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Amazon, the World's Biggest Bazaar, Just Got Bigger

The world's biggest bazaar just got bigger . / Credit: AmazonSupply screenshot courtesy of Amazon

Are you in the market for a high-speed, micro-centrifuge? You can get a Scilogex beauty from Amazon for $4,850. How about a foot-long, ceiling-mounted Safe Glow Photo Luminescent Exit sign? Amazon has one for $203.00.

This is not your father's Amazon.com, the world's largest consumer e-commerce site. These industrial goodies come from an inventory of more than 500,000 items that are available at Amazon's newly launched business-to-business e-commerce site, AmazonSupply.com.  If you can't find it there, it probably can't be found.

Unveiled on April 23, AmazonSupply.com offers a broad selection of parts and supplies to business, industrial, scientific and commercial customers. Customers can shop by product, material and brand for items across 14 categories, including lab and scientific equipment, cutting tools, fasteners, office products, , pneumatics, plumbing supplies and fleet and vehicle parts.

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AmazonSupply will provide free two-day shipping on orders of $50 or more, free returns within a year, corporate lines of credit and a dedicated customer service number, complete with a prominently displayed 800 phone number for ordering, a feature long lacking on Amazon's consumer site.

This is not Amazon's first foray into the wholesale business. Through its SmallParts subsidiary, the Seattle-based company has been offering products to the business, research and scientific communities since 2007. While continuing to sell more than 10,000 items branded as SmallParts, Amazon picked the name Amazon Supply to indicate that the company has grown well beyond its original focus on tubing, parts and fasteners for the medical supply and research industries.

Amazon is taking on a huge market, one that has the potential to overshadow its consumer business. An interpretation of U.S. Commerce Department data by Internet Retailer, an e-commerce publication, suggests that wholesale e-commerce grew at a 34 percent compound annual rate from 2000 to 2009, reaching $352 billion, more than doubling online sales to consumers of $145 billion in 2009.

"We're excited to offer a wide range of items, from basic supplies like drill bits and automatic hand dryers to hard-to-find parts like laboratory centrifuges and miniature polyimide tubing, enabling business and industrial customers to streamline their buying processes," said Prentis Wilson, vice president of AmazonSupply. "Low prices combined with fast, free shipping and a vast selection make shopping on AmazonSupply a great experience for customers."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.