Books and music (alternatives to Amazon)

My attempt to boycott Amazon has now lasted 2 years – so far so good, even after Christmas! The main reason I’m committed to finding alternatives to the mega-supplier that is Amazon comes down to its tax practices – its UK subsidiary paid less than 0.1% tax in 2012. Not only does this mean that our country is not benefiting from those tax revenues (are we really all in it together??) but it gives it a huge price advantage over smaller booksellers etc who cannot structure themselves in such a way to avoid being liable for tax as Amazon does. While it is not doing anything illegal it is unquestionably immoral. Have a look at this article for Triodos Bank’s analysis of this issue. Furthermore, it also treats its staff terribly.

An alternative to directly buying from Amazon is to buy from one of the companies through Amazon’s Marketplace, or even better, find that company’s own web-site (outside of Amazon) and buy the item directly from their site, so ensuring that Amazon does not get a cut of their revenues.

But boycotting Amazon altogether would be the ideal – for all the many reasons that Amazon Anonymous states. Together with Ethical Consumer, they have put together a useful Christmas Amazon-Free shopping guide.

Below are a few alternatives-to-Amazon suppliers you could try…

.           Better World Books – keeps books out of landfill and supports literacy. The world’s biggest socially responsible used bookseller. Not a charity, but a pioneering social business.

.           Alibris – if you like to support independent book-sellers but like the convenience of shopping on-line this could be the site for you.

.           Practical Action’s Development Bookshop or Zed Books – for books relating to development, climate change, politics, micro-finance, gender and diversity etc.

.          News From Nowhere – Liverpool’s independent, not-for-profit radical & community bookshop, run by a workers’ co-operative

.           Use Good Books – every time you make a purchase, 100% of the retail profit goes directly to fund projects in partnership with Oxfam.

.           Book Aid – if you’re lucky enough to live near a Book Aid second-hand book shop make use of it! And don’t forget they love donations of books too.

.           Fair Share Music – award-winning music download store that turns downloads into charity donations.

.           Aslan Christian Books – your one-stop-shop for quality Christian books and media at great value prices. They aim to provide you with all the resources you need for the Christian life – from the latest Christian books and Bibles to CDs, DVDs, cards and gifts.

.           Greenshop – one of the UK’s leading environmental retailers stocks a useful range of books.

.           Friends of the Earth shop – they stock an extensive selection of thought-provoking books.

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