Amazon itself sells more than 12 million products but factor in Marketplace sellers, and that number jumps to more than 350 million. And this is the site’s busiest time of year.
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With all the different products and sellers, how do you know what you’re actually going to receive? You might not be aware, but Amazon actually owns a number of brands besides Amazon Basics and Essentials and has other brands exclusive to its site. If you want to know who you’re actually buying from, a handy new browser extension can help.
Here’s the backstory
An investigation by The Markup into Amazon’s offerings and algorithms uncovered that Amazon brands are more likely to appear in search results, which isn’t all that surprising. But that’s not all.
Amazon tends to be slightly mysterious in revealing which brands are exclusively affiliated with or owned by Amazon. While a product could have an Amazon affiliation, they might promote themselves under an entirely different name.
Following the investigation, The Markup decided to create a browser extension to clarify this information, so shoppers have a better idea who they are buying from.
Amazon Brand Detector
Amazon Brand Detector is available as an extension for both Chrome and Firefox, which you can download using the links below:
Once installed, visit Amazon and run a search. Let’s keep it to something generic like “desk,” which will return thousands of results. Click on the Amazon Brand Detector icon your browser’s tool bar and it’ll get to work.
Anything sold by Amazon or an exclusive brand will be highlighted. Of course the Amazon Basics Classic Home Office Computer Desk with Shelves was highlighted, but so were others. That includes the BANTI Adjustable Height Standing Desk with Drawers and the ROCKPOINT Axess Computer Desk with Keyboard Tray. Who knew?
Run another general search for something like “phone charger,” and you’ll get other highlighted results from brands like Deegotech, which Amazon labels as “Featured from our brands.”
If there are no Amazon-owned or otherwise exclusive products listed on the page, the extension will also notify you of this so you can keep on searching. But you might be surprised at just how many products you find highlighted.
Now you’ll at least have a little more clarity about what you’re actually buying. Happy shopping!