EA29 Amazon News: Amazon Failing, Alibaba Rising, Packages in the Sewer, Government Scrutiny, SBA Loans

EA29 Amazon News: Amazon Failing, Alibaba Rising, Packages in the Sewer, Government Scrutiny, SBA Loans

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Show Notes

Is Amazon’s customer service going down the drain? Is Alibaba a threat to Amazon? Do you qualify for the PPP loan forgiveness? On this episode of Entrepreneur Adventure, Todd breaks down more Amazon news. Wondering how it all affects your wallet? Stay tuned.

Amazon (& Its Sellers) Are Here To Stay

A recent article claims Amazon’s reputation is sliding down the tubes due to poor customer reviews and stiff competition from retailers like Walmart and Amazon. While customer satisfaction has gone down, you have to take the worldwide pandemic into account. Remember, there was a time when COVID-19 caused serious shipment delays.

The author also slams third-party sellers. While it’s true that some sellers don’t take their business seriously, the author fails to realize that his faulty product was purchased through FBM. Todd always recommends FBA as products are refundable and, wouldn’t ya know it, often sold by third-party sellers. Also, when it comes to bad press backlash – Amazon sales are soaring! If Amazon is facing backlash, it’s not affecting our business. 

Competition Is Cool

Retailers like Walmart and Target create stiffer competition by the day. But what about Alibaba? One article claims they’re Amazon’s top competition. But Todd claims the company’s Chinese roots may be its downfall. Coronavirus hasn’t left a great taste in buyer’s mouths when it comes to China. Not to mention, China’s population (and therefore economy) is shrinking due to the one-child policy.

Also, is competition a bad thing? Absolute not. More competition means more pressure on Amazon to boost the experience for its customers and sellers alike.

Diversify

Are you putting all of your eggs in the Amazon basket? This article warns against doing just that. And the author has a point. It’s important to sell on platforms like Walmart and eBay as well, or at least have side investments and income should Amazon ever fall through. While wholesale sellers have it a bit easier (we’ve got a variety of products in the marketplace), there’s risk in every venture and safety nets are not only important, they’re essential.

Amazon Antitrust?

While it’s no secret that retailers use their data to create their own competitive products, should the government intervene? Is Amazon crossing the line? Todd says yes if they’ve altered their algorithm to favor their own products and win the buy box. But what may be most effective is if pressure from the people persuades Amazon to reform itself. Do you agree?

Loan Forgiveness

The rules are in. If you are a freelancer or otherwise self-employed (Amazon qualifies you), you’re forgiven for loans up to 2.5x your self-employment income for 2019. While not a fan of handouts, Todd knows he’ll pay everything back in taxes anyway so his advice is: take the PPP loan.

Overall

Do you agree with Todd’s take on everything e-commerce? If not, please comment down below and remember to ask your question for Todd’s next Q&A. Happy selling everybody.

Resources From This Episode

Outline of This Episode

[00:00] Todd’s Introduction to This Episode

[03:08] Is Amazon Here To Stay?

[13:58] The Importance of Competition

[22:00] How Not To Keep All Your Eggs in One Basket

[29:00] Is Amazon Violating Antitrust Laws?

[34:29] Everything You Need To Know About PPP Loan Forgiveness

[38:06] Todd’s Closing Thoughts

Transcript

TODD (00:00):
Amazon’s failing at its core business. Alibaba is a threat selling on Amazon. Isn’t a business strategy, drivers throwing your packages in the sewer, California coming down hard on Amazon. And what about that SBA money that we can get as small businesses. Today, we’re going to be diving into Amazon news and my opinions and thoughts on that news and how it’s going to affect us as sellers going forward, selling on the Amazon platform.

Speaker 2 (00:35):
Welcome fellow entrepreneurs to the entrepreneur adventure podcast, where we talk about Amazon wholesale and how you can use it to build an eCommerce empire, a side hustle or anything in between. And now your host, Todd Welch. What’s up.

TODD (00:52):
Hi everybody. Welcome to episode number 29 of the entrepreneur adventure podcast. And today we’re diving into Amazon news and how it is affecting us as sellers. And we’ve got a really interesting ones today, some political, some business, and just varying opinions on Amazon. And I’m going to sprinkle in of course my opinions on the news as well and how it relates back to us as sellers. It’s not always fun to watch the news because there’s so much negativity all the time, but there are some key stories that we want to watch and see how it’s going to affect us as sellers. So that’s what I’m going to try to do here today. You guys have been really liking these Amazon news episodes. I’m going to keep doing them and it helps me stay in touch and on top of what’s happening with Amazon as well.

TODD (01:47):
So I really appreciate you guys watching out there and give me your opinion on these episodes. If you want any of the links to these news stories, make sure to head over to entrepreneuradventure.com/ 29. Since this is episode 29. And if you have any questions you want me to answer on upcoming episodes, make sure you head on over to entrepreneur adventure.com/ask, and you can leave me a voicemail there, and I will answer it on an upcoming podcast episode as well. And I just wanted to point out a new five star review from Joe Amazon. He says, great podcasts, very relevant and actionable content. So I really appreciate that, Joe, if you haven’t already subscribed to the show on the podcast or YouTube, make sure you hit that subscribe button right now. So you can get notified of more episodes just like this.

TODD (02:45):
And if you haven’t left us a review on your favorite podcasting platform, please do that as well. It helps us get the word out about the show and get more people watching this, help the show grow, share it on your social media and things like that would be greatly as well. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive into this first news. And this is from the Motley fool. It says Amazon is failing in its core mission. The company likes to say that it puts the customer first and then thinks backwards. Its mission statement is to be Earth’s most customer centric company, a statement that notably leaves out any specific business focus. So customer centered, for sure. And then it goes on to say here that in a recent poll, the customer satisfaction went down from 73% a year ago, 87% back in 2015, down to 64% in may.

TODD (03:48):
Now may of course, we’re right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. And so I’m going off of script here. Hopefully you guys will be able to notice when I’m reading and when I’m kind of giving my opinion in here. So this is my opinion. We’re in the middle of a Corona virus and shipping times are long, right? In the beginning, it was up to a month before you were going to be able to get your stuff. So that’s going to play a really big role into what people think about Amazon. But with that said back in 2015, 87% of people were satisfied with Amazon 73% a year ago. Now it’s down to 64. So the trend was going down, which I think can be expected, right? People are learning about Amazon, how it works. It’s getting into the political world. Some governments are coming after Amazon for different things.

TODD (04:43):
Some of the ways that Amazon does business is being portrayed negatively, which in my opinion, a lot of times is incorrect, but sometimes is correct. Amazon definitely has its faults, right? But it’s a decline that is going down and they go on to say here the pandemic could be one reason for the sharp drop off this year. The company had to delay prime shipping speed and prioritize essential products. So kind of what I just said there. The next part here though, is really interesting. What they’re saying, one of the bigger reasons is, is because prime Amazon’s two day shipping is not unique anymore. It’s not special anymore because Walmart now has free shipping. $35 orders or higher. Target is getting into the fast shipping, free shipping as well. Costco has stepped up its game. So there’s more competition, which I think is true.

TODD (05:47):
And it’s a good thing, right? Because the more competition we have, the more it’s going to force Amazon to react to customers and to us as sellers, because Walmart is opening up the sellers, Target, I believe is opening up the sellers as well. A Costco has not, I don’t believe, but like best buy and other places have platforms for sellers as well. Walmart is even getting into the game where they’re shipping the product for them, for the sellers. So that’s going to be huge. And so that’s all going to erode into it a little bit.

TODD (06:23):
Now this one part here of the article, I kind of had to take some objection to, but it says as my colleague, Brian Stoffel has argued. Amazon seems to have drifted away from his customer focused mission. In recent years, the company has wrapped up his advertising business, which is clogged it’s listing pages and essentially monetized customer’s eyeballs for the sake of its bottom line.

TODD (06:46):
While advertising has become a good business for Amazon advertisers are eager to promote their wares. It’s hard to claim the advertising and customer centric. So that part of it, I agree with too much advertising is bad. You have to have the balance of advertising and regular listings, right? It helps drive Amazon’s bottom line. That’s how they can do some of the stuff they do for us. So inexpensively, but this part here, the company has also become increasingly reliant on third party sellers. Many of whom are not trustworthy or reliable in my own personal experience. I order reusable coffee filter from Amazon that turned out to be dysfunctional. I realized the brand I had received was not the one I ordered and complained to Amazon. They told me to contact a third party seller who had already deleted a listing and appeared to be doing business under a different name.

TODD (07:39):
He’s correct if that’s a third party seller, but he’s not really pointing out that that third party seller was selling fulfilled by merchant. So they must have it shipped the item to him because if it was FBA fulfilled by Amazon, like I recommend everyone sells out there, use Amazon’s FBA system. He would have just been able to say, I want to return this. And they would have sent them a new one or gave him his money back right away. It wouldn’t have been an issue. So he must have bought from an FBM. Now I, myself definitely try to stay away from buying FBM because I’ve had that trouble before the returns can be a pain for some reason, Amazon just like not our problem kind of thing. And you really have to jump through hoops sometimes to try to get buyers and sellers, or I should say, get sellers to give you a refund or let you return a product or whatever.

TODD (08:33):
So that’s why it’s really important. If you are buying FBM to look at the seller feedback. So if for some reason I have to buy FBM, then I’m looking at that out seller feedback. They don’t have like 99, 98% and like a few hundred or preferably thousands or more seller feedback. I’m not buying from them. Now I have, as of late looked for buying from FBA sellers rather than Amazon. So if I go on and listening and Amazon has the buy box, I will intentionally click down and look at the FBA sellers. And if they’re FBA sellers within a close price range and their seller feedback is good, I will give them the sale. Instead of Amazon. Now, regular customers are not going to necessarily do that, right. They’re just going to hit the buy now, but this guy is pointing us out as not being trustworthy and reliable, which I think is totally incorrect.

TODD (09:33):
Because if you shop on Amazon, you’ve gotten bad product from amazon.com themselves. I mean, they’re not inspecting that product probably even less though than some FBA sellers are inspecting their product. So to point out, or just to say that third party sellers are not trustworthy this guy Brian Stofle obviously doesn’t know how selling on Amazon works, right in that a majority of sales on Amazon are by third party seller. So he’s kinda naive to that. So I definitely disagree with them on that point. He does say the customer reviews have also been a pain point, which is correct. We’ve talked about that in the past. People leaving fake reviews companies taking over listings and selling different products because they can take advantage of the positive reviews, try searching for a like screen protector or case for one of the newest phones, right after it comes out, you’ll see listings with hundreds or thousands of reviews.

TODD (10:37):
But if you look at the pictures of those reviews, they’re of different products, those companies just stole listings from other people and made them their own. So they definitely have that problem. It’s still an ongoing problem for sure that they have to fix. Then they go on to talk about bad press, which we already talked about as well. And is the backlash brewing. Amazon is an essential service for millions of Americans. And the company has succeeded in dominating Mindshare and online shopping, where they need a box of granola bars, a lamp, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. As long as the pandemic is an issue company’s sales growth is likely to be strong as customers are depending on it. So basically they are asking the question is a backlash brewing. I don’t think so. Amazon sales right now are fire. It’s amazing. I just broke 120,000.

TODD (11:28):
Remember I told you a couple of weeks ago that I broke a hundred thousand first time. Now I’m at 120,000. It just keeps going up. Sales are crazy. And I hear from a lot of different sales or a lot of different sellers out there. Customers love Amazon. Now competition is definitely brewing, right? Walmart is starting to step up. Other companies are going to be stepping up more and more. So competition is going to get higher. And for me, that’s a good thing. If Amazon can step up and be a platform to match Amazon Walmart versus Amazon, that’s a good thing. I can sell more on Walmart and then I’m not so reliant on Amazon. It gives me more protection. Also, Amazon’s going to need to protect those sellers on their right. They’re going to have to do things to keep us in the Amazon world and then buyers customers.

TODD (12:23):
They’re going to have a better experience as well as they start competing. You know, just recently I mentioned, Google dropped their fees for the Google shopping service and that’s in direct competition with Amazon. They did that because of Amazon. So competition is a good thing without competition in a capitalistic society like we have, which I think is one of the best systems man has ever devised yet, there may be something better, but so far capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system the world has ever known. And if anybody tries to tell you different, you need to read some history books because that is just the facts and the more competition capitalistic system, the better it’s going to be. If you start getting one monopoly, then you can start having troubles. And a lot of times governments prop up those monopolies and create those monopolies through the regulations because it’s harder for a small business to deal with those big regulations.

TODD (13:28):
That’s why you see huge companies. A lot of times lobbying for more regulations, you would think, you know, a capitalist company, they would want less regulations, but a big business. There are a lot of times lobbying for more because they know they can deal with them and it makes it harder for their competition to come in. So we’ll see how the future plays out right now. Amazon is awesome and it’s not going anywhere for a long, long time, no matter what the news says.

TODD (13:58):
All right. So this headline is from Forbes and it says it’s Ali Baba, not Walmart that Amazon should really be worried about. So this is an awesome article, right after getting done, talking about competition with Amazon, right? So we mostly talked about Walmart a little bit about target and Costco and things like that. Best buy. I mentioned in there as well.

TODD (14:24):
This article though says one of the hot business parlor games these days is playing, who is the biggest threat to Amazon’s dominant e-commerce position. Most of the players invariably answer Walmart while it’s the obvious choice. It’s also the wrong one. At least according to the author. The reality is that Walmart is so far behind Amazon and online sales, despite its recent gains during the, that it will never come close to catching up and being a real head to head competitor just as the discount retailer segment never caught up to Walmart and physical stores. So to will Amazon hold off any real threat from Walmart or any physical retailer for that matter? I don’t think Walmart wherever surpass Amazon. That’s not really what I’m saying, but I think they can become a threat and at least start taking away market share and make Amazon pay attention to it.

TODD (15:22):
Now they go on to say here, but all the Baba, now that’s a different story, right? Or wrongly described as the Amazon of China. Alibaba is now focusing more and more of its attention on the American market, especially with initiatives in the business, the business sector. Now Ali Baba, if you’re not familiar, that is a shopping platform mainly built out in China. Although they’re expanding out to other markets, as they say here in the America, Ali express is the shopping platform that a lot of people do buy stuff on there, get it really cheap and ship it over to the U S from China. And that shipping is subsidized. So a lot of time, I mean, you can buy like a $4 hair clip or something, and only pay like $2 in shipping because the Chinese government subsidizes that shipping to get it over here.

TODD (16:19):
So they definitely are getting some sales, but this author thinks that they are going to be the biggest competitor. So let’s see what else they say here. And while it too has a long way to go to become competitive with Amazon Ali Baba has both the technical and financial resources to become its most serious challenger. Yes, Ali Baba at about 72 billion in annual revenue is less than a third. The size of Amazon, 280 billion, but its dominant position in Chinese e-commerce gives it a special expertise to do battle with its American counterpart. Let’s not forget that it’s not a straight apples apples comparison between the two e-commerce giants. Either Amazon is as much a digital service advertising company with a significant percentage of its revenues coming from the non retail parts of its business. And Alibaba’s key differentiator is it’s incorporation of social media into its core TAOBAO.

TODD (17:17):
I’m not sure how to say that. TAOBAO eCommerce site, one of more than 800 social media products. The company offers it makes Alibaba not just the Amazon China, but also the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter of the country as well. So definitely truth there, right? Alibaba is definitely the biggest shopping platform in China. China has the largest population in the world and they also control a lot of their social media as well. So in China, it’s definitely a really big issue, but is there any way that can actually compete here in the U S now it goes on to say, but it will matter less if it can’t export its success to North America. And that’s something Alibaba is working on aggressively, starting at the B2B level Amazon’s business to business efforts are less well known than its consumer interface, but it’s a substantial business representing perhaps as much as 10% of its overall revenue, depending on how you define it.

TODD (18:14):
But the Chinese company has decided it’s most valuable to competition particularly during the pandemic crisis. So Alibaba is targeting business to business in North America, which is fine. You know, I don’t know if I necessarily agree with the author, that Alibaba is going to be the main competitor to Amazon, but I welcome the competition, even though it is a Chinese company selling here in the U S there’s a lot of Chinese sellers on Amazon as well. A lot of companies get their products made in China. I have a product. My private level product is made in China. It’s definitely a huge market. They have a lot of power. Now. I think the Chinese market is going to be decreasing due to a lot of different factors. The pandemic is a big one. That’s going on. That’s making people kind of anti China, anti having stuff made in China.

TODD (19:16):
And then before that you have the trade Wars going on. So that has put negativity in people’s heads. Another big issue with China is that they had the one child policy. So their population is diminishing. Their population has peaked and is actually on the decline. I’ve read before that something like 64 or 70% male to female for the next generation. So there’s not going to be enough women to marry men and that’s going to lead to lower birth rates and such. So that is going to decrease the population. And without a growing population, it’s hard to continue to increase your economic dominance. So how that plays back to Alibaba is if their core country starts declining, their economy starts declining. That’s going to hurt them as a country. So it makes sense that they’re trying to expand out of China into other countries like the U S which is looking much better than a lot of the rest of the world, especially coming out of this pandemic.

TODD (20:25):
Most likely we’re going to come out relatively strong compared to a lot of the rest of the world. Now it all depends what state you’re in the States that locked down the hardest are gonna be slower to recover. The States that didn’t lock down as much like Utah, where I live, we’re going to come out of it a lot faster and thrive a lot better than the States that lock harder. So whether Alibaba will be a primary competitor, I hope they are. I don’t think like the author. Thanks though that they’re going to be the main competitor. I think Walmart is going to be, they’ve got the resources and the finances to do that. They’re rolling out a platform to do an FBA style F BW fulfilled by Walmart. And that’s really what made Amazon explode is for you and me to be able to buy a bunch of products, send it all in the Amazon and they handle the shipping and they handle the customer service and they handle a lot of the marketing for us.

TODD (21:30):
That’s what made Amazon’s platform. So powerful. It flooded Amazon with products. Amazon carries a ton of different products and that’s what Walmart is going to be able to do as well. Maybe not in the B2B level. The author here is focusing on the B2B level and Amazon is trying to hard to push into that market as well. So maybe Alibaba makes some inroads on the B2B market, but it’s really hard to say, but it’s always awesome to see different opinions here.

TODD (22:00):
Alright, so this headline is from San Antonio express news, and it says why selling on Amazon is not a sales strategy. The pandemic forced Amazon to stop shipping non-essential products with its usual two day commitment. And that changed impacted many brands that rely solely on Amazon platform. So basically this story is from the startups story, which is a two day live streaming event.

TODD (22:33):
And the cofounder Je Rye Yu, the cofounder of hero cosmetics was one of the guests that they talked to. And it says during her time at the startup story, right, you explained how she discovered her pimple care patch while working with Samsung in South Korea, from that discovery, Rye Yu rebranded that product as the mighty patch and brought it to the United States in 2018, by way of Amazon, her initial launch strategy was to test the market and messaging via Amazon, but an Omni channel strategy was always her intention. Once the market accepted the mighty patch,Rye Yu? You immediately garnered attention of retailers like anthropology and CVS Araya explained the importance of this Omni channel strategy. So many brands launch on Amazon and never diversify because of the volume and success they see on that platform. The challenge, the challenge with a single channel strategy is that it is vulnerable to external disruption, even for Amazon.

TODD (23:34):
So really focusing in again, here on the pandemic and because Amazon had to extend its shipping, which was understandable, the volume exploded and lots of disruptions, right. But I agree 100% with Rye Yu. So I have a private label product that I sell. In addition to my Amazon products right now, I mostly sell it all on Amazon. I also have listed on eBay and then I have one wholesale account that I’m selling to right now. But my plan is to get that selling also on Walmart and possibly get it out to other distributors and stuff like that. To expand off Amazon in the wholesale world. I also have my own eCommerce website and then I also sell some on eBay and I’m looking to get into Walmart. So my largest volume, as I said, 120,000 per month in the last 30 days right now, almost everything is on Amazon.

TODD (24:33):
So that definitely makes me nervous a little bit. It’s a little bit better for us as wholesale sellers rather than private label sellers, which is what rye you is creating her own product and selling her product because we have a wide variety of different products, right? So the shipping thing definitely disrupted some of us, but if you were able to switch gears into FBM fulfilled by merchant and start selling that way, a lot of people sold a lot of product that way. If they were able to make that switch. Now I did some of that. I also really just focused on pumping stuff into Amazon, as much as I could. And people were still buying a lot of stuff that way, FBA as well and combined with my FBM, but having the multichannel strategy, even as wholesale sellers is a good idea. I want to have Walmart and eBay and my own websites selling, even though that volume will never be what Amazon is.

TODD (25:31):
If something happened on Amazon, I could push harder in those other platforms and I wouldn’t just be completely out. And then I also mentioned I have my Amazon private label and that’s on a completely separate account with permission from Amazon. So again, if something was to happen to my wholesale account, my private label account should still be selling and that would be okay. And that will be expanding outside of Amazon as well. So definitely agree with our a hundred percent, an omnichannel strategy is good, but you also don’t want to get distracted. Amazon is where most of my sales are. That’s where I’m putting like 90% of my work. I might take five or 10% to work on these other things to help expand my channels a little bit, but I have to focus on Amazon right now. Keep building it up. Once I get to a little higher level, maybe to around four, 500,000 per month in sales, I will put more time in investing outside of Amazon.

TODD (26:36):
I also mentioned the past I’m investing in real estate because that is a very secure investment, right? If everything went to heck and I lost Amazon, if I took a percentage of the money, I make profit and I’m investing it over here and real estate, that’s not going anywhere. It would take a lot for having any problems in that. And I’m investing in areas that are very stable areas like Florida and Tennessee and the Midwest, not places like California in New York, where real estate is crazy and the price makes zero sense. You’re investing in places in the Midwest, blue collar areas, industrial areas and things like that. That’s what I’m doing and they’re going to be a lot more stable. So that’s part of my strategy as well. So definitely a good article is really short, but wanting to bring that up because I think it is important to think about that what you’re going to do outside of Amazon as you start to grow.

TODD (27:37):
So all your eggs are not in one basket. All right? So this one is interesting. This is from WMA, our Baltimore, ABC, Amazon drivers seen dropping packages into sewer in Baltimore County neighborhood. And Amazon driver was seen dropping packages. According to Baltimore County police officers were called to the 1800 block Edward road around six 44 after a neighbor called nine 11 to say an Amazon driver was dropping packages into the sewer. So if you live in Baltimore County and you didn’t get your packages, now you might know why. Please say the driver is from a temp agency. I wanted to get off of work. He dumped the packages out of anger and the temp agency will be on the hook for the damages. Please are waiting for the officer to finish the report, to see how many packages were damaged. They will terminate the rest, needs to be made unbelievable that someone would be throwing away people’s packages.

TODD (28:34):
I mean, how you’re responsible. Can you be, it’s just unbelievable. A lot of stupid people out there. I’m not definitely not thinking about the people who are supposed to be receiving those packages and just wanted to get off of work and probably go to the bar or something who knows, but just kinda one of those shake your heads stories. All right. So this one I’m just going to talk about real quick from the wall street journal. I am not able to see the whole article here. Unfortunately, you have to subscribe to get it, which I’m not going to do that, but it says California is examining Amazon’s business practices. State is looking at how the tech giant treats third party sellers. So I’ve read other articles. In addition to this one, the European union is already investigating Amazon for taking advantage of third party sellers using their data and things like that.

TODD (29:29):
And now Amazon is actually doing it as well. I’m going to read here. What I can see California investigators are examining Amazon inks business practices as part of an inquiry into the tech. According to people familiar with the matter the state’s review focuses, at least in part on how Amazon treats sellers and its online marketplace. These people said that includes Amazon’s practices for selling its own products and competition. With third party sellers. One of the people said neither Amazon nor California has disclosed an antitrust investigation. So basically what this is, is kind of a continuation of what I talked about previously in the news that Amazon was using people’s third party data to create products of their own and then compete against them. So again, I don’t have any problem with that, but I think that’s normal practice in retail, but where there may be some issues is if Amazon is using an algorithm to give preference to its own products, because Amazon has created a marketplace where it’s allowing people to come in.

TODD (30:33):
I know that it’s a private company and a private company should be able to do whatever it wants to do really, but Amazon has built a marketplace and there are now hundreds of thousands of sellers that are relying on income from Amazon. And if you are intentionally decreasing those sellers sales in favor of your own, then I think there’s a case there to be made, but that could potentially be a monopolistic practice. Also, if Amazon is giving itself free advertising as well, putting itself at the top, that could be an issue, perhaps a bigger one, even though it could be the buy box, right? Because a lot of times I say, don’t compete with Amazon because Amazon is not going to give you the buy box. So is that maybe perhaps an anti competitive practice if Amazon has the buy box or if Amazon selling and I’m selling, I have a really good feedback rating 99 or a hundred percent, depending on the day.

TODD (31:40):
And our prices are the same, but I’m not getting any sales because Amazon’s just hoarding it all to themselves. Is that an anti-competitive practice? I am leaning towards saying, yes, I hesitate because as I said before, I’m more of a libertarian and I feel like the government should stay out of things, but at the same time, you need to make sure that big businesses are not necessarily taking advantage of small businesses because we have an environment where regulations and big business prop up, or I’m sorry, regulations and big government prop up big business. And that can give an unfair advantage to businesses. So I don’t know I’m torn on this because I definitely think it’s an issue. I curse Amazon sometimes. Right? For doing that kind of stuff. Maybe it’s monopolistic. I don’t know. You let me know what you think in the comments. Do you consider that a monopolistic practice Amazon has taken advantage of its platform, but at the same time, it’s their platform, right?

TODD (32:43):
We’re not selling on a public platform or anything, but maybe Amazon’s platform is becoming a public sales platform. Could we compare it to going down to a farmer’s market on public property and one company that organized the farmer’s market is making everyone else put their booths behind them so that everyone sees them first. And then if someone else is selling a similar product, they set a sign up right in front of theirs so that they are buying from the organizer of the farmer’s market. I don’t know if that’s a fair comparison or not. I gotta think about that a little bit more. I’m kinda torn on it. I definitely think there’s some thing that perhaps governments could do in that area to make it a little more fair or actually, hopefully Amazon will do themselves just because of pressure from government, right? Because laws, if they make a law on that, that’s not gonna be the only thing in the bill.

TODD (33:50):
There’s when you pass a bill, they have a title on it. And then there’s a hundred million other things in there that have nothing to do with it or would hurt. So ideally government doesn’t have to get involved. They can just put a little pressure. Maybe an Amazon will reform its own policies. I think that would be the best of both worlds. That way we’re not getting the government involved, but we’re using the power of the people, right? Power, the people and putting a little pressure on Amazon. We’ll see, we’ll see what comes to this European union and California are both targeting Amazon now. You know, we’ll see how it goes. And the final article here, SBA finally clarifies PPP loan, forgiveness rules, full forgiveness for self employed borrowers. So this has been a big one for a while because the rules were never clear if you took a PPP loan, which is one of the loans that the SBA was given or giving out to businesses from the Corona virus relief package that the government, the federal government passed.

TODD (34:58):
And so let’s see here, if you’re a freelancer or other self employed person, wondering if you’ll get forgiveness for loans taken out under the pay check protection program, PPP yesterday brought good news. The SBA filed its 19th interim final rule scheduled to be published on Friday, June 19th, focusing on revisions made from paycheck protection program. Flexibility act signed into law on June 5th, the unpublished version of the update ensures full forgiveness for self employed, freelancers and independent. So self-employed comma, freelancers and independent contractors who took the maximum loan amount based on 2.5 times, their 2019 monthly income. So this is really good news. So if you are selling on Amazon, you are a self employed person. Whether you have a business set up or not, if you haven’t filed like an LLC, you are a sole proprietorship. As soon as you start doing any kind of business, your business is formed, whether you like it or not, it’s just formed under your name, basically.

TODD (36:10):
So you are self employed. And so what this is saying that is if we take the paycheck protection program, 2.5 times, whatever your income was in 2019. Now, presumably that’s income from your business that is going to be forgivable. So you’re going to get that money from the government and poof, you never have to pay it back, right? We never had to pay it back. Well, we all pay taxes. So we’re going to have to pay higher taxes in the future. And so somebody is going to have to pay it back one way or another, but you don’t have to pay back the loan. So in my opinion, we all should be taking this right now. I’m not a fan of government handouts and things like this, but I’m also of a mind that as a business owner and as someone who plans on being a part of the 1% in the future, I’m going to be paying for this and not high taxes.

TODD (37:09):
So I’m going to be paying it back anyways. I might as well get my money from it, right. Especially when there’s big businesses out there that should have never got any of this money that have gotten tens or hundreds of millions of dollars from this like huge businesses that were not necessarily having any trouble. So as a small business, you know, I’m not going to get a whole month, whole lot, 2.5 times income from 2019 is not going to be huge, but I would recommend going and filing and getting this right now. I’m not an accountant or an advisor or a legal person or anything like that. So take my recommendations with a grain of salt, but that is my opinion on that. I definitely would not be afraid of taking it for your business. All right. So that is this week’s Amazon news. I hope you guys got some out of that.

TODD (38:06):
I put more of my opinion in there this time. I’m kind of opening up on that politically a little bit, as well as just giving more of my opinion. So hopefully you guys don’t mind out there. If you’re of a different mind, a different political mind than mine, hopefully you are open enough to be able to share ideas back and forth and put your comments down below. Let me know what you think of these articles of my opinion. Maybe you think I’m full of it and you have a complete different idea on what some of these stories mean. Let me know down in the comments. I really want to know an open dialogue is always the most important thing in any candidate discussion. So I really appreciate you guys out there listening to the episode, listening to the podcast again, like subscribe and comment down below, you can get links to all these stories around entrepreneur adventure.com forward slash 29. And also remember ask your question, entrepreneur venture.com forward slash ask. I love answering your guys’ questions. So record your questions there. And yeah, I run that. This is the end of this episode. This is Todd Welch with the entrepreneur adventure signing off happy selling everybody.

Speaker 2 (39:30):
This has been another episode of the entrepreneur adventure podcast. Thanks for listening fellow entrepreneur and always remember success is yours. If you take it.

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