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The End Of Affiliate Marketing

business choke

If you live in Illinois I strongly suggest you stop whatever you’re doing RIGHT NOW and write Governor Quinn. I got this very disturbing email from Amazon yesterday:

Amazon.com logo

Greetings from the Amazon Associates Program:

We regret to inform you that the Illinois state legislature has passed an unconstitutional tax collection scheme that, if signed by Governor Quinn, would leave Amazon.com little choice but to end its relationships with Illinois-based Associates. You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of Illinois. If our records are incorrect, you can manage the details of your Associates account here.

Please note that this not an immediate termination notice and you are still a valued participant in the Amazon Associates Program. But if the governor signs this bill, we will need to terminate the participation of all Illinois residents in the Associates Program. After that point, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for sales referred to amazon.com, endless.com and smallparts.com nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Illinois residents.

The unfortunate consequences of this legislation on Illinois residents like you were explained to the legislature, including Senate and House leadership, as well as to the governor’s staff.

Over a dozen other states have considered essentially identical legislation but have rejected these proposals largely because of the adverse impact on their states’ residents.

Governor Quinn’s office may be reached here.

We thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you continued success in the future.

Sincerely,

Amazon.com

You can read the actual legislation, Amendment 3 of HB 3659, here.

Whether or not you are an affiliate marketer for Amazon.com or any other products or services, this is an issue of MAJOR importance. “Affiliate” is simply a fancy term for “commission-based sales rep”, and we all know that nothing happens for the good of the economy and America without salespeople.

If Governor Quinn signs this bill, it will only mean that Illionois tax revenue will drop and our government will have to look elsewhere to squeeze more money out of us, or else sink into even more of a financially-desperate condition. Please write Governor Quinn RIGHT NOW to express your strong displeasure with this unconstitutional legislation.

Thank you.

15 Responses to The End Of Affiliate Marketing

  1. Michelle Dryjanski Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 9:53 am

    This is a MAJOR blow to affiliates in Illinois. I understand that Gov. Quinn is set to sign this bill today. People must contact him now :

    http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/Pages/ContacttheGovernor.aspx

    Thanks!

  2. Craig Valine Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Our rights as Americans are slowly being taken away from us. “Land of the Free?” Not so much. Government can manage its own budgets, so they keep trying to find ways to find more money to mismanage. Stinks! Thanks for sharing Steve! – cv

  3. Craig Valine Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Meant to write “CAN’T” manage its budgets… in previous post. 🙁

  4. Rick Coltman Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Thanks, Steve for the heads up on this legislation. I got the email from Amazon as well and I recognized that this affected ALL Affiliate Sales, not just Amazon. I fired off my note to Governor Quinn.

  5. Ed Kubi Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    its warmer in california or nevada anyway 🙂

  6. Will Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Come on! This is a blow to AMAZON affiliates not ALL affiliates… There are tons of affiliate opportunities out there that will not be effected by this.

    Let’s be careful how we share or distribute information by avoiding a “sky is falling” mentality. I understand you’re a marketer first (Dan Kennedy student) and this headline will get a higher open rate sure but in the end who is it helping.

  7. angel oakley Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Steve, if I understand this correctly, the change in the bill would make it so Amazon would have to charge tax to consumers who purchased from IL if Amazon kept it’s IL affiliate Marketers. In order for Amazon to keep it’s tax free sales in IL, it would have to cut ties with all affiliate marketers. So while the government thinks they would make a killing in sales tax by doing this, really Amazon would just kill affiliate connections and IL would loose out the little revenue it’s getting from income tax on the affiliate commissions. This reminds me of the no smoking laws. You can’t do it in one town as it would kill that one town’s revenue – everyone that smokes goes to the neighboring areas. This proposed change would only work if all the states made the same change – otherwise Amazon cuts ties with all affiliates in the states that have dis-favorable legislation…hurting only that state’s residents.

    Is this a correct description of the problem at hand? The bill is quite complicated to understand, but that’s what I got from it.

    -Angel

  8. sasha spinner Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Quinn is an ignoramous without a clue as to what he is doing. Even NY is cutting expenses!! Who ever thought we would see that in our lifetimes?

    If Amendment 3 passes, I wrote to Quinn and told him that I would be forced to let my home be foreclosed upon and leave Illinois, the state of my birth, for a friendlier territory! x##x

  9. Steve Sipress Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Will: Sorry, but I think you’re being naive. This will effect not only all Affiliate Marketing, but all Internet Marketing in general.

    Next will come a sales tax on everything over the internet, etc.

    If we don’t take action, the greedy, short-sighted politicians will have their way, which will result in chasing away business and therefore actually lowering the amount of tax revenue they take in.

    That’s my opinion.

  10. Steve Sipress Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Extremely well said, Angel! Excellent analogy.

    Individuals’ solution would be to form out-of-state corporations in order to be able to continue to be affiliates of Amazon (and soon all other companies as well).

    Reminds me of the 18 years I lived in “Taxachusetts”: many, many smart business people moved to tax-friendly New Hampshire, and there were MANY businesses located just over the border. Taxachusetts residents would routinely make the short drive to save hundreds of dollars on major purchases like furniture, jewelry, etc.

    How can Illinois politicians be so stupid/greedy?

    Wait a minute. No need to answer that.

  11. Steve Sipress Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Sasha: Let’s hope Quinn will hate the thought of you leaving Illinois as much as everyone who knows you will!

    I have a better idea: Why don’t we write and tell him that if this Amendment passes, HE will be forced to leave Illinois?

    Oh. That’s right. We just elected him.

    Funny how I don’t recall any politician mentioning this legislation during their campaigns…

  12. Steve Sipress Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I just read how the bill was designed to protect brick and mortar stores from losing sales to internet marketing.

    So apparently the politicians think they’re doing something good by interfering with free enterprise, and they must think that the bill will increase retail sales enough to offset losses in internet sales and therefore create an overall revenue gain.

    Sounds naive to me…

  13. Sasha Berson Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing the info. I have contacted Governor’s office via online message and called. Aid stated they have received many calls today regarding this matter all opposed to Amendment 3 of the bill. Perhaps this will make a difference. However, I am concerned whether it would make a positive difference.

    IL politics is the same as always. Our elected representatives are not looking for ways to solve problems permanently, but rather patch things up. Thus, there are no meaningful cuts in spending, but tax hikes. Officials do not want to recognize the cause of the problem and only want to treat symptoms. So, if Governor does not enact this section of the bill, they’ll find another way to take money away from residents of Illinois. It’s that simple.

    Interestingly the current budget deficit of appx $15billion distributes nicely to a little over $12000 per resident. How would they ever patch this up?

    Well, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are other states that do have politicians that are friends of common-sense reasoning. Perhaps businesses voting with their feet will make a good statement.

    P.S.: I just spoke to a client who feels that economy is rebounding and his business is getting back to normal…until I mentioned rising state taxes this year and federal taxes in 2 years. He should be on the hook to pay extra 10% by 2013, so he better boost his profitability by that margin or prepare to work extra 250 hours/yr to keep up with government spending of his hard earned money.

  14. Steve Sipress Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Very, very well said, Sasha. Thanks for adding such value to this conversation, and for taking action to help convince the politicians to get a clue about the damage they’re trying to cause.

  15. Leslee Serdar Reply

    January 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    thank you thank you thank you for sending me this!
    If there are no salespeople eventually, I have nobody
    to train! I wrote and passed it on to my circle!

    Leslee Serdar
    “THE Cold Calling DIVA”
    Imagine having NO FEAR of Cold Calling….
    YES! I can support you in achieving that!

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