eCommerce Conundrum

Hey all I’m new.

The 2018 farm bill legalized CBD at a federal level in the US, but its still banned on most major ecommerce platforms: Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Etsy. Its possible to sell legally on Shopify (but not using stripe gateway).

Sellers are getting around this on Amazonby listing it as hemps33d oil and towing the line on vocabulary. 

SIK is using the method above, but SIKs worried that the rules aren’t going to change anytime soon and this threatens FBA inventory making the current model unsustainable. Amazon is super controlling and trigger happy with listing takedowns etc. SIK has read stories of inventory destroyed and major losses over counterfeit claims and sellers being reported by thirsty competitors.

SIK is trying to set up a Shopify instead to pivot to a more sustainable business model. So they’re wondering if they should keep playing Russian roulette with Amazon or if they should ditch Amazon and focus on one business strategy instead of both.

Fun fact: SIK has not made any money on this yet, first inventory is set to ship in a week or two to the warehouse.

Pros of Amazon: Organic traffic, structure in place for PPC ads, FBA (prime shipping to customers).

Cons of Amazon: they are controlling sh*tlords, prices are competitive, seller central is a UI dumpster fire, SIK must advertise incognito the true nature of the product, packaging cannot have vocab like CBD or Full Spectrum, might lose inventory.

Pros of Shopify: CBD isn’t banned, decent UI, plugin opportunities w/ 3PL fulfillment, accounting, logistics management, keeping money out of Amazons pockets.

Cons of Shopify: 3PL is expensive (starts around 250mo), not qualified for SFN, must generate direct traffic, need to move everything over (inconvenient), Need work around for Stripe (inconvenient).

Thanks for reading – any insight on a proper strategy is appreciated.

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