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Alternatives to Amazon vouchers

Amazon vouchers are the go-to survey participation reward for many organisations and an easy stocking filler at Christmas. 

But what can you do if you want to give a gift voucher and avoid Amazon? 

"Take our survey and win a £20 Amazon voucher!" "Participate in our study, and in return, we’ll give you £50 in Amazon vouchers!" 

Most of us have seen invites like this in some shape or form. Amazon vouchers have been used as an incentive for many years. 

Our research shows that 69% of UK universities have increased their Amazon voucher spending in recent years.

And gift vouchers are used by many people for different occasions, from Christmas to wedding presents. 

Find ethical gift vouchers instead of using Amazon

Vouchers from ethical companies are very much available. 

We’ve compiled a list of companies with high ethical ratings that offer gift vouchers, for those who want to avoid Amazon (for reasons of tax, workers' rights and the environment for example) and who want to support ethical businesses instead. 

These companies cover a broad range of products - books, electronics, food and pet food - and offer vouchers. 

The table below focuses on the recommended and best buy companies from our bookshop and online retailers guides that offer vouchers. Below the table we've listed other companies from these guides who provide vouchers, all of whom score more than Amazon.

So if you'd like to offer vouchers professionally or just want to get someone a gift certificate, we suggest you look at our lists and choose from there. 

Vouchers by bookshops and ethical online retailers 

Retailer Audio books Books Clothing Food & drink Gifts Home & garden Personal care Pets
Amnesty Shop     Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Biblio   Yes    Yes Yes      Yes            
Ethical Shop   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Guardian Bookshop   Yes            
Hive Yes Yes            
Veo     Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Viva! Shop   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
xigxag Yes              

Other alternatives to Amazon for vouchers 

Some of the other companies in our bookshops guide and ethical online retailers guide also offer gift vouchers. The options include:

  • Apple iBooks 
  • Blackwell's (bookshop)
  • Daunt Books
  • eBay
  • Ethical Superstore
  • Etsy
  • Foyles (bookshop)
  • Google Books 
  • Hatchards (books)
  • John Lewis
  • Natural Collection
  • Rakuten Kobo (books)
  • Richer Sounds (electronics)
  • Social Supermarket
  • Waterstones 
  • WHSmith 

To find out more about any of the companies and links to their profiles, go to the bookshop guide or the online retailers guide.

Why avoid Amazon?

There is a long list of accusations against Amazon, from offering its services to fossil fuel giants to firing workers who try to unionise.

Below are a few reasons to take a break from Amazon:

  • Its flagrant tax avoidance
  • It has a poor record on workers’ rights
  • It threatens small independent businesses
  • It profits from selling services to oil and gas companies
  • It has failed to address its own environmental impacts properly
  • It is repeatedly accused of racism in its technology
  • It creates a hostile environment for unions
  • Its violations of privacy rights

According to new research from Ethical Consumer, over the last 10 years, Amazon is thought to have avoided around £2.8 billion in UK corporation tax through artificial tax arrangements.