I tried to add an amazon capsule to a hub the other day. Hm. No results. In fact, a search on "book" turned up no results. Very interesting. The hub tool must be broken.
Later, I went to check on my Amazon earnings account and found that it had been closed. Just "closed". The following message appears on that page:
Note: Residents of Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina or Rhode Island are not eligible to participate in the Associates program.
Does anyone know why I now need to waste time reworking hubs to remove the Amazon links and capsules? Why these particular states? Why were we given no notice by whomever pulled the plug? How are we supposed to make up the difference in revenue? Ebay is good for many things, but for some things you want to recommend specific books (that you know will always be in stock) or similar things. Ebay is nice for making money, not so nice for specific references that add to your hub's value since the item may/may not be available at any given time.
What's up with this??
This has been happening for quite some time. There should be several threads on this subject. It all has to do with collecting sales tax.
For an answer, ask your state legislature. They have declared that YOU are a "physical presence" of Amazon in your state, and thus Amazon is required to collect state sales tax for them and remit it to the state. Amazon promptly canceled your affiliation so that they do not have to put out the money and effort to collect taxes for your state. Yours is far from the first state to make that ridiculous assertion, and you are far from the first person to lose income due to their stupidity.
So ask your legislature how you are to make for the lost income, along with the state taxes you would have paid on it.
As far as deleting Amazon hubs; they do you no harm, and HP will earn a small bit from them. In the meantime, the federal government is working on the problem, along with Amazon, to make it required for ALL internet sales outfits to collect taxes for ALL states, not just the ones they have that "physical presence" in. If and when it goes into effect, your affiliation will undoubtedly be reinstated.
Thanks for the 411, Wilderness!
Actually, the Amazon capsules just started showing up totally blank on my existing sites a few days ago, and my account was active on Amazon until about a week ago, so this was news to me.
Sorry for not finding this information out on my own earlier; I don't often write hubs that apply to Amazon capsules so it was a mystery/shock to me. I searched the forums but didn't find anything about Amazon going away for certain states. I'm really bummed, though, because my Amazon links were key to several hubs I've written.
Glad to hear they're working on leveling the playing field, even if it means taxes for all. (bleah) I don't see how taxes can be avoided, with all of the e-commerce, but it's still a nasty business.
Cheers! Thanks again!
My state (North Carolina) has been a pain in the neck when it comes to Amazon, but state legislature is working on this, as I'm sure the other states are too. I still use the Amazon capsule when it comes to promoting my own book, though I don't receive earnings through HubPages. Thanks for letting us know that the capsules were showing up blank. I went to check a few of my hubs to see if the same happened, but they are all still there. That would definitely be a pain to change all those hubs you have affiliate links in. Hopefully, the Amazon issue will be resolved soon.
It was not exactly a sudden event. Some of those states were dumped years ago. So you either plug them for free, or ditch the capsules.
The capsules are showing up just plain empty on my sites now, so I'm not even plugging them for free: they're just wasting space and ruining formatting. Thanks for the insight! Cheers!
Ah! Sorry, I didn't realize this. My state must have just been dumped recently as my capsules were still populating a few weeks ago, and my account was active.
I don't hang out in the forums much (obviously not enough)--I just like writing and asking/answering questions. Plus, there's nothing in the Learning Center about the Amazon capsule not working for some states, so it was sudden for me: all of my capsules turned up blank, and my page layouts are bizarre now and need to be redone (sigh). My account with Amazon was active just a few days ago, so I didn't see this coming. (My bad--check out the forums more often. :-) )
Some of those resources I would plug for free for some key articles, but that's not even an option (how many people check things out if there isn't a live link RIGHT THERE?). I'll give it a try, but don't hold out much hope of user follow-through. Wish me luck! (There go my book review/recommendation stats...)
There are other platforms such as zujava where you don't need to be Amazon affiliate. Instead, you use their modules and split commissions with the site. Squidoo is same way but a lot of issues there right now.
There is also another program called viglink. Similar to CJ, Share a sale, etc but you don't have to apply to each merchant.
Welcome to the Nexus tax mess in whicb our own state legislatures try to get too greedy, wanting to tax those purchases as if we were running a brick-and-mortar store in their state (a "nexus") -- and making the affiliate program much more costly to run in their state so that Amazon pulls out. I wrote a hub on alternatives to Amazon Associates when this happened in California a few years ago. Luckily California and Amazon eventually came to an sgreement, so my Associates account was reinstated.
Do write your legislators explaining how this is depriving you of a livelihood and their state of tax dollars, since you can't pay income tax or BUY things from local businesses with the income you lost to their idiotic Nexus Tax.
So glad to hear that your account was reinstated due to the state and Amazon coming to an agreement. "Knock on wood" for Minnesota for me! I will definitely write my legislators on this, thanks for the suggestion! Hopefully all of the states can find some agreement with Amazon. Good luck, everyone!
Amazon resellers were being railroaded by those states. I live in IL and discovered that IL wanted to begin what was essentially double taxation on all Amazon resellers. So Amazon fought back and yanked the contracts with those states that were trying to screw over the resellers and their customers. Obviously, something has changed because IL has now been allowed back in the game. But I smell a rat!
Another way to put it is: The corner store has to pay state tax, Amazon thinks they are too powerful to do the same.
Having your state blocked is a PITA, but Amazon should pay their tax like everyone else.
Not at all: Amazon does not owe any tax. The buyer does and the state wants to force Amazon to collect it for them, doling it back out to each locality according to how much was bought by people living there.
And Amazon says "No, I'm not your bookkeeping service. You want your money, collect it yourself".
It was the states that were causing the problem by wanting to collect sales tax twice...from the customer, then again from Amazon. States wanted Amazon to pay tax, after it was already collected by the reseller paid by the customer. The states deserved to be cut off. IL is one of the worst as far as taxes.
That sounds a little unfair. Seems to me Amazon should be good for all states. They have no problem taking your money from those mentioned states if you are buying something off their site.
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