Federal Trade Commission (FTC) … What Do You Need To Know?

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) … What Do You Need To Know?

    Posted by Art on September 19, 2022 at 12:38 pm

    The “Side Hustle” thread prompted me to post this. I’m also making it bold so those with tired eyes like mine can actually read it.

    Ever heard of … CAN-SPAM … COPPA …. GDPR … Etc.?

    Here’s what the FTC says about themselves:
    “Our mission is protecting consumers and competition by preventing
    anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices through law
    enforcement, advocacy, and education without unduly burdening legitimate
    business activity.”

    And they do. Just check out the page where they show a list of refunds forced by the FTC. You’ll even see business names like Amazon, LifeLock, T-Mobile, Etc.

    So, what does that mean to you?

    After many years of marketing online and offline, I learned just how
    important if was to follow the FTC guidelines when it comes to (1) selling
    your own product; (2) promoting someone else’s product or (3) just acting as an
    influencer. I’ve personally witnessed hefty fines levied against
    marketers for very small infractions.

    Besides there being guidelines for simple websites with just written content, if you are selling anything online or off, you are required to meet stricter FTC guidelines. Even if you are doing things right you can still make a mistake if you’re not careful. For example, you could send “one email” to one of your well known customers. If it did not fall within the CAN-SPAM guidelines for some reason and came to the attention of the FTC, you could be fined over $45,000.00 for that one email. Perhaps just an honest mistake could cost you if you’re not paying attention.

    Actual Case:
    Years ago, a friend who was marketing online was targeted for “one line” in his sales copy. The person making the charge said it could be construed to mean something entirely different. Now, you would have had to have had mental problems to even assume what this person was charging could be true. My friend thought he was home free. Nope. The FTC ruled in favor of the idiot making the charge and my friend was fined multiple MILLIONS of dollars. Immediately bankrupt, his life was destroyed for one line of sales copy.

    Recent Activity:
    I was checking out a homesteading friends new website that they had paid someone else to build. I immediately noticed it was not only not in compliance but didn’t even have a Privacy Policy or Terms Of Service disclaimer. I immediately contacted them. Last I heard they had scheduled a sit-down meeting with the site builder. You see, the person or company that built the site has no liability. The FTC holds the Seller responsible regardless. All it would have taken was to have one person report the site to the FTC and they would have suffered miserably.

    If you are selling anything, whether on a website or at the local Farmers Market, you need to know what guidelines to follow. Thinking you are too small a fish for the FTC to worry about just might be your undoing.

    All it takes is a little time, effort and study to insure you are meeting the FTC guidelines. Granted, you can easily go down the rabbit hole on the FTC website trying to find all the information. Just relax, make plenty of notes and by all means record the URL of the pages you found information on.

    Here’s a link to get you started: Business Guidance Resources


    As one of the first ‘original’ Amazon Certified Kindle Publishers, I definitely paid attention to the FTC guidelines.


    If you have a place you allow the public to come into to purchase your goods/services, you best be meeting all the ADA guidelines too. (I could tell you stories about this as well.)


    JUST DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE …. You’ll not only protect yourself but you’ll also learn a lot more about your rights as a consumer. Perhaps I’ll tell the story one day how a store owner in a mall ended up losing his business for refusing to give me a refund that was required by law. Interestingly, I didn’t even report him to the FTC either.

    CarolinaCarefree replied 8 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Hanidu-Farms

    September 19, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    It’s so reassuring to know that they would never pick winners or losers…

  • CarolinaCarefree

    September 19, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    This is good info. I published a book in 2018 and still don’t know everything. I saw you were published on Kindle. I am not currently on readers, only paperback. Just did not have funding to get a lot done when I put this one out, then got discouraged and haven’t done much. Would love to get it going again. Any suggestions?