I woke up this morning to find a few emails and a couple tweets stating that Amazon had gone ahead and terminated relationships with all Colorado Affiliates. i didn't believe it. I didn't see any emails or notices in my inbox from Amazon, so of course I figured it wasn't EVERYONE. I logged into my Amazon account and this is what I found:
My knee-jerk reaction was to be REALLY MAD at the ridiculous action on Amazon's part. Seriously, their action isn't doing anything except severing ties with their advertisers. The bill will continue to stand. Amazon will still be responsible for their part in whatever the bill states they should do based on sales to Colorado residents.
Then I read a post at Affiliate Advocacy about Amazon Removes Colorado Affiliates and Why and I started to see the big picture a little more clearly.
Amazon isn't trying to punish affiliates to prove a point. They are sticking to their guns. They made a stand and they are sticking by it. Amazon has clearly stated their stand on any bills regarding internet tax of nexus. If they make an exceptions for Colorado because affiliates are not longer involved directly, where is the line draw for further exceptions?
That is one of the most frustrating statements to hear when there are emotions involved. Yet the fact of the matter is.. it's business. And in my mind, although the legislation and the resulting actions infuriate me, I respect the integrity being displayed – when you say you're going to do something, do it. Let's just hope the something to do is a good thing that doesn't hurt other people unnecessarily.
This action by Amazon is irritating and at first glance seemingly pointless. Colorado residents are still going to have to pay a Use tax OR Amazon is still going to have to voluntarily pay sales tax. But this battle now seems to be able principles… Amazon is standing by theirs and affiliates are stuck in the cross fire.
I fear more merchants will follow Amazon's lead and many will do so ignorantly. This isn't a game between legislators and performance marketing merchants. This is about businesses and real families being affected by decision makers battling out how to or not to make more money instead of cutting costs. I won't continue does my political train of thought. However, there is still room for proactive involvement.
What can you do to help?
- Educate yourself and then educate others – if you understand the legislation and how it impacts you, make sure to help spread that knowledge to others.
- Write your merchants and let them know that this bill does not determine nexus and affiliates are not involved.
- Keep in contact with your state legislators to help keep them informed about the impact their legislation has
More information and resources are available at the Colorado Online Marketing Association website