A new browser extension promises to show you which products in your Amazon search results are sold by Amazon-owned or exclusive brands, giving you a better idea of who’s selling what you’re buying. It’s called Amazon Brand Detector and uses an Amazon brand list created by The markup, as well as filters and other techniques (detailed here) to detect and highlight products that are part of Amazon’s Our Brands program.
The markup created this extension after its investigation into how Amazon ranks its internal brands in search results and claims that the tool (available for Chrome and Firefox-type browsers) is designed to make searches more transparent. When we tested it, it obviously highlighted Amazon Basics and Essentials products, but it also drew attention to results that were otherwise indistinguishable from those not affiliated with Amazon: a dog leash labeled as manufactured. by Panykoo, socks by Teebulen, a sweater by Ofeefan. .
While Amazon marked some of these results as “featured by our brands,” this was not the case for all. This warning text is also small and gray, which makes it easy to miss if you’re browsing casually (especially since there may not be any affiliate notice on the actual product page) , and the highlighted tool did not appear on each result.
Amazon isn’t necessarily obscure about these brands: it has a page that lists its “select private and exclusive brands,” many of which have legitimate sounding names: Happy Belly, Wag, Nature’s Wonder. Some are private labels owned by Amazon, while others are “curated selections” sold exclusively on Amazon but not necessarily operated by the company.
By clicking through the store pages, there is an array of Amazon brands. Basic Care has a large Amazon logo right at the top, Stone and Beam notes that its products are “exclusively on Amazon” and Rivet’s product names are prefixed with “Amazon Brand”. Meanwhile, Amazon’s branding doesn’t appear on the Goodthreads page unless you watch until the end of a video titled “Fall 2021”. Most Goodthreads products will have the phrase “An Amazon Brand” somewhere on the page, but this is not always visible.
The page also doesn’t list all of Amazon’s brands – there are letter soup brand names highlighted by Amazon Brand Detector like Weeso and other brands like Daily Ritual, which often appeared in the results of research. Although “An Amazon Brand” is listed as a feature of the Daily Ritual Sweater that appears in my search results, this brand is not listed on the “Our Brands” page on Amazon.
As ProPublica points out, traditional grocery stores have long had their own private labels, although stores like Kroger and even Walmart operate on a somewhat smaller scale – items are more hidden on the third page of search results than they are. are on the lower level of a shelf. And, as an advisor to Amazon third-party sellers said ProPublica, Amazon brands take up space on the coveted first page of search results that could go to other brands (some of which may have more positive reviews or higher sales figures). Amazon has denied, however, that it favored its brands in search results. The markup conducts a thorough investigation of how the company weights its results.
For some customers, it doesn’t matter who sells the products, as long as they are decent. But if you’re the type of person who likes to know where the things you buy are coming from (or who doesn’t want to give Amazon more money than they need), it might be worth installing the Amazon Brand extension. Detector. At the very least, the results may end up being interesting – there were a few times during the tests where I went, “Uh … I wouldn’t have guessed it was from Amazon.”
The markup says the extension “does not collect any data” and that it should be compatible with other extensions, such as those that check for fake product reviews.