Amazon.com acts as a middleman in the sale of millions of goods from thousands of vendors all over the world. The quality of those goods varies wildly. To avoid concerns about third-party sellers, you can choose to only buy products procured, owned, and sold by Amazon itself. Here’s how.
“Shipped by Amazon” vs. “Sold by Amazon”
Amazon offers many items that are owned and sold by third-party sellers but “fulfilled” by Amazon. How does it work? Third-party sellers ship items to Amazon’s warehouses. Once the items are sold, Amazon ships them to customers—even with speedy Prime shipping. In return, Amazon gets a cut of each sale, and Amazon keeps costs down by not having to own as much inventory.
In general, buying from third-party sellers on Amazon is safe and works well, but a third-party sale can also be risky. You might not receive the product as advertised (perhaps you’ll receive a different color, model, or style) or in the condition specified. (Some items are sold as new but actually are refurbished.) Some unethical vendors even sell counterfeit items through Amazon.
We’re going to show you a way to find items sourced and owned by Amazon until they are sold and shipped to you. That way, the items you buy are more likely to be authentic and in the condition advertised. Amazon sometimes offers promotional credits that only apply to items sold by Amazon itself, too.
How to Search for Products Sold By Amazon
Currently, to find products sold by Amazon itself through a search, you have to access the desktop version of the Amazon.com website through a web browser. So first, load up Amazon.com—or your country’s version of Amazon. Once there, type what you’re looking for into the search bar and hit “Enter.”
When results appear, look in the sidebar on the left side of the screen. Locate the “Department” section and click one of the departments that applies most to what you’re looking for. This step is necessary to further narrow down results.
For example, here we searched for headphones, so we picked “Electronics” as the department.
After you choose the department, scroll down in the sidebar until you see the “Seller” section. Place a check mark beside “Amazon.com.”
After checking “Amazon.com,” the search results will reload, and you’ll see “Amazon.com” listed in the search criteria just above the results. The items listed below will only be items procured, owned, and sold by Amazon.com itself.
Also, whenever you’re looking at a particular item, you can double-check that it is sold by Amazon by looking under the “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons. If you see “Sold by Amazon.com,” then you’ll know it will come directly from Amazon and not a third-party seller.
Sometimes this information is instead listed under the price as part of a single sentence, such as “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.”
You can also look for this information in the Amazon app on smartphones and tablets. Keep an eye out for the “Sold By” information under the “Add to Cart” button. If it doesn’t say “Sold By Amazon.com,” then the product originated from a third-party seller.
Shopping on Amazon.com can be a minefield of potential issues, from fake customer reviews to scammy sellers. Now you have one more tool in your online arsenal that can help you shop with more confidence online. Good luck!