Morality and business

One of the things that you need to consider when you are a business owner or  entrepreneur is deciding how far you’ll go.  Where is your line? Don’t think it matters?

Illegal Businesses

Would you take part in illegal businesses? Say selling drugs? For the vast majority, that’s a huge no.   For that reason, and because frankly I know little about this side of the world; I’m just going to stop here.

Grey Businesses

How about those that are arguably illegal.  Or mildly illegal.  For example, would you sell alcohol online? How about drop-shipping it? What about products that might be illegal in another country?

For example, the Canadian pharmaceautical business does a lot of sales into the US – even though it’s technically illegal to do so.  Except, the legality is in the US – it’s illegal for you to sell to them, but if you are Canadian, it’s perfectly legal here…

You probably are asking yourself, why bother? But the grey market businesses are incredibly profitable – because few people get involved in them, the markups and demand i often unmet.  You could make a lot of money that way – and I know a number of people in Vancouver who have.

There are obvious consequences to all this – for e.g. if the US got really annoyed with you, you might have to avoid traveling to the US at all.  See Mark Emery for one.

Legal Businesses

It’s all good right, no considerations on morality there? However, there’s something to think about when you deal with returns, refunds, shipments.   When do you stop being nice and when should you hold the line?

What if it’s an innocent mistake on the customer’s part?

On top of that, there are things that are legal but might not be moral.  If someone doesn’t defend their trademark, is it wrong to use it? What about buying products and re-selling them; even against the manufacturer’s wishes?

Decidng where your line is can be difficult, since often wherever you draw the line; there’s going to be money on the  other side of it, but it will help.

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