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How Prime Day 2019 Fare from Past Years

by Brian Zammit, 19 July 2019

Do something in the direction of your goals today so small, it is impossible to fail.

I don't know where this came from, but I think it summarizes the low risk thinking many business owners hold.

Most business owners I have met are not risk takers.  Actually, it's the complete opposite.

We understand what the real downside is of a decision. We keep digging into a question to find out what the real worst case is, and it's rarely catastrophic.

In fact, we often find that not going ahead is a higher risk, than failing at trying.

Then we make consistent, small, decisions towards the goal.

Especially in Summer with family vacations and nice weather, sometimes it's just a single task list item that's planned for a day.

But it gets done.

Every day, without exception. Something is checked off, completed, or progress is made in the right direction.

If something isn't working, I can look back and know its just a single task one day that didn't work out as planned.

It's not game ending.

Just a reminder that not everything works as expected.

And taking such small steps keeps the daily investment so small that backing out of a decision or dealing with a failure doesn't feel like a big deal.

Try breaking up one of your bigger projects into very small parts.

Do just one task for that project today.

A project you know you should be working on, and it has an outsized return if it works out.  But you have avoided doing the work.

Do a single task every day for a couple weeks and see where you end up.

For this week, we have these nuggets for you:


Well, that worked.

Prime Day was a success according to the early numbers being released by Amazon. The event ran for 48 hours instead of last years' 36, and brought in $2 billion in those 2 days.

The unsung hero of the day might be in plain sight though. Amazon signed up a record number of people to their Prime program. Many deal hunters will cancel their new subscription, but many will keep paying the $119 fee.

Winning categories were electronics on day 1, and clothing, accessories, school and office supplies on day 2.

Prime Day 2019


Western companies have noticed what Asia is doing, and are trying to copy them. Gone are the days of China being great at just copying what the West does. The script has flipped.

China has been innovating for years in retail commerce, and we are now a generation or two behind.  Remember, the Chinese skipped the entire credit card and banking system thing we are stuck with in the west.

And consumer direct to brands is normal in China.

Alibaba and WeChat have enabled this for many years now, and Chinese consumers expect direct interaction with brands by chat and video.

We expect to see a lot more western consumer direct platforms and projects in the near future.

Helping small retailers bypass Google and Amazon


It looks like Amazon is liable for products sold on its platform, even by third party sellers. At least in one case, which may set the precedent for more liability by Amazon. Amazon already requires sellers that have 3 consecutive months of $10k monthly sales on their platform to carry liability insurance. But they have been very loose in enforcing this. Expect to see Amazon requesting proof of insurance much more consistently in the coming months.Amazon can be held liable for third-party seller products


Another interesting way to boost retail sales.

Basically a digital layaway program. Buy now, pay later, has possibly been around since the start of commerce.

It's really just extending store credit to consumers, in the hope of capturing the excitement of a product with a no cost (today) option.

I can see this popping up much more regularly, and a retailer like Amazon could really run with this idea.

Actually, Amazon already does this for business buyers, by allowing regular invoicing for their purchases instead of the regular cart checkout.

Let's see where this goes.

Abercrombie's buy now, pay later program


The US tariffs on Chinese imports have hit a lot of our products.  And there's no way to know how long this will last.

But the US government has provided a way to plead for an exemption for your specific goods. I tried this for previous lists and did not get approved, but it's worth a try.

You have to register (for free), then walk through the questions with as much detail as possible.

Make sure you explain how your unique situation requires an exemption.

Sound familiar? Yes, it's like selling a product to consumers, but you're selling your idea to the US government in this case.

If you find the magic words to get an exemption, let us know!

USTR released the Section 301 product exclusion process for List 3 goods from China.

Section 301 product exclusion process for List 3 goods from China

Request an Exclusion from Section 301 Tariff Action