When Did Amazon Start Selling Everything? A Brief Look Back

When Did Amazon Start Selling Everything?.Amazon is a household name today, synonymous with online shopping. But there was a time when Amazon was just a humble online bookstore. Let’s trace back through the evolution of Amazon from its simple beginnings to the global online marketplace it is today.

When Did Amazon Start Selling Everything?

The Humble Beginnings: 1994

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, initially as an online bookstore. Bezos’s vision was to create the world’s most customer-centric company, where customers could find and discover anything they might want to buy online. The name “Amazon” was chosen as a nod to the vast Amazon River, signifying the vast selection and volume he envisioned for the company.

Branching Out: Late 1990s to Early 2000s

Within a few years, Amazon began expanding its product categories. By 1998, it had added CDs and DVDs to its offerings. This was followed by toys and electronics in 1999. The early 2000s saw a broader array of categories being introduced, including clothing, consumer electronics, beauty products, gourmet food, and more.

Amazon Marketplace and Third-Party Sellers: 2000

In 2000, Amazon launched its Marketplace, a platform that allowed third-party sellers to sell new and used items alongside Amazon’s own products. This was a pivotal moment. By opening its doors to third-party sellers, Amazon exponentially increased its product listings and truly began its journey toward becoming “The Everything Store.”

Prime Time: 2005

Amazon Prime was introduced in 2005, offering subscribers unlimited two-day shipping for a yearly fee. This move was crucial in building customer loyalty and boosting the company’s appeal. Over time, Prime has evolved, adding services like Prime Video, Prime Music, and more, creating an ecosystem around the Amazon brand.

Acquisitions and Expansions: 2000s and 2010s

Amazon’s growth wasn’t just organic; the company made several strategic acquisitions that helped diversify its offerings. Some notable ones include:

  • Zappos in 2009, bringing a strong foothold in online footwear and apparel.
  • Whole Foods in 2017, marking its significant push into the brick-and-mortar retail space and grocery sector.
  • Twitch in 2014, emphasizing its interests in live streaming and the gaming community.

Amazon Web Services (AWS): 2006

While Amazon’s retail expansion was impressive, AWS, introduced in 2006, became another game-changer. AWS began as a way for businesses to lease computer processing power and storage. Today, it’s a major profit center for Amazon, and it underpins a significant portion of the internet, from startups to major corporations.

Global Domination: Present Day

Today, Amazon operates in numerous countries worldwide, offering everything from products to services, digital content, and even its own line of devices like the Kindle and Echo. Its vast distribution network, constant innovation, and customer-centric approach have solidified its position as a global e-commerce leader.


From a single-category online bookstore in 1994 to a global marketplace selling practically everything, Amazon’s journey is nothing short of remarkable. It’s a testament to vision, innovation, and an unyielding focus on customer satisfaction. As e-commerce continues to evolve, Amazon undoubtedly will remain at the forefront, setting trends and breaking new ground.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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