More Hijinx from Amazon

Last Update: January 08, 2015

I recently posted a blog about being terminated as an associate on Christmas day. So there is some bias about what I am posting today. It just reaffirms what I have learned about Amazon and their way of doing business.

This was a headline yesterday "Amazon retaliates against Vermont sales tax law." But here is what they did to retaliate. "Vermonters participating in the Amazon Associates program were notified by email Tuesday of their immediate termination." Vermont is one of six states whose residents are ineligible for the program, according to an Amazon Web page.

So why did they do this? The Vermont law has yet to take effect. State Tax Commissioner Mary Peterson claimed Amazon canceled the advertising relationships to "maintain a competitive advantage over bricks and mortar sellers on our Main Streets."

Here is the reaction from a South Burlington resident:

Rachael Arnold, a South Burlington resident who runs a blog about quilting, said she used her Amazon Associate earnings for "pin money."

Arnold was frustrated about the lack of lead time on Amazon's decision — forcing her to make sudden changes to her site — and is concerned about the implications of Vermont's tax law.

"I'm concerned that it may affect more substantial sources of income I get from blogging — namely, Google AdSense," Arnold wrote in an email. "If other online-affiliate resources react as Amazon has in closing affiliate accounts, it will significantly change the landscape of internet marketing not only for bloggers, but for small businesses here in Vermont and across the US who use affiliate links to generate online sales."

Here is Amazon's statement about it:

"Amazon strongly supports federal (emphasis mine) legislation creating a simplified framework to uniformly resolve interstate sales tax issues," the Amazon email stated. "We are working with states, retailers, and bipartisan supporters in Congress to get legislation passed that would allow us to reopen our Associates program in Vermont."

Really? So they decided to use their associates as pawns in their sales tax issue with state governments. They shut down Rachael's business without notice to make a point about a law that is not even in effect yet.

Will this escalate beyond Amazon? I don't know but it is certainly something to think about as affiliate marketers.

Oh, and by the way, here is the end of the article:

"The Seattle-based company did not respond to requests for comment."

Here is the link to the full article:

Keep your heads up everyone,

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keldubry Premium
I think Amazon is more trouble than its worth.
TheOldSilly Premium
Really? So far I haven't had any problems with them, and my niche site is heavily dependent on product/associate links through Amazon.

Should I be worried?
keldubry Premium
I don't think everyone has problems with them because they are still around and very popular. I feel the setup is difficult and the customer service is not very helpful. If it's working for you, don't try to fix what's not broken. Good luck and I wish you continued success.
dhayman Premium
The problem as I see it, is they are unpredictable. It happened without warning in Vermont. I would consider second sources for products if possible, just to be on the safe side.
SharonAllen1 Premium
That sounds about par for the course. Sorry you had problems with them.
Dfishell Premium
I have heard of so many issues with Amazon, that I thought I would actually start by going directly to companies with affiliate programs. I will keep tabs on this and other Amazon issues...
ladyj4180 Premium
I had problems with amazon as well. I am no longer doing business with amazon.
TheOldSilly Premium
Thanks for the heads up. Sounds kind of ominous, need to keep a close watch on where this is going.