A new report found Amazon giving “small business” and “Black-owned business” badges to companies that were neither. The mislabeling mishap came to light after The Information released a report highlighting the “Small Business” badges Amazon gave to sellers that are “multinational corporations with thousands of employees.
It was also found that Amazon gave “Black-Owned Small Business” badges to sellers that were not Black. Once confronted by the outlet, Amazon removed some badges from certain sellers but not all.
“We are committed to ensuring that the badge is a helpful shopping tool for customers to discover small business brand owners and we are continuously auditing and refining the information used to award the badge to ensure a trustworthy and accurate experience,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “If the badge is awarded in error we move quickly to make appropriate updates.”
Amazon says the “small business badge” is for US companies with fewer than 100 employees and bringing in less than $50 million in revenue. However, according to the report, companies like Black Rifle Coffee Co. received the badge despite generating over $300 million in revenue in 2022. Sellers like beef jerky company Chomps received the Black-owned business badge despite its founders, Pete Maldonado and Rashid Ali, not being Black. Now many are questioning the validity of Amazon’s seller badge verification process.
“If they’re not managing this program, they’re being negligent and they’re disadvantaging true small businesses,” Jason Boyce, the CEO of Avenue7Media, told Business Insider. “And they’re giving companies that don’t need the help an unfair advantage.”
Boyce’s company helps companies sell on Amazon and says the badge verification process comes off as “fishy.” Sellers are calling on Amazon to resolve the issue and stay true to its commitment to amplifying small and Black-owned businesses. – Steve Sijenyi