Over at Amazon, they have a listing for a Hercules 21pc drill bit set, featuring a “BlueBraid titanium coating.” As you might know, Hercules is Harbor Freight’s new higher-tiered power tool and accessories brand. So what’s it doing on Amazon?
Back in October 2017, Amazon had direct listings for new Harbor Freight Bauer cordless power tools.
How are they selling this Hercules drill bit set directly?
Whenever I ask this question of brands that don’t usually distribute through Amazon, the first response usually goes like this: “oh, that’s a 3rd party listing.” But, in this case and some others, it’s not.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
The brand is said to be Central Purchasing, and following that trail leads me to 55 search results for Central Purchasing tools sold directly by Amazon. There, you’ll find things like a Central Forge clamp-on swivel vise, at 2X Harbor Freight’s direct price, or a Banks brad nailer at a ~75% markup.
Some of the items are said to be in low supply, but others are in low supply with “more on the way.”
Why does Amazon have these Harbor Freight tool listings? How?
I can only think of two potential explanations. Perhaps Harbor Freight is shipping some tools to Amazon to help increase the familiarity of their brand names, or maybe Amazon is buying the tools from Harbor Freight at retail and is listing as part of some search engine traffic strategy.
Or, maybe they were… somehow… coming from 3rd party sellers?
What else could it be?
I had similar questions about how Amazon and Walmart were directly selling select Milwaukee Tool products, and I still don’t have any better of an understanding.
Speaking of which, Amazon has a competitively-priced “ships from and sold by Amazon.com” listing for a Milwaukee cordless impact wrench and grease gun combo.
Does anyone have any concrete insights into how or why this happens?