What do TikTok, Shopify and eBay all have in common?

Over the last week it was reported in the media that Presidenty Trump wanted to ban TikTok in the states. In fact Trump signed an executive order over the weekend which effectively will ban TikTik in about 5 weeks.

TikTok is hugely popular not just with the younger demographic but businesses had also jumped on the TikTok bandwagon with great success.

Without getting into the politics of why Trump wants to ban TikTok, I think the news is a reminder of why a business cannot solely rely on third-party platform alone as it’s just not stable and you are merely a renter.

Recently, I learned of someone who sold second hand original DVD’s on eBay. A competitor got sneaky so bought some of their DVD’s and falsely reported their products as counterfeit which it wasn’t. eBay sided with the buyer and closed their account down indefinitely and basically put a lifetime ban on anyone in their household opening an eBay account. eBay is notorious for siding with buyers even when sellers have proof that they have been scammed.

white computer monitor with red and white earbuds

Shopify has banned stores in the past. Only recently 3000 stores got suspended by Shopify for selling sanitisers and masks at excessive prices. Don’t get me wrong, I loathe price gouging, however many of these stores had no warning, or no guidance of what was an acceptable price. Some store owners even reported that their pricing was was at MRRP (Manufacturers Retail Recommended Price)

I watched one interview with a business owner who runs a Shopify store whose bookshelf got banned as somehow it got picked up by the Shopify bot that was searching for high-demand products and was misidentified as a medical supply/

Essentially, when you are running a shop on a third-party platform like Shopify, you are not the ultimate boss. Although I do understand to an extent why Shopify did what they did, however it was a stark reminder that ultimately you are at the mercy of a third-party platform.

I am a strong believer that everyone should have their own website that they own. Ofcourse it’s a good idea to be on multiple social media platforms (you can automate cross-posting)and nothing’s wrong with utilising different marketplaces but your website is your investment and security blanket.