So there are definitely alternatives to Amazon. The range of alternative online retailers mentioned is similarly extensive, but the selection is smaller.

Even if Amazon scores with low prices and a convenient ordering process, there are still some advantages to using the Amazon alternatives mentioned, for example, through fair trade and ecological products, attractive shipping conditions, or voucher campaigns. In addition, “smaller” online retailers are offered the opportunity to exploit their potential and establish themselves on the market.

On the other hand, Amazon, due to the large number of users, results in a comprehensive evaluation of the products, which is of high value for the users and ultimately also decisive for the purchase.

At the end of the day, it is a personal matter whether you decide to buy from the billion-dollar company Amazon or look around for Amazon alternatives such as Otto, Thalia, or Fairmondo.

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