If retail brands are important, then how about authorization? Amazon says that it encourages all dealers, small and large, to work out authorization with their own suppliers. Amazon is not policing the industry. For one thing, Sadowski believes the market—particularly suppliers—have gotten better at policing themselves.
"In my opinion, there's a lot less actual product back there today than there was a couple years ago. You can still go find any Mitsubishi or Pioneer Elite or Sony XDR TV from what we call the barrage sites," says Sadowski. "But if you really poke around, and not many people do, if you really poke around and try to buy them, it's my strong opinion that there's far less product available for sale through these third-tier, unauthorized sellers. There's some. There always have been."
Of course, dealers selling products they're not authorized to carry into the market is not a new phenomenon in his mind. "Go buy The New York Times on Sunday and go look in the back," he says. "I was looking in the back of The New York Times 30 years ago—you can buy anything. It's just the internet has put it right in everybody's face 24/7. It's not anything new, it's just become very, very visible to the suppliers and potentially disruptive to the marketplace."