E156: Paul Rafelson

Licensing and Trademarks: Safeguarding Your eCommerce Business' Value and Integrity

paul black and white headshot for licensing and trademark podcast

eCom@One Listen on Spotify

Podcast Overview

Don’t get caught out! Paul delves deep into the nuanced realm of licensing and trademarks in eCommerce. 

Discover the pivotal role of safeguarding intellectual property in driving digital commerce success and gain expert insights on adeptly navigating legal intricacies, sidestepping challenges and nurturing brand expansion.

eCom@One Presents

Paul Rafelson 

Paul Rafelson is the Partner and Founder at Rafelson Law PLLC, the Entrepreneur’s Law Firm. They were born out of the idea that today’s leading entrepreneurs deserve legal talent once reserved for large corporations. 

Their attorneys are dedicated to using their experience and education to help your business succeed in today’s global eCommerce driven economy.

In this episode, Paul dives into the crucial topic of intellectual property and legal issues that eCommerce sellers encounter in the ever-evolving world of online business. 

He shares his expertise on trademarks, copyrights, and patents, shedding light on the importance of proper licensing for images used in a business and the potential impact on selling a business without owning trademarks. 

Join us as we explore the intricacies of legal compliance, trademark enforcement, and the fascinating world of e-commerce. Let’s jump right in!

Topics covered: 

2:21 –  The journey of his business 

7:43 – Amazon’s responsibility for compliance creates challenges

9:11 – Competitor price tracking software for increasing revenue

12:06 – Website compliance, lawsuits &  privacy issues with pixels

14:59 – Research product regulations in each country

19:31 – Intellectual property protection is crucial. Register your trademarks for enforcement and business value

22:03 – Amazon’s patent system provides legal protection

26:45 – Legal services for business sale/purchase, exit complications

31:15 – Compliance with laws is crucial in business

36:13 – Evaluations, patents, and accounting mistakes affect value

40:12 – Beware bad sales tax advice, seek counsel

45:07 – Brand registry confusion leads to selling issues

47:12 – Appliances sell Nike, sometimes from outlet shops, resell on Amazon. Caution with sellers in China or Wyoming. Counterfeit accusations can be mistaken.

49:46 – Book recommendation

Richard Hill [00:00:04]:

Hi there. I'm Richard Hill, the host of eCom@One, and welcome to episode 156. this episode, I'll speak with Paul Rafelson, partner at Raferlson Law Plc. Now Paul's rare breed working specifically with eCom and marketplace merchants navigating the legal side of being merchant. Paul dives into, how can e commerce businesses ensure compliance with the ever changing legal landscape to protect both their customers and their company? with the rise of international commerce, what are the legal implications and challenges of selling products or services across different countries that are out there? How can e commerce businesses protect their intellectual properties such as trade marks and copyrights on digital marketplaces. What are some of the common legal pitfalls that eCom entrepreneurs should be aware of and how you can avoid them? and how CEOs are who are exiting their business can come out ahead. And of course, so much more on this one. If you enjoy this episode, hit the subscribe or follow button wherever you are listening to this podcast, so you're always the first to know when a new episode is released now. Let's head over to this fantastic episode.

Richard Hill [00:01:07]:

Hi, and welcome to another episode of Econ 1. Today's guest Paul Raferson, partner at Raferson Law, PLLC. How you doing, Paul?

Paul Rafelson [00:01:16]:

Hey. How are you? Thanks for, having me on here today.

Richard Hill [00:01:19]:

I'm really good, actually. Really good. The sun is shining, which is, as we

Richard Hill [00:01:23]:

know in the UK, can it's not

Richard Hill [00:01:25]:

it's quite rare. So it's, it's -- Quite

Paul Rafelson [00:01:26]:

a novel to you. I that's what I remember. So that's awesome.

Richard Hill [00:01:31]:

So thanks for coming on the show. I was just sort of casting back to the last sort of 3 years plus of episodes, and I don't think we've done I'm pretty damn sure we've not done an episode, sort of focused on the sort of legal side, of ecommerce and law. So I'm really looking forward to getting into this one. So I think before we do, it would be great for you to introduce yourself and tell our listeners how you go into the world of e commerce and the legal law side of things.

Paul Rafelson [00:01:55]:

Yeah. So I give you the short story. went to law school about a year college. I started out in finance, and quickly in 2001. decided I don't wanna do that anymore. I moved to law. And, during my time in law school, I was actually an ecommerce seller, and we're talking, like,

Richard Hill [00:02:19]:

2003, 2004,005.

Paul Rafelson [00:02:21]:

I was flipping you know, or we call it retail arbitrage. It's a fancy name now. Yeah. it didn't have that back then. a lot of people called me a scammer. For some reason, I was scamming, I'm like, I'm buying it. I'm not sealing it. But, but, you know, I sold on a bunch of the platforms, eBayhalf.com I think was owned by eBay back then. Yeah. You know, Craigslist. I I'd list everywhere, and Amazon, of course. And, you know, but it never just that, you know, I made a lot of money, paid for school, pay, you know, kept me out of debt. but it never, like, seemed to me, like, this is, like, you're gonna make a living doing this, and I was in law school. So, man, it's just gonna be a lawyer. I was a lawyer, and I did mostly tax and corporate. I worked for really big companies like Microsoft, Walmart, General Electric, and it was about my 5th year into General Electric, when I left because we had just, you know, done this move to Boston and and all these changes. I just was not into the direction. So I I walked away, and my intention was to just keep doing what I was doing and just go find, like, another law firm or another company you know, I just kinda was taking a break, actually. You know, I've been working for a long time. and I was asked to write a blog post about sales tax and Amazon and eCom. And when I wrote that blog post, it kinda I wanna say it went viral, but it got a lot of response and really showed me how there's a market here for people who need your help. And and which is odd to me because the law I practice, like, I'm supporting the Fortune 50, not people making, like, a 1,000,000 in growth. Yeah. Right? Or less than a 1,000,000 gross even. Right? But now it's like and that's kinda what it dawned on me. Like, it's not just taxes. It's not just corporate. It's like it's everything. It's IP. It's it's compliance. you know, there's a whole host of issues that e commerce sellers need help with that I I felt like Okay. We could build a practice that is kinda uniquely poised to help smaller business with what used to be bigger corporate issues because to me, that's what eCom says. Ecommerce in a way created this, I call it the global small business, right, where, like, suddenly you're a small business. You're making millions and growing sales or tens of, you know, but you're still a small business and you're reaching out. You're not just doing this locally in your town or in your city. You're doing this across the world. You're selling, you know, across different countries. You're importing from different countries. Right? so that's where I kinda coined this term a global small business. That's sort of what was born out of eCom because a lot of what we do today wouldn't be possible in, you know, 19 eighties infrastructure. Yeah. or even nineties infrastructure. and so that's kinda how I got into the law practice. It's just kind of seeing, like, wow, there's a lot of people who need a little bit more help from lawyers who have that global law experience. And most lawyers who have global law experience, again, are focusing on a different client, but this just, you know, maybe I felt a little bit of an attachment because I was an eCom seller. I wasn't, maybe, that's a 100% true. Like, I felt connected especially when all these eCom sellers were being accused of tax fraud. I felt like that was an attack at me, and I knew they were right and that this government's were wrong. So I wanted to fight -- Yeah.

Richard Hill [00:05:32]:

Okay. Well, that's, yeah, I love I love hearing the stories of, you know, most people start doing one thing. You know, that's that's life. It's terrific. I'm a big believer that most people have, like, 3 careers in them. so you're so you're sort of on your second, maybe.

Richard Hill [00:05:47]:

So you maybe got 1 more to go.

Paul Rafelson [00:05:48]:

Oh, I'm hoping right there. please.

Richard Hill [00:05:50]:

It'd be a professional golfer.

Paul Rafelson [00:05:52]:

Yeah. It's maybe a professional golfer.

Richard Hill [00:05:55]:

We came on there, but I hate to recall. Yeah.

Richard Hill [00:05:57]:

I think we're both, both the grain that we're probably back

Richard Hill [00:06:01]:

pretty far along, really. But, hey.

Paul Rafelson [00:06:04]:

Hey. But it's fun to walk around and hit hit balls with sticks, and that's fine. Yeah. It's all like, you know, all I'm there for you. So

Richard Hill [00:06:10]:


Richard Hill [00:06:10]:

So, obviously,

Richard Hill [00:06:13]:

a lot of stuff within legal, you know, in

Richard Hill [00:06:15]:

the law side, obviously, depending on where different in

Richard Hill [00:06:17]:

this episode in a country to country, things change, but compliance,

Richard Hill [00:06:21]:

you know, from a customer, you

Richard Hill [00:06:24]:

know, from from a ecom store owner and making sure that you are sort of compliant, you

Richard Hill [00:06:30]:

know, what we say about that, how can companies ensure that they are compliant?

Paul Rafelson [00:06:34]:

Well, that's a task. That's a task and a hat because there's so much compliance, especially in the United States. Right? And then you've got Canada, and then you've got the UK. So, like, you know, you really you know, how is it gotta just start putting in the work and figuring it out? The problem is people don't even know they have a compliance problem. This is the issue we deal with a lot. Like, we have, because you have to understand, you know, you've got 2 platforms. let's call it selling on your website or should I call I just call it Shopify just to be quick, but

Richard Hill [00:07:05]:


Richard Hill [00:07:05]:

Yeah. -- it really

Paul Rafelson [00:07:06]:

just means selling your website. Right? or, like, an e commerce marketplace, like Amazon, you've got kinda 2 pass. Like, historically, neither one of them really are involved in sort of giving you the guardrails, the training wheels you need to know, what you need to know. Amazon historically, who would always disclaim liability for injuries caused by products sold in their platform saying that they're just this sort of intermediary marketplace that the it it'd be like holding the mall responsible for a product that was sold at one of the stores in the mall, right, which is outside the scope of what we call strict liability in America.

Richard Hill [00:07:42]:


Paul Rafelson [00:07:43]:

But but the courts have kind of looked at Amazon in part because of the work we've done and said, well, you know, Amazon, you're really at store. you know, it really is your store. I mean, you know, even the sellers don't even know what their customers are. It's basically your consignment wholesale with these sellers. Right? So that's changed the game a lot because now Amazon realizes it is responsible for compliance. And if sellers on their platform are not compliant, it's not just the sellers are gonna get in trouble. It's Amazon. Yeah. So that has created a really interesting for people who have sold products for years, not knowing they, you know, hey. I didn't know I had to get FDA clearance on this product, and they're like, you know, I I I didn't have no idea. and they're finding out in the last few years, we've seen a major uptick in compliance enforcement. Their products are getting suspended. Their aces are getting suspended. and they're getting told, like, hey. You gotta get into compliance. And sometimes that can be devastating because depending on the nature of the product, compliance can take years.

Richard Hill [00:08:42]:


Paul Rafelson [00:08:42]:

And you step over to Shopify, there's still no Godtery. Shopify really is just, you know, it's just a website service provider. They're not responsible for what you do. So in some respects, now Amazon does have more guardrails and training wheels, to help sellers figure out what they need because they're starting to crack down on letting product products on the platform that don't have compliance documentation, but on Shopify on the other hand, there's no rule and it can get messy. So, you know, we've had clients who've been

Richard Hill [00:09:11]:

Hi there. I just wanted to take a quick break to introduce our sponsor, pricing. Pricing is a competitor price tracking and monitoring software. and dynamically change your product's prices on all sales channels. They work with brands such as Samsung, Sony, and Suzuki to increase their online revenue. you're on Google Shopping, which I know a lot of you guys do, this software is absolutely key to accelerating profit. One of the reasons I recommend pricing to my clients is because can find out your competitors pricing and stock availability in one simple to understand dashboard, giving you a huge competitive advantage. If you have any questions about this software, are you rare to get started with a free 14 day trial, head to econone.comforward/contact and complete the inquiry form, and we will connect our listeners to the pricing team. Right. Let's head straight back to this fantastic episode.

Paul Rafelson [00:09:54]:

You know, ding for selling, shower heads that are the wrong shower heads for a specific state. California, if you wanna guess. Yeah. Super shocker shocker. you know, shower heads that are, you know, 49 state compliant, but not compliant in California, you can get things for for just crazy stuff, and it really comes out of the blue. So

Richard Hill [00:10:13]:


Paul Rafelson [00:10:13]:


Richard Hill [00:10:14]:


Paul Rafelson [00:10:14]:

you know, in some respects, people seem to like Amazon a little better because at least now when you list on Amazon, if you have a product that requires compliance documentation or something, you may get something prompting you from Amazon, making you aware of it. Yeah. But obviously, the best thing you should do is talk to legal, you know, which I know people hate to do. But

Richard Hill [00:10:32]:


Richard Hill [00:10:32]:

So, I mean, so, obviously, so what we're saying then if you're on Amazon, sort of Amazon now, you know, back in the wild west days, maybe you could list anything, you know, and then, you know, the Amazon, but it's not our problem. Well, yeah, it's your problem, so they've obviously tying things up. to list on there, you know, you've gotta make sure that you're compliant with their Ts and Cs and X and obviously that varies depending on which Amazon around the world you're listing on. so, obviously, you're gonna jump for a few more hoops, but, ultimately, if you're listing on Amazon eBay, you know, you will be fairly compliant or is that even a thing fairly compliant. You should be compliant.

Paul Rafelson [00:11:05]:

You're better. You're you're more likely to be pushed into compliance than if you have your own website, maybe she might get a clue that something's wrong. Like, you know, and and I've seen it. Like, I've, you know, had clients who sold products that are regulated by consumer product safety Either because they're marketed to kids or they're, you know, maybe they're, like, bicycle helmets, and they just had no idea. You know, maybe because they're not not from the States. Was that?

Richard Hill [00:11:29]:

So the so if we I think the majority

Richard Hill [00:11:31]:

of our listeners will be very interested to say. So their own website. So you were referring to Shopify, obviously Shopify, BigCOM, Magento, Shopline, and so forth, you know, whole array, which you're a Shopify store owner. you know, what are sort of the typical things that need to be let's take a UK company to be compliant. What are some of the key things that need to be visible on the site.

Paul Rafelson [00:11:56]:

Sure. Well, I can't speak specifically to UK because it's it's not my porte. A lot of our UK clients are selling in the US, but, you know, we have resources if they need it. I'm just not the one

Richard Hill [00:12:06]:

that deals with it.

Paul Rafelson [00:12:06]:

But, I mean, it can be little things. I mean, having a Shopify, I mean, we've had clients sued for not having their website compliant with our disabilities lost. Right? If there's a big, big run of these lawsuits, where, you know, there's there's a person who who who can't see, who's blind, and and their lawyers are just going after these companies, filing these, you know, American with disabilities act complaints. So, I mean, just anything. but you have to look in the nature of the so you have to look at your website. So there's your website compliance. Right? Like, are you complying with, you know, GDPR, which is the privacy of your upgrade. Yeah. Yeah. CCPA, which is California's version of that privacy role. I'll tell you the biggest issue I'm seeing right now is Pixel. the Facebook pixels are becoming hugely litigated right now. There are people getting sued for using pixels claiming that the user didn't know didn't consent to their data being shared with Facebook, which, you know, my argument to that in in the cases I've worked on is, you know, the argument I would probably go with is somewhere somewhere along the lines, they can send it to Facebook's terms of you so they can send it to the pixel. but, you know, to make that argument and get anywhere with it, even if it true. Like, I don't I don't I don't know a 100%. That's a great argument, but that's sort of where my mind goes. you'd spend, you know, tens of not

Richard Hill [00:13:28]:


Paul Rafelson [00:13:28]:

defending yourself. So usually when you get hit with these lawsuits, you just capitulate and you try to settle for as little as possible. So that's sort of like compliance of the site itself. and then there's the product. Right? So what is what kind of product are you selling? Are you selling a product that needs special regulation? Are you selling a product that's regulated by our food and drug administration ruled by the FTC ruled by regulated by the US Department of Agriculture. You're making organic claim. are you selling products that are compliant with California's proposition 65 environmental rule?

Richard Hill [00:14:01]:

So I think selling. California sounds very challenging.

Paul Rafelson [00:14:06]:

California is a disaster. It's a nightmare for it. It's probably the biggest nightmare for e commerce dollars because they just go after out of state people and and, you know, there may be some constitutional challenges, although lately, I don't know, about that, but it is definitely you know, giving people a lot of headache. California does a great job of of, just really making it hard for everybody, but, you know, that's their prerogative.

Richard Hill [00:14:29]:

So I think, you know, we'll have a lot of listeners that are, you know, they're I'm pretty sure that are focused on a country to, you know, maybe maybe in the UK. And now you know, they are looking to dip their toe and and start or or to, explore different international waters.

Richard Hill [00:14:44]:

If you like, whether that's the US, particularly, or different countries in Europe. You know, what are some of

Richard Hill [00:14:49]:

the legal implications of and charges, assign, you know, the products in different countries? you know, going from your main country to the other. I mean, I guess it's gonna be a similar, some of the

Richard Hill [00:14:58]:


Paul Rafelson [00:14:59]:

It's it's exactly. It's gonna be a similar thing. Like, so, you know, you may have you know, you know, Europe might be well, going from the UK to Europe, but, I mean, if you're compliant 1 Europe, you may have some European country. You may have some leeway, but with the others, in certain scenarios, there there is some overlap that that protects you, but you're you're exactly right. I mean, you're gonna have to go through the whole thing again. I mean, there are products that are, you know, sold over the counter in the US that are considered prescription drugs in Europe. Right? So it's something you could be selling you know, that could be a supplement. Might not be a supplement in Europe. So I mean, it's just I mean, it's it's sort of like, you know, you really have to just do the research on the products you're selling. Yeah. 1st and foremost. I don't know if Europe is susceptible to the aside from GDPR. I don't know if Europe is susceptible to the crazy attack, you know, the crazy kinds of things in California. can come up with, but, you really do have to watch your your product and make sure you understand whether or not it can be sold in the country. And if so, what are the what are the restrictions? What claims can you make if it's subject to those kinds of that kind of language? Obviously, come to the US is a big deal, because it's it's it can be a whole different world, but there's a lot of different laws that act differently in different countries. So it's hard, you know, it's hard to say to, generally, but it's it's the same scenario in every country. Right? The benefit of the US is to some extent you know, California aside. For the most part, in the states, you're you're gonna be you know, we're we're a lot of people across the span, you you know, compliance, I think, is a little bit maybe easier in the US once you have it done. Yeah. You're probably in a better spot because you've been you've got this huge market to kinda go with. You know, Europe, I I think I guess it's kinda similar, but, I don't know. I I I think it's just just always very case by case specific about, you know, depending on what the pre note, what what I would say to a supplement seller may be entirely different to something I'd say. Somebody's making it. It's like a kid's product.

Richard Hill [00:16:56]:

Yeah. I've got a friend who's he's he's not he's not a lawyer, but he's he has a lab and he has very he has various UK companies that sell supplements or that type of product, you know, something that's either put on the skin or, you know, it is consumed. And then companies go to him for him to test them for the different markets. So they'll send in, you know, 2 or 3 products or 10 products, and he puts them through his, you know, lab and and then stamps them for approval in country sort of thing. So, you know, it gives them the the various different certification that they need, but, obviously, as you say, various from the country to country. so I think IP and intellectual property, you know, I know a lot of stores, you know, I think it's, you know, it's a big topic. A lot of stores, you know, they spent a lot of time creating their descriptions and their imagery and their brand, even, you know, the actual brand, a set of products and creating a brand around a set of products, creating their own IP, their own insights, property, you know, the trade malts, everything, you know, and they like to think they've gone all the way through, but then still people are, you know, maybe, how can we put it pinching their stuff, you know, you know, what would you say? You know, what would you say about that?

Richard Hill [00:18:09]:

I mean, especially on sort of marketplaces as well. I think you see know, people just appearing on marketplaces and they're just based on all and everybody's under the merchants, you know, listing in effect.

Paul Rafelson [00:18:20]:

Uh-huh. No. I mean, that's a big issue, and that's that's an area we deal with, quite a lot. I mean, we get it on both sides. We get people who you know, if you like they're not infringing on anyone's IP, getting accused of intellectual property infringement. Yeah. And we get the other way around. Now, you know, I launched this product and then I got knock offs. think people need to understand, you know, there's a couple things at play, especially in the United States. Right? We have a very expensive justice I'm like, I always tell people. There's not a lot of justice in our justice system unless you can really afford it. It's just not, you know, there's an idea. And I say this to people who are signing contracts like, if you're signing a contract with someone and it's like a $10,000, you know, whatever contract or something, I'm like, don't back to have a lot. Like, like, don't expect there to be a courtroom for you to go to to get justice here. Like, it is a matter of trust. It's good to have a contract. Don't get me wrong. wanna outline everyone's obligations and what, you know, what's required everyone. Like, you need that. But, I mean, when it comes to, like, you know, hey. I have this contract. It's like, yeah. this $10,000 contract, but it's gonna cost you 50,000 to get filed in court. Like, if you see the, you know, every a lot of things in small business are we call negative you claim it.

Richard Hill [00:19:30]:

It's just not worth it.

Paul Rafelson [00:19:31]:

It's not worth the paper. -- to write off. Exactly. Just write it off and move on. Yeah. And so that applies to with with IP. I mean, it's like you've got, you know, 3 main categories of intellectual property. You've got copyright. which was sort of, you know, how do I say it? Like, artistic things so that you could creative things, right, that you create. and And that's what you're protecting. It's your, you know, that original creativity that you you created, not necessarily for commercial use, but it can be used in commercial. It can be commercialized. but that's not the intent of copyright. Quite copyright doesn't have a sort of a commerce element the way sort of trademark and patents do. trademark is more about designation of origin. It's your brand. Yeah. Right? It's how people identify you. The biggest mistake I see with trademark lately is people typically, especially, and this is probably an Amazon issue more so. I I don't know if if website owners are doing this, but, like, with Amazon, you're indoctrinated in like, you have one brand that you need to write register with Amazon's brand registry team, and that's what most people do. And then they don't then they create, like, all these variations. And it's like, they don't register them. And I'm like, what are you doing? because when, like, to give you an example, imagine you're walking through the cereal aisle at your grocery store. and you've got kellogg's cereal. And kellogg's makes rice krispies. They make special k. They make raisin bread. They make, fruit loops. Right? All of those are brands in and of themselves. Right? But the typical Amazon eCom seller I see would only ever register the word Kellogg Like, they'd only register the, like, the top level brand. Yeah. And not the sub branding that they use with variations, their slogans, and that's sloppy because Yeah. because it's harder to enforce when you don't have the registration. And, 2, when you go to sell the business, the buyer expects you to rep that you, you know, to to basically promise that you own IP. And if you can't make that promise, it gets ugly. you know, you're taking big risks, maybe. Maybe the buyer doesn't wanna buy it. So it's, like, always encouraging people to go back and really look at their trademark their IP catalog and start registering things because registration helps. in terms of enforcing it, you know, you can still enforce a trademark without registering it, but you're kind of limited on your damages. it's a harder case registering it makes it a little bit better. it's easier to take them down on platforms like Amazon if you have a registration because then you can try to use Amazon's brand tools

Richard Hill [00:22:02]:


Richard Hill [00:22:02]:


Richard Hill [00:22:03]:


Paul Rafelson [00:22:03]:

as opposed to having to try to file a law student court, which is what what's what's so great about Amazon's, system. And then and then you've got patent, which is like sort of a franchise. Right? It's like the government granting you a franchise to exploit this patent for a certain period of time, and there's 2 types of patents. There's your your design patent, which is like a it's almost like a copyright. You're basically designing a product to look a certain way. and you can sort of patent certain elements of that look. the problem design patents are very easy to circumvent. So if somebody really is, you know, most of the way people get in trouble with design patents, they just don't even know they're out there. Right? That's usually what happens is your competitor who's copying you didn't know you had a design pattern and it just went out. Yeah. But once they realize that they can go back and they can make changes to the design, and suddenly your patents really not that strong anymore. So design patterns are okay. And then utility patents, which are really padding the functionality of something. not the look. Right? Design is more about the look of something. Utility has done the functionality. you know, Amazon has some tools for enforcing your patent on their website. They have this sort of neutral patent, evaluation program or it's sort of like a mini arbitration case. Yeah. And there's a way you can invoke that patent evaluation if you work with a lawyer. There's a lot of rules around it. you can invoke that patent evaluation. And the benefit of that is that it is expensive. Like, you know, just to get the thing going So, basically, what way it works is you throw down the gauntlet and say I wanna do neutral patent evaluation. If the other side has 2 choices, they can either bow out they can agree. If they bow out, they're listing and goes offline immediately. Yeah. If they agree, then they have to pony up for I think it's, like, $4, then you have to pony up $4. And what happens then is whoever wins will get their money back, but that's not where this ends. Then the case gets referred to usually a lawyer who's acting like a judge who will review the patent for purposes of determining whether or not there's infringement, and you have to write a brief, and you have to write a case. So it becomes like a mini litigation. So it's not cheap endeavor. I mean, tens of 1000 of dollars to actually go through this. but what we've noticed is some people will use it because when people realize that, Usually, they just back down. So there's one way that, you know, it makes these aside from that. I mean, full on patent enforcement can be very expensive. there is some opportunity to enforce the patents in China. like, when you have somebody overseas in China infringing on you and it's like, how am I gonna sue this person? There are some ways in the US we can file lawsuits to sort of freeze the funds. Yeah. And this has become a popular method where you can freeze their Amazon funds

Richard Hill [00:24:47]:


Paul Rafelson [00:24:47]:

Oh, okay.

Richard Hill [00:24:48]:


Paul Rafelson [00:24:48]:

and say, you know, state of a judge, like, hey. But I mean, that's still, you know, it's either an expensive endeavor or lawyer wants the heavy contingency fee and proof that there's a lot of money to be frozen. That's the kind of trick. So -- Yeah. But that's kind of it. I mean, copyright, unfortunately, is the worst when people steal your your your your artistic design because we have a system in the US called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act where what we do is we say, If you take someone down for copyright, as long as Amazon or those platform providers have no liability until you notify them, Once they notify them, they have to take them down. But if the person who's been accused of copyright infringement files, it's called a counter notice, a DMCA counter notice, then Amazon can put the stuff back on, without liability because what the what what the law is really saying is it's on you to sue that person now. if the person files the counter and says, no, I don't think I'm actually printing on this copyright, and we see a lot of this now. Yeah. Yeah. So that puts a burden back on you to steal. And, again, our justice system is very expensive in the US. So it's like, are you really gonna sue over that? It depends.

Richard Hill [00:25:50]:

It's very different. I

Richard Hill [00:25:51]:

think, know, we've had a a valid business for, you know, 30 years nearly. Unfortunately, you had a few, you know, different legal bits and bobs but when you hear from friends that operate businesses in the US, the, you know, and the --

Richard Hill [00:26:05]:

Oh, I see. -- insane amount of, legal costs. You know, it's such a different world, isn't it? So, yeah, Yeah. They got yours. It is. Yeah. So I

Richard Hill [00:26:13]:

think with that, you talked about exiting you know, we touched on,

Richard Hill [00:26:20]:

you know, and getting, getting, you know, obviously, if you've got copyrights in place, you've got the right ID, the legal side in terms of a potential exit in terms of your sort of attractiveness valuation Obviously, that's really gonna help that side of things. I know that's an area you guys sort of specialize in this sort of, helping businesses and preparing businesses for exit.

Paul Rafelson [00:26:45]:

Yeah. It's it's, not so much. I mean, we do help repair from a legal standpoint if if clients won. I I can't say that's the most popular service we offer, but what we do is we provide the legal for, people trying to either purchase or sell a business. Yeah. You know, we tend to be more focused on people who sell just because the buyers tend to be much bigger and we don't really wanna serve them, especially with the Amazon aggregators that were popular in the last few years, become increasingly less popular now. we just kinda didn't wanna represent them. We just felt that was like a lot of conflict, and it wasn't personality to be sort of supporting big agra as we joked about it. but, yeah, we do a lot of legal work for people who are exiting and, you know, these these this process of exiting is complicated. I mean, the deals are taking longer than ever. buyers are very nervous. The buyers are just just just very, very finicky about stuff. They're they're not Amazon ag you know, when it was Amazon aggregators doing a ton of the buying during the sort of bubble we just had, It was almost like they didn't do any due diligence at all. But nowadays, they're really wanting you to make promises to call them representations and warranties, but I just say they're promises. about the condition of your business. And when and, unfortunately, this doesn't usually come out until later on, so you're already through due diligence. You've already got an offer. and then it comes out that you don't actually have registrations for a lot of your trademarks or, you know, IP. this is a pet peeve of mine pictures. It's the easiest thing in the world to know your pictures trace the title to your pictures. Okay? So if you have somebody on fiber, make pictures for you. First of all, you should have an assignment of rights from that person saying, like, those are your photos. Right? If you hire a photographer, most photographers do not give you ownership of the photos. They give you license and they don't let you assign it. So you gotta take make sure you understand the contract with your photographers. Yeah. When you use somebody from fiber, ask them Where did you get the stock photography for that? Like, that's a great picture of my product. Where did you get the stock photography? What license did you use?

Richard Hill [00:28:50]:


Paul Rafelson [00:28:50]:

Right? Was it from shutter stock? Can I see the license? Is it assignable? Do I need to acquire 1? Have that stuff ready? Because it becomes a problem when you sell your business and you're saying, Hey, I have title to all of these pictures. Right? And you're like, but you don't because you don't know where you got it from. And sometimes people have sometimes these pictures on product packaging and those pictures have these free licenses will have like production limits. Like, you can only use it for up to 10,000 units and if you don't know that stuff, it makes the buyers nervous. Now, the flip side of that is unless the pictures on your packaging, pictures are very easy to fix. So you could go out and make new photos just say, fine. I'll just make new photos. And then you'll and we'll know where the title is on those and we'll be clean, but that's just a hassle you wanna deal with. with trademark, it's the same thing I was saying earlier. It's like imagine your Kelloggs and you've got all these sub brands, like, raising brand and froot loops, and it's like you're selling your business to a another serial company and they're like, okay. So do you own a trademark or fruit loops? I don't know. I never registered it. All Amazon required was for me to have a Kellogg's registration to turn on brand Yeah. Yeah. So -- Yeah. And this is my hero's cue. Right? It's like, what everyone loves on. It's like, yeah. But you don't know if you actually own it. Like, you could be infringing on somebody else. You may not have the right to use it. I mean, it's it's it's a huge mess. So we we really, you know, that to me can really affect your valuation because when you sell an e commerce business, like a trademark is big part of the deal. You know, trademark, your brand, who you are, you know, that's your goodwill. So that's what what really drives the value of your business. That's for your selling.

Richard Hill [00:30:22]:

Yeah. So the part, all this is, you know, I think it it seems, you know, I've had a quite

Richard Hill [00:30:28]:

a few conversations recently about some different eCom stores that are looking to exit, you know, and, we're we're from the previous episode to yours. So we'd we'd talk to the e commerce accountant, you know, and we'd which talks about, you know, the different valuation methods and, you know, things to do. But from your standpoint then, obviously, we're talking there very you know, about, you know, that sort of compliance piece. But what what would

Richard Hill [00:30:51]:

the a couple of other areas that, you know, maybe you see that

Richard Hill [00:30:57]:

in in your experience of maybe, ruined deals of of hampered deals.

Richard Hill [00:31:03]:

I, you know, maybe they've not gone through because y and zed. So, obviously, they'd like you to say around the IP side of things, but I think a couple of other areas that our listeners should be sort of keeping an eye on focusing on in terms of the legal side.

Paul Rafelson [00:31:15]:

Mhmm. So compliance with laws is another big one. That's a big rep. they wanna know that you know you're compliant. So you should know your product's regulations and and be on top of that and be compliant. That's obviously can be a huge deal breaker especially if you see, you know, in this in this tragedy happens, you're selling a product and you didn't know that there were rules around it, and you weren't following those rules. I don't know. I don't quickly kill a deal. people not knowing you know, their specs. I've had we've had cases where people like, oh, my specs were off, and that that that's killed deals. I mean, it's just It it's in some respects, this is the product of it's a little too easy. E commerce was a little it's a little too easy. Right? Like, we've all the average person has access to the international economy in a way that, like I said, this is a global small business point I was making at the beginning. Like, it is revolutionary. how the the level of access we all have to the national and international economies of the world, and there's good with that. Right? The liberalization, right, the freedom for the the average show to to to make money is pointing the the the market, but there's negatives in that. a lot of inexperienced people are getting into these businesses and selling products that may not be safe or designated as safe. And so, it's really important that people, people follow along. aside from that compliance with Amazon is always a big deal. And and and if you're you know, it didn't used to be. It's funny enough. I mean, we the aggregator bubble was so ridiculous. I I saw some business sell. I'm like, like, I'm I had clients who did everything like, their whole their whole book was Black Hat, and you're just like, right? And I'm like, we have to disclose this. Right? Like, we have to. Right? If we don't disclose this, fraud. Like, you get a lot of trouble. Yeah. So we make these disclosures and we're telling them, like, literally hundreds of pages and, like, here's what they did. here's how they got ranked.

Richard Hill [00:33:09]:


Paul Rafelson [00:33:10]:

And, you know, surprisingly at the time, those deals closed, but I think nowadays, people are super super super sensitive to that. And the Amazon's friendly.

Richard Hill [00:33:20]:

People have been burned now. It's so well known that, you know, you

Richard Hill [00:33:22]:


Richard Hill [00:33:23]:

Yeah. obviously rank sites, with, very dubious manner, but it's only a matter of

Richard Hill [00:33:28]:

time before you're gonna get the rug pulled and your however many £1,000,000

Richard Hill [00:33:32]:

exit, yeah, you or purchase, is, you're on your pass.

Paul Rafelson [00:33:38]:

Yeah. It's a big deal with, you know, it it it affects, you know, it it affects a lot of things. I mean, the risk is risk is the big deal right now. why our deals are taking. That's just deals are taking longer to close because people are so much more risk of her, especially because the nature of the buyers have changed. You know, we we still have private equity buyers and stuff, but A lot of private people, a lot of regular people. Yeah. People like, I've been in this business. I was a, you know, I was a project manager for 30 years, and I wanna tire and start an eCom business. I figured I'd buy one off of it, you know, and then, you know, they get paranoid. So given that your buyer is a different person today than they were -- Yeah.

Richard Hill [00:34:14]:


Paul Rafelson [00:34:14]:

years ago. It's it's stuff's important.

Richard Hill [00:34:16]:

It's so different. my I'd sold my first eCom store or one of my ecom I was one of

Richard Hill [00:34:21]:

my first job. It was

Richard Hill [00:34:22]:

the first store I sold. and just looking back,

Richard Hill [00:34:25]:

it was so easy. You know,

Richard Hill [00:34:26]:

it was so easy. Usually, she had been like, the guy, you know, we worked with a broker. He advertised it. The guy came to see me step through, within about 4 hours and agreed a price. contracts drawn up in about a couple of days. We've been about a month of advertising them when it was in the bank. How I'd walked away. It was like, not even not even a month. It was like, minimal due diligence, you know, whereas now.

Paul Rafelson [00:34:50]:

Yeah. You know, that wouldn't be wouldn't be

Richard Hill [00:34:53]:

the case. You know, and I

Richard Hill [00:34:54]:

I actually know that guy you know, he he sort of destroyed that business as well. Like, by tinkering with the, you know, the structure of the site and the technical side of the the SEO of the site more. It did them all the sort of UX of the site. You know? And I saw him about 3 years later. He's like, oh, yeah. Completely crashed. Nothing because we haven't sold something that was black hatted or anything.

Richard Hill [00:35:13]:

It's just he went in,

Richard Hill [00:35:15]:

you know, sort of very, you know, lack of knowledge trying to change things and just Oh, it was like, what? I mean, it wasn't a huge purchase. It was, like,

Richard Hill [00:35:24]:


Richard Hill [00:35:24]:

low low six figures type thing, but it was still, you know, a little bit of chunk of money and for for the guy. It was his first purchase as well. I know it was. I was like, dude, you proper screwed that back up. So -- Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Paul Rafelson [00:35:36]:

We've seen a lot of that. We've seen I've had a few clients that actually buy back their business for, like, pennies on the dollar from what they sold it for. They're just like, the seller's just like, I, I don't know what you mean.

Richard Hill [00:35:46]:

So I remember that one. I bought that. I bought the domain. It was a brand. I'm not gonna say what it is actually, but I bought I just basically bought the domain name that a company wasn't using, but it was an exact match domain name for a very popular product. I think I paid about 4 gram for the domain. Wow.

Richard Hill [00:35:58]:

ranked it in 6 months, sold it for a 100 and whatever.

Richard Hill [00:36:01]:

It's like it was a

Richard Hill [00:36:02]:

good 6 month for Yeah.

Paul Rafelson [00:36:04]:

Nice. Yeah.

Richard Hill [00:36:05]:

Back in the day.

Paul Rafelson [00:36:06]:

So that's

Richard Hill [00:36:06]:

maybe that's like 12. That

Paul Rafelson [00:36:08]:

was where, yeah, it's a different world.

Richard Hill [00:36:10]:

But -- Yeah. Okay. But go on. Sorry.

Paul Rafelson [00:36:13]:

Oh, no. No. Just saying yes. So that that's that's kinda what we're seeing and just, Yeah. It's it's, it's interesting. And and, you know, evaluations are are interesting. I I tell people, you know, they should also be mindfuling that people think if I have if I have a patent or if products in the queue, should I, you know, or do I give value credit for that? I do always tell people you don't, you just get, you know, you gotta prove your your money. So, you know, getting a patent on a product you haven't sold yet isn't necessarily the best thing for an exit because you may just be throwing money away because the buyer doesn't really care. You know? I don't say not to get the pad, but I'm just saying, like, you may not get your value realized when that was proven it. So but we see a lot of things. I've seen a lot of mistakes. I see people who's, I mean, bad accounting is is a classic. I I I failed the CPA exam when I before I became a a lawyer. yeah, certainly, so I started on finance. I've I've I so I do crunch numbers with my clients. I like to look at the numbers. I like to just give it a sense of, like, And I have caught crazy mistakes and and and, you know, bad inventory accounting causing valuations to be off by a lot. just messy stuff. But

Richard Hill [00:37:23]:


Richard Hill [00:37:23]:

Yeah. I don't know. Yeah. I mean, it's sort of so easy to build a site now, you know, and we say this in

Richard Hill [00:37:29]:

a lot you know, the site can look great, and you can get some quick numbers by doing,

Richard Hill [00:37:34]:

you know, if we're gonna use you, you use the Web Black Hat and you're gonna use paid ads, but ultimately,

Richard Hill [00:37:40]:

you know, it's having them some consistency, you know, and usually net a net profit or a, you know,

Richard Hill [00:37:46]:

know, something that actually makes money. So there's some stuff

Paul Rafelson [00:37:48]:

with that.

Richard Hill [00:37:49]:

If you're listening as a potential purchaser, you know, you might be looking at

Richard Hill [00:37:52]:

a website. I think, oh, this looks great. Well, obviously, I think most of our listeners will be worth more a lot more savvy to know that that's just superficial potentially, and it could be, you know, couple of grand on some branding doesn't mean it's making any money. but obviously having some consistency with the organic side of things and obviously looking at paid, looking at the market, the margins, you know, there's a lot, obviously, a lot to it, but

Richard Hill [00:38:14]:

I always think like, you know, when you're looking at something more substantial, the team that are involved with it, know, obviously, that's less

Richard Hill [00:38:19]:

about legal, but then but then, you know, the team that are involved with that business, you know, what are their sort of are they you're gonna buy the business. They're gonna walk away. Are you keeping the team? Do you have your own team? you know, so it's if you're buying the business, what are their sort of either collateral or, you know, at what what other sort of people side of things with that business as well is usually very key. but so a lot of lot of areas we could jump into, but I think let's say our listeners are dealing with a potential legal issue and actual -- Mhmm.

Richard Hill [00:38:53]:


Richard Hill [00:38:53]:

conflicts. You know? So in the sort of in the event of a legal dispute, you

Richard Hill [00:38:55]:

know, what would you say are some of the best practices, you know, because ultimately, if you're running a, you know, a fairly substantial, you know, you're doing, let's say, you know, $10,000,000, $10,000,000 5,000,000. You know, you're gonna have situations that arise, you know, you know,

Paul Rafelson [00:39:10]:

you know,

Richard Hill [00:39:11]:

I can I can say I've had

Richard Hill [00:39:13]:

you know, a handful of situations over the years, you know, various things, you know, and what advice would you give to our listeners around sort of dealing with potential conflict?

Paul Rafelson [00:39:22]:

Yeah. So, just start early. I mean, again, the best the answer, you know, it's it's an ounce of prevention. There's a pen where it's better than the pound care. we actually created something called Seller Basics. It's a program separate from my law firm. It's a hundred bucks a month, and it's like an Amazon account health program. Okay. kinda helps you. If you ever have any issues, we sort of, like, took insurance and said, you know, insurance math and said, like, you know, you pay on a bucks a month. Somebody happens to your Amazon account, your ace, and we just know, do what we can to get you reinstated, blah blah blah blah. One of the benefits we threw in there was free consultations with lawyers for

Richard Hill [00:39:55]:


Paul Rafelson [00:39:56]:

a month. So, like, run it by a lawyer. So it's kinda my theory. Right? Like, 15, 20 minutes. And where that came from is because when I first started, Right? A lot of my clients really got bad advice about, actually taxes. It was sales tax, like, you know, sort of to the IT in UK.

Richard Hill [00:40:12]:


Paul Rafelson [00:40:12]:

There's a lot of bad advice about sales tax going around. kind of provocated by this tax software companies who were kinda serving their own agenda of getting people to sign up with them and register their businesses in 50 states, which if you're a small business can be disasters, and should be done more strategically. And a lot of people were doing that, and they were getting these letters from government saying that, you know, their life savings to the state of California. So California again. And What really made me sad was, like, if I had known that person, right, and this this isn't just tax, this happens all the time in my practice when people get into real trouble. Like, if I had known you before you made that decision and you thought to call me and talk to me for 50 minutes, right, I think I coulda helped you. Right? So I'm a big believer announced the prevention. So my point is build that relationship with your council early. Make sure they're on top of your business. They know you. They know your business. They know your market. and they're helping you because that's the best way. And then if something does happen again, don't don't don't try to delve in yourself. It's never worth it. There's just there's there's There's perspective knowledge and understanding that you just don't have as as as if you haven't been a practicing lawyer for for a period of time, you just develop a certain, you know, fixer mentality, if you will, and ways to deal with these issues. And these are issues that we've seen before. you've happened. So, like, we're we have a perspective as lawyers to help you, and I would strongly recommend that you do that. And, again, not me necessarily put a lawyer that is experienced. because it's gonna save you a long one because people make mistakes along the way, and they're brutal, and they are they are irreparable, and they are, you know, you're like, god, why didn't you only need to do that one thing? So it's like, you know, that that's my advice to anyone who whether you have the issues or you're doing 10,000,000 a year and you've never had a lawyer really look at your business with you, time to start, you know, it's like, you know, Bravo that you've got to where you are. without any help, but, you know, to get to the next level or to get through an exit or to avoid trouble, just get some help.

Richard Hill [00:42:14]:

You need those export experts regarding it. Don't need to, you know, these got the HR expert, you know, the the accountant and then the legal, you know, and and to be able to have those people you know, on on call as we, you know, in in your example, you know, you obviously have a subscription service where, you know, you've got access to you and your team or a team of different but so I

Paul Rafelson [00:42:34]:

think -- Exactly. We have a whole different network. Yeah. Exactly.

Richard Hill [00:42:37]:

Yeah. I mean, that's that's how we do our business.

Richard Hill [00:42:40]:

You know, we're not obviously eCom. We don't run a store, but we have, obviously, all the clients.

Richard Hill [00:42:44]:

But, you know, exactly that. You know, we have those experts in our business. You know, if we have a a legal potential thing, which is very, very rare in our business. But, obviously, I know that, you know, I have a company or 2 companies depending on what type of charge it potentially might be that

Richard Hill [00:42:59]:

we can call on, and I can sort

Richard Hill [00:43:01]:

of sleep soundly and know that that advice is proven. You know, if it's a contractual thing, we have a contractual lawyer for example, that is we've

Richard Hill [00:43:10]:

known for about 20, I've known for 20 years,

Richard Hill [00:43:12]:

you know, anything contractual. So if there's any issues, contracts wise, you know, you know, so think of your e commerce store, you know, there's potential challenges that you'll have having an expert to hand. You know, I think that's great as

Richard Hill [00:43:25]:

our advice, obviously reach out to Paul. But I think, it'd be good just to finish off on a few bits on around Amazon. Obviously, I

Richard Hill [00:43:32]:

know a lot of people obviously are running that, you know, we're we're very much focused on marketing and delivering on there on our client's own stores, but a lot of

Paul Rafelson [00:43:39]:

our listeners do also obviously

Richard Hill [00:43:42]:

rely fairly heavily on, you know, on the 3rd party marketplaces now. A couple of things

Richard Hill [00:43:46]:

I'd like to jump into.

Richard Hill [00:43:47]:

Sort of the counterfeiting and the fraudulent side of things, they do seem to have sort of, tighten things up in recent years. You know, my son sells a lot on the on the different other platforms and, you know, now,

Richard Hill [00:43:59]:

and it's not like you're

Richard Hill [00:44:00]:

you're very light not as likely to buy something that's counterfeit. But in terms of, like, the responsibilities and liability side of things around sort of style and sign something that then may may be counterfeit. You know, what we say to our listeners about that.

Paul Rafelson [00:44:16]:

It's bad out there. It's not even just counterfeit. like, like, put counterfeit aside. Let's go a step behind that. What if you just what if you you know, you're at a conference. You meet, a distributor, right, a wholesale distributor. You connect with them and they're selling you good branded products for resale. Yeah. you think you got a great contact. It's getting great products. Turns out they're stolen because this is the biggest issue right now in Amazon. Is it California? How patrol just rated a big, big, big distributor than a lot of people were using. and Yeah. So retail theft is massive in America right now, as I'm sure it isn't in the Europe as well. because Amazon and eBay represent such an easy way to liquidate. So Amazon is cracking down on documentation. So, yeah, counterfeits. We're not seeing as much counterfeits now because the Amazon is cracking down

Richard Hill [00:45:07]:


Paul Rafelson [00:45:07]:

there's some confusion about brand registry if people don't understand that like in America, you actually have the right to sell on somebody else's listing as long as the product is authentic. where people are getting trouble though is a couple things. 1, if you're using Amazon's brand registry tool, kick sellers off, but they're selling authentic product. that's a no no. But the other side of this, to your point is, like, stolen property, counterfeit, like, like, it it it's bad. because when you get hit with, we think you may have been stealing selling stolen property. It's a complete lock out. Like, Amazon just just, you know, and similar with a counterfeit. I mean, people get accused of counterfeit all the time. You know, a lot of time, it's questionable, and we deal with that on a day to day basis. But when it's real, like, when it's car when when they have you dead to write, like, even if even if even if you just were just naive and thinking, like, you know, this random distributor was really selling authentic stuff, It's it is it's complete lockout. I mean, Amazon is cleaning up their app. They want people they're trying to raise the level of, like, they want professional people you know, that know what they're doing. So, yeah, if you're coming in this and just, you know, find a source from any, you know, this Amazon is not the place to go source from a, you know, call it a, like, a goodwill store when we call that, like, a second hand shop and flip stuff because you can get in trouble or or just not the place for that. Amazon wants, you know, they're I think they're trying to clean up the catalog. Yeah. And they're cracking down hard on people who are.

Richard Hill [00:46:32]:

It is there, isn't it? I know my my son, trades trainers. and shoes. And,

Paul Rafelson [00:46:37]:

Oh, absolutely.

Richard Hill [00:46:37]:

I know this year he's bought 2 two items, both, Nike and they're both fake. you know, he's bought 100 of pairs. So just two out -- Yeah.

Richard Hill [00:46:47]:

-- 22

Richard Hill [00:46:47]:

transactions, you know, fairly, like, a couple of 100 quid a pair. -- Yeah.

Paul Rafelson [00:46:54]:

check your seller. I mean, the sellers and so, like, Nike, I've I've dealt with Nike and they've told me because they they filed a loss. They were every every periodically, I don't know, years. So Nike files a lawsuit against just like a whole batch of sellers in China who are literal. You know, they're going after the factories making the fake shoes.

Richard Hill [00:47:12]:


Paul Rafelson [00:47:12]:

Once in a while, why appliances sell Nike because they go out to the Nike outlet shops and they procure Nike from those shops and they resell it Amazon. sometimes they get wrapped up in them and, you know, Nike's usually pretty cool. It just releases them from a lawsuit and, you know, says, sorry. We, you know, as we're trying to capture something different. So, you know, looking at the seller, I mean, if the sellers, you know, you look at their seller info, if they're in China, that could be red flag. If they're even if they're in Wyoming, that could be red flag because that's the classic state most foreign sellers use when they set up LLC. It's Wyoming Delaware. but Wyoming is the easiest by far. but, yeah, I mean, it's it's out there. And, you know, but, you know, you get caught up in it. Amazon does, you know, even even on warranted, sometimes you have to it's it's a hassle to get people back online when when when when we're writing Amazon's wrong. you know, we had a case where shoe company accused my client of selling counter at counterfeit, and they literally told Amazon. So imagine Amazon gets an email from a shoe company, a major shoe company saying you're selling counterfeit. I mean, you know, dead. Right? And we were able to prove that they were in counterfeit because the person's shoe company didn't know some things about the shoes. Yeah. but the local stores did and made a made a mistake in general generalized. They had a general understanding of how things were and they were wrong. Yeah. But it was, like, I mean, lockdown. I mean, I've never seen somebody just kick off so fast is when the shoe comes

Richard Hill [00:48:35]:

and just

Paul Rafelson [00:48:35]:

tells him it was.

Richard Hill [00:48:36]:

Worries is

Richard Hill [00:48:37]:

that. It just breaks.

Paul Rafelson [00:48:38]:

It's a little much. Like, that's it. I mean, that that's what keeps us busy. I mean, Amazon is a, you know, shoot first, ask questions later kind of deal. You know?

Richard Hill [00:48:46]:

Okay. Well, Paul, it's been absolute pleasure. Thanks coming on the show. I think we could have we could have

Richard Hill [00:48:51]:

gone on for another hour.

Richard Hill [00:48:52]:

I think there's lots to cover there, but I think, you know, thanks for coming on the show. I like to I like to finish every episode with a book I should have a book to recommend to our listeners.

Paul Rafelson [00:49:02]:

Do I have a book to recommend to your listeners? You know, ironically, I don't love reading because I read all day.

Richard Hill [00:49:07]:

devon audio that you're, the --

Paul Rafelson [00:49:09]:

The audio? Ugh. I mean, I'm always a big fan of outliers. It's like my favorite book of all time. Yeah. I just think it's the to me, it's one of the most interesting books ever written. I have read other books since then or listened to other books. I just can't nothing's coming to mind right now. but that's always a that's always a classic.

Richard Hill [00:49:29]:


Paul Rafelson [00:49:30]:

Outliers by Malcolm Cloudwell is just hands down the coolest book ever written in my opinion.

Richard Hill [00:49:37]:

Let's go with that. So for the guys that wanna find out more about what you're doing, Paul at at rafflesons. what's the best way to reach out to you and find out?

Paul Rafelson [00:49:46]:

Sure. So raffleson Law is my website rafflesonslaw.com. sellerbasics.com is the website for that subscription program, and then my email address is just paul@ecom.lawecom w. I got one of those fancy dot lawn domains. I try to be -- Wow. First, I was, like, one of those people, like, I don't want I have to have a dot eCom, but then I was like, you know what? I kinda like that dot law. Like, it's very -- That's okay now.

Richard Hill [00:50:10]:

Doesn't it? Yeah. Yeah.

Paul Rafelson [00:50:11]:

Exactly. eCom. law. Like, can't you know, that's what we do.

Richard Hill [00:50:14]:


Paul Rafelson [00:50:15]:

So qualitycom.log, shoot me an email. and, yeah, I'd love to hear from somebody on the audience. -- name.

Richard Hill [00:50:21]:

That's a brilliant idea.

Paul Rafelson [00:50:22]:

I like it.

Richard Hill [00:50:23]:

I love it a lot. Yeah. Well, thanks for coming on the show. I look forward to speaking to you again. Cheers.

Paul Rafelson [00:50:27]:

Alright. Me too. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you.

Richard Hill [00:50:30]:

Take care. Thank you. Bye.

Richard Hill [00:50:32]:

Thank you for listening to the eCom@One ecommerce podcast. If you enjoy today's show, please hit subscribe and don't forget to sign up to our eCommerce newsletter and leave us a review on iTunes. This podcast has been brought to you by our team here at eComOne, the eCommerce marketing agency.

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