• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
stewards:
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Beau Davidson
  • Nancy Reading
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • L. Johnson
  • thomas rubino
  • S Rogers

Trying to quit Amazon - alternatives please

 
pollinator
Posts: 1019
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
355
kids dog home care duck rabbit urban books building writing ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Costco: anyone can use the pharmacy and food court without a membership, and the savings can be tremendous.

From there it is quite simple to go "check out" the rest of the facility - although you cannot purchase goods from the general area, without a membership.

For Pet Food (dog/cat) their house brand (Kirkland) dog food is high quality and MUCH lower in cost than the "brand" name pet stores.

Pet food at a regular grocery store is an extreme case of false economy, in most cases. It may seem cheaper, when priced on a "per pound" basis,  but is generally such low quality your "cost per serving" ends up HIGHER than buying good quality food. Costco is the ONLY "grocery store" that offers high quality products at affordable prices - often 50% less than "named" brands.

NOTE: in Canada at least, their claim of free shipping is not quite accurate; instead of a flat fee for shipping, the item cost is almost ALWAYS higher than the in store purchase price.
 
pioneer
Posts: 344
Location: Inter Michigan-Superior Woodland Forest
46
2
transportation gear foraging trees food preservation bike building solar writing woodworking wood heat
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm having trouble understanding how people would recommend known green washers like Walmart and Costco as 'alternatives' to Amazon. Yes amazon is massive and prone to abuse, and it is important to support businesses that operate at a more human scale when practical, but amazon is just a platform. If you are savvy about using the review system, I'd say you stand a much better chance of finding a good product there than with corporations that have demonstrated the inclination to exploit the certification system to maximize monetary profit...
 
gardener
Posts: 1495
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
801
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Lorinne Anderson wrote:Costco: anyone can use the pharmacy and food court without a membership, and the savings can be tremendous.

From there it is quite simple to go "check out" the rest of the facility - although you cannot purchase goods from the general area, without a membership.

For Pet Food (dog/cat) their house brand (Kirkland) dog food is high quality and MUCH lower in cost than the "brand" name pet stores.

Pet food at a regular grocery store is an extreme case of false economy, in most cases. It may seem cheaper, when priced on a "per pound" basis,  but is generally such low quality your "cost per serving" ends up HIGHER than buying good quality food. Costco is the ONLY "grocery store" that offers high quality products at affordable prices - often 50% less than "named" brands.

NOTE: in Canada at least, their claim of free shipping is not quite accurate; instead of a flat fee for shipping, the item cost is almost ALWAYS higher than the in store purchase price.



Thanks Lorinne, alas I had a very different experience. I wasn’t allowed on the premises. They have two guards and it was non negotiable. I explained I had never been to Costcos  and could I look around. They told me to go to the office, which was through the exit. At the exit there were two more guards checking peoples receipts and the contents of their shopping trolleys.  One of them radioed a colleague who escorted me to a queue - there was only one desk open and a lot off people trying to return goods. I stood around for a few minutes, saw all the signs saying how much I’d have to pay, and decided it wasn’t worth it.

As for pet food, good to know for people who buy pet food. My dog has been on a raw food diet her whole life. She’s ten. Never paid a vets bill except for jabs and checkups. The last time, I paid for blood work and the vet said she had the constitution and results of a two year old. Her teeth are white and shiny. It’s my opinion that any commercial pet food is a false economy when you balance it with the cost of vets, especially in the US, and the long term health and wellbeing of the animal. So my alternative to anyone who’s thinking holistically about pet food is to investigate BARF and the excellent ‘Give a dog a bone’ book by Ian Billinghurst.
 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1495
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
801
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dottie Kinn wrote:WOW!  Sounds like Azure Standard is unknown on this blog.  www.AzureStandard.com.  Everything is organic.



Thank you Dottie! That’s just what I’ve been looking for

www.AzureStandard.com
 
pollinator
Posts: 683
Location: Ohio River Valley, Zone 6b
177
purity forest garden foraging food preservation building homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I also fairly well hate Amazon. I was thinking of starting my own website for zero waste natural living and related wares all made locally and by small businesses and craftsmen. I don't want to sell my products on Amazon or Etsy because they charge a lot and their systems are convoluted. Plus, I've heard horror stories about people losing their livelihood on etsy from a single unfounded complaint. My site would be like an online phonebook with all the businesses showcased with their products, but links and contact info going to their own business' homepage.
 
Posts: 944
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
175
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, I agree with the cut-and-paste and find it locally, even if it means a bit of a car trip.  We can always multi-task when we go out in a car that has air pollution controls on it.

One of my objections to Amazon and all delivery-based shopping are the diesel-esque belching ships, planes, and then the delivery trucks that are on the roads and going through neighborhoods to bring ONE item to each house over and over again, trucks going through neighborhoods many times a day.  Diesel settles to the ground and stays there, on lawns where kids play, on soil that grows food, is in the air we breathe.  There never used to be diesel in neighborhoods and on the side of the road near rural houses the way it is now.  

It used to be that the US Postal Service brought the items once a day, they were coming with regular mail anyway, so it didn't add anything to the air.  Our mailman parks his vehicle and walks a whole block, so there was way less starting and stopping and spewing out pollutants.

And the impatience for an item, needing it the next day!!  Whatever happened to planning ahead?  What is happening to our patience with the world, on the road, our need for Stuff?

And the packaging, don't get me started with one-use packaging....



 
Posts: 146
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
3
solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One Competition for Amazon is wish.com
 
Coydon Wallham
pioneer
Posts: 344
Location: Inter Michigan-Superior Woodland Forest
46
2
transportation gear foraging trees food preservation bike building solar writing woodworking wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cristo Balete wrote:Yes, I agree with the cut-and-paste and find it locally, even if it means a bit of a car trip.  We can always multi-task when we go out in a car that has air pollution controls on it.

One of my objections to Amazon and all delivery-based shopping are the diesel-esque belching ships, planes, and then the delivery trucks that are on the roads and going through neighborhoods to bring ONE item to each house over and over again, trucks going through neighborhoods many times a day.  Diesel settles to the ground and stays there, on lawns where kids play, on soil that grows food, is in the air we breathe.  There never used to be diesel in neighborhoods and on the side of the road near rural houses the way it is now.  

It used to be that the US Postal Service brought the items once a day, they were coming with regular mail anyway, so it didn't add anything to the air.  Our mailman parks his vehicle and walks a whole block, so there was way less starting and stopping and spewing out pollutants.

And the impatience for an item, needing it the next day!!  Whatever happened to planning ahead?  What is happening to our patience with the world, on the road, our need for Stuff?

And the packaging, don't get me started with one-use packaging..


Interesting perspective. Of course it is good to focus primarily on moving towards local sourcing and less need for consumer goods, but if talking about compromise in the here and now, I'm thinking for most people the amazon truck making a delivery up the street stopping at their place on the way to a delivery down the street is going to result in less gick emissions overall than the individual navigating to a big box on an errand run. Unless we are keeping the trucks out of residential neighborhoods more deliberately, individual 'boycotts' result in further waste and pollution all around. This is probably different if rural, but my recent experience is that the further from a city you are the more personal vehicles are diesel anyway. Growies and play space is likely well away from the road too.

Would you recommend any scientific-ey articles about modern diesel engines and emissions?
 
author & master steward
Posts: 3500
Location: Southeastern U.S. - Zone 7b
1905
3
goat cat forest garden foraging food preservation fiber arts medical herbs writing solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Coydon Wallham wrote:

Cristo Balete wrote:Yes, I agree with the cut-and-paste and find it locally, even if it means a bit of a car trip.  We can always multi-task when we go out in a car that has air pollution controls on it.

One of my objections to Amazon and all delivery-based shopping are the diesel-esque belching ships, planes, and then the delivery trucks that are on the roads and going through neighborhoods to bring ONE item to each house over and over again, trucks going through neighborhoods many times a day.  Diesel settles to the ground and stays there, on lawns where kids play, on soil that grows food, is in the air we breathe.  There never used to be diesel in neighborhoods and on the side of the road near rural houses the way it is now.  

It used to be that the US Postal Service brought the items once a day, they were coming with regular mail anyway, so it didn't add anything to the air.  Our mailman parks his vehicle and walks a whole block, so there was way less starting and stopping and spewing out pollutants.

And the impatience for an item, needing it the next day!!  Whatever happened to planning ahead?  What is happening to our patience with the world, on the road, our need for Stuff?

And the packaging, don't get me started with one-use packaging..


Interesting perspective. Of course it is good to focus primarily on moving towards local sourcing and less need for consumer goods, but if talking about compromise in the here and now, I'm thinking for most people the amazon truck making a delivery up the street stopping at their place on the way to a delivery down the street is going to result in less gick emissions overall than the individual navigating to a big box on an errand run. Unless we are keeping the trucks out of residential neighborhoods more deliberately, individual 'boycotts' result in further waste and pollution all around. This is probably different if rural, but my recent experience is that the further from a city you are the more personal vehicles are diesel anyway. Growies and play space is likely well away from the road too.

Would you recommend any scientific-ey articles about modern diesel engines and emissions?


I think these topics deserve their own threads. That would keep this one, about Amazon alternatives, on track. The question could be asked in the science and research forum, as long as it keeps the discussion on science and positive solutions.
 
pollinator
Posts: 97
Location: 3,000 ft up in the mountains of the Mid Atlantic, USA
49
trees books cooking ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Coydon Wallham wrote:

I'm thinking for most people the amazon truck making a delivery up the street stopping at their place on the way to a delivery down the street is going to result in less gick emissions overall than the individual navigating to a big box on an errand run.

This is probably different if rural, but my recent experience is that the further from a city you are the more personal vehicles are diesel anyway.



AMEN!

I think you have just given the best answer of all to the pros and cons of amazon use. We live up in the mountains. Best move of our life in terms of healthy living conditions and a supportive community. Zero doubt in my mind we personally will be living longer and healthier lives because of this move. While we use my still great working, and still good looking, 20 year old car to make supply trips out, it is only for mid spring or summertime use. Otherwise for road and weather safety, we are hauling out the massive 4 wheel drive truck so we don't get stuck in snow or hurtle off 5,000 foot icy mountain roads. Ditto on using the big truck when lumber and building supplies won't fit in the car. Depending on the type of supplies needed, it can be anywhere from a 2 to 6 hour round trip. (Don't feel sorry for us, the payoff is living in an incredibly quiet and beautiful mountain setting!) The standard vehicle of use by all in the area is a massive truck for all the reasons stated above.  

We are the first delivery on the UPS route in our area. The driver backs up to our front door and many, many times I've seen inside of his standard size UPS truck. It is Always packed to the gills. It's crammed full of amazon, auto parts, family to family holiday gift boxes, etc.. deliveries. Depending on the size of deliveries to each house, the driver can be making from 50 to 75 stops in ONE delivery day. So there's 50 to 75 trips out not needed by individual families who, prior to amazon, were literally trucking up and over the mountains into "civilization". Now it's done by just one, lone UPS truck.  

I firmly believe amazon use should be judged more on your driving time, year round safety of that driving time and availability of products. We grow year round veges, have our own hens for eggs and are extremely self-sufficient and earth friendly to our 32 acre farm. But, it is simply not practical or even wise to not use amazon for clothing, hard to find items and parts and medical supplies. Yes, I can make a 4 hour round trip and possibly find used item stores that haven't closed due to lack of customers after covid. Might be honorable, but certainly is not real world practicality or ecologically wise. If you currently live in or near a city of any size, it's not too hard to figure out the most fuel guzzling in the US is by single person car commuting. Really have to wonder how many people damning amazon deliveries are being conscientious of their own driving habits which are causing considerably more damage than amazon deliveries. It's like anything else. Use amazon wisely...or you better be walking to that store and lugging your purchases home before you cast a stone towards me!
 
Leigh Tate
author & master steward
Posts: 3500
Location: Southeastern U.S. - Zone 7b
1905
3
goat cat forest garden foraging food preservation fiber arts medical herbs writing solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Molly Gordon wrote:I firmly believe amazon use should be judged more on your driving time, year round safety of that driving time and availability of products. We grow year round veges, have our own hens for eggs and are extremely self-sufficient and earth friendly to our 32 acre farm.


Well said, Molly. I think one takeaway from this thread is that we each have to evaluate our own needs versus shopping opportunities. As permies, we're all in route toward more sustainable, environmentally lifestyles. So we do the best we can as we work toward that goal.

My personal preferences are to see if it's something I can make or do for myself. I'm learning to ask, "do I really need that thing?" and "Is there another way to accomplish the task?" Figuring out needs versus wants has helped me a lot for many items. If I need to buy it, then I look for a local small business option first, then an online small business. After that it's local big-name chain stores and then the big name internet sites.
 
Coydon Wallham
pioneer
Posts: 344
Location: Inter Michigan-Superior Woodland Forest
46
2
transportation gear foraging trees food preservation bike building solar writing woodworking wood heat
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Molly Gordon wrote:AMEN!

I think you have just given the best answer of all to the pros and cons of amazon use. We live up in the mountains. Best move of our life in terms of healthy living conditions and a supportive community. Zero doubt in my mind we personally will be living longer and healthier lives because of this move. While we use my still great working, and still good looking, 20 year old car to make supply trips out, it is only for mid spring or summertime use. Otherwise for road and weather safety, we are hauling out the massive 4 wheel drive truck so we don't get stuck in snow or hurtle off 5,000 foot icy mountain roads. Ditto on using the big truck when lumber and building supplies won't fit in the car. Depending on the type of supplies needed, it can be anywhere from a 2 to 6 hour round trip. (Don't feel sorry for us, the payoff is living in an incredibly quiet and beautiful mountain setting!) The standard vehicle of use by all in the area is a massive truck for all the reasons stated above.  

We are the first delivery on the UPS route in our area. The driver backs up to our front door and many, many times I've seen inside of his standard size UPS truck. It is Always packed to the gills. It's crammed full of amazon, auto parts, family to family holiday gift boxes, etc.. deliveries. Depending on the size of deliveries to each house, the driver can be making from 50 to 75 stops in ONE delivery day. So there's 50 to 75 trips out not needed by individual families who, prior to amazon, were literally trucking up and over the mountains into "civilization". Now it's done by just one, lone UPS truck.  

I firmly believe amazon use should be judged more on your driving time, year round safety of that driving time and availability of products. We grow year round veges, have our own hens for eggs and are extremely self-sufficient and earth friendly to our 32 acre farm. But, it is simply not practical or even wise to not use amazon for clothing, hard to find items and parts and medical supplies. Yes, I can make a 4 hour round trip and possibly find used item stores that haven't closed due to lack of customers after covid. Might be honorable, but certainly is not real world practicality or ecologically wise. If you currently live in or near a city of any size, it's not too hard to figure out the most fuel guzzling in the US is by single person car commuting. Really have to wonder how many people damning amazon deliveries are being conscientious of their own driving habits which are causing considerably more damage than amazon deliveries. It's like anything else. Use amazon wisely...or you better be walking to that store and lugging your purchases home before you cast a stone towards me!


Tying this back in to the original post, the benefits you mention with UPS delivery would be the same for any delivery service. I am seeing a rough hierarchy of choices:

1 Make it from your property/work with neighbors
2 small, local, independent stores
3.4 smallish, trustworthy (co-op?) chain brick and mortar
3.6 independent online services
4 Amazon
5 Big Box/chain stores

Lots of crossover with the 3s and some with 4/5. Just my opinion, going with the numberphilia at permies.com...
 
pollinator
Posts: 938
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
82
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For books - https://www.bookdepository.com
 
pollinator
Posts: 674
150
3
tiny house food preservation cooking rocket stoves homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Goto Amazon, find the product you want.


Next bypass Amazon connect with the company directly and buy from them.      Use Amazon to get the rating system, and the best product then bypass them by going either to the company direct or buy off Ebay.

This is how I approached it, I have stopped buying from Amazon for my own reasons.

Mart
 
Jotham Bessey
Posts: 146
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
3
solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Coydon Wallham wrote:
I am seeing a rough hierarchy of choices:

1 Make it from your property/work with neighbors
2 small, local, independent stores
3.4 smallish, trustworthy (co-op?) chain brick and mortar
3.6 independent online services
4 Amazon
5 Big Box/chain stores

Lots of crossover with the 3s and some with 4/5. Just my opinion, going with the numberphilia at permies.com...



There's crossover with 3/5 as well. If your local chain store doesn't have it in stock, you can often order it on the chain store website for in store pickup. That way you don't get charged delivery!
 
Posts: 78
Location: Cache Valley, Northern Utah (zone 6a, 4,900 elevation)
42
goat duck forest garden foraging trees rabbit food preservation medical herbs writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

nancy sutton wrote:For books - https://www.bookdepository.com



Sorry, Nancy. Seems amazon has taken over this beloved UK book source... :(

   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/jul/09/amazon-book-depository-takeover
 
pollinator
Posts: 224
Location: Midwestern USA
63
trees food preservation medical herbs bee writing homestead
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great topic! Glad to see this thorough discussion. Some thoughts, observations, and a few ideas that haven't been mentioned:

1. I'll echo the sentiment that Etsy is fab. I've compared prices on a few items, such as magazine boxes, shea butter, and beeswax, and the prices on Etsy for all of those were either better or the same, and on Etsy I'm ordering from an independent retailer. If I have a question or issue, a real human being messages me, usually right away. Full disclosure: I'm an Etsy affiliate over at Brunette Gardens.

2. I was also surprised to see the short shrift given to farmer's markets. I've relied on them all of my adult life, and in several different locales. We purchase meat in bulk quantities at a discount directly from farmers we met at farmer's markets. I also learn what produce grows well in my area by checking out what the pros have on their tables.

3. Glad someone mentioned local Chambers of Commerce. As small business owners, we're members of ours, and that grants us a discount at local retailers. We always buy our raw cat food from a small, local business. They give us a great deal with a discount for bulk quantity and another discount for being members of the Chamber.

4. Growing your own food should always be preferable to purchasing it from others, whether organic or conventional.

5. Surprised no one's mentioned bulk trash pickup day. Our entire outdoor furniture collection came from curbside discards, which we've upcycled with paint, natural tung oil, etc. People toss stuff that's still perfectly good, and sometimes that means vintage items that are far better made than anything you can purchase new today.

6. We were invited to join the co-op Frontier, and it's been a great source for many items, especially bulk organic stuff like cocoa that is hard to produce yourself, or hygiene items like dental floss.

7. Artist and craft fairs - also surprised no one's mentioned this. Great way to meet the artist or craftsperson one on one, and you can often haggle on the prices, too.

8. In a thread on alt Halloween candy here on Permies, someone posted about the Vermont Country Store. Buying from there has been part of my shift toward fewer items of higher quality, and I've been thrilled with the clothing and bedding I've found there (flannel sheets...).

Thanks again for the thread. I've made a note of Freecycle, Lehman's, and Misfits (though I'm skeptical of that one). Cheers!


 
Jotham Bessey
Posts: 146
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
3
solar woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Lisa Brunette wrote:Great topic! Glad to see this thorough discussion. Some thoughts, observations, and a few ideas that haven't been mentioned:

1. I'll echo the sentiment that Etsy is fab. I've compared prices on a few items, such as magazine boxes, shea butter, and beeswax, and the prices on Etsy for all of those were either better or the same, and on Etsy I'm ordering from an independent retailer. If I have a question or issue, a real human being messages me, usually right away. Full disclosure: I'm an Etsy affiliate over at Brunette Gardens.

2. I was also surprised to see the short shrift given to farmer's markets. I've relied on them all of my adult life, and in several different locales. We purchase meat in bulk quantities at a discount directly from farmers we met at farmer's markets. I also learn what produce grows well in my area by checking out what the pros have on their tables.

3. Glad someone mentioned local Chambers of Commerce. As small business owners, we're members of ours, and that grants us a discount at local retailers. We always buy our raw cat food from a small, local business. They give us a great deal with a discount for bulk quantity and another discount for being members of the Chamber.

4. Growing your own food should always be preferable to purchasing it from others, whether organic or conventional.

5. Surprised no one's mentioned bulk trash pickup day. Our entire outdoor furniture collection came from curbside discards, which we've upcycled with paint, natural tung oil, etc. People toss stuff that's still perfectly good, and sometimes that means vintage items that are far better made than anything you can purchase new today.

6. We were invited to join the co-op Frontier, and it's been a great source for many items, especially bulk organic stuff like cocoa that is hard to produce yourself, or hygiene items like dental floss.

7. Artist and craft fairs - also surprised no one's mentioned this. Great way to meet the artist or craftsperson one on one, and you can often haggle on the prices, too.

8. In a thread on alt Halloween candy here on Permies, someone posted about the Vermont Country Store. Buying from there has been part of my shift toward fewer items of higher quality, and I've been thrilled with the clothing and bedding I've found there (flannel sheets...).

Thanks again for the thread. I've made a note of Freecycle, Lehman's, and Misfits (though I'm skeptical of that one). Cheers!



Just wanted to make comments on this post:
1. Guess I'll have to do some surfing around the etsy site
2. Wish we had a farmers market! It would even be nice if said farmers would advertise at the craft fair
3.
4. before someone objects WRT price. I've been tracking cost and benefits of growing your own food. If growing your own food is costing more than store purchasing it, you are doing it wrong!!!
5. One persons trash is another persons treasure. I see so much useful stuff put out for bulk trash pickup. Even in the most rural areas. Many times it's just that the person with the discarded material can't use it.
6. Yes, bulk buying to split among group members. Doesn't need to be a co-op. Could be just among 2+ friends.
7. Not only for direct buy but to find local sole proprietor business.
8. After growing your own food, you need to learn to cook from scratch. Might as well learn to make candy while you are at it!
 
Coydon Wallham
pioneer
Posts: 344
Location: Inter Michigan-Superior Woodland Forest
46
2
transportation gear foraging trees food preservation bike building solar writing woodworking wood heat
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have good friends that run a CSA/farmers market, so unconsciously lumped that in with 'neighbours'. So my second draft :

0 figure out it is a consumer gizmo you don't really need
1 Make it from your property/work with neighbors
1.7 farmers/craft market, CSA
2 small, local, independent stores
3.4 smallish, trustworthy (co-op?) chain brick and mortar
3.6 independent online services
4.4 Amazon
4.6 Big Box/chain stores
 
Coydon Wallham
pioneer
Posts: 344
Location: Inter Michigan-Superior Woodland Forest
46
2
transportation gear foraging trees food preservation bike building solar writing woodworking wood heat
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jotham Bessey wrote:There's crossover with 3/5 as well. If your local chain store doesn't have it in stock, you can often order it on the chain store website for in store pickup. That way you don't get charged delivery!


Well, if an option higher on the list isn't available, I look to the next one down. I wouldn't call that a crossover.

Personally I expect to pay a bit more the higher something is on that list (and below the obvious primary choice). The cost of doing business with good people rather than exploiting externalities.

Shipping cost is often part of a scam also. Some places charge a flat rate regardless of destination. Others charge a percentage of price regardless of quantities ordered or weight and shape of the items. I always click through the ordering process of anything I'm considering to get that final shipped price for comparison. If the site doesn't allow that, it's back to the clicking board..
 
Posts: 36
Location: southwestern Wyoming
4
fungi foraging greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I looked up misfits and they don't ship to Wyoming, apparently. Sigh.
 
Posts: 15
Location: Northwest Montana
3
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I use Costco for dry goods every three months or so. They ship free if your order is large enough, and it usually is since it is the "$200.00" dollar store.
I do use Amazon, Walmart, Target whoever has the best price, where I live it's an hour by car to the nearest mall or box store. Oh well... can't be perfect.
Kathryn in Montana
 
Edward Norton
gardener
Posts: 1495
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
801
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I see the feeding frenzy has started with Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails. So far I’ve saved well over a thousand dollars buy not buying anything! Many of my emails are from so called green companies. Buying something green compared with not buying anything or buying secondhand is something none of them mention.

Going to follow my own advice and not buy new stuff for Christmas, instead make or buy second hand.

So instead of alternatives to Amazon that are still selling new, how about alternatives that are second hand?

https://www.depop.com
 
gardener
Posts: 481
Location: Tennessee
289
homeschooling kids urban books writing homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have many beloved but far-away nieces and nephews. My Amazon alternative for *new* educational toys and games, as well as art supplies, books, etc. is the family business "Rainbow Resource Center"  https://www.rainbowresource.com/
 (And their e-newsletter alerted me to a relevant sale which helped me get a very good price on this year's Christmas gifts, too!)
 
Posts: 8
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Vitacost? Newegg?

Although unfortunately Newegg things sometimes ship with Amazon packaging like someone is drop-shipping

 
Posts: 89
33
foraging urban food preservation cooking fiber arts
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In no specific order, some things I do/use in NJ:

1.Stooping / Craigslist free / Freecycle forums - there is SO MUCH STUFF in this area that people are trying to get rid of. With patience and creativity, you can source a lot without spending any money

2. Greenmarkets / "Farmers Markets" (these are larger green markets, indoors, like a grocery store but mostly produce. Some seem to specialize in what would be sold by Misfits Market or Imperfect Foods, off sizes, slightly wonky in some way) like Oakland Farmers Market or 46 Farmers Market. I know there is also a big market in Paterson but I haven't found it yet. Green markets tend to be small and cater to specific ethnicities depending on the neighborhood - great place for herbs for one thing!

3. Indian and Korean supermarkets, not always organic but a good way to add variety, and I often find it to be especially fresh. Some markets include way too much packaging of produce but you can work around it somewhat. I appreciate the wider range of seafood options at Hmart or Food Bazaar too.

4. MOMS Organic Market is. a mid-Atlantic health food chain, they have more of the older hippie vibe that Whole Foods started out with, lots of recycling, organics, personal care.

5. Local hardware stores have such a variety of things, from hardware to cleaning and canning supplies, and I generally find the staff helpful and genial.

6. Estate sales - there are TONS of estate sales, moving sales, downsizing sales selling everything from tools, furniture, appliances, kitchen gear, textiles, sewing gear, on and on.

7. ReStore, the Habitat for Humanity stores have a lot of building supplies, furniture, housewares, repurposed cabinets, leftover flooring, on and on.

8. There are still a lot of mom and pop delis, bakeries, butchers etc. It's some legwork to track them down but they seem to be hanging on. They may not be to everyone's taste but they aren't corporate, that's for sure.

9. Harvest Drop (Harvestdrop.com) was primarily a restaurant wholesaler sourcing from regional producers, but they pivoted to household sales during the pandemic and you can get a large variety of meats, cheese and dairy, produce, mushrooms, mill products, some prepared products delivered to your home in some areas.

10. Purple Dragon Co-op is recommended by a friend, I haven't used it, but their tag line is "Since 1987, Purple Dragon Co-op has provided families and communities in the northeast with the best organic fruit, vegetables and natural products at affordable prices."

11. Recently, I have come across a couple of no-packaging/ bulk stores. They can be a little "aspirational" but it's an option if you don't want to buy things in plastic.

This is just off the top of my head. I have lived in other parts of the US that had better options in some way or another - abundant organic produce , community gardens, large farmers market, etc etc, but in the "bloom where I'm planted" approach, I try to find what works where I am. Maybe these will be helpful to someone else trying to find their way in a new place!
 
Posts: 26
2
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Azure Standard is a great alternative for organic food, products, supplements. From single packages to pallet-loads.  Family owned.
They deliver once a month at specific drop off points all across the US. You can start your own drop off location. Not sure how that works.
You can also order things shipped any time but then you pay for shipping.
 
D Barzilai
Posts: 26
2
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mart Hale wrote:Goto Amazon, find the product you want.


Next bypass Amazon connect with the company directly and buy from them.      Use Amazon to get the rating system, and the best product then bypass them by going either to the company direct or buy off Ebay.

This is how I approached it, I have stopped buying from Amazon for my own reasons.

Mart



100%.
Amazon and Etsy take 30% ish from the businesses.
I find what I want on Amazon  and then found the business’s website if it exists.
On Etsy, I will buy because many sellers only use that platform and don’t have a website or storefront— but if the seller has a website, I order from there first. I want to support the business owner and small business as much as I can. I do occasionally order my cat litter from Amazon because I cannot find the size and brand I like anywhere else :-)
 
D Barzilai
Posts: 26
2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mart Hale wrote:Goto Amazon, find the product you want.


Next bypass Amazon connect with the company directly and buy from them.      Use Amazon to get the rating system, and the best product then bypass them by going either to the company direct or buy off Ebay.

This is how I approached it, I have stopped buying from Amazon for my own reasons.

Mart



Exactly what I do. Even Etsy takes 30% from the sellers, so if they have a website I go order from the business website. I 100% want to support small business, American especially because that’s where I live—but any small business I prefer supporting directly, whether in person or online
 
Posts: 538
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
52
6
hugelkultur fungi trees books food preservation
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another option for online shopping is a startup called https://organicnearby.com/
Their just getting going but if we poor some Permies support their way we might be able to really creat a strong local network of food resilience.  Check it out and if you have anything to sell or contribute they're super easy to work with!

https://organicnearby.com/
 
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A friend of mine uses Mercari to order almost everything she needs.  She will not use Amazon at all.  It seems to have quite a bit of stuff, both new, used and home made.
gift
 
19 skiddable structures microdoc
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic