Amazon was one of the first companies to offer an affiliate program where people could earn commission when they recommended a product, whether it was a book, DVD, shoes, toys, or anything else Amazon sells, and the buyer went through an affiliate link to get there. This is called being an ‘Amazon Associate’, and it was very convenient to set up sites where you recommended related products and made some extra money each month. I had been an Amazon affiliate since 2007.
Unfortunately, the states in the U.S. decided that it wasn’t fair for Amazon not to have to charge taxes in the states where they do not have a presence, and slowly they began pulling their affiliate program from first one state and then another. They pulled out of California at the beginning of July.
The lesson to be learned here is that we must always stay on top of the issues surrounding our business. Also, look at the alternatives. There was talk of California being affected by this decision at least a year ago. That was the time to take a look at the Barnes and Noble affiliate program for books and related products, and at many other companies that represent major retailers with similar affiliate programs.
Were you affected by this? What did you do to protect yourself in advance? How will you change what you do in the future?
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