June 30, 2009

Re: No Amazon Money for the Little Local Guy

Carroll Andrew Morse

In the previous post, Justin said that…

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has around 2,000 affiliates in Rhode Island who pay an estimated $3 million in state income tax…
Not anymore, according to Steve Peoples and Neil Downing of the Projo
The Internet giant Amazon.com has severed formal ties with all Rhode Island businesses, a move intended to shield the online retailer from the General Assembly’s push to tax some online sales as soon as Wednesday.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to say how many businesses –– local book dealers and other retailers — will be affected, but she confirmed that notification letters were distributed to “many local associates” early Monday morning.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

No Amazon Money for the Little Local Guy... or for Republican websites either.

We've been using the Amazon affiliate program on The Ocean State Republican to offer conservative books and other things for about 1 1/2 years now. I just logged into Amazon, and our account has indeed been closed.

While we could leave the two Amazon book "carousels" which are currently on our site in place, and people could still buy books by clicking through to Amazon from our site, we will no longer get any revenue for it -- not that we ever got much out of it anyway. I'll be doing some site maintenance shortly to remove them.

Thanks RI General Assembly for screwing us over. We'll try not to take it personally. I'm sure this won't just stop with Amazon, once other big names get wind of what Rhode Island is up to. Why should any big name anything go out of their way to accommodate RI? What's next?

Posted by: Will at June 30, 2009 12:53 AM

This is very sad. The Amazon affiliates program was an excellent vehicle for novice on-line entrepreneurs. It was a great starting point toward understanding the methodology, components, and marketing strategy for on-line stores.

What is most troubling to me is the implied logic behind creating a tax law that assumes the Rhode Island marketplace can dictate global marketplace conditions.

Posted by: Robert Balliot at June 30, 2009 9:24 AM

It looks like Hawaii overturned the internet aspect of the tax.

Problem is, not sure the RI politicians realize that this attempt at collecting revenue will actually lead to less income for the state.
Amazon is refusing to collect sales tax by way of cutting their ties with RI affiliates, thus eliminating a taxable income stream which the state already collects.

I personally have been an affiliate publisher for ten years, doing quite well until this occured. My main affiliate terminated their relationship with me and this essentially will put me out of business. Not sure of next steps?

Posted by: c ford at July 19, 2009 11:23 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.