Amazon launched a house brand, called AmazonBasics, in 2009. It was originally a way for Amazon to sell low-cost, generic versions of electronics accessories, like cables and plugs. Over time, Amazon has expanded its offerings dramatically, to the point where it’s difficult to see how the brand still refers to “basic” products.
Quartz trawled through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, which archives websites throughout the history of the web, to see how many products Amazon has offered on its AmazonBasics landing page. The earliest archived result is for Jun. 8, 2013, when 252 products were listed for sale. Four and a half years later, there are currently 1,506 products for sale.
Amazon declined to comment on whether this was an accurate reflection of how many products it sold under its house brand. A representative for the company told Quartz that AmazonBasics started life as ”a private label collection of consumer electronic ‘basics’ created for customers who want exceptional value. Since then, we’ve expanded to more than a dozen categories including Household Supplies and Sporting Goods.”
“Our goal is to offer customers a wide selection of products to choose from, and private brands such as AmazonBasics add to our assortment,” they added.
It does, after all, have dozens of house brands beyond AmazonBasics, many of which it didn’t disclose as owned by Amazon until very recently. Amazon now offers a private-level version of just about everything it sells, from jeans and bathroom supplies, to bedsheets and lingerie—even books and movies. Amazon is on a path to be able to offer anything anyone wants for the lowest price possible, and with an integrated delivery network, as quickly as possible. Some consider that world domination; others, possibly a monopoly.
But one thing is clear: Amazon’s “basics” line has expanded dramatically to be anything but basic. What was once just a label for batteries and cables now produces some truly interesting items. Here are a few of the more less-than-basic things that Amazon now sells through its Basics line: