This week, Amazon.com dumped its California affiliates (including me) because it was unwilling to collect sales tax in the state.
I’d say it’s time for Amazon to grow up and be a good citizen, but that’s years overdue. Danny Sullivan has an excellent analysis of the issues, both economic and ethical.
There’s no question that Amazon is using what amounts to a loophole to gain unfair advantage over local retailers (not all of whom reside in big boxes).
I’ve been an Amazon affiliate for years, but never got around to posting the links on my community news site, mainly because I live in a small town, and I support my local retailers. I also buy a ton of stuff from Amazon, but I didn’t want to actively support the gutting of my downtown. To say nothing of the gutting of social services, state parks, schools, and quality of life resulting from the state’s tax drought.
I have no sympathy for all those affiliates chasing “passive” income. We’re seeing plenty of pro-Amazon of comments from those creepy libertarian nihilists. I do have a lot of sympathy for those affiliates who work hard to provide their readers with real value and are trying to make a go of it online. But they should be looking to Amazon for relief, not Sacramento.