The effects Geopolitics
The effects of Geopolitics on the small business can be enormous. If you think about the way businesses operate within the United States, then you know doubt realize that many of our manufacturers are in China. What happens if it is illegal to do business with a Chinese company? With the tensions rising among North Korea and the United States, this is something you need to be thinking about. Do you have a back up to your Chinese supplier?
Watch these two youtube videos, and there is a different conflict China may be involved in to worry about:
India and Chinese conflict
We covered the conference held in China relating the Belt and Road Initiative. if you recall, during this conference India did not have a representative in attendance. Now India is actually blocking the road from going forward over disputed territory. It turns out that the territory China is building the road on, India considers to be part of India making the construction unauthorized.
India has been sending troops to the border this past weekend to show they are not willing to give up their positions on this disputed territory. Our problem is that if this does turn into anything major like a war or conflict. It is likely that the USA will back India. Sanctions might be implemented on Chinese goods making expensive for small businesses to use existing manufacturers.
Have a Back Up Plan
Have a back up plan. Start talking to other suppliers. Look online for suppliers in places like Guatemala or other countries. For years the Chinese have been the main source of suppliers for companies within the USA. If this needed to change, what would happen? Hopefully, cooler heads prevail. Look at North Korea and the USA as well. This could turn into an issue which would also involve China. With so many things happening at once, it is always helpful to have a back up plan.
Depending on your product, the supplier in another country may need time to develop a replacement supply for your product. Don’t wait until it is too late.
Obviously the best scenario would be for nothing to happen out of the ordinary. Given the current situation however, it is also important to have a back up plan for the worst case scenario.
Plan while others are complacent
Right now your competitors may not be thinking about things like this. If they are sourcing their goods from China as well, then you will have the advantage if something actually does happen to cause the USA to make doing business with China more difficult.
As a small business you do not have the time to waste. If your suppliers are unavailable then you might be shut down for a long period of time.
This small business blog has always been dedicated to helping you grow your business. We also want you to protect what you have creative. In light of the current geopolitical tensions, we wanted to write this post to make you aware of what is happening. The India/Chinese conflict has not been featured in the US media, but it could turn out to be an important event if it turns into something more. Geopolitics need to be considered here.
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Times are changing
To say that times are changing is a statement so obvious. In today’s world we have the ability to buy something and have it show up within hours without ever having to interact with a human being. If you think back to even thirty years ago, then you can remember how hard it was to find what you wanted. People had to actually go to a store and walk around to find things they might want.
The malls got foot traffic because certain stores attracted the attention for the smaller stores. Spending time at the mall was an event people got ready for. They planned a day of it. Now malls are dying all around the country.
Where do we go from here?
Amazon has made the e-commerce world a huge market for everyone. They have become very efficient at what they do, but the backlash against Amazon is starting to grow louder and louder. As stores have to shut down, other companies are innovating to keep up with Amazon. Companies are building better mouse traps. Amazon has forced everyone to become better. It is hard to imagine what is next.
Anticipate the next big thing
We are a small business blog. Escape Amazon cares about the smaller business person trying to sell things online without much capital to back them up. You must be forward thinking in this position because you do not have a choice. What trends are beginning to form that will re-shape the future? Imagine if you invested in Amazon in 1996, you would be wealthy today.
A few trends that I see becoming part of the future of the world are VR and Robotics. It is hard to see how we are going to be able to monetize things like drones. The VR world is going to revolutionize how we interact with each other. This might be a bad thing, but it doesn’t have to be.
How can you make money off of these trends? These trends are not the only ones that will become something in the future. What systems are in place that you can improve on? Netflix made a better way to rent movies. Before Netflix, Blockbuster was the king of video rentals. After Netflix, Blockbuster became bankrupt. Local music stores are a thing of the past because of itunes.
How can you thrive in this environment? What are you going to do to make money? Corporations are getting larger, but they have been forever. The fact that you are a small business now is not a reason to quit. Work harder is actually what you need to be doing, but the work has to be on the right things. Are you researching up coming trends? You have a great idea, but will it be relevant in ten years? Because you are small means you do not have time to waste!
This business blog will keep on going. I hope you find the information useful. Please let me know if you have any questions!
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Keep on working! You will win in the end.
Walmart of the Internet
we started this blog approximately five months ago. The purpose of this blog is to help small businesses grow their online presence. Many retailers are now waking up to the fact that Amazon is trying to take over the world. This is obviously bad for retailers, but Amazon is now down 8% from their high in terms of stock price. They harness the power of the internet to put companies out of business. They are becoming less efficient as well.
I have personally had two orders in the last week miss their commitment time from Amazon as well. One was on a next day shipment, and the second was on a prime shipment. Amazon is not making any profits according to their last earnings statement released.
Walmart’s new app
Wal-mart has it’s own scan and go app now. This app allows you to scan items in the store and pay for them on the app without waiting in line. An attendant checks your receipt on the way out. This is great news. The one thing I dislike about Wal-mart is the fact they have 25 check out lines and one checker. With this app they can have the one checker verifying receipts at a 1/10 of the time.
More on this story can be found: HERE
Amazon’s private label
Another warning we wanted to get out to the public is Amazon’s private label brands. When we started this blog the Amazon brand wasn’t widely known, but we have always maintained that Amazon manages your inventory if you are a FBA seller. If they see your product selling well, then what stops them from copying it? It turns out they have been doing this a lot with clothing.
More on this story can be found HERE
Amazon Prime Wardrobe
Amazon Prime Wardrobe is in beta phase currently, but whose clothes do you think they will push when it rolls out? They have Amazon private brands for men, women and kids now. This will be a huge detriment to all retailers. I feel like this should push them over the edge in terms of being a monopoly especially in the retail clothing space. Over 50% of people shopping on the internet go directly to Amazon. It is projected that over half of American house holds will be prime members by the end of the year. This will make all of those households eligible to use Amazon Prime Wardrobe.
Don’t forget that they are also pushing for people on Welfare to sign up at a lesser rate, so they can eventually get the money of the needy by siphoning it out of the welfare system when they buy whole foods.
More on this Story HERE
We will push on
We will continue to keep you informed about what Amazon is doing online, and how they are trying to put people out of business. They are bigger threat than Wal-mart ever was because of the sheer size and scope of what they are accomplishing. Keep in mind that they have not yet made a profit, so they are doing this all on borrowed funds from investors.
The small business cannot raise the capital that Amazon raises. It shouldn’t be a choice between selling on Amazon or not selling at all. This is essentially the e-commerce environment Amazon has created.
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The Real Reason Amazon Bought Whole Foods
In America we have seen many retail stores closing down lately. I thought it was strange when Amazon would buy a retail store front like Whole Foods when they have been so successful at putting retail stores out of business because of their efficient business model.
I read an article recently that stated that Amazon was part of a pilot program with a few other grocers that will allow for online food delivery using the EBT program. If you are not familiar with this, it is the welfare program that allows people to buy food and essential goods with a government subsidy. It is paid monthly to those who qualify.
There are many arguments about how much money the US government actually spends on welfare. The Washington Post wrote this article in January 2014 putting the figure of welfare at $75 billion dollars for the EBT benefit:
The buying of whole foods makes sense when you realize that Amazon was part of the EBT pilot program to take care of the problem of food deserts. Also remember that Amazon recently gave a discount to people holding the EBT card. This will give Amazon 400 stores to distribute items that are eligible to purchased through the EBT card. The delivery fee and premium cost Amazon can make from this is enough to make a retail store profitable in today’s market.
EBT Discount for Prime
so what was the EBT discount for Prime then? This was a way for Amazon to identify who held the EBT card and start marketing directly to these people. When the pilot is successful, Amazon will already have a database filled with customer information. Customers on welfare. The pilot lasts for two years, for more on the pilot that Amazon is currently in read this story:
The deal with Amazon will most likely take years for the transition to be complete. At this time, the pilot will be over and the government will need to decide if the EBT card can continue to be used online.
Amazon will take away the high cost of Prime Fresh when this rolls out. The food items will most likely come with a higher price tag when purchasing it online like most other companies like instacart currently do. I have seen some items on Instacart that are 30% higher than the list price.
Spinning the positives
Amazon will take this opportunity to spin the program in a positive light. This program was made for the mother who has three kids and has to drag all of them to the store just to buy $40 in groceries. Amazon accepting EBT allows for people without cars to get food delivered that would spoil on the walk home. With 400 stores, this will open up a $75 billion dollar market just in government money.
This doesn’t include the other things they can do with the stores like run same day distribution out of it. Amazon may not even need to modernize the Whole Foods stores for this to be profitable. If they just raise the prices online and the government allows the EBT cards to be used online, then it can be profitable.
Meant to be Good
I know the welfare program was meant to be good. It does help some families there is no doubt. There is a number of people who abuse the system however. I have been in line at gas stations where a young 20 something person is in front of me getting a gallon of ice cream, pastries, and other crap. Things you wouldn’t think to buy at a gas station because the premium on them is astronomical. Then you see them pull out the EBT card. This is when you realize they obviously don’t value money because someone else is paying for those items.
This is the beauty of the Amazon plan because they can charge premiums online. Some people paying with EBT won’t care. The Ice Cream and pastries are being delivered on someone else’s dime. What do they care how much it costs? If Amazon can take 20 % of the EBT money only that is $15 billion dollars a year.
Now the $13.7 Billion dollar price tag of Whole Foods seems like a deal right?
What do you think about this?
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Small business blog
I wanted to take some time out from the normal posts on this small business blog to write this article. The next article will continue the Facebook Ad series. Thank you for reading and subscribing.
Ebay Examples for you
In this post, we will highlight more examples of items that can be sold on your Big Commerce website and Ebay. We are writing about this today to eliminate the excuses in your mind that this doesn’t work. If I can show you examples of how it does work, then what reasoning do you have to not try it yourself?
Many read the post I did on selling items on E-bay from Aliexpress.com in a negative manner thinking that this is a one off example. Today, I will show you that this is very common.
One category I found to be particularly profitable was the women’s hair category on Ebay. This is a picture of a product listed on Aliexpress.com
So, we see that this is for sale on Ali Express for $15.38 a lot which the title indicates 5 packs in a lot. This means that the product individually is $3.08 per piece.
On Ebay, we see the same product for sale here:
On Ebay this product is obviously listed at $51.26, but this is for 6. Therefore, the total per piece on the Ebay listing is $8.54. The gross revenue made is over 250% on the Ebay sale. Selling a few of these a month can fund your Big Commerce store.
The next example I will give is in electronics. The first listing is off of Aliexpress.com. This is a Bluetooth speaker:
This is selling on Aliexpress for as much as $22.39. Notice on the listing under the price they do offer bulk pricing as well. This item is being shipped from the USA, so you do not have to wait 30-40 days to get your order for this product.
On Ebay, we can find this same exact product. I have posted a picture of the Ebay listing for this product:
On the Ebay listing for the same product they are pricing it at $34.86 cents. You can make $12 in gross revenue on just the base price from Aliexpress to Ebay.
Use with other products
If you have an electronics website or a site that sells women’s hair products, then these examples might be something you want to use on your Big Commerce store. If not, then try and find other examples on Ali Express that apply to the business you are in.
You may already have a core product that you are trying to sell on your own website, use examples like these to get sales and drive traffic to your personal website. Regardless of the business you are in there are examples on Ali Express or sites like Ali Express for you to take advantage of.
You can build a Big Commerce site around items you find on Ali Express that you want to sell on Ebay for a profit. As I mentioned in the first post on this topic, it is better to target a certain industry when building your website. There are many examples of websites that sell a wide variety of items who are successful however.
Really, the key is to get started. It is easy to do nothing. If you are complaining about your boss or your job or not having enough money, then I have given you a way to get started on changing your situation.
It really is easy enough to get set up on Big Commerce where you can be online selling products within an hour. You get a free trial! They offer a low cost solution to building your own website for people who do not know how to code. The days of needing to know how to code to build a website are gone. Anyone with the desire to have a website can have one. It takes time and effort but we can say some of the limiting factors from the past are now removed.
What are you going to do?
Finally, I ask after all of that, what are you going to do? Let me know if you have any questions on any of this information. Leave a comment, so I can interact with you directly!
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Amazon Prime Day Deals or NO-deals?
Amazon Prime Day has been promised as a day where Amazon will offer great deals on many products. This has been billed as a Black Friday sort of day with that level of savings on popular products. In this post I will show some examples of the deals on offer. I was waiting to buy a few things online to see what savings would be offered on things I actually needed. All of the images in this post are taken from Amazon.com from my feed for Prime day deals. Our featured image is also the Amazon Prime Day logo.
Sadly, on the first page I was shown these deals:
Three of these products are Amazon’s own products. A PS4 is shown at a price which can be found elsewhere. We also see a Roomba on sale and a pressure cooker for under 20% off. The largest deals are on Amazon’s own products. This is the problem I see with selling your products on Amazon.com because they have the power to favor their products over yours. Missing from these deals are items that people actually want in mass. Where are the deals on Apple Iphones or Samsung phones? During Black Friday we see deals on products people are actually looking for.
Here are more deals shown to me:
Second verse same as the first
In the image above more deals are shown. A Lenovo laptop which are made in Mexico and is a Chinese company itself. An Apple certified product is shown. My Featured page also has binoculars for some reason. The point of this is none of these products are anything I actually want or need.
Amazon has used this occasion to push it’s own products primarily along with cheap knock offs of American products. These products are probably taking up space in Amazon warehouses around the country. Using this “holiday” Amazon can partner with Chinese companies who manufacture these cheap knock offs to get rid of their inventory which is basically like dumping cheap products on unsuspecting Americans. Products are being sold at a trusted site like Amazon so consumers are none the wiser.
This blog is a small business blog dedicated to helping the small business person succeed in the e-commerce space. Amazon being the Wal-mart of the internet is the destroyer of small business websites competing in the retail space.
We now see first hand on Prime Day that Amazon is pushing cheaper Chinese goods on to American consumers during Prime Day. Neither the boutique shop selling items nor the large American retailers are featured on Prime Day.
Because this is a business blog and we discuss Amazon’s effect on retailers, I felt the need to highlight what I am finding on Prime Day.
The solution for the small business is to sell products on your own website. Obviously your website will not receive the traffic that Amazon receives. This business blog wants you to know that we recommend selling on Amazon as a revenue and sales source. Once a sale is made on your Amazon store, you should be engaging your customer directly to encourage future orders from your direct website. This allows you to increase the revenue you actually keep from sales. Amazon will not like this practice, so you may have to conceal your efforts. Using a UPS branded label is one example we have suggested in the past. A branded box with your website listed on it or a QR code for discounts on the exterior of your packaging. Use the QR code to direct traffic to your site.
These are a few examples, You can read our posts on SEO by clicking the SEO category to the right for more information on how to drive traffic to your website.
First of all, you will need a site if you do not have one. So, we recommend you look at Shopify and Big Commerce as starting points. Because both of these sites offer free trials. As a result, you can try out both sites for at least 15 days and choose which one you are comfortable with. Use the images below to sign up.
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Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Share this post with anyone who might enjoy reading this as much as you have, so we can all share the information on Amazon Prime Day!
So, thanks again for reading and have a great day!