Amazon creates house electronics brand, 'AmazonBasics'

By on September 20, 2009, 2:18 PM
Amazon is looking more like the Web's version of Wal-Mart every day. In addition to its house brand of kitchen tools (Pinzon), outdoor furniture (Strathwood), bed and bath products (Pike Street) and power tools (Denali), the online merchant has entered the consumer electronics domain with the launch of "AmazonBasics."

At this point in time, AmazonBasics doesn't have much to show, with products consisting largely of audio, video, and networking cables, as well as blank discs. One can only assume this selection will grow, however. By embracing private labels, Amazon is taking a page from the book of major retailers like Wal-Mart and Costco, which offer customers low-cost house brands.

Private labels have the potential for higher profit, as they sidestep the middleman. Given the weak economy, I can only assume shoppers are relying on store brands more than ever for savings. I wonder if their continued push to offer house brand items will affect the prices of other Amazon merchants.

User Comments: 1

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Guest said:

House brands aren't manufactured by the "house", but are built to spec by some actual manufacturer. The "house" IS the middleman. The problem is that you're likely to have a hard time learning what those specs are, and how they compare to recognized brand-name products. There is no brand reputation to judge them by. And many reviewers, whether on-line or traditional periodicals, don't include "house" brands in their comparison tests.

Personally, I count on the Amazon brand to stand for quality service and reasonable prices on items that I already know about and can comparison shop -- in other words, to be a reputable merchant. I'm not looking for them to be the brand on the goods they sell.

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