Ciff Ennico HeadshotI stood by and said nothing when the media went after Bill Clinton, one of our better recent presidents, back in the 1990s over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

I stood by and said nothing when the media went after Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, one of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport, because he allegedly knew about and turned a blind eye to sexually predatory activities by an assistant coach.

But now they’ve gone too far.  Our savage media have sunk their fangs into one of the great American icons of the past century, and a hero of my youth.

I am speaking about Bill Cosby, and the allegations that he raped (or at least had extramarital sex with) several women over the years.

When I was boy growing up in Yonkers, New York, I devoured Mr. Cosby’s early Warner Bros. albums, the comedy recordings that made his career.  I committed to memory virtually every one of his routines, and would regale my friends in the schoolyard at P.S. # 8 by reciting them verbatim, including his unique voice inflections.

It does not do justice to Mr. Cosby’s genius to call him a comedian.  He never told jokes, he told stories – carefully crafted stories that often stretched to 20 minutes or longer.  Just when you started thinking “where is this guy going with this ramble?” he would tie everything together in a perfect cascade of hysterical consequences and leave you rolling helpless with laughter on the floor.  Even after the fourth or fifth listening.

Then came the television series:  “I Spy” (one of the first TV dramas to feature an African-American actor in a prominent role), the immortal “Cosby Show” that defined the American sitcom in the 1980s, the “Cosby Kids” cartoons (I wish I had a nickel for every time someone called me “Fat Albert” as a kid), and many others.

Full disclosure:  I have never met Mr. Cosby, although I have seen him perform live, and I cannot comment on the accuracy of the charges against him.  If he is indeed guilty of rape or any other crime, he should be punished.

But it is far from a secret that Hollywood celebrities lead – shall we say interesting? – lives, especially in the sexual arena.  Why single out Mr. Cosby for attention?  There are two answers:

O because throughout his career he has always projected a wholesome, positive, intelligent, squeaky-clean image (Jello Pudding, anyone?); and

O his messages to young people (especially within the African-American community) emphasize the need for personal responsibility, respect for others, education, moral character, hard work and sacrifice – messages they sometimes don’t want to hear.

The media loves it when someone with a reputation for high moral values reveals his feet of clay.

So who is the “real” Bill Cosby – the comic genius or the leering lecher?  I humbly submit the question makes no sense.

Winston Churchill once said “a great person is seldom if ever a good person”, and truer words were never spoken.  When you strive to achieve greatness you sometimes have to do some nasty – even ruthless — things to get where you want to go.  And often the people who achieve greatness are so “alpha” by nature they simply are oblivious to the impact their actions have on others, and themselves.

Scratch the surface of any great person and you will find unpleasantness at some point.  Winston Churchill himself had issues with alcohol.  And don’t get me started on Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, John Lennon and other contemporary “heroes.”  Read their biographies.  These were great people, but they were not perfect.  Often they weren’t even nice or decent human beings.  But the world is a better place because they lived.

Similarly, you can find decent qualities in even the ugliest specimens of humanity.  Adolf Hitler loved dogs.

Except in the movies, human beings are never “all good” or “all bad.”  We are a bewildering combination of positive and negative, strength and weakness, saint and sinner, hero and villain.  We all have something in our past we would not want to see revealed in our biographies.

Bill Cosby stands as one of the greatest American humorists since Mark Twain, and has done more in his 50-year career to advance the cause of African-Americans than just about anyone else except for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He has preached the gospel of personal responsibility, education, civility, hard work and respectable behavior to three generations of Americans.  His “rags to riches” life story is the American dream personified.  Countless professional speakers owe their careers to him:  he taught us how to tell a story, and how to make people laugh.

He is also a womanizer, and perhaps – perhaps – a sexual predator.

Leave it there.  Bill Cosby is no saint, but his legacy does not deserve to be erased because of his weaknesses.  He is a human being.  A truly great one.

Cliff Ennico (, a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.


How to Save Big Bucks on Black Friday

Image courtesy of Cooldesign /
Image courtesy of Cooldesign /

….and we’re off!

The holiday season has officially started!

Hopefully, you had a good Thanksgiving yesterday and you have started hearing some of those “Cha-Chings” that the eBay App likes to play whenever a member sells something in their store.

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably going to head out the door at some point today (or maybe you’ll avoid fighting the crowds and just Christmas shop online). While you’re out and about or looking for all those deals online, don’t forget — this is a great time to buy some inventory for your eBay store and save some big bucks.

Here’s how:

Check for price matches
It use to be that if you wanted a Black Friday deal, you had to show up in person at your local retailer. Today, a lot of stores honor those Black Friday deals online and (even better!) some places such as Wal-Mart will match prices from the competitors on the sale items. Even Amazon does some price matching, so it pays to check all those ads to find out which items are the best deals. Since a lot of stores have limits on the Black Friday deals, here comes the neat part — order the limit from the store that is running the ad, then get Wal-Mart or Amazon to match the deal and get some more. This means you get double the amount, but all at the same price. Pretty neat – right?!

There’s an App for That
Stores love to draw shoppers in with coupons, but they don’t always tell you that there are coupons out there for you to find. I like to check the “RetailMeNot” App before I go shopping and if I forget — well, a lot of stores will now just scan the coupon right off your smartphone. I have been able to use coupons this way at Barnes and Noble, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby. You just do a search for the coupon and then present it (on your phone) to the cashier. A lot of the restaurants will take coupons that way too, so when you’ve shopped til you’ve dropped and it’s time to refuel, don’t forget to see if your favorite place has a coupon that they’ll accept digitally. Another great way to save some cash.

Stack Those Coupons
There’s nothing quite as much fun as finding out that something is on sale and you have not one, but two or even three coupons that you can use together. A lot of stores won’t do this, but some will so always make a point to ask. One store I frequent will sometimes offer “Buy $50 worth of merchandise – get $10 in Cash (certificate).” When I return the next time, I can then get the sale price, use a 20% coupon AND…wait for it…use my Cash too. Plus, if I bought another $50 worth of merchandise, I get another $10 and can repeat the process all over again the next time I’m in the store.

Finally, it might be too late to do it this time, but always sign up for the newsletters for all the places you like to shop. As I write this, I have an Inbox full of emails all promising me savings with promotional codes or coupons to take to the store. Don’t you just love it when that happens?!

Are you going out shopping today? Leave a comment below.

Your 2014 Guide to Holiday Shipping Carrier Closures & Ship By Dates


I’m always astonished at how quickly this particular time turns back up again, but here it is: the holiday season. We’ve yet again found ourselves at the final days of the year and needing to know whether our favorite carriers will be open, closed, or have changed their service. And, of course, there’s also the ever-important “ship by” dates for making sure your packages get there on time. So, without any further ado, here’s our yearly infographic to help you know all the dates to get your orders (& presents!) out on time.

Your 2014 Guide to Holiday Shipping Carrier Closures & Ship By DatesClick to see full-size

As we did last year, we’ve made our infographic at a size that fits most widescreen monitors, so you can just leave it up as your desktop wallpaper and never worry about finding it again when you need to know the dates.

Download Here:

1920 x 1080 1366 x 768
1600 x 900 1280 x 720


Extra Links:

A few words of advice before we sign off here to go do some of our own picking & packing:

  • Make your own business’s holiday shipping ship-by dates extremely visible on your site so your customers never have a question of when they need to purchase by.
  • Include times, as well, for when you cut off shipping each day so they know when to get their order in.
  • When you’re creating your own calendar, don’t forget about padding the dates to include your processing time.
  • Don’t procrastinate! Shipping earlier rather than later is always a good idea.

5 Hot Toys for Christmas 2014

If your inbox is like mine, you’re probably already getting all those “Black Friday” emails or in some cases, “Pre-Black Friday” emails offering all those holidays deals about to come. Yep, it’s that time of year again, which means Santa is going to be looking at his list and checking it twice.

If you think Santa may need a little help and you’re wondering what’s going to be on kid’s Wish Lists this year, well — here’s some ideas to help get you started.

Almost Anything with Frozen in the Title
From the Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa to the Ice Skating Anna and Elsa dolls. If it’s part of the Frozen franchise, then you can bet that there’s some child somewhere that wants it. You might be thinking that the Frozen phenomenon should be over by now, but with Frozen now ranking as Disney’s highest grossing animated film (of all time!), it’s a safe bet you haven’t heard the last of “Let It Go” for a while.

Let’s Imagine Elmo
This ones been getting some airtime in commercials lately, so it’s no surprise this one is expected to be popular. Let’s Imagine Elmo has three hats for three different play modes. Put a crown on Elmo’s head to play “Prince Elmo Says,” a sea captain hat for “Sounds of the Sea,” or a cowboy hat for “Countin’ Cowboy” and Elmo will invite your child to sing, count, and play.

Boomer – The Zoomer Dino
Boomer is a battery operated toy that makes real dinosaur-like movements and sounds. The sensors on Boomer let him know when you’re nearby and when he senses you, he will interact. Boomer spins, chomps, roars, and can even get angry (don’t pull his tail!). Since he’s on two wheels, he can move around and explore. He comes in green or purple and has a control pad so you can control him…should he decides to go on a dinosaur rampage.

If you haven’t figured it out already, interactive toys are the big drawing card this year. This one is Xeno, a so-ugly he’s cute interactive baby monster that has more than 40 expressions, animated LCD eyes, and “snot” that drips from his nose. Oh, and he can fart. Actually, Boomer (see above) can supposedly fart too, so expect some silly fun with that! Xeno comes in three colors. There’s blue, violet, and orange.

DohVinci Vanity Box
Designed for kids between 6 and 12 years of age, DohVinci uses a paint compound in what looks like a glue gun. There are four tubes of paint along with a vanity base, mirror, drawer, add-on pieces, and two piece flower attachment. There’s also other DohVinci products you can buy, such as a design kit, storage kit, and a bigger assortment of paint colors. The Vanity Box, however, appears to be the one that is particularly “hot” right now though.

Ecomdash Announces New Software Integration with Top Multi-Location POS System – Press Release

Very interesting – now this could be the answer for eCommerce Merchants who also have a physical presence. Check it out and please leave your comments!


CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — To better serve retailers with brick and mortar locations, ecomdash released its newest integration functionality with POS software company Vend. Vend point-of-sale technology connects multiple physical stores and saves sales data in the cloud.

Photo –

Ecomdash customers can better manage and automate inventory and order processing functions for both ecommerce sales channels and physical stores within one central dashboard. Inventory quantities will automatically update across physical and online locations when a sale is made.

“The Vend integration enables physical storefront owners to easily expand into ecommerce this shopping season,” said Darrin Kidd, chief engineering officer at ecomdash. “Businesses can scale and grow quickly with greater control.”

The new POS option expands ecomdash’s omni-channel offering. Ecomdash provides brick and mortar retailers the ability to integrate data to and from any POS system with a system-agnostic scheduled automation functionality. The Vend integration expedites this automation function even further to create a real-time, comprehensive omni-channel automation system for better inventory control and risk mitigation.

Ecomdash integrates with Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Sears in addition to multiple website platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce. They are planning at least two additional channel integrations before the end of 2014 including popular marketplaces (formerly and Newegg.

About Ecomdash

Ecomdash is a web software application enabling omni-channel sellers to run their business from anywhere at any time in a fraction of the time they spend today. The automated inventory, sales order and shipping management tool is designed specifically for businesses selling on multiple marketplaces and websites. Ecomdash gives retailers the ability to save time, grow sales with an expanded online presence, and increase customer satisfaction. For more information visit

Media Contact: Laura Greeno, ecomdash, (704) 687-8067,

That Kat Radio – Show # 74: James Rugg and Ann Nguyen


[smart_track_player url=”″ title=”James Rugg and Ann Nguyen” ]

Design & Achieve Your eCommerce Success


In this episode of That Kat Radio, Kat spoke with James Rugg about the Daily Source List and with Ann Nguyen about being a successful Etsy seller.


jamesruggFirst, kat spoke with James Rugg about its experience with eCommerce and all about  I love finding sources or resources on Amazon seller that are worth their investment and I think I found a great one with James.

James Rugg is a list provider.  Daily source list is one of the best ways to get your hands on arbitrage list.  Stop that high profit and select for a high turnover.  It is a no. 1 arbitrage ready source list in the amazon market.

Let’s not list the actual questions, how about just a paragraph with some top things we discussed?

After speaking to James, Kat spoke with Ann Nguyen about selling on Etsy..

Ann NguyenAnn Nguyen is a licensed Esthetician, Certified Aromatherapist, and Licensed Massage Therapist.  She uses all organic and all natural products in her skincare and massage practice and have developed a profound appreciation for the power of plant essences to influence our minds and bodies. She believes that our health and our connection to the world around us can be enhanced through the use of essential oils.

Nature has engineered, over millions of years, healing properties that allow plants to survive challenging conditions. The chemicals which give plants these properties can also affect our bodies and give us the same effects. They can lift our spirits by affecting our neurochemistry, and improve our immune system and resistance to stress. Unlike some medications they are not harmful to our bodies and are relatively free of side effects.


Links from the show:

Kitty Kat Kombo:

Big Kat Kombo:  Use code: THATKAT for a 5% discount!!


 You can follow Kat on TWITTERFacebookGoogle+ and Instagram. Read the blog on

Purchase one of Kat’s books on Amazon. Kat’s Sales Tax Book or Ultimate Guide to Savings by Store.

Join our Facebook Group to be notified of upcoming shows.


Please help us spread the word about That Kat Radio!


Please let your twitter followers know about us by tweeting. If you enjoyed this episode of That Kat Radio, please head over to iTunes, leave a rating, write a review and subscribe. And if you listen on Stitcher, please rate and review us there.

Ways to subscribe to That Kat Radio: Click here to subscribe on iTunesClick here to subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed). You can also subscribe via Stitcher or Talkshoe.

[smart_track_player url=”” title=”That Kat Radio” ]

Registering Your Non-Profit for Tax Exempt Status the “E-Z“ Way (Part 2 of 2)

cliff ennicoIn July 2014, the IRS adopted new Form 1023-EZ, a simplified application process for nonprofit organizations that wish to obtain tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Your organization is not eligible to use Form 1023-EZ if:

it has more than $250,000 in total assets;

it has gross receipts of more than $50,000 a year, or anticipates that it will exceed $50,000 in gross receipts in either of the next two years;

it is organized as a limited liability company (LLC);

it is based overseas;

it has another application for 501(c)(3) status pending with the IRS; or

it is a church, university, hospital, or one of several other specific types of nonprofit.

Form 1023-EZ is essentially a “checklist” – you answer a number of questions and, if you answer them correctly, your organization is granted 501(c)(3) status.  Before registering, you sign up for an account at (type “Form 1023-EZ” in the search box), and pay the $400 fee by credit card.or PayPal.  There is no lengthy IRS review, no laundry list of followup questions from IRS agents you have to respond to, no bureaucratic red tape.  What’s not to like?

Well, actually quite a bit.  Before you consider going online today and registering your little nonprofit club that meets three times a year in your house over wine and cheese, consider the following.

Form 1023-EZ assumes that you are familiar with the many, many restrictions that apply to 501(c)(3) organizations.  By saying you are eligible to use Form 1023-EZ, you are swearing under oath to the federal Government that you understand these restrictions and are willing to comply with them.  For example, most 501(c)(3) organizations:

  • must file an Annual Report to the IRS each year (for some small nonprofits, this will be the “postcard” filing on Form 990-N);
  • cannot engage in political activity of any kind unless it registers as a qualified political organization (a/k/a/ lobbying group);
  • must adopt conflict of interest and compensation policies for its executive directors and other key employees; and
  • are subject to numerous federal and state rules and regulations restricting their fundraising activities, their dealings with donors, and so forth.

If you register your nonprofit using Form 1023-EZ and then violate any of these rules (even innocently) – well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes if the IRS finds out about it.

What about that “$50,000 a year in gross receipts” limit on the use of Form 1023-EZ?  What if, as a start up organization, you have absolutely no idea what your gross receipts will be in the next two years?  What if you register under Form 1023-EZ, apply successfully for a bunch of federal and state government grants, and end up with more than $50,000 a year in 2015 or 2016?

The instructions for Form 1023-EZ don’t say.  IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-40, which authorized Form 1023-EZ (the text of which can be found online at, contains merely a cryptic statement that “a determination letter recognizing exemption may not be relied upon if there is a material change, inconsistent with exemption, in the character, the purpose, or the method of operation of the organization, or a change in the applicable law.”  Translation:  if the IRS finds out you’ve goofed, the IRS may revoke or modify your 501(c)(3) exemption, even retroactively.

The bottom line:  if you are planning to use Form 1023-EZ to register your nonprofit, be sure to meet with a lawyer first and have him or her review your organization’s incorporation documents, purpose, goals and management structure to make 100% sure you meet the Form 1023-EZ eligibility requirements and will continue to meet them in the future.  You may also want to complete Form 1023-EZ electronically in the attorney’s office, with him or her looking over your shoulder, to make 100% sure you don’t make any mistakes.

Many charity-minded attorneys will waive their hourly charges and quote you a flat fee for these services if you ask them nicely (for comparison’s sake, I currently offer such a service to my nonprofit clients for a $750 flat fee plus the $400 IRS filing fee).

If you are at all unsure about your organization’s eligibility for Form 1023-EZ, DO NOT FILE IT.  To be sure, filing the regular IRS Form 1023 is a major pain in the you-know-what.  You have to pull together lots of information about your organization, prepare financial projections, provide biographies of your executive director and key employees, and make sure your organizational documents are 100% letter perfect.  You then have to wait up to 21 months to have your application approved.

By going through this detailed application process, however, you can be sure the IRS is looking at your organization very closely to make 100% sure it complies with all of the 501(c)(3) rules and restrictions, making it less likely they will revoke it later on without a really good reason.

Cliff Ennico ( is a syndicated columnist, author and host of the PBS television series ‘Money Hunt’.  This column is no substitute for legal, tax or financial advice, which can be furnished only by a qualified professional licensed in your state.  To find out more about Cliff Ennico and other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit our Web page at  COPYRIGHT 2014 CLIFFORD R. ENNICO.  DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

4 Ways to Promote your eBay store on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Dealies
If you’re like most eBay sellers, you are probably ready to kick it into high gear for the holiday shopping season. Hopefully, you already have your Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions planned out for social media, but there may be one day you haven’t really given much thought to.

What about Thanksgiving Day?

Although there is a growing movement on social media to boycott going to the stores on Thanksgiving Day, you know a lot of shoppers are still going to get out there to look for those bargains. They’re also going to want to escape from their families for a bit and check their Facebook and Twitter feeds. This gives eBay sellers a great opportunity to promote their stores and could help get those holiday sales off to a good start.

Here’s four ways to promote your eBay store on Thanksgiving Day:

Find out what your buyers are thankful for
Take some time on Thanksgiving Day to chat with buyers on Twitter and Facebook. Ask what Thanksgiving Day means to them. Find out what their favorite part of the holiday is or what part of their Thanksgiving meal did they like best. You can often get a dialogue going by posing questions such as what they are thankful for or even what football team they are cheering for during all those Bowl games. Also, don’t forget to tell buyers you are thankful for them shopping with you throughout the year.

If you can’t beat ’em — join ’em
With more and more stores starting their Black Friday promotions early, Thanksgiving can be a great time to go ahead and kickoff your Black Friday promotions. Let buyers know about the great deals in the store and invite them to be “early birds.”

Encourage more sales with freebies
Offer buyers a free gift for every purchase made on Thanksgiving Day. If you’re not already offering the free shipping that eBay encourages sellers to use, providing it on the holiday itself could help buyers make a decision to buy from you now rather than waiting until later.

As an alternative, you may wish to offer a 10 or 20-percent discount for Thanksgiving Day only. Take a moment beforehand, however, and calculate your sales margin before adjusting the price of your items. You wouldn’t want all your profits literally flying out the door by mistake.

Run contests throughout the day
If you’re on Facebook, you have probably already seen the promotions that run occasionally where companies give away things like cars, boots, or clothing. Your giveaways don’t have to be elaborate, just small giveaway items can work nicely.

Tell buyers to “Like” and “Share” or “Retweet” your Facebook and Twitter posts. You can then randomly select winners each hour or select one winner at the end of the day for a bigger prize. This not only helps get the word out about your store, but buyers will remember participating in your contest later on and this could draw them back to your store when they are ready to make those holiday purchases.

Ask Janelle Show # 5: Stephen Smotherman

In this episode, Kat spoke with Stephen Smotherman.

Stephen Smotherman has been an online seller for 16 years, starting on eBay in 1998, then transitioning to FBA in 2011. He and his wife Rebecca live with their rambunctious family of four boys in Texas, where they love to camp, hike, ride bikes, and go to as many baseball games as possible. FBA has been Stephen’s full-time job since 2011, and Rebecca joined him in the business in 2013. They love working from home, having a flexible schedule, and pursuing new sources of inventory to keep their business growing. They also love sharing what they learn with other folks who are selling via FBA, particularly those who would like to make FBA their main source of income. On their blog, FulltimeFBA , Stephen and his wife discuss ways to increase your productivity and raise your profits. They also share insider secrets about how to maximize the funds you currently have in order to grow an FBA business that can support you now and in your retirement.

[smart_track_player url=”″ title=”AJS Segment #1″ ]

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. How did you first come online and why?
  2. What did you do for a living before you became an online seller?
  3. What is your history related to online business?
  4. Please tell us one thing you’ve never shared online.

[smart_track_player url=”″ title=”AJS Segment #2″ ]

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. What is your current online business?
  2. Why did you start this business?
  3. What are your core beliefs about business and life?
  4. How do you integrate your family with your business?

[smart_track_player url=”″ title=”AJS Segment #3″ ]

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. Where did the idea for your book come from?
  2. What kind of online seller did you write the book for?
  3. Give us a capsule view of what is in the book please.
  4. Have you been surprised at how the book has been received?

[smart_track_player url=”″ title=”AJS Segment #4″ ]

Questions that were asked and answered were:

  1. What is your favorite part of the book?
  2. Do you see more writing, maybe a sequel in your future?
  3. What do you think the future of this business will be like?
  4. How and where can our audience connect with you?
  5. Where do you see your business in 10 years?


Links from the show:

Connect: FulltimeFBA
New book: Married to Reselling: Balancing Family Life with your Online Business
Previous book: The Reseller’s Guide to Board Games: How to turn play money into real money

 You can follow Kat on TWITTERFacebookGoogle+ and Instagram. Read the blog on

Purchase one of Kat’s books on Amazon. Kat’s Sales Tax Book or Ultimate Guide to Savings by Store.

Join her Facebook Group to be notified of upcoming shows.


Please help us spread the word about That Kat Radio!

Introducing the Facebook Groups App

By Shirley Sun, Product Manager

People use Facebook Groups every day to stay in touch with family, collaborate on projects, plan trips and offer support to friends.

Today, we’re introducing a new Facebook Groups app that helps people share faster and more easily with all the groups in their life. We built this app with the people who use Groups the most in mind, like:

  • Students from Donda’s House, an arts nonprofit in Chicago, who use groups to stay in touch during and after a 12-week music program
  • A class of dental students in Brazil who use a group to post notes and reminders about upcoming tests and due dates
  • Nine best friends spread out across Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and England who use a group to keep connected

Here’s how it works:

When you open the app, you’ll see all your Facebook Groups in one place. Groups you use most frequently are at the top, and you can quickly move between each group.


Easily start a new group by tapping Create.


You can also track notifications and easily control which notifications you want to see.


In the new Discover tab, you’ll see groups suggested to you based on Pages you’ve liked, groups your friends are in and where you live.


You can still use Facebook Groups in the main Facebook app and on desktop, and over time we’ll continue to make those experiences faster and better, too.

Facebook Groups, part of Facebook Creative Labs, is available in all countries on Android and iOS today.