Online Shopping
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Can't Get It on Amazon? Where to Shop Instead

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Online Shopping
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Other Places to Order

For plenty of customers, Amazon is synonymous with online shopping. But right now, the company is struggling under the weight of unprecedented demand stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, and orders that would have previously shown up on your doorstep in one or two days might instead take weeks to arrive if the online mega-retailer deems them "nonessential." Wondering where else to look? Here are some of your options. (While you're shopping, keep these 16 Insider Tips and Secrets for Frugal Online Shopping in mind, too.)

Packages
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A Note About Shipping Delays

Nearly all retailers warn that shipping delays are possible due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19. If you need something in short order but don't want to shop in store, consider ordering online and using curbside pickup, now an option at many major retailers. Also, consider shopping small. Whether you buy from a niche website or a local business, these retailers may be less overwhelmed than their larger counterparts.

Related: 12 Tips and Tricks to Make Grocery Pickup Worth Trying

Target
Target by Mike Mozart (CC BY)
Walmart
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Basics: Walmart

Like Target, Walmart offers free shipping for orders over $35, but it has also been scrambling to keep up with demand. Speed depends on what you order, ranging from two-day delivery to standard three- to five-day shipping. While Walmart normally offers next-day delivery in certain areas, the service has temporarily been suspended during the pandemic. In-store pickup is available, but curbside is an option only for groceries, not other merchandise.

Related: 13 Hacks and Secrets for Shopping at Walmart

Costco Return Policy
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Basics: Costco

First, a caveat: Costco is experiencing major delays fulfilling online grocery orders, asking customers to allow up to five days for what should be same-day delivery and 14 days for two-day orders. Non-food orders are likely a safer bet, though the store does warn that there could still be some delays. Shipping fees vary by item, but many items ship for free. (Not a member? You can still shop Costco online, but you'll pay a 5% surcharge. You can also apply here for a membership.)

Related: 12 Tips for Shopping at Costco If You Live in a Small Home

For Most Anything, Try Amazon and eBay
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Basics: eBay

The beauty of eBay is especially apparent right now. If you're ordering something from a well-reviewed individual seller, shipping hiccups are a lot less likely. The company reports that most orders are being filled and shipped without any issues, though it is advising sellers to warn buyers of any potential exceptions.

Best Buy Price-Match Policy
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Electronics: Best Buy

At Best Buy, $35 is also the magic number for free standard shipping, and the store also offers contactless curbside pickup. While appliances and other large items are still being delivered, the chain has temporarily halted installation and haul-away services. It is offering free virtual consultations on appliances, smart-home tech, and other projects.

Newegg
Newegg

Electronics: Newegg

This sizable tech e-retailer offers free standard shipping on plenty of items and says it remains committed to shipping on time with its "distributed and durable" supply chain. Like Amazon, there are third-party sellers that may range from impressive to unreliable, so stick to products sold and shipped by Newegg to minimize your chances of any issues.

B&H
B&H

Electronics: B&H

While most well-known for photography equipment, B&H sells a range of electronics, including TVs and game consoles. Most orders over $49 get free one- to three-day shipping, and most orders under that number get free standard shipping. A customer service representative reported that all in-stock items are shipping on time despite the pandemic.

Kohl's
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Clothing and Shoes: Kohl's

While Kohl's stores are temporarily closed, the department store's website remains very much open for business. Free standard shipping is available for orders of $75 and up, and the chain has also rolled out free, limited-contact curbside pickup where local authorities allow it.

Zappos!
Zappos! by Robert Stinnett (CC BY)
Macy's
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Clothing and Shoes: Macy's

Like Kohl's, Macy's has closed all of its bricks-and-mortar stores but continues to operate online. The department store giant says it is "working hard to deliver items in a timely manner" but notes delays are possible. All orders of $25 and up get free standard shipping, and curbside pickup is an option at some locations.

Lowe's
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Home Improvement: Lowe's

At Lowe's, the magic number to get free shipping is $45, and curbside pickup is available for customers who want to pick up their order locally without going into stores. Contactless deliveries are being carried out whenever possible, but appliance deliveries are continuing with enhanced safety measures, such as associates asking whether anyone in the home has tested positive for COVID-19.

Home Depot
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Home Improvement: Home Depot

Like Lowe's, Home Depot offers free shipping for orders over $45, and thousands of items are eligible for two-day delivery; same- and next-day services have temporarily been suspended. Curbside delivery is in place for customers to safely pick up orders locally. Appliance delivery is free for orders of $396 or more, and associates have been instructed to follow preventive measures like disinfecting frequently touched objects.

Ace Hardware
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Home Improvement: Ace Hardware

Don't overlook Ace if you need tools or other home-improvement goods: Its stores are locally owned, and it's providing similar conveniences as the big guys, including free curbside pickup, plus delivery from local stores in as little as one day. Shipping is free on orders of $50 or more for Ace Rewards members.

Barnes & Noble - Francis Scott Key Mall
Barnes & Noble - Francis Scott Key Mall by Mike Kalasnik (CC BY-SA)

Books: Barnes and Noble

Though the largest bricks-and-mortar bookseller in the U.S. has closed many stores during the pandemic, it is offering free curbside pickup at most locations. It offers free shipping on orders of $35 and up, but notes delivery delays are possible.

Bookshop.org
Bookshop.org

Books: Bookshop.org

Want to shop local? If your local independent bookstore doesn't sell on its own website (many don't), check out Bookshop.org. This new platform gives its indie partners 30% of every sale, and additionally splits 10% of overall sales among members every six months. Shipping fees vary, and while shipping can normally be as fast as a few days, the site does warn coronavirus-related delays are possible.

ThriftBooks
ThriftBooks

Books: ThriftBooks

Used books are just fine for many avid readers, and your pocketbook will sure thank you. ThriftBooks boasts 13 million titles that are available for shipping. Standard shipping is free for orders of $10 and up; under that, you'll pay 99 cents an item. The site notes that delays are possible, but that's primarily for international orders.

The Alternate Spelling Should Have Been a Tip Off
The Alternate Spelling Should Have Been a Tip Off by Rick Cameron (CC BY-NC-ND)
PetSmart
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Pets: PetSmart

Need something right away? PetSmart, which acquired Chewy in 2017, remains open in most places and now offers curbside pickup, with 10% off for customers who choose that option. Shipping is free for orders over $49, and auto ship orders save an additional 5%.

Petco
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Pets: Petco

At Petco, you need to spend $35 to get free one- to two-day shipping, and the store is open and providing same-day curbside pickup with a 10% discount for those essentials that can't wait. Signing up for repeat delivery means an additional 5% savings.

Dick's Sporting Goods
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Sports/Outdoors: Dick's Sporting Goods

Shipping is free on all orders over $49 from Dick's, though the chain notes there may be longer delivery times due to the pandemic. It has also suspended room-of-choice delivery and assembly services for bulkier items. Contactless curbside delivery is also being offered at many stores, including some that remain closed to in-person shopping.

REI
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Sports/Outdoors: REI

While REI stores are temporarily closed, the chain is offering free standard shipping on all online orders from both REI and REI Outlet. Higher demand may mean deliveries are taking longer than usual. While REI says curbside pickup is in the works, it's not yet available and will be subject to local restrictions when it does roll out.

Wayfair
Wayfair

Furniture and Home: Wayfair

You'll get free shipping from Wayfair, even on the bulkiest bookshelves and couches, as long as your order totals $49 or more. The company reports that deliveries are mostly operating on schedule, but it has suspended white-glove and room-of-choice delivery as well as in-home assembly and installation. Delivery teams have received additional training on social distancing.

Overstock
Overstock

Furniture and Home: Overstock

While Overstock warns that customers may experience "longer shipping and delivery time frames," it does offer free standard shipping for every order within the continental U.S. Like Wayfair, it has suspended in-home delivery during the pandemic.