As well documented elsewhere, in the past few years Amazon has been developing a slew of its own private brands for a wide variety of products. Now there is nothing wrong with a private label – lots of their competitors use them as well, however I recently ran into a situation that highlights an interesting side effect of using such brands – they don’t seem to have warranties.
I had several Amazon branded items that recently broke within the year of being purchased and I chatted with Amazon’s customer service about replacing them. In one case (“AmazonBasics”), the item was replaced with no questions asked since it was under a 1-year warranty but in the other case (“AmazonEssentials”) only a 30 day return window was available and since I am past it, there is nothing to be done. The item description itself fails to mention lack of warranty. The funniest moment was customer service telling me to contact the manufacturer of the item for a warranty claim.
This can also be clearly seen on Amazon’s help section regarding warranties where a very limited list of private brands is listed as having warranties:
What is interesting is that state laws mandate “implied warranties” even if the company doesn’t provide any. Here is what Consumer Reports writes:
Along with companies’ express warranties, you also have “implied warranties” under state law. The Uniform Commercial Code, a set of laws adopted in much the same form by all states and the District of Columbia, provides an automatic “implied warranty of merchantability.” That unwritten protection guarantees that consumer products are free of substantial defects and will function properly for a reasonable period of time.
What’s the bottom line? When you are making your next purchase, check if the product you plan to buy has a warranty.