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Amazon Terminating California Associates

 
nightowl
Admin
Posts: 519
Message
on 06/29/2011

Hello,

For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of California residents. Unfortunately, a potential new law that may be signed by Governor Brown compels us to terminate this program for California-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers - including but not limited to those referred by California-based marketing affiliates like you - even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that we must take this action.

As a result, we will terminate contracts with all California residents that are participants in the Amazon Associates Program as of the date (if any) that the California law becomes effective. We will send a follow-up notice to you confirming the termination date if the California law is enacted. In the event that the California law does not become effective before September 30, 2011, we withdraw this notice. As of the termination date, California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned on or before the termination date will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule.

You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of California. If you are not currently a resident of California, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state in the near future please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.

To avoid confusion, we would like to clarify that this development will only impact our ability to offer the Associates Program to California residents and will not affect their ability to purchase from Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com.

We have enjoyed working with you and other California-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to California residents. We are also working on alternative ways to help California residents monetize their websites and we will be sure to contact you when these become available.

Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team

 




SEO Praxis: Specializing in WordPress Hosting and Small Business Web Design.
nightowl
Admin
Posts: 519
Message
on 06/29/2011

Well, this sucks, big time. If this law does go into effect it's just a matter of time before  California residents will receive similar contract terminations from other vendors. The implications are immense.

If you think you're safe because you live in a state that does not have this issue I wouldn't hold my breath. If California succumbs to the lure of Internet sales tax many other states, who are sitting on the fence right now, are likely to follow suit.


SEO Praxis: Specializing in WordPress Hosting and Small Business Web Design.
CHalloran
Posts: 36
Message
on 06/29/2011

I wonder if we could register a business in NV or DE or WY?

vikksimmons
Posts: 71
Message
on 06/29/2011

They just did the same thing in Connecticut a week or so ago. Not good. And here I am just starting to earn money from Amazon. :) Sigh. Not in California. Hope Texas holds the line. 


tandemonimom
Posts: 144
Message
on 06/29/2011

Just listened to this podcast:

http://www.practicalecommerce.com/podcasts/episode/1618-Affiliate-Marketing-Exec-Offers-Alternative-to-Nexus-Sales-Tax-Laws

Best quote: "None of these laws have actually raised taxes for any of the states that have passed them. As soon as the law is passed, the physical retailer breaks ties with all affiliates in the state and still does not collect any taxes. So every state that has enacted these has actually seen a decline in revenue because they still don't get to collect any sales tax on the out-of-state purchases and they drive the affiliate jobs either out of state or destroy them altogether."

I've heard they are thinking of enacting this idiotic legistation (that was nearly a redundancy, huh?) in my state of Arizona too. Yell


Carma aka tandemonimom
bev-owens
Posts: 91
Message
on 06/29/2011

Wonder how long it will take these State Officials that are enacting these laws to figure out that they just shot themselves in the foot/feet? It is ludicrous! If you think about it, not only will they not get any NEW revenue from this...but they will actually loose money in the long run. All of those Affiliates who were making good money, reporting it as income and paying taxes on it...just got Fired.

Wonder what they would say if all the thousands of people across the nation who have been given the "pink slip" by Amazon and other Affiliate programs would show up at the Unemployment Office wanting to collect because they lost their job? It would serve them right!

Michey
Posts: 70
Message
on 06/29/2011

I don't live in California, but this is really bad, and you are right, we don't know what will follow...

Thanks

Michey


Catch in time the big wave of Web 3.0 and change your life forever: Michey's Blog Mobile Profit
Michey
Posts: 70
Message
on 06/29/2011

You are 100% right, but looks like they don't see the big picture... 

bev-owens: 29. Jun 2011, 20:35

Wonder how long it will take these State Officials that are enacting these laws to figure out that they just shot themselves in the foot/feet? It is ludicrous! If you think about it, not only will they not get any NEW revenue from this...but they will actually loose money in the long run. All of those Affiliates who were making good money, reporting it as income and paying taxes on it...just got Fired.

Wonder what they would say if all the thousands of people across the nation who have been given the "pink slip" by Amazon and other Affiliate programs would show up at the Unemployment Office wanting to collect because they lost their job? It would serve them right!

 


Catch in time the big wave of Web 3.0 and change your life forever: Michey's Blog Mobile Profit
spirituality
Posts: 125
Message
on 06/30/2011

It's curious that this type of law means that people like me, living in Europe, can earn on Amazon more easily than US citizens. Not very easily mind, as long as they insist on paying us out with checks (which I can't cash). 

Of course Amazon is playing hardball here - they're hoping pulling out WILL change the minds of officials. 

I don't know if there's any collective action going on -but if there is, do sign it and pass it on. 


I'm Spirituality aka Katinka Hesselink. Glimpses into my online marketing story :Marketing Spiritual - online marketing with integrity
WebWriter
Posts: 87
Message
on 06/30/2011

So it is a double wammy for California residents who use Wizzley.

First, Wizzley  disallows the use of your own affiliate links for Zazzle.

Second, the Amazon affiliate program on Wizzley will be of no use for California residents because of the new law.

Bummer


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 06/30/2011

I don't think there is anything we can do to influence a potenial reversal of such laws.

However, we can easily expand our affiliate sales by using Sharasale, CJ, PepperJam. etc. creatives in addition to our beautiful sales modules.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
CHalloran
Posts: 36
Message
on 06/30/2011

and it's official.... the governor signed it and our accounts are now cancelled...

Digby_Adams
Posts: 698
Message
on 06/30/2011

It won't be just Amazon that cuts off affiliates. If this law passes where I live, I think that I will lose 90% of my merchants. The Performance Marketing Association is suing the state of Illinois over their new law. And it has been defeated in several states. The best way is for small affiliates to contact their state reps and local newspapers to explain the situation and why it doesn't do what it says it will do. The states collect no new revenue, because affiliates are terminated, and the merchants don't pay any more taxes. The states that have income taxes actually lose money, because affiliate income decreases. Rhode Island is considering reversing this law after two years.

CHalloran
Posts: 36
Message
on 06/30/2011

@Digby_Adams.... very true. Nearly 200 merchants dropped off affiliates in NY. And many more will follow. Next is google adsense. Technically, the way google commissions work is the same thing as amazon commissions work. So the law will see them both as same. After all, we are helping those merchants advertise on our websites and blogs and getting money from it when someone clicks on those ads. Same thing as making a sale on amazon.

 

So really, the problem is much bigger than it appears.

chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 06/30/2011

I would not panik. Government is "business". But government is also slow. Look how long it took them to realize that they're missing out on potential taxation opportunities.

I think Amazon and other programs wil come up with a compromise, before they let all that income slip out of their hands.

It's now more important than ever to write quality content and establish a solid reader base. Then we can market to them whatever good stuff we have avaiable.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Michey
Posts: 70
Message
on 06/30/2011

 

chefkeem: 30. Jun 2011, 09:37

I don't think there is anything we can do to influence a potenial reversal of such laws.

However, we can easily expand our affiliate sales by using Sharasale, CJ, PepperJam. etc. creatives in addition to our beautiful sales modules.

I think it is a great idea to expand, as we don't know if this will trigger a domino effect for other states, or other share revenue sites...! 

 


Catch in time the big wave of Web 3.0 and change your life forever: Michey's Blog Mobile Profit
theherbivorehippie
Posts: 18
Message
on 06/30/2011

I'm confused...I thought we weren't permitted to use Shareasale, CJ, etc., anymore according to the newsletter I read last night. Are we or aren't we? I only ask because I have a lot of affilates with both for my personal sites that I planned on using here.

 

Sorry this question is off subject......Undecided


“I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.” - Oscar Wilde
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 06/30/2011

Hippie - your question is right on topic. :)

You can use any affiliate links you like, as long as the respective companies are, well, respected companies. (See our quality guidelines) Shareasale, CJ, Pepperjam...are all ok.

ONLY your future Amazon, Zazzle, and AllPosters ads MUST be displayed through our modules, exclusively.

So, no more Amazon, Zazzle, and AP text links or creatives with your own (100%) affiliate code.

Wizzley is a revenue-SHARING platform. If WE don't share in the revenue, we won't have a viable business model.

And again, this policy change won't affect your existing pages. It will begin on July 1.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
theherbivorehippie
Posts: 18
Message
on 06/30/2011

Ahhhh I see!  I totally misunderstood the newsletter then. Thanks for clearing this up!Laughing


“I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.” - Oscar Wilde
KathyMcGraw
Posts: 131
Message
on 06/30/2011

Chef....I am confused!

Didn't we put our Amazon Affiliate code into our profiles here?  I am in CA and if I am dropped then my code is no longer valid.  So, if I sold an Artichoke from my article....how would you know it was me? 

I might not be asking this right...but I was never really into  that affiliate stuff much before recently.


Kathy M.
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