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Yes, Virginia, there are online shopping sites beyond Amazon

Save on tech gifts
Save on tech gifts 02:34

Time to go holiday shopping. And if you’re like most online consumers, you’ll probably point your web browser straight to Amazon to peruse the company’s virtual aisles. With its wide range of products, relatively competitive prices, and a Prime account’s promise of free two-day shipping, Amazon has the right stuff to lure in a lot of customers this holiday season. But Amazon is far from the only place you can shop, especially for the holidays. A variety of other online stores are just waiting for you to plunk down your hard-earned dollars to pick up the right gifts, including:

1. Jet

A veritable newcomer in the world of online shopping sites, Jet opened its doors in January 2014 and is now a subsidiary of WalMart. Jet bills itself as the place where “prices drop as you shop.” Cool, but what exactly does that mean? Well, if you add a product with a special red tag to your shopping cart, the overall cost of your items shrinks. Opt out of Jet’s free return policy, and you’ll also pay less money.

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You’ll find a variety of items stretching across such categories as groceries, furniture, home and garden, appliances, clothing, consumer electronics, books, toys and games, jewelry, and sporting goods.

Free shipping is part of the package with your item arriving from two to five business days, though you’ll have to spend $35 or higher to qualify. The site also promises two-day shipping on thousands of qualifying items. Unlike Amazon with its optional Prime subscription service, Jet charges no annual fees.

2) Overstock

At Overstock, you can shop for anything from furniture to appliances to clothes to jewelry to consumer electronics. The site offers special sales, discounts and weekly deals on a range of products. As with most online retailers, you can browse or search for items and narrow your selection based on brand, price, average customer review, color, size and other criteria.

You can conceivably save substantial bucks if you join Overstock’s Club O Gold membership program. For $19.95 a year, you get free shipping (normally available only if you spend more than $45). You also can earn 5 percent in rewards dollars on every order, up to 40 percent in extra rewards, and 5 percent in dining rewards that you get back from your bill from certain restaurants. As a nice touch, the Club O Gold membership is free to military personnel and veterans, teachers, students and first responders.

3) BuyDig

At BuyDig, you can browse such virtual departments as TVs, computers, video and audio items, drones and other electronic gadgets. But you’ll also find products grouped by games and toys, sports and fitness, jewelry, fashion, and kitchen and housewares. The site offers “blowout” deals, where you can save more than 75 percent off the usual product price. Special coupon codes that pop up can slash that price ever further. Free shipping is included with no minimum order price, while the site throws in a generous 45-day return policy.

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4) Newegg

Shopping for your favorite gadget geek? Then you may want to check out Newegg. This site sells a range of electronics and related items, including computers, software, mobile phones and tablets, gaming gear, office products, toys and home appliances. You can save money through a variety of deals, such as daily deals, deals through email, and deals through Newegg’s mobile app. The site also offers low prices on refurbished and clearance items.

You can opt for a Newegg premier membership. Shell out $19.99 for three months, $29.99 for six months, or $49.99 for a year, and you’ll enjoy the following: free shipping of three days or sooner on qualifying items, free returns, no restocking fees, early bird alerts of special deals, and the ability to add up to four people to your membership.

5) Amazon Smile

Um, weren’t these supposed to be sites beyond Amazon? Yes, and Amazon Smile is Amazon, but with a twist. Buy eligible items at Amazon Smile, and the retail giant will donate a portion of the overall purchase price to charity. You can either accept Amazon Smile’s suggested charity or choose one of your own from among the many organizations listed on the site. Otherwise, Amazon Smile works just like regular Amazon with the same prices, same features, same products and same Prime membership. Shopping at Amazon Smile rather than the traditional Amazon site is just a nice way to coax the retailer into doing what it can for a deserving charity. 

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