I not only live in California, I’m a 3rd or 4th generation native, depending on which story you accept. Like 10,000-25,000 others (depending on the source) Amazon thanked me for being an affiliate by terminating my account. I am not alone.
Like other long-term affiliates I remember when, for example, they were so grateful they sent me a cup to keep my coffee warm, and, when postage rates went up, some stamps.
They were a scrappy new company determined to be of service.
As they grew, things changed. Commissions dropped, commission-less used books showed up. Like many I stuck with them.
I’ve never made much, but I never worked at it very hard either. I backed them because they invented so much of the ecommerce we all use today.
Amazon fired us because Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that will require Amazon to collect state taxes from “customers.” As an affilate, I’m apparently a customer. So far, however, Amazon isn’t refusing to sell books to me as an individual and so far they are not adding any tax. That will probably change.
I guess I’m a political pawn, although it may be because I’m legally a ‘physical presence’ in the state. Amazon, along with Overstock.com and I’ll bet others soon are firing their affiliates in an attempt to get California to drop this law. Which is actually a bigger battle about taxing the internet.
Should the internet be taxed? I don’t know. WebProNews has an article of the same title. Will the GOP resist this kind of tax? I doubt it.
I vaguely remember the taxes on internet sales were originally waived to encourage ecommerce – is that true or did I make that up?
It’s been lovely not to pay taxes on things I buy on the ‘net, but if you’d asked me I suspect I would have said something like ‘this won’t last.’ Maybe we all thought the taxes into existence.
It’s a huge drama to change all the Amazon links to say, Barnes and Nobel who, at this point pays a commission if you buy through an affiliate. I have no clear how long that will last. I have taken down the rather nifty merry-go-round of books – I may put it back.
I really wish they had treated me and my fellow affiliates better or more politely than they did.
My true hope is that this won’t mean the end of affiliate programs.
What do you think?
Yes, that’s part of the real letter they sent me.