What Does “Sponsored” Mean On Amazon? (Not What You Think)

Amazon, one of the big five U.S. IT technology companies and leading e-commerce retailers, allows shoppers to order millions of household products with a few simple clicks on their phone or computer.

When scrolling on Amazon, many customers notice products pop up that says “sponsored.” You must be wondering what sponsored means on Amazon. Here is what I’ve discovered about this!

What Does Sponsored Mean On Amazon?

Sponsored product ads on Amazon are advertisements that promote approved products and sellers that have a reputation for quality, competitively-priced products. When a visual ad on Amazon says sponsored, it means the seller has purchased ad space to display their Amazon listings across similar product pages. 

If you are interested in Amazon-sponsored ads and what they mean for your online shopping, then keep reading to learn more!

How Can You Tell What Amazon Ads Are Sponsored?

Sponsored Amazon ads are located all over Amazon.com. When you search for a product and see the word “sponsored” along with other product pictures, this is a sponsored ad.

You can find them at the top, side, and bottom of the search results and product detail pages.

If you click on the subtle sponsored marking, a feedback box will pop up where you can provide comments on the product and the advertisement.

The idea behind these ads is to reward good sellers with a cost-effective advertising opportunity, so as an Amazon shopper, you will see plenty of sponsored ads related to the items you are shopping for.

Any time you look at search results for a certain product or click on the listing details to see more, you will see sponsored ads.

They blend in on the page and often appear in a row or column, so several sponsored products are listed at once.

What Kind Of Amazon Products Can Be Sponsored?

Any of the products you shop for on Amazon can be sponsored if the seller qualifies for this advertising option.

Everything from pet products to clothes, makeup to food, can be sponsored.

If you click on any of the Amazon departments and start shopping, you will see sponsored ads pop up, many with the header “products related to this item.”

You can also look for standalone gray boxes with sponsored text, which indicate another sponsored ad similar to the product you’re currently browsing.

What Sellers Can Use Amazon Sponsored Ads?

What Sellers Can Use Amazon Sponsored Ads?

Nearly 60 percent of Amazon’s retail sellers are small to medium-sized businesses.

Amazon-sponsored ads are only available to select sellers who meet special criteria, which means shoppers are not shown sponsored ads from sellers with questionable track records.

When you’re browsing Amazon and you see a sponsored ad, you can trust that the seller met the following criteria to earn this advertising placement:

  • Successful selling track record with a high volume of fulfilled sales and satisfied customers 
  • Competitive pricing on popular products
  • Good customer reviews on product quality and delivery/shipping
  • Good history of fulfilling orders on time 
  • Adequate stock levels of new products that people are looking for

Do Amazon Sponsored Products Appear Near The Buy Box?

If you see the buy box on an Amazon page, you will also see sponsored ads near the listing. The buy box is the section of the page with the yellow “Add to Cart” button where you can select products and start the order process.

The seller with the highest rating owns the buy box for a product page, meaning their product is the default one that’s added to your cart when you click on the button.

Amazon-sponsored ads are only available to the highest-ranking sellers who own the buy box, so when you see these ads, you are looking at the bestselling items in a particular category.

The buy box and sponsored ads will not show you items from sellers that have been flagged for not selling the products they advertise or not fulfilling orders correctly.

Are Amazon Sponsored Products Good?

Amazon-sponsored products are generally the best products in their department and category and sponsored ads are not offered to sellers with numerous bad reviews, poor ratings, or fulfillment issues.

Additionally, sponsored ad holders can be both major retailers and smaller businesses, so long as they meet the strict criteria and have in-demand items that shoppers are looking for.

Many shoppers choose to purchase sponsored products because they are essentially recommended by Amazon due to the seller’s good reputation, reliable delivery, and product quality.

Also, when you see sponsored ads, they are the top products similar to your search and rated well by other shoppers.

Amazon looks at a seller’s overall business when assessing eligibility for sponsored ads, so by shopping for these products, you can know that the seller rates well across all departments and product types.

Can You Change Your Amazon Ad Preferences For Sponsored Ads?

Amazon gives you the option to customize your ad preferences.

While this option doesn’t take away all sponsored ads, it can reduce the number of personalized ads that Amazon believes may be of interest to you.

Interest-based ads are targeted toward products that fit your interests and browsing activity. You can choose not to see these ads in your account’s ad preferences.

If you opt not to see interest-based ads, Amazon may still show you sponsored product recommendations unless you change your recommendations and browsing history.

Amazon can still show you sponsored ads, they just won’t be targeted toward your interests.

To update your Amazon ad preferences, visit.

To learn more about the Amazon lingo, you can see our other posts on what Amazon lightning deals are, what renewed means on Amazon, what Amazon choice is, what Amazon Basics are, and what Amazon Frustration-Free packaging is.


On Amazon, sponsored means certain ads are pay-per-click ads available only to trustworthy sellers on Amazon. Sponsored products appear on related searches near the top, side, or bottom of the page.

Next time you search for a specific product on Amazon, look for the “sponsored” text underneath similar items.

Sponsored products are listed by sellers with clean records, so they are generally good quality, but you can adjust your Amazon advertising preferences at any time in your account settings.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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