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Got a Hot Seller on Amazon? Prepare for E-Tailer to Make One Too

  • Amazon is building house-brand colossus by tracking what sells
  • `We don’t feel good about it, but there’s nothing we can do'

Rain Design has been selling an aluminum laptop stand on Amazon.com Inc. for more than a decade. A best-seller in its category, the $43 product has a 5-star rating and 2,460 customer reviews.

In July, a similar stand appeared at about half the price. The brand: AmazonBasics. Since then, sales of the Rain Design original have slipped. “We don’t feel good about it,” says Harvey Tai, the company’s general manager. “But there’s nothing we can do because they didn’t violate the patent.”