I was surfing for headphones on Amazon, when to my surprise, I found some fairly high-rated headphones.

But initially, I thought the the first Company, A, made these headphones, I was surprised to find that while search elsewhere, another Company, B, made the exact same headphones, just under a different brand.

So I searched elsewhere, and found that the real company that made the product was Company C, that actually designed and produced the product, but that Company A and B had simple just put their name on the headphones.

What in this case would I call Company A & B? What would be the name for Company A & B? They didn't make the product, but they sell it under their name, despite the fact that Company C sells it. Would I call it like a "shell" company? Not sure what's the word to use here.

  • Are you saying that C's product is legitimately bought in by A and B and re-packaged as their own? Rather like a biscuit manufacturer may make biscuits which are labelled as a supermarket's own-brand product (and in fact, may even package the biscuits for the supermarket)? – Andrew Leach Aug 3 '14 at 9:22
  • @AndrewLeach Exactly, that's what I was looking for. I found two companies which sold the same identical product; with the exception of the company logo on it, but I traced the product to a manufacturer that produced and distributed them without a name on the product – yuritsuki Aug 3 '14 at 20:26
  • Not sure what a good term for A and B is but C is known as the OEM in case that helps the research in any way. – Håkan Lindqvist Aug 4 '14 at 6:59
  • @HåkanLindqvist I've always understood OEM to mean what you say but confusingly this suggests that in the IT world at least, A & B are the OEMs: webopedia.com/quick_ref/what-is-an-oem-company.html. Is it wrong? I'm confused! – Rupe Aug 4 '14 at 23:12
  • I think this may be the answer. Sorry, no time to write up properly en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_brand_manufacturer – Rupe Aug 4 '14 at 23:18

As well as Reseller/Rebranded etc., these products are called White-label products and the means of selling white-label service or simply white-labelling.

Wikipedia describes it so:

A white-label product or service is a product or service produced by one company (the producer) that other companies (the marketers) rebrand to make it appear as if they made it.

Investopedia's description:

A product manufactured by one company that is packaged and sold by other companies under varying brand names. The end product appears as though it is being made by the marketer, when in reality it is being created by the manufacturing company.

In this case, the manufacturer can concentrate on making the product or service and focus on cost savings, rather than worrying about marketing, which will be handled by the companies that will sell the product.


wikipedia: Rebadging is the term that is used for this kind of behaviour.

See also Camerapedia: Clones, Rebadges and Rebrands

There is some usage of the term rebadger : Google: is-a-rebadger

A shell company is a company that doesn't run a business as such. It exists only to facilitate legal and taxation arrangements.


Some companies just get their label on some items which are made in China and the other companies that buy from the same source end up being called knock offs.

A case of "brand knock off" as opposed to "product knock off".



  • 1
    But "knock-off" means it's a copy, a fake. That's not what the OP is looking for. They're talking about the exact same item but with different branding. – Rupe Aug 4 '14 at 10:26
  • @Rupe Some companies just get their label on some items which are made in China and the other companies that buy from the same source end up being called knock offs. – SurvMach Aug 4 '14 at 22:37
  • @Rupe A case of "brand knock off" as opposed to "product knock off". – SurvMach Aug 4 '14 at 22:47
  • I have to admit that I've not heard of that. But that's not what people where I come from understand by "knock-off". It seems to me that even if what you're describing is "knock-off" merchandise, people are more likely to think of simple copies when they hear "knock-off", so I'm sticking to my belief that it's not a good answer to the question asked ("rebranding" and "rebadging" are far more precisely addressing that). I guess it is a relevant phrase to tell the OP about, though. – Rupe Aug 4 '14 at 22:47
  • What the OP is describing doesn't need to involve anyone trying to take advantage of someone else's reputation. That's the point here. A "knock-off" situation, whether it's a copy or a new or different branding of the same "blanks", has to involve one brand that's more successful than the other, with the latter trying to "cash in" by looking like the big name brand. – Rupe Aug 4 '14 at 22:51

The terms "rebadged" or "rebranded" are used to describe the article.

Perhaps "rebadger" or "rebrander" would capture the companies that do this.


I think I would call such a company a 'rebadging reseller'.


[RE-edit] Reseller , Authorized Dealer or, rebrander ... -- original post : Vendor might do well. {edit: or retailer} Because, a distributor is the first step in the retail chain ; they sell what a manufacturer makes. And, of course, the manufacturer designs and makes the item {OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer} ---endof ---original post ps. opinion ; ) This buisiness practice might be the downfall of our industrialized society . After all Dell does not make most of its computer componenets , etc , etc , etc .

  • But it's not a vendor, because it doesnt just sell the item, it has branded it as its own product – yuritsuki Aug 2 '14 at 20:51
  • It would still be a vendor, even if it made the product from scratch, wouldn't it? 'Vendor' simply means 'seller'. I think the business practice you are talking about is 'rebadging'. – WS2 Aug 2 '14 at 22:11
  • @WS2 so is there an adjectival form of that word? That is exactly the word I was looking for, just in an adjectival form. If you could put it in an answer, I'd be happy to accept – yuritsuki Aug 3 '14 at 0:15
  • 3
    I can hardly read your answer, what with the meta discourse about your edits. But the answer is reseller. If you did in fact say that then +1 for that answer. Please just edit your answer, and skip trying to also communicate the editing process. We can see your edits, if we want, by clicking the "edited" link. – Drew Aug 3 '14 at 3:14

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