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October 30, 2019

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The Hustle Daily Email

Let’s keep things moving this Wednesday, y’all. Thankfully, today’s news will keep you on your toes: Unbelievably, Amazon found an even more convenient way to sell your weekly shopping list of onions and mushrooms. And even more unbelievably, Americans spend almost half a billion dollars each year on… pet costumes. Bon appétit, ya filthy animals.

Amazon continues to take over the planet, one banana bunch at a time

True to form, Amazon is cutting prices and speeding up delivery. The ecommerce giant is nixing its $14.99 monthly Amazon Fresh delivery fee, instead offering free 2-hour grocery delivery in more than 2k cities.

Compared with its free Whole Foods delivery offering — which has yielded “relatively little fizz” in terms of market share — the Fresh option promises wider reach, speedier turnaround, lower prices, and more large-brand items. It’s only available to paying Prime members ($119/year), so take the “free” part with a grain of pink Himalayan sea salt (available for delivery!).

Amazon is hungry for more high-frequency shoppers

Amazon may have mastered hardgoods, but perishables are a whole different meatball game, thanks to unpredictable seasonal events and high shipping/packaging costs. Although the ecomm king has a relatively strong footing in the rapidly growing online grocery market, competition is growing fiercer.

Food fiiiiiiiight! Every man for himself!

The market is stuffed with competitors jockeying for a seat at the table via price cutting, customer service, and partnerships (e.g., Target and Shipt).

Many traditional groceries now offer order-ahead pickup as well as delivery, and 3rd-party grocery drop-offs like Instacart are proliferating. Last, we can’t discount adjacent services including meal-based subscriptions (e.g., HelloFresh) and restaurant delivery platforms (e.g., DoorDash).

But the big dawg can afford to invest in the long game 

Thanks to its many alternate revenue sources, Amazon can eat the high delivery costs and lower margins incurred by its latest Fresh offering — no sweat. Plus, each new Fresh customer it wins means another loyal Primer who will go on to pay annual fees and shop Amazon’s other categories.

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Wanna sell your business for millions? Who doesn’t? We chat with Joe Valley from Quiet Light Brokerage who can help you avoid the common mistakes that devalue your business. This week on My First Million,  learn:

📈 How to make your business valuable to a future buyer

📖 Important metrics to track like “Add back” and “Seller discretionary earnings”

🚨 Learning from his own mistakes that lead to losing $250,000 in 42 days

Video game companies want criminals to stop using their games to launder real-life loot

Valve, the video game developer behind “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” announced that players would no longer be able to trade keys purchased in the game’s internal marketplace.

Why? Because, as Valve explained to its users, “worldwide fraud networks have recently shifted to using CS:GO keys to liquidate their gains.”

The games may be virtual, but the criminals are real

Here’s how video game money laundering works: Criminals use stolen money to buy in-game money (or other resellable items) and then exchange it for real, untraceable cash.

In some cases, criminals target players — often unsuspecting, video game-loving kids — by offering deals and other discounts, enabling them to move their cash fast.

And this isn’t the first video game that’s enabled crime

“Fortnite,” in particular, has had many problems with money laundering — last year, a single cybersecurity firm issued 53k “Fortnite” scam alerts between September and October alone.

And other games that offer in-game loot have struggled to boot the all-too-real villains from their platforms for years.

It’s not just money laundering, either: Scammers have been busted for setting up complex gambling rings based on video game currencies, too.

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The Hustle says…

The only thing scarier than your dad dressing up as a “sexy lumberjack” this Halloween? Missing out on Hustle Con. That’s why we’re giving you $100 off your ticket for the next 48 hours with promo code “BOO”.

“I feel like I’m working out naked — without the risk of getting arrested.” – Van J., Ten Thousand customer. Use code WELCOME10 for 10% off Ten Thousand’s Interval shorts and feel the difference for yourself.*

Three former Under Armour execs are now making your favorite jeans. Revtown blends performance material flexibility and comfort with the durability you expect from your jeans. The end result? Oh, just the best damn pants you’ve ever frickin’ worn.*

“When I think of Switzerland, 3 things come to mind: The Matterhorn, secret bank accounts, and Oris watches. They’re all pretty sweet, but only one supports good causes like Movember. (Hint: It’s Oris.)” – Austin Winter, Salesperson & Mustache Enthusiast*

*This is a sponsored post.

Sexy Halloween costumes are crazier than ever thanks to Yandy.com

Sexy skeleton. Sexy Frankenstein. Sexy Smeagol. We’ve seen ’em. We’ve worn ’em. We’ve loved ’em. OK, maybe not the last one, but we’ve all rolled our eyes at least once living in the sexy hallow generation (h8ers are the best motiv8ors).

For better or worse, risqué choices are the Halloween wear people remember. And the lingerie and costume company Yandy has made a name by taking even the craziest of Halloween costumes to the next level of sexy.

It’s not good enough to be a normal Pumpkin

The Washington Post reports that sexy Allhallows Eve costumes didn’t quite hit the mainstream until Lindsay Lohan’s character in “Mean Girls” showed up to a Halloween party donning an ugly bride of Frankenstein costume, while the cool girls came as scantily clad animals.

Today, consumers looking to let their sexy saddle soar often turn to Yandy.com, which has become a leader in churning out sexy Halloween costume designs. (This year includes sexy Mister Rogers, sexy Beyond Burger, and sexy White Claw.)

The company gained notoriety after they adhered pizza-shaped pockets to a sexy mouse costume — and just like that, you have a sexy pizza rat (based on the viral sensation that same year).

And no sexy stone has gone unturned since…

As many trends do, sexy Halloween wear has become more ironic over the years, for ladies looking to have their costume and wear it too.

The self-awareness shift is a great fit for Yandy’s VP of merchandising, Pilar Quintana-Williams, who told WaPo that she is “98%” sure she could make any Halloween costume sexy.

Unfortunately, that same confidence has landed Yandy in hot water over the years, after putting some less-than-tasteful sexy selections up for sale. But the controversies have yet to make the company take a Halloween hiatus.

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As the future of coal darkens, Murray Energy files for bankruptcy

No offense to all the coal-heads out there, but Murray Energy Corp., a coal mining leader founded in 1988, filed for Chapter 11 yesterday.

That makes it the 8th coal company to file for bankruptcy protection in the past year, as the industry continues to get slapped around by greener and more economical energy options, according to The Wall Street Journal

Canary Coal in the coal mine

Back in the day, coal powered almost 50% of all US electricity. But, as natty gas and renewables become the rage, not even Robert E. Murray, the founder of the company and one of the nation’s last coal barons, could stop the turn (though it sure wasn’t for lack of trying).

This year coal produced around 25% of all US electricity, and is on pace to drop to 22% in 2020, according to data from the Energy Department.

Demand for thermal coal has been declining for about a decade, Benjamin Nelson, a Moody’s coal analyst, told WSJ. But prices really dipped this year, proving just how for realsies people are when it comes to cleaning out the dirty stuff.

The proof is in the coal-colored pudding

Murray Energy, which according to its site “is the largest underground coal mining company in America,” announced it came to a restructuring agreement that involves $350m in new financing and Robert Murray stepping down as CEO.

Despite the fight to stifle the anti-coal movement, Murray’s filing once again shows that the prehistoric vegetation is headed the way of the dinosaur.

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