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Amazon is like Wal-Mart – cluttered, visually overwhelming, and busy. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’d like a change of pace today’s Cool Websites and Apps rounds up five websites for low-stress Amazon browsing. These sites offer a curated subsection of Amazon’s overwhelming offerings, in a way that’s more relaxing to browse than Amazon itself.
Over the years we’ve put together an ultimate guide to shopping on Amazon and compiled more than a few Amazon tips and tricks, but all the knowledge in the world doesn’t change the fact that Amazon is a massive site with its fair share of clutter. Let’s look at some alternative store fronts that still let you shop at Amazon, shall we?
Canopy (Web, iOS): Curated Amazon Products
Imagine if Amazon really worked hard to make sure their site was beautiful. I think the result would look a lot like Canopy.
This site is clean, and the focus is on pictures. The layout makes a statement, and the kinds of products offered seem to fall in line with that: there’s an emphasis on well-designed, useful products.
Everything here is reader curated – you can install a Chrome plugin if you’d like to try your hand at submission. There’s also a monthly set of featured items, all around a particular theme. You can also browse items by category.
So there are plenty of ways to discover something new. I personally created a pretty good Christmas starter list going through this site, and I bet you’ll find some interesting things too.
Weird.am: Weird Products on Amazon
And now for something completely different. Whereas Canopy has a particular aesthetic, Weird.am is thinking more about its subject matter: things that are weird. And it delivers.
Honestly, I’ve got to stop looking at this one – it’s just too much. Let me know about anything particularly great you find in the comments below though, okay?
Up Down Left Right: Browse Some Great Board Games
If you’re looking for a new game to play, or thinking about buying a well-designed game for a friend, consider exploring this site first. It couldn’t be much simpler: it’s just a bunch of images of games with links to Amazon.
There are a few choices here, but not enough to be overwhelming. Which is sort of the idea with these sorts of sites.
The Forklift: Realtime Warehouse Deals
Have you ever wondered what happens to items you return on Amazon? Turns out they’re sold as “Warehouse deals”, a category that, according to The Forklift, includes “returned, warehouse-damaged, used, or refurbished products that are in good condition but do not meet Amazon.com rigorous standards as ‘new'”.
And the Forklift should know because their realtime site shows you what Warehouse Deals are popping into existence right this second.. Open the site and you’ll see a steady stream of discounted items. You’ll see the deals pop up in realtime, so you can grab them quickly – hopefully before anyone. This could be potentially addictive, so be careful not to spend all your money in one sitting.
Filler Item: When You’re Oh-So-Close to Free Shipping
Those of us who aren’t sure if Amazon Prime is a good deal know the struggle of a purchase that’s just a few dollars away from free shipping. Filler Item lets you find cheap items to add to your order, so you can get the free shipping.
It sounds pointless, but sometimes this will save you money. We’ve talked about filler items for Amazon before, but the topic seemed worth revisiting just in case any of you needs it after checking out all these sites.
How Do You Browse Amazon?
When it comes to Amazon, I could go on and on. There’s Clearcut for Chrome, which offers a simpler Amazon homepage, and there’s the delightful Random Amazon Product [Discontinued], which does exactly what you’d expect. And of course, there are all sorts of free things you can do on Amazon, including selling your used stuff.
So yeah, there’s a lot to discover on Amazon and all sorts of sites to help you do that. I want to know what your favorites are, so please: fill me in using the comments below. I know you guys found all sorts of things better than the above ones: prove it.