Favorite Articles of the Week for 9/25

Making Sense of the Upcoming Sales Tax Amnesty: A Diversity of Opinions Webinar Recap


“48:00 – (Paul) This is not an appropriate amnesty for Amazon sellers.

  • Sellers shouldn’t participate in the amnesty and the 60-day deadline is a bully tactic.
  • All of the rights of sellers have not been considered.
  • If a seller has a liability, should they absolve themselves of the risk?
  • If you want to protect yourself, you should hire counsel and do it yourself.

50:00 – (Michael) The greatest risk is doing nothing and waiting for a state to pursue you.

  • States shouldn’t be able to do this but sellers should hedge their bets from potential exposure.
  • Many companies register voluntarily for sales tax to prevent states from coming after them.

52:00 – (Jordan) Do you have to do something voluntarily without understanding the game?

  • The amnesty program is based on assumptions, assumptions that sellers owe sales tax.
  • And if sellers don’t, then voluntary filing isn’t necessary.
  • Sellers should do nothing. They should group together.”

My personal opinion – states are overreaching by stating that your logistics provider (Amazon) causes you (the seller) to have sales tax nexus. I live in and am registered in Washington State, so I collect and pay sales tax in Washington State. Customers in other states are responsible for their choices, just as I am if I travel to visit my mom in Montana and buy products sales tax free there.

A Surprise Visit from the FDA


“Thank you so much Robin for opening up about your experience! I think there are a few crucial takeaways from Robin’s story. First, it’s important to remember that nobody turned Robin into the FDA. The FDA inspector found Robin on the internet and decided to visit her based on claims made on her website. If you’re looking for more information on how to describe your products, check out the Understanding FDA Cosmetic vs. Drug Claims post.

Another important takeaway is the majority of the changes that the FDA inspector needed pertained to Robin’s soaping setup. All her raw materials needed to come off the floor and overhead lighting required non-breakable sleeves. Robin’s scales also need to be calibrated once a year. Records of her batches required proper maintenance and packages shipped to businesses needed labeling on the box with her logo, address and phone number. Robin was not fined or penalized. Instead, the FDA agent seemed happy to help her get to proper compliance. Many of these issues are taken care of under GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices). If you want to learn more about GMP, we have a class for that.

It’s true that there may be plenty of small businesses that don’t follow the rules set by the FDA. But breaking the rules does not help the soap and cosmetic industry. Kenna of Modern Soap Making said it best in her post sharing Robin’s story, “If we don’t like the rules, we need to work together to change them by advocating for our industry. Outright ignoring the rules and regulations will not make them go away!””

About the Author
Rachel Johnson Greer is a global business strategist who specializes in helping entrepreneurs increase their internet product sales, curate their brand image online and avoid catastrophic legal threats. After getting her MBA in international business at Seattle University, she spent nearly a decade at Amazon working in product development. Since then, Rachel has founded companies that reached both multi-six figure and multi-seven figure growth in under three years.

As a business coach, she supports clients in everything from international product expansion to 4x-ing their sales through online retailers. Rachel is frequently sought out by the media and has appeared on the Today Show, CNBC, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. When she’s not working with clients, she’s scaring friends at parties with stories about the most problematic online products she’s found in their homes. She lives in Seattle, Washington.