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Ethical Question


astrospook

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Names and people and companies will not be mentioned to protect the innocent. (I have always wanted to say that) Ok. Here is the situation. I partnered up with a friend of mine about a year ago to start selling items online via ebay, amazon, etc. He had a very good supplier and the markup would be be easy to manipulate and still be in the ballgame. So, without much business discussion we created an LLC and started trying to sell goods. We soon found out that selling on ebay, amazon and others was not very profitible. So I started doing research on Open Source E-commerce solutions. Now I have to preface this with (my partner is as dumb as a rock when it comes to the internet and programming. I mean I love the man but come on......when you don't understand how to copy and paste something....). The initial intention was that any profit that we make would be split 50/50. So I created an oscommerce site with approximatly 10,000 products. Yes, 10,000 products. The site is up and running now and I am the one who makes all the updates, implements contributions, and tries to promote online. Here comes the problem. We sell way to many products to have a marke niche. So after a long discussion with a SEO consultant yesterday we (the consultant and I) came up with the conclusion that we should not be selling that vast assortment of products. So I did some thinking and found a product line within the same distributor that would sell reasonably well. Then I did some more research and found an awesome domain name. So, here is the question. Do you think it is ethical to create another site by myself and focus on this one line of products and not involve him. The thing is, I could cut mine and my partner's current site down to fit the aspect of a one product line store but I, again, would be doing all the work. I guess I feel bad because he is a good friend and he is the one who found the great supplier. But that is about all he does. What do you think.

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If you had a written signed agreement, you are bound to abide by that. If not, I think you should have a really honest dicussion with your friend about the intentions of a spin-off site.

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What does your partner do in this business relationship? If you are splitting the profits 50/50, then you should BOTH be working to maintain your business.

 

I would suggest that before you go off on your own and make this other company without him, you should talk to him and tell him your concerns that he is not pulling his weight and you feel that you are doing all the work. And if he wants to start pulling his weight, then tell him that you have done all this research and what you would like to do with the company.

 

You at least owe him that. You knew he was not computer savvy when you got into this business venture with him. And you are the one who said you would take care of the website end of things so he wouldn't have to worry about that. BUT, he has to be doing SOMETHING too. You can't do it all. Talk to him and tell him what is going on. You might be surprised at what his comments will be. Maybe he wants out of the business?? You just never know until you talk to him.

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