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AmazonBasics is copying all the best products on Amazon and selling them for less

Having a hit product on Amazon can be a huge deal for a company of any size, but Amazon will take note of that success. That may not be a good thing for your continued success, either. As Amazon expands its “Basics” product line, it has started looking at what is successful on its store. When there’s a hit, Amazon might try to make its own version of the product at a lower price. As you can imagine, this is upsetting sellers.

Bloomberg uses the example of a laptop stand that sold in huge numbers over the last decade. Sold by Rain Design, the $43 aluminum stand has almost universally positive reviews. Then Amazon came out with an eerily similar AmazonBasics laptop stand in July of 2015 for $20. Since then, sales of the Rain Design stand have slipped. The company isn’t happy, but Amazon’s stand cleverly avoids infringing on the patented design of the other stand.

AmazonBasics was launched in 2009 with a selection of general products like batteries and cables, but didn’t make many moves beyond that. Several years ago, Amazon suddenly ramped up Basics and began using its massive collection of sales data to launch products that already existed, but at lower prices. If something isn’t an immediate hit, Amazon pulls it and moves on. It doesn’t take as much time or effort to design its own version of something that it already knows people want, so the loss is minor.

Cloning success is certainly the heart of AmazonBasics, but that’s not all the retail giant has up its sleeve. It is increasingly monitoring search and browsing habits to identify products people are looking for but cannot find. That’s an opportunity for Amazon to make a new product to fill a niche.

Amazon shows no signs of stopping now with more than 3,000 AmazonBasics products. Plenty of Amazon sellers probably wish it would, though.

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