Amazon Affiliate Program Not Available In CT
Last Update: Feb 11, 2013
I've recently discovered the potential of Internet Marketing and am very happy to have a few niche areas that I want to explore and develop.
I'm thankful to Steve, at I'veTriedThat.com, both for his 7-Day Email Course and for also turning me on to WealthyAffiliate.com.
In Steve's site, that's where I first caught the hint that you really oughtta go with something that interests you, something that your very passionate about. Well, that shone a light so brightly deep in my heart that it caught fire and has been burning in me ever since! I can actually see how developing things in these areas will not only be a help and interest to the readers, but for which interesting, targeted products can be marketed along with the interesting content, and should, in time, develop sales and some revenue.
Then on WealthyAffiliate, lo and behold, we have here a whole community about Internet Marketing, with more training than I can assimilate, and a whole community of people that will support me along the way.
But ... just as I got going, and was doing research for a specific niche, whatever infuriating thing do we find here? In the fine print on Amazon, when looking up to see what the Terms and Conditions are for the Affiliate Program, I see that it is NOT AVAILABLE in CT!!! And a few other states as well.
I said, -WHAT!!!???!?!?- NOT AVAILABLE!!! Ohh the OUTrage! Oh, the HUMANITY!!!
Seems that this fine state of CT in which I live is imposing sales taxes on all sales online for retailers that reside in CT. This includes Amazon Affiliates that reside in this state. So, if someone in GA happened on my site, and wanted to buy something on Amazon through an affiliate link on my site, CT would want the sales tax on that as I reside in CT. Both the customer in GA, and Amazon in WA (if I'm correct, at least I know they aren't in CT), do NOT reside in CT. But if the transaction were to occur via an affiliate link on my site, they want the sales tax because I do live in this state.
Amazon's decision about that, rather than have to figure it out, resolved the issue by cancelling the Affiliate Program here in CT, and the other states were there are similar sales tax legislaton.
To make matters worse, other big ticket online retailers, like Overstock.com, have followed suit, and have also cancelled their affiliate programs with states that want to charge the sales tax.
Now, that's a very big, a very BAD loss for me, especially as I'm just starting out with IM. It means I can't leverage Amazon's extensive catalog of products to match with my specialty niches. That's like finding an open stretch of road and stomping on the accelerator ... only to find out that ya done RUN OUTTA GAS!!!
Well, Amazon isn't the only retailer online, and niether is Overstock. There are many retailers that are more than willing to work with affiliate marketers even though we have these draconian, Boston-Tea-Party-style legislation in certain localities.
In fact, cheers, kudos and hi-fives to NewEgg.com, a computer retailer in CA. CA had recently imposed a sales tax on CA residents for online purchases. Well, NewEgg made a very supportive and loyal statement to its affiliates. " We already charge sales tax on sales to California residents so our relationship with you will not change. We would like to reaffirm that unlike Amazon.com, our commitment to you has never been stronger. We will continue to operate as we have in the past with the dual aim of optimizing our affiliate relationship with you while providing our customers with the best possible service and experience. ( http://www.newegg.com/Info/Affiliates.aspx)"
So it doesn't mean that I can't proceed ... it's just going to be a bit harder to find products that I can match with my niche sites. Instead of one central site of products, I'll have to deal with other sites, or even the manufacturers directly. There are other large retailers that still have affiliate programs, such as eBay, Wal-Mart, NewEgg, etc. But each one of these will have to be thoroughly researched to see whether or not their affiliate program will work in my state, and if it will even be reasonably profitable with the new sales taxes.
On a simpler note, I think I may begin with posting articles on various sites, such as Squidoo, HubPages, StreetArticles and such. Articles are much faster to develop than complete web sites. And, at least with Squidoo, I'm seeing that I can leverage Amazon products through THEIR affiliation, as well as iTunes (a MAJOR plus!), Google Adsense and others. I'm still in the middle of my research here, but it's looking good, and .... crossing my fingers and hoping not to slam into any more brick walls .. I think I have the green light for several series of articles in a few different niches (that fire that started in my heart is really RAGING at this point!). I have yet to read the find print on HubPages and the other sites, but hope to realize similar potential there. I hope that I can start a small cash flow that will hopefully hold me over while developing the niche sites.
In fact, Article writing might work very well for me. I'm a compulsive journal-writer and have been doing so since I was a kid. So now's the time to refinemy writing a bit, make it ready for Prime Time and start earning a dollar or two with it.
It is DISAPPOINTING that Amazon has to take this action regarding the CT state tax ... and I'm meanwhile not too thrilled with the gov't here in CT either. I don't understand fully what all this sales tax nexus nonsense is ... but it notoriously sounds like double jeopardy to me.
Be that as it may, "Ain't Nobody Got TIME For Dat!" There are many more retailers out there, so it's onward and upward from here. Damn the torpedoes and the sales tax ... FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!
Hi! I had the same thing happen to me as I live in Illinois. I would recommend that you consider opening a LLC business in another state. Amazon allows you to do this. You just have to have your business account in a state that Amazon has not closed. Missouri is such a state. You can contact Amazon and ask them which states are still open to Amazon Affiliates.
You will need to find an individual who will act as your agent in the state where you apply for the LLC incorporation. You will also have to file the proper business papers and pay the appropriate fees for filing. You will need a business TIN number which you can get at the bank where you can open an LLC account with. I was fortunate that my nephew lived in Missouri so I did not have to pay the annual agent fee of $200. This fee varies from state to state. I recommend that you go to Bank of America. They have branches in Missouri and many other states. But, try to find one closer to you, but not in CT. The purpose of the agent is to forward to you Tax forms from Amazon, as Amazon will mail all correspondence to the LLC address. The agent will then mail them to your location in CT.
Hopefully you can find a bank in your state that also has a branch office in the state where you can file your LLC papers. Ask your branch Representative for the locations of the branches they have across America.
I know this is a lot of work. But, if you are getting good to great Amazon sales, I highly recommend that you consider what I have shared with you.
Jennifer (@PotPieGirl) also blogged about this, you might want to take a look at: https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/potpiegirl/blog/amazon-tax-law-in-your-state and https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/potpiegirl/blog/i-got-fired
I saw that "I Got Fired" ... that was pretty cool. Did not realize that that was PotPieGirl; I see she's got a Rep at a few places around the web. I don't think I saw her other post though, thanks for that.
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Just came across the same issue with Café Press. Pennsylvania is on the list of state restrictions for affiliate partners. Disappointing...I really like that company!