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Keeping relationship between 2 eCommerce sites secret

 11:52 am on Jun 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have a large site (Site A) in a niche and I've now decided to open a new site (Site B) in the same niche but coming at it from a different angle.

Both sites do/will take/pay money using PayPal/credit card. How will I keep the sites separate? It's important that the users of Site A do not know I also run Site B. If I use one PayPal account, it seems there will be full transparency and the link between Sites A and B clear to all.

I'm guessing in these days of increased ID checks and openness, it's very hard to totally obscure links between sites. I already have domain privacy activated on Site B so I have whois covered.



 7:21 pm on Jun 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why do you need them so separate ?


 7:38 pm on Jun 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

That sounds shifty. I'd be concerned if I were a buyer on your site and heard of your plans. If you're an honest seller/company, there should be no reason to have multiple store identities in the same niche.


 8:04 pm on Jun 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

it's not actually the users I need to conceal things from, but rather webmasters of other sites. I have particular relationships (advertising, for example) with certain of them and I have no desire for them to know I'm moving into another area of our niche. In short, it's my business, not theirs. There will be a couple feeling as though I'm treading on toes, encroaching on territory, that type of thing.


 12:41 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm exactly the same as you. I have a large site in one market and are developing another site in the same market that I don't want Google or visitors to connect to me.

Register the domain to a different name / address (friends, parents)
Use a different webhost
Can you use a different shopping cart?
Could you open another company to take payments?
Use different copy of the website / graphics / prices


 12:44 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you are treading on their toes, it is not just your business.


 8:08 am on Jun 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

it affects them, yes. But they have absolutely zero right to know who opened that site, what other sites that person has or anything of that type. They may WANT to know, of course, but that's an entirely different matter.


 2:35 pm on Jun 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

So in your opinion, the people you have advertising relationships with have no right to know you are now going to be competing with them?

How sustainable do you think doing business like that is?


 3:13 pm on Jun 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Between commercial entities there are no "rights" other than those expressly stipulated in writing in their joint contracts..

Unless his advertisers made him sign "non compete" clauses ..then he is free to do what he wants..


 4:45 pm on Jun 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can understand where you might have interpreted what I was saying as a legal opinion, but it was not. The way I meant "right to know" was purely in the sense showing the people you do business with respect.

Youíre correct, he has the legal right to do it if thatís the way he feels comfortable doing business.

My question still stands, is that sustainable method of doing business?


 5:10 pm on Jun 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

If he can do via site B what some of his current advertisers on site A are doing, and do it better and or cheaper and more successfully than them..in the long run he would not need them advertising on site A..

So it would be very "sustainable" :)


He has a blog or informational site or review site about "all types of widgets"..site A ..

Various widget manufacturers ( some specialised, some not ) advertise upon site A..

He realises that he too could manufacture a specific type of widget ..and do so, and market it better than they do ..

He opens site B..

Eventually he is outselling certain of his site A advertisers..so he will not miss their ad revenue if they do not survive the "competition"..


Imagine that certain advertisers of widgets on site A, decide that they could make their own blog, informational site , review site about widgets let us call it site C )..it would compete with him for "traffic", and maybe take his traffic, in which case they would no longer need to advertise on his site A..and he would lose the ad revenue to his new "competition"..

Do you seriously think that they, the current widget manufacturers, would tell him that that was what they were going to do ?

They would hide as much of their new venture from him as they possibly could..

"Eat life.. or it eats you"..

The original Chinese sounds better :) as told to me by a Chinese girlfriend , a long time ago..


 6:16 pm on Jun 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Call me old fashioned but I've always been of the opinion that you put your name on what you do, so I'm coming from that background.

Secondly, I know WHY he's doing it, it's not rocket science, quite the opposite. You aren't saying anything that a rational person doesn't already know. Doing business like that works for a while until you've gone behind and screwed too many people.

Your proposition about what the current widget manufacturers would do is a poor man's excuse to do anything they want to somebody if they can justify in their mind that the other person would do the same.


 6:43 pm on Jun 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Doing business like that works for a while until you've gone behind and screwed too many people.

Real life be it in business or in personal relationships ,teaches the exact opposite, which is why skyfairies were invented..because only a minute percentage of people ever get "found out"..and the more intelligent ones noticed that fact a long long time ago..

Modern "control" ( now that the myth of sky fairies no longer work ) is now down to CSI..where Joe and Jane 6 pack are told to believe that you really can "enhance those pixels" and read a number plate or ID a face at 100 metres from the security camera..or reflected in the car driving the other way down the freeway..so they see the "security cameras" and are apprehensive enough to "toe the line"..

You are saying not is that "sustainable", but is it "moral", specifically does it match "your personal moral code"..and if it doesn't it must be wrong ( there I might in some circumstances, agree with you ) ..but to say that all deeds that do not match your personal moral stance will inevitably result in failure, being "found out" or retribution ? ..

The real world does not work like that for most people ..if it did the owners of Lehmans would be now homeless or in jail..the news is ..they are not..

We are each in a fight for survival with each other and with all that is outside of us ..enlightened self interest is one way it can be coped with,but turning the other cheek, telling all, anticipating the best in others gets you broke or shot or homeless or in a recent case even eaten..

The people who head up the largest businesses and institutions, did not get where they are , by being 100% open about what they were doing ..very very very far from it in very very very many cases..they have a name for those who are 100% open.."lunch"..


 12:09 am on Jun 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

...and I won't be doing anything "immoral" here. No blackhat, no copying, no breaking of contracts. Just an original idea I want to be able to execute unmolested, which I have every right to do.

I just know that if/when I start site B, there will be a very small minority that will not be happy about it and I have no idea how they might react to that, the fact I had a good idea, the fact they didn't, the fact I did something about it. I already had one site interfered with by a pi$$ed off webmaster way back in 2002/3 and it is NOT an experience I ever want to go through again.

for every good idea out there, there are twenty people miffed they didn't have the same idea.


 12:27 am on Jun 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Don't be fooled, lots of companies do this. In a particular niche I deal with a lot it is very common.

Consider an umbrella name for your company which is semi generic. This is the information for payment processing. This will be visible on both (or more) sites you own since multiple payment processors is not very practical.

Site contact information, some competitors I've seen don't include it. I don't recommend this since it doesn't look legit. UPS store or address services makes it very easy to appear at a physical address. PO Box again doesn't look legit.

With voip virtual phone numbers are easy to pipe through cloud phone systems and appear unrelated.

As far as hosting, it can be accomplished on the same server with physically different IPs. That depends just how different you want them to be. You'll find that most people won't make the connection. If you don't want competitors to know then you may want to pick two separate host (this becomes difficult with more than 2 sites). As far as search engines it is generally encouraged to use a different class c.


 12:33 am on Jun 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Agreed :) ..If it is the Paypal aspect that is worrying you..you can have more than the one account..on the same machine, makes no problems..


 7:41 pm on Jun 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Agreed :) ..If it is the Paypal aspect that is worrying you..you can have more than the one account..on the same machine, makes no problems..

Yes, PayPal has no qualms with you having multiple PayPal accounts. However, you can only have one bank account registered to one PayPal account so that makes some issues.

As for the moral reasons, it's cut throat for sure, but that's business. Amazon does this every day with 3rd party sellers. If they see a third party seller is doing well with an item they don't stock, they'll start to stock it and undercut the 3rd party seller.

If the vendor ChanandlerBong is trying to conceal himself from has such an easily replicable product or service, he should feel no remorse in copying it. With that being said, I work with a couple of small vendors who carry a couple of products I could easily get copied in China at a much reduced price. I resist the temptation to this- it's one thing being aggressive and forcing a competing business to strengthen their competitive advantage, it's another thing to put a small mom and pop company out of business.


 8:34 pm on Jun 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Unless you are just testing, you should be setting up a brand new corporation to handle this. Then it is not you that is doing this, but some other faceless corporation.

This way you will not damage your existing company.


 6:31 pm on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Eventually, your secret will get out, too many things happening, too many people involved, too much overlapping technology. If that secret getting out will ruin things then, you know now to not hide it, or not do it in secret.

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