Privacy when shopping online

I use technology in a relatively private manor, and on top of that, I use mostly open source software (I know this isn’t directly beneficial to privacy, but I like the freedom. I use only proprietary banking apps I need for a secure experience, and ofc the websites of banking services, carrier services, government services - the stuff you need to use).

But, what about shopping online? We don’t exactly have an alternative to something like Amazon? And it’s not like other e-commerce sites will respect your privacy to much higher degree?

So, what is the best solution to this? As far as I understand, the only truly private way of using a site like Amazon, would be to use a VPN or Tor, a private payment service, AND, crucially, a PO box?

This is obviously not a very convenient or accessible solution. Are there any other options, or recommendations, that would improve privacy when shopping online?


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Well, there’s no getting around the fact that you have to physically receive your delivery right? I’m assuming the most inconvenient aspect for you is getting a PO box, because a VPN and private payment service aren’t too challenging to use.

Ironically the most accessible private option—at least in the US and a couple other countries—is probably Amazon Lockers. There are other parcel locker solutions from other companies, and of course regular PO boxes are available virtually everywhere.

To be honest, using a PO box or (probably even better) a private/virtual mailbox consistently is probably one of the most beneficial things you can do to protect your physical privacy from people online. It’s worth the inconvenience.

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I havent had much luck with these PO boxes and I’ve heard (but not really tried) that a lot of the couriers outright refuse to deliver to one.

I just deliver it to a workplace but the problem remains that credit cards still need your personal info for billing purposes.

Fun fact: I had no issues so far with PO boxes and our carriers straight up love them, because they can dump a lot or parcels at once.

But I’m still searching for a “private payment service” you could use inside the EU. If I ever find one I might put it up for the “tool suggestion”


For private payment services: there’s a few websites where you can buy gift cards for many shops (including Amazon) using Monero. Of course you lose twice on fees, once when you convert fiat to Monero (unless you already have Monero), and then when you buy the gift card (as these services have a fee or markup).