(This is going to be US-centric, because guess where I happen to live!)
Firstly, I feel like I should acknowledge that I continue to remain deep within the Amazon ecosystem, despite being aware of the corporation's horrendous labor practices. And, yeah, I should stop, but the site is Very Convenient.
Alternatives to Amazon
(See also: The Amazon Pamphlet, Cancel Prime.)
But it's because I've spent over a decade using the site that I'm aware of a 'jack of all trades, master of none' scenario. Amazon tries to do a lot of things to a certain degree of competency, and excels in selection and logistics as a result. But, other companies focusing on their niches tend to provide a better service and often for cheaper.
- Archie Mcphee
- Produces novelties and gag items to delight and prank your friends with.
- Need reading, ya nerd? Here's a selection from independent bookstores.
- Costco Wholesale
half43% of the price of Prime, you can get your Gold Star and have any item from the nearest warehouse shipped to you in 2 days. Even the refrigerated and frozen stuff.
- Internal electronic components for circuit board repair.
- Got a TV that's perfectly fine, except for the part where it doesn't work? Grab some spare parts and fix the bastard.
- Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Co.
- Save literal thousands of dollars on the pharmaceuticals keeping you alive.
- Low-cost retailer for all sorts of A/V equipment and cables, with prices that usually beat Amazon's on equivalent items.
- Monterey Bay Herb Company
- Direct dealer for bulk spices and herbs, because you know it's time for more oregano and cinnamon sticks.
- Loads of PC and networking components and peripherals to get your old and new computers working how you need them to.
- Tower Records
- Vinyls, tapes, and CDs for your listening pleasure.
- Good source for oddball and obscure tools and useful items. Also has a nice selection of drinkware and oversized gummy candy.
Then, with all the money you're saving by not having a Prime membership, you can sign up for a streaming service much more focused to your media interests:
On to the purchases. Prices may have changed since I made this page.
- $375 Sauder Harbor View
- Solid wood L-desk with plenty of room for activities.
- $180 Alera Elusion
- Highly comfortable and customizable chair.
- $40 Megapro Ratcheting Screwdriver
- 90% as good as LTT's for half the price.
- $37 Rollerblade Chair Wheels
- For superior manuverability and immunity to hair-clogs.
- $17 DC Barrel Jack Adapter Kit
- Change 5v A- through L-type power inputs to N (5.5x2.1mm) jacks and hook up USB-DC cables.
- $15 Console Repair Kit
- Screwdrivers, spudgers, and picks to get into your games machines.
- $12 Sony Remote
- If you have or find any Sony Bravia TV, this remote will control it.
- $10 Cedarwood Incense
- 200 sticks of a superb Japanese-style low-smoke incense.
- $10 LightDims
- Pack of stickers to debrighten glaring status LEDs.
According to Project Farm's comparison of non-rechargable AAs, the best value are Amazon Basics (or Rayovac HE), longest lasting are Energizer Lithium, and best balance are Energizer Max. While the best AAAs are from Allmax, simultaneously the cheapest and longest-lasting cells available.
I avoid Duracell alkalines whenever possible, as it seems like in the past 10 years those have become extremely eager to leak.
For rechargeable batteries, Ikea Ladda and Duracell are the most durable, while SmartTools cells offer the best $/mAH.
|Single-Use AAs||Rechargable AAs||Alkaline AAAs|
|Longevity||Energizer U.Li||Gigastone||Fuji EnviroMax|
|Balance||Energizer Max||Ikea Ladda
Got a Mavica? Try a WasabiPower F550. And while they seem to not be manufactured anymore, if you can track down a ProMaster Traveler+, those charge nearly every variant of InfoLithium (and even a few Panasonic batteries).
Avoid Samsung phones as they're at high risk of bloating within 3 years and have combated repairability by patent-trolling OLED screen imports. Avoid Samsung appliances as they're notorious for breaking quickly.
Either avoid or open CyberPower PFCLCD-series UPSes, as many of them contain glue that eventually turns conductive and could potentially short components or start a fire.
Do not buy HP printers, as they lock you into buying expensive first-party ink cartridges. Same for Canon and Dymo. In fact, don't even buy inkjet printers; jump straight to Laser. Much better experience, non-proprietary/easily available parts, and you don't need to worry about toner drying out between prints because it's already just a powder.
Since I'm fine just using some barrelscraper $10 cans from Sony, these recommendations come from the DankPods youtube channel.
"Sparkling Goddesses Hand-Made in New York"
Best Starter Amp/DAC
For microphones, I suggest starting with a $40 Samson Go or Blue Snowball, then upgrade to an Audio-Technica condenser after the big bucks roll in.
As a fan of reducing expenses when possible, I've been seeking out the lowest-charge, highest-quality stuff out there. Here's what I can confidently recommend:
- Webhost: NearlyFreeSpeech.NET (2011--)
- By far the best webhost for a single static site (besides Neocities lol), at under $4/year. But if you should need it, PHP is supported. And despite what the name might make you think, the team is explicitly anti-bigotry.
- Home Phone: voip.ms (2018--)
- The hidden gem of the industry, offering a self-explanatory configuration system and $0.85/mo numbers.
Consumer Cellular (2009-2018)Ting (2018--)
- Expensive phone bills? Fuck that noise, how's $10/mo for unlimited talk and text plus $5/GB sound to ya? Or perhaps something even cheaper?
- Domains: Porkbun (2020--)
- The cheapest domain name registrar on the entire internet. On top of that, they don't charge extra for must-have features like DNS and WHOIS privacy. See how they compare.
FastMail (2011-2022)PurelyMail (2021--)
- If you just need mail and not a bunch of other crap added on, you can have it for only $10/year. (Other low-cost providers: NexusBytes ($3+/yr), Zoho ($12/yr), Tutanota (€12/yr).)
- Cloud Storage: BackBlaze B2
- If you do need to host a lot of large files, it might as well be done for 1/4th the price AWS would charge you.
No matter what you'd choose, I suggest avoiding GoDaddy (overcharges and uses shady upsell tactics), and any webhost owned by EIG (guts and races-to-bottom the companies they own) including BlueHost.
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Originally appeared on Bytemoth's Brook / CC BY-SA
Please enjoy responsibly.