Many of you may have recently received an email from Amazon detailing a plan to terminate its affiliate program in California. We have seen it too and are looking into it. A longer blog post will follow in the next few days giving details on our plans and point of view. Stay tuned!
This is the last note we've received. If you've gotten anything since then, please be sure to let us know:
Unfortunately, Governor Brown has signed into law the bill that we emailed you about earlier today. As a result of this, contracts with all California residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program are terminated effective today, June 29, 2011. Those California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned before today will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule.
You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of California. If you are not currently a resident of California, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state in the near future please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.
To avoid confusion, we would like to clarify that this development will only impact our ability to offer the Associates Program to California residents and will not affect your ability to purchase from Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com.
We have enjoyed working with you and other California-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to California residents. As mentioned before, we are continuing to work on alternative ways to help California residents monetize their websites and we will be sure to contact you when these become available.
The Amazon Associates Team
I hate to put a damper on things but the law is pretty clear: contracts with all California residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program are terminated...
Hubpages, the domain owned and operated out of California, is also terminated from the Amazon affiliate program and the domain cannot share or allow others to share by proxy any referred advertising fees.
Hubpages cannot even claim they were caught off guard by this decision since Nelle Hoxie, myself, and others have been pretty vocal about this nexus issue for well over a year but nobody listens until it happens to them.
Surely HubPages doesn't work like that though? I mean, the arrangement is that HP's Amazon affiliate code shows on a hub 40% of the time, while the author's affiliate code shows for 60% of the time. It's not as if HubPages acts as a conduit for ALL Amazon commissions. If it did, then what you're saying would definitely be correct. As it is, I'm not sure. I think we would all welcome(!) some clarification from HP on this.
Basically what I'm asking is: do people who are living outside the US (or who are in US states which are unaffected by this stupid tax) still qualify for commission on Amazon purchases made via their hubs?
I too find it really weird that HubPages is saying (via Pia) that they didn't see this coming.
Hmm... maybe HubPages is in California but I'm not and I'M the affiliate making the money....
So perhaps that just means no 60/40 split on Amazon anymore.. it'd be a 100% for us? I don't know if they'd really do that but HubPages doesn't pay us, Amazon does... so if they drop it then I feel that's incorrect and shady.
Do you really think HP would allow us to see how much money they were making on their 40% share by giving us 100% of the sales?
That's a good one!
Yeah that was more of a hope than what would actually happen.
I was wondering the same thing. The next few weeks will be, er, interesting.
I think it unlikely that HP would continue to let us use Amazon capsules if they are not making any money out of them, but, on the other hand, would HP survive all of us suddenly pulling all of our sales hubs? With the Christmas sales season looming, losing Amazon would be a big blow to many people's earnings.
Since Adsense has plummeted with our traffic and HP ads not filling the gap, I have a lot of hubs I only make money from Amazon with (or potentially make money with).
Also, would all Amazon affiliate links be added to their 'blacklist', stopping us linking to our A stores, Amazon UK or individual Amazon products?
Amazon is where 98% of my HP income is coming from, too, with a litte bit from HubAds, and almost nothing from Adsense anymore. So this concerns me a lot.
Will HP please answer the question about the 60/40 split with Amazon--is the percentage that HP takes just hovering around in dead air now, or what? It seems to me that all of us who are still permitted to use the affliate program should be getting 100%, since HP can't get their percentage right now.
I don't mean this to sound greedy, so if it does, I apologize...it's just a question I think we should have answered, since the majority of hubbers still have their Amazon Affliates accounts--at least for now...
I appreciate that fact that HP is trying to work out a solution, but I hope it's for ALL of the states affected, not just California. Or is that even possible?
This is an important thought, actually.
If HP is not earning on Amazon Affiliate sales, why would they continue to offer it to Hubbers? Well, if HP is really interested in keeping Hubbers here and high earners at that, a show of gratitude would be to let the Hubbers continue to use the widget.
Sadly, without HP Ads, through Bing or Google, there is really no other way for HubPages AND Hubbers to earn at the moment. Unless HP has plans in the immediate future for private ad placements. That is the first reality. HP cannot go to a paid site, because it would violate the revenue sharing program. Unless they have some kind of software or products to offer members, they are somewhat backed into a corner. And a lion backed into a corner, is never a good thing. The second reality is survival. With HP sharing limited to just one item, they risk putting themselves in jeopardy and alienating Hubbers old and new. No one knows if Google, at some point will pull the plug as well, for a more profitable route. I think Mashable or someone made the statement that unless Google changes their share program, in the face of FB's Ad program and Bing backbone, they would lose millions of affiliates and billions in revenue from smaller, but popular advertisers.
This Amazon incident seems like a trend in the making.
Actually, I make most of my earnings on the Adsense program, James. It has increased every month, even during the Panda slap. June was my second all-time highest earning month for Adsense and this month should be even better if last year is any indication.
The Amazon program here, on the other hand, is somewhat suspicious as there are some things which do not add up when looked at closely. Plus, we have no way of knowing if we are getting a fair share of the split. Not a very good business aspect of this site at all.
But you may be correct in your assumption about low Adsense earnings among many members. It just isn't true for all of us.
No doubt, there are some earning very well w/ AdSense here on HP.
As one who is not eligible for AdSense, it also disqualifies me for HP Ads also. With the removal of Kontera, the last item "up for bids" is Amazon. If the Amazon card is pulled, well there is no alternative for Contextual Ads, In-text Ads or Products.
Is HP considering an alternative? One should hope so.
I mean... I just locked into a wonderful program -similar to DoubleClick, where I can choose what Advertisers, what Products, what Ads (size, banner or link) based on trend performance, genre, revenue share % and ranking among other members. It is a wonderful alternative to AdSense. Heck, even Chitika who has an affiliate program would make a great alternative. Since HP developed/owns Yield Build, they have the power to maximize revenue/relevance for both AdSense and Chitika at the same time, on each page. In addition, in-text ads from Vibrant Media (used currently by HP) or even Ad Media (and if needs be Infolinks) would a be nice alternative to make up for the loss or eligibility issue.
Amazon is a tough one, because there isn't a collective alternative since eBay closed up the doors..
Wow! I think you're right. Hub Pages will also be terminated from offering Amazon affiliate programs. If that's the case, and I believe you're right, all hub pages offering Amazon products are now abrogated in deference to the fascist state of California. The only way Hub Pages can escape this would be to move to another state.
whew-- just what Hubpages didn't need.
I've had an affiliate account with Amazon since 1998-- when it was just books and affiliates got a bigger commission< sigh> I'll be curious to know more about this development and what it means for those of us who don't live in affected states.
I wasn't making much with them recently anyway, but really, this is sudden. Something is really shifting online. The old paradigm is not going to work. Time to think outside the box.
Thanks for the heads-up, Pia. I'm just gonna keep writing hubs and chugging along:)
Blessings to you Pia, to Paul, Robin, James and the whole HubPages Team! We know you are working as fast as humanly possible to get things straightened out and turned around! The majority of us support you guys and HubPages 100%! Take a deep breath everyone; HubPages will get an answer out to all Hubbers as soon as humanly possible! Blessings to the HP Team! This has been a tough year! For everyone! Earth Angel!!
If you receive an e-mail that says it's from Amazon but has an attachment, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org (as an attachment if possible) without opening it.
This as already happened in Illinois to me, but it's special when it happens in California?!
How do we create our own country without all these stupid laws? that is what I want to know.
I didn't know it had happened in Illinois. Since it has, and now in California, it is likely to happen in any state.
Does this mean that Amazon is prepared to kill its affiliate programs, state by state?
Thanks Pia and HP Team for getting this issue into an official forum thread.
I did receive these emails and am a California resident. Now what do we do?
The best thing you can do is get in touch with your state representitive and tell him how much you oppose these changes.
Yep, done. Got the email last night, forum posts on it last night.
The difference is that Hubpages is based in CA. This has hit several states in the US already.
I wonder if there are any plans to do this in any any Canadian provinces?
In a world gone mad, it really is so sad.
That we as a nation, can't afford to go on vacation.
Are we entrepreneurs or are we whores?
Slaves to the rich, let us have a bitch.
The internet sales tax will never make us relax.
Until the rich politicians cut off their ball sacks.
Start a business here, start a business there.
Jesus! It's not going anywhere!
When the time comes, who'll be sat on their bums?
The Rich politicians, bleeding from their gums.
They'll force you into a job, burnin on the hob.
Rejected like a failure, by a letter they mailed ya.
Say (((NO))) to greedy Governments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I quite often respond to things with poetry. Well done.
This effects Hubpages as they are in California like a few hubbers like us.
The major issue I have, there was not enough time to respond. Amazon made last day June 29th. Many of us have 100s of articles with amazon links, to go and edit each one out will be huge.
Looking forward to see what HP response will be.
LOL for some reason Hubpages is getting a rough deal this year...hope this Sub domain thing swings things around! if not I wonder if they have another plan B from outer space....or was that plan 9? can't remember my mind is jigged after this weird Red wine drink!!!!
I live in California and this upsets me. How did this bill pass anyways? Aren't 'We The People' supposed to be the ones having the final say in matters such as this? When did our government start deciding it's better to screw it's own people out of income?!?
Our economy is in the toilet and they decided we all need to make even less money. BRAVO mr brown. You'll be getting a really nice email from me.
I must say that the ultra short notice Amazon provided was not with their associates in mind, frustrated and a little angry! I for one am sticking by HubPages though. As waynet said, they have been dealt many a bad hand this year.
But through it all they are working hard to recreate a great place to write. "Staying tuned" as PiaC suggests.
Amazon didn't have much notice either, I have heard a lot of people already speaking angrily abotut this because this was 'slipped through' the usual process.
Interesting thisisoli, and I now see your point. The more I research the situation around the web the more I am seeing just how this crazy tax deal came to be implemented so quickly. Would stand to reason that politicians managed to crank it through so they get paid...or so it has been said. Amazing how motivated a group of politicians can become when the checks stop coming.
This is why I am so disgusted with politics. For many years I was a member of a political party, did the hard work - the door to door canvassing, helping form the party policies, had a real need to help the people etc, and all along I had no idea that ALL POLITICIANS ARE CORRUPT.
I used to wonder why those who were elected to become candidates were never from the local branch. It was never the branch treasurer or secretary or all those people who attended all the meetings. Oh no, every time it was some new boy from out of town, who talked a good game but you never saw at party meetings.
I finally saw the light, when my party elected a candidate that none of the local branch trusted - we were all basically honest people.
It looks like in CA they have used underhand tactics to force this new law through, and they are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!
You are not kidding Izzy, this is so WRONG! It actually brings to bear the simple fact that we the "people" are powerless and un-entitled when it comes to the political arena. The rich keep getting get richer and,...well you know the rest. Very disappointing, the whole darn thing! The big box stores just couldn't take the fact that a few bucks were going somewhere other than their already packed-full pockets! I truly despise greed on every level. And politicians are quickly becoming second on my list of things I despise!
As a side note if HP decides to give up on Amazon referrals for a period of time I would be willing to swap out all of my adsense ads in favor of having 100% of the Amazon clicks - I also might consider writing considerable more material here.
However, my guess is that reincorporation, a move, or something will take place instead - from what I've heard, Nevada seems like a great place.
No state income tax, which is nice...but they've broached this whole Amazon thing here, too...it didn't get done in this last legislature session, but it's getting a serious look( http://www.lvrj.com/news/nevada-sales-t … 85534.html)...what's worse, is that when the casinos take on such an issue, it's tough to battle...there've been many proposals through the years to try to impose types of casino taxes, in order to boost education funds, and it always seems to get beaten down.
I agree with the sigh. In the UK, gambling tax was always much lower than any other kind of tax and I never could understand why. After all, gamblers will pay it in order to continue gambling.
Money going to money again of course.
I used to put a £1 each bet on the horses. If I chose to prepay the tax, my winnings would be paid in full with no tax deduction.
The tax on £1 was something like 8 pence (100 pence to the £1 = so similar to cents and dollars). It might even have been less.
But even at that time, they added 11% on a pair of shoes. (Now 17.5%).
I never could understand why gambling tax was so low.
Thisisoli and K9keystrokes - you are right, the turn around from bill to law happened pretty quickly! We are in talks with Amazon to look for ways that we can work with them around this. There are a few possible solutions. It will take us about a week before we can share information about next steps. But please be certain that we are already taking action on our end.
PiaC~ This is so reassuring to hear! It has to be such a difficult task for the HP team. I for one appreciate that you are keeping us apprised of your efforts; very grateful HP is right on top of it. In the face of such a surprise event, I am reassured by the fact you are already managing discussions with the source. I wish you guys the best of luck in your quest with Amazon. Maintaining my belief that HP is the hardest working team of any site this year! Thanks a bunch!
Thank you. I had a new series of hubs I wanted to post, but I'll wait a little as they were amazon products I reviewed. I hope everything will work out right, or else I'll have to find somewhere else to post... Begin a new blog, perhaps.....
Panda + this new law... it has been a bad year so far.
Julie go ahead and post them. This law affects Hubpages' own affiliate account, nor ours, unless we are residents of California.
I'm concerned with the fact that, as @livewithrichard says, Hubpages being operated in CA, it may not serve as "a proxy" through which it allows others to get referral advertising fees.
I did not yet take a look at the text of the law... I'll be back later to comment.
OK, from what I gathered here and there on the web, it seems it is more a move from Amazon to protest against the adoption of the new law than a move to comply to that law. So yes, it only seems to concern CA affiliates and Hubpages as a whole is free to show amazon links on its pages even though the site is operated in California.
But still, I feel sad for everyone in California who put a lot of time writing hubs for amazon products with the intent of making a little extra money. Overnight, you get the news that it ends. I'm sorry.
Just come to Nevada. If you don't like hot weather set up headquarters in Reno and bring a jacket.
In Arkansas, we lose Amazon in July because of the idiotic law (Greedy Politicians), but I am wondering since HP is in California if this means that Arkansas and other States now lose immediately the amazon accounts???
If so, then I want to go ahead and DELETE all the capsules. Why advertise for Free on my Hub?
No, wait till it happens and you get that terminating email from Amazon.
I already have the email that states I will be terminated from Amazon in July. That is a sure thing. Law signed here in Arkansas and takes effect in July.
But, if this California law that takes effect immediately only cuts me off sooner.....then why waste the space?
My best season for my best hub niche is gearing up and I want my new hubs ready and set so I do not have to go back and change them, after published.
This is just becoming more and more frustrating. I have lost the drive I had for even writing. It has become less and less enjoyable lately.
We recommend holding tight for a week or two while we figure things out, but if you are concerned with advertising for free, you can always hide your Amazon capsules while in the HubTool by clicking "do not display this capsule". Hopefully, if things work out as we hope, you can uncheck the box and you won't have lost all of your hard work creating the capsule. Cheers!
Forgive me for asking .....I can't find the answer myself. Is there a quick way to do this or do I have to go into every single hub on all profiles to hide these capsules?
Unfortunately, it's a Hub by Hub edit. If you have a lot of Amazon capsules, you might just want to hold tight for a bit until we know a little more. We will let you know as soon as we have some concrete information. Have a great weekend!
Thank you Robin, nice to know your team is giving the community options. Good luck with the talks. Appreciate all of YOUR hard work.
Thanks for the reply Robin.
All the loss of revenue and rankings from the Panda hit, Adsense ads becoming a joke and now the loss of Amazon to add to it all is just becoming to much to worry with.
I think I will just leave the capsules alone for now as well as a break from writing.
I will keep hubs I have been working on on the back burner for now until things are better.
Also Robin...would not the "Not display" of a capsule be the same as "hidden links/text" in our hubs? it is still there, but hidden. I thought I read where Google hated that and would penalize for hidden links/text in articles!?!?
The bureaucrats think this is a way to gain more revenue. In my opinion it will cause the opposite; they will lose tax revenues in the long run.
Absolutely will lose revenues state wide and beyond. Think of it like this, if you don't make any money, you can't spend any money. So all of the places (within your own town, city, state, etc.) that you regularly pour your earnings into for food, entertainment or even education will surly degrade in the face of this lost "consumer" income. To take away any persons income is never any good for anyone but those who profit from your misfortune. Possibly more state funded programs are in the works, and that my friend is what it is all about. More money to government means less for the rest of us!
California is really digging itself deeper into the hole. If California was a private enterprise, it would be bankrupt, would be out of business; and I would find itself on the other side of a class action suit. Everything it does seem to be totally anti growth/business. It's no wonder more and more businesses are leaving, thus continuing its spiraling revenue decline. Actions like this only helps to accelerate the dive. Gone are the days of the state known as the "Golden State".
Arizona did this too or was it Texas? Hardly socialist states.
I live in CT and they pulled this stunt about three weeks ago. Killed Amazon in CT. Had to scramble and get a NY address and phone to start up shop again. This is getting really crazy
I think you're right about that. Amazon is doing very well as a business and is in the process of expanding, adding distribution centers in South Carolina and Tennessee, and expanding some of their existing centers, bringing jobs and revenue to the local economies.
As Thisoli has shared, it's all about politics and money. Getting involved by writing letters with the info he has posted could be helpful in states that are considering adding this to their budget cutting.
She didn't say that, and Pia is HP staff... she's the Public Relations Manager.
I never said she wasn't staff.
OK, so Pia didn't say "we didn't see this coming" in so many words, but do you not think a sentence like "Many of you may have recently received an email from Amazon detailing a plan to terminate its affiliate program in California. We have seen it too and are looking into it." implies total surprise on HP's part? As in "Dude, we had NO idea THIS was going to happen!"
I'm probably being grossly unfair on Pia since AFAICT she is fairly new to HP, but surely Paul, Maddie, Jason etc. MUST have known that something like this was a possibility even if they may not have been aware of exactly when the blow was going to come.
For anyone losing their affiliate due to where they live, I'm sure that together we can arrange a workaround.
I'm pretty sure Amazon allows us to use different affiliate codes for different sites - it;s something I have not put into action, but they do.
So therefore with a bit of organization we can arrange for someone else to be in charge of our account. Someone else who does not live in an affected State.
I myself would be happy to part of such a group. Living in Spain I am not in any immediate threat of sales tax and the like.
Not the best solution because outside of the US Amazon sends a check, and your receiving it is dependent on the postal service, which certainly isn't the best here. Then there is the banking of said check and the paying of bank conversion fees to local currency which usually has a minimum fee or 6%, whichever is highest.
But it has got to be better than no income at all.
Izzy you always have a really good way of looking at things, a real problem solver. I am curious to see how HP works this Amazon thing out. They seem to be in the face of Amazon already. Maybe something similar to your idea. Sure like the concept of a team effort though; just goes to show you how great this community truly is. You are the tops for me Izzy!
Here is my take on it, Amazon could have kept all their affiliate programs, and still paid the extra tax. Amazon is doing quite well, and it is only fair they pay state taxes. Many small businesses cannot compete when they have to pay their taxes, and Amazon can sell things online without paying state tax. I never made much with the Amazon program anyway, and I always preferred Ebay.
This is now becoming widespread in many of the US states. What Amazon need to do is go back to history and take their large sample size data of the clicks made through affiliates in the affected states and the total amount that the affiliates earned? From this they can calculate the average value of a click. They can then use the average value of a click to pay affiliates in the affected states, just like the way Google does it.
But whatever they does, Amazon must now be prepared to invest in new software to accommodate the changes coming up.
Alternatively, Hubpages can open a small office in UK from where they can pay the affected affiliates based on a percentage of Hubpages’ earnings from Amazon sales through Pay Pal. They would need another separate Amazon id specifically for the affected affiliates.
I agree, Hubpages must have seen this coming. The bill was introduced months ago. Granted Amazon didn't give much notice, there was a lot of notice online.
If the HubPages staff didn't know about this law and its implications they have not been doing their homework. It has been mentioned in this forum numerous times as has this problem in general. It has also been written about in newspapers and at every affiliate forum.
I would say the same thing about the Hubbers now complaining about short notice. (How many took the time to work against it? To even send an email to their state rep?) This is how quickly it's worked in most states. I would also caution that discussing ways to defraud Amazon by using European hubbers as money drops is not the most productive statements to be making publicly. It doesn't really put the best public image on this community. Especially if HP is attempting to convince Amazon to treat them differntly.
Ho is it fraud?
It is using a roundabout means to earn money that you deserve to earn for writing about products sold on Amazon.
I don't see it as fraud at all. The writer still gets paid for his work; the products still get sold. Amazon themselves are defiant against the tax issue. If they thought it fair and wanted to pay it, it could be implemented, but everyone would see a product price rise to pay for the tax, and no-one wants to pay more.
I have to check my emails today. I want further details and explanation. This is not good business, Amazon being taken from it's employees.
It's tax evasion and money laundering, not fraud, but still quite serious!
What about just switching to a new affiliate program that is not opposed to paying in state taxes. I know so many are less than thrilled with the government decision to impose sales tax on Amazon, but I saw this coming too. Many small businesses here in Southern California cities cannot compete with Walmart coming into town and their monopoly, and Amazon is a bit of the same on the web. I would have had a lot more respect for Amazon if they had taken the pay cut, and kept the affiliate programs in their states. However, when a company shows the almighty dollar is far more important than keeping the people that bought them traffic, I am no longer interested in purchasing products from said company. Actually, Amazon is getting to be too much like Walmart, which is a shame because I used to like them.
All affiliates have been effected, and just so you are aware, the force behind implemeneting this bill is a group called the main street fairness alliance, who's goal is to help keep main street stores alive. This group is comprised of small businesses such as.. erm.. Walmart, Target, best Buy, etc etc. The same businesses which have put way more small stores out of business than Amazon has ever managed.
Amazon has not refused to stay in teh state because of the allmighty buck, they have stayed because the logistics of the law are impossible to implement on the site.
Fore each affiliate tehy would have to track where the afifliate lives, the affiliate would have to tell Amazon their earnigns from ALL affilaite programs for the year, Amazon would have to judge if annual earnings were in excess of 10,000 or 500,000 to judge the tax rate for that affiliate, and thats not even considering the basic man power, administration adn security that would need to be put in to place to do all of this. And if any person gives Amazon inaccurate earnings figures from other affiliates, they would be liable.
Just to be clear, I still support the bill. I may not be 100% for Walmart per sae, but Target's businesses are much more ethical. Yes Amazon is slightly stingy, and yes I am on the side of Governor Brown and California state Democratic Representatives in believing online retailers should pay in state sales tax. Also, there are many liberals who have written commentary condemning Amazon for ending their affiliate program here in California, and they definitely could have afforded the pay cut. All companies doing business in California should pay tax, and your commentary will not change my mind on this. If others want to get mad at the government for imposing in state tax on Amazon and other online retailers, just to share, many other states have done this and will do this. I am allowed to have another opinion on this matter than others. I was pretty much through with the Amazon program over a year ago anyway.
Could it be possible that it's more of a "principle" thing than a "money" thing with Amazon? I'm not sure either, but I seem to recall reading some articles indicating that was Amazon's position.
Plus, the overall implications of more government control of eCommerce business and operations may make Amazon's position a strong statement that may cause the waves needed to get the populace motivated to react, instead of just griping about politicians.
Maybe we should contemplate the creation of a "Tea party" type organization for Internet marketers.
If you live in California and misrepresent that to Amazon or get paid by Amazon in a roundabout way - it is fraud. It then creates a nexus, that leaves their business open to lose a competitive edge by not charging sales tax. They are a publicly traded company and their fiduciary responsibility is to their shareholders - not their affiliates. Life isn't always fair. There are ways to have a successful affiliate business even if you live in California, without lying about it.
Affiliates are NOT employees. If that was the case, then affiliates would be a true nexus and the law would be fair.
Will Hubpages be taking a political stand on this, have you sent letters to the people who voted in this bill, have you sent letters of support to those who voted against it?
While the bill has been passed it is important that all businesses and people affected in the state contact their state representatives to show just how badly this bill will affect the state.
The support of business, affiliates, and companies that survive by affiliate marketing has kept this bill from being passed twice in Texas, and I am sure if you guys contacted similar businesses to promote a united front you could help reverse this insanity.
Robin are you implying that affiliates in Calfornia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Connecticut and Rhode Island will be able to stay with Amazon if they work through Hubpages.
Or are you implying that Amazon affiliates in non-affected states will be able to work with Amazon through HubPages.
Or are you implying that California affiliates and not the others will be able to stay with the program.
I ask this before people spend any time editing hubs to hide capsules or delete things.
I also have to ask if Skimlinks or a company similar to that would be involved?
That skimlinks looks pretty cool. You just get paid by them and it is where they are located that counts.
I am sorry, state governments were scammed by the banksters. If they want to balance the budget they need to more aggressively go after the banksters. Even the second guy in Berkshire said banks are evil:
http://www.businessinsider.com/charlie- … nts-2011-7
Oli, I agree, sending letters to your representatives is a great strategy. We have been working on this angle as well. However, our main efforts have been working directly with Amazon for a solution.
Where to Buy, we are working on a solution for everyone, not just California, and will let you know when we hear anything.
When I moved to my little Welsh backwater, I had every intent of supporting the local stores. I was willing to pay more to do so. Unfortunately, they are unwilling to supply most of what I need. So I've ended up driving 15 miles away or buying online, simply to get what I need for daily life...
Brutal legislation to help these little stores will do nothing ultimately, if they are unwilling to supply what is wanted.
I'm wondering is there anyway to terminate the contract with these politicians?
Don't they realize that not only do they lose the sales tax, but the personal income tax those affiliates pay into the system. You really feel helpless these days as you work away on you computer trying to make a buck, while your representatives have 20 people figuring out how to get a buck-ten out of you, and the crazy thing is they work for us!!!
Can someone clarify: If a person in one state orders an item on Amazon using my affiliate code, which state wants the sales tax? The person ordering? or my state?
When you purchase something online and are not charged a sales tax then it is your responsibility to pay your states sales tax when you file your income tax returns.
Many states feel that they need to go to the online retailers and force them to pay the sales tax and they implement the nexus laws to determine who pays what and how much. Since interstate commerce laws prohibit states from enforcing tax laws on companies that do not have a physical presence in their state, the nexus claims that affiliates that advertise for the retailers become a physical presence and thereby allows the state to enforce the sales tax collection.
There is a movement by PMA that says this is illegal and unconstitutional and they are prepared to take the fight all the way to the US Supreme Court.
If you are an Amazon affiliate in the state of California, then California says that your body has created a nexus or local presence. That means that Amazon has the equivalent of a store in California in the mind of the affiliate nexus law. So any sale in that state to Amazon is taxed. Even if you never make a sale. You don't have to be a successful affiliate to create a tax nexus. It's not tied to your affiliate code, it's tied to the fact that Amazon has an affiliate agreement with you. You don't even ever have to make a website or make a sale. That's why Amazon immediately terminates agreements with ALL affiliates.
That's why honestly I'm very curious about what Amazon is going to agree to with HP - right now there are a lot of other people curious about this private deal as well. It'll be intersting what these direct talks with Amazon bring about. Because if Amazon caves in, it'll be the first time.
then the person who is the ultimate customer, they would need to pay tax to their home state as well?
They would only pay if the online retailer did not collect a sales tax for the state they live in. It's the whole point of the nexus law. If the states cannot collect from the customer (the person ultimately responsible for paying the sales tax) then they are going to go to the retailer and force them to pay.
Amazon, and many many other online retailers are refusing to collect sales tax, and rightly so, since it is the consumers responsibility to report it.
The state is California and that is where the nexus law is and affects. If the person is in New Hampshire and buys through your website, there is no tax law and therefore no tax.
Well you guys are all in rare form this evening! How about we just give HubPages a break for the weekend and see what they are able to come up with! HubPages has always been straight with the Hubbers! If the Hubbers are not making money, HP is not making money! This site, although not perfect, is still where most of us want to write! That alone deserves a bit of respect and patience! So let's give some thought this weekend to Independence, free speech and "creating" good consciousness, not denegrading it! Blessings always, Earth Angel!
Geeze! Why don't you give ME a break, EA? How do you know "HubPages has always been straight with the Hubbers"? Are those your pom poms?
i have found that the key word pompom is better than pom poms- just trying to add some levity- though I think losing Amazon would be the killer
Hi Randy! How do any of us know anything except through first hand experience! Have a GREAT celebration this weekend! Blessings, Earth Angel!
I suppose you've had some sort of different experience than those of us still in the dark concerning how we are dealt with by HP. Notice how the reassurances from staff have appeared on this thread?
Perhaps your own personal knowledge of HP would give everyone more confidence in HP at this time. I know I could use some actual instances of their straightforwardness. How 'bout it?
Best wishes to you if you attempt to do so.
I dont think there is anything that HP can do with this Amazon imbroglio. They are just trying to buy time and appease the hubbers who used to make some money from Amazon sales. Once its apparent and open that HP is as helpless and cluless as the hubbers like you and me, its most likely that those who with hubs that make sales with Amazon will take them to some place else, and on the way, they will remove their rest of the hubs as well.
Just a thought, as Cags says.
Blessings to you dearest SunSeven!
I agree; there is probably nothing HP (or any other large writing site) can do about Amazon's California decision! (I didn't know it had happened in several other U.S. states already!?)
At the same time, Paul Edmondson has taken this HubPages idea from literally nothing to one of the largest web sites in the world in only 4 years! He couldn't have done it if he were "asleep at the wheel!"
In the Panda debacle and now the Amazon contract termination, what gets over looked is the new system HubPages just rolled out first in stages and now to ALL its Hubbers!
My take is that HubPages is very proactive in watching where the market is headed! And taking steps to mitigate losses!
Because so many Hubbers were affected so suddenly, many want immediate answers! But it doesn't work that way!
If I understand correctly, several Hubbers have been warning about this possibiity for over a year! I know for myself, I didn't pay any attention! It would be unreasonable for me to expect immediate answers!
SunSeven you are such a treasure here at HubPages! I do hope this latest California Amazon thing did not hurt your earnings? You are just the BEST!
Blessings always, Earth Angel!
First off, nobody was affected suddenly, this has been in the works for s couple years. It was first introduced in California in April of 2009. http://www.cj.com/system/files/pdf/chrono-tax.pdf It's just that those that were affected are suddenly concerned. Where was the concern from Hubpages when all the other states passed nexus legislation? Now,they're suddenly concerned?
Some minds could be put at ease if hubbers could confirm that they have earned anything from Amazon since 6/29 solely from their Hubpages referrals. If anyone has earned anything from Amazon since the California termination here on HP then that would be a good sign that earnings may continue.
Coming on this late..and this has probably been answered ... but my Amazon earnings have continued pretty steadily.
Thanks Marye, we were trying to establish if all affiliates were affected since HP lost its account, lol but that was a week ago and it has been confirmed that if your state was not affected by the nexus and you were not terminated from Amazon then you will continue to earn here from your Amazon referrals. We were concerned since the server for this site is in California, but each hubbers account is independent of HP's account and stand on their own.
LOL! My son is home on leave for the first time in 3 years and I am not online nearly as much. Our time together is going too fast as it is.
Go get her Randy! I guess it's only free speech if she approves.
I'm actually a bit annoyed that it's taken the HP staff this long to realize how much pain losing Amazon costs a person - now that it's hitting them. They've ignored the pain of Illinois Amazon affiliates, Rhode Island Amazon affiliates and those in North Carolina, Connecticut and Colorado. Just ignored them. Now that it's them, they're cutting a special backroom deal with Amazon. Yeah they care about hubbers okay.
Internet companies are getting less reliable these days.. perhaps if the pple from california have trust worthy contacs at other places then they could have arrangements with them to transfer the money as soon as they get paid. We at India are fine now .. some one could mail me for any possible affiliation
Richard, my Amz account shows 11$ from 3 sales for 30th June.
May be because I put in 51 words per product?!
Yes, its still on for me.
Thanks Sun, but were those earnings from sales credited after 6/29 or items that were ordered prior to 6/29 then shipped. As I understand, you will still earn on the items that were referred prior to 6/29 and credited to your account when they ship.
I had two orders on the 29th, then earnings reported on the 30th...is that what you mean?
Yes, but I'm pretty sure that the deadline was on midnight of the 29th so sales on that day would be counted. Any sales or orders since then?
Oh--I didn't think of that...
No, nothing since then...
I sold 8 items on July 1- with 1 being already shipped according to the Amazon report.
Well, that's something good to hear, at least.
Well that is a good indication that HP is still showing your 60% share of impressions and that their termination has not affected those in unaffected locations.
But why would HP keep some program here from which they cant make a penny anymore?
Sorry Richard, I have no way of knowing whether those sales were before or after 29. But I observed one thing for this month, the affiliate id I registered through HP do not register any clicks while my own aff id (which I use more here, I use both) has some clicks accounted. But no sales so far this month.
Yea, if you still have amazon products showing on your hubs you will still be credited with the clicks from the tracking code. Hopefully somebody here will confirm an order placed since 6/29 that originated from a referral listed on Hubpages.
I still have my Amazon modules up even though I don't earn from them anymore. Just haven't had the time to take them down or reconfigure them to Ebay.
Just one doubt Richard, If we are banned from the program for being associated with HP (for no fault of theirs, of course)we wouldnt be able to log in to our Amazon account?
I have a pair of Toms shoes showing sold for July 1st through Amazon.....assuming it came from my Tom's Shoes Hub.
Another good indication. This would lend to confirm that earnings could continue. Now it is up to Hubpages to confirm if they are going to change their share of impressions from 40/60 to 100.
THAT is what I would really like to know...it seems ridiculous to me that they would just let their 40% just hang in no-man's land, when we should be able to use it... If they get their account back, then fine--they can have their time frame back...
But in the meantime--let us get some good out of it!
I just had a thought...if Amazon cancelled HP's affliate, then wouldn't Amazon just automatically make our share of time 100%?
You already get 100% of your share. HP has a rotating script that only shows your affiliate code 60% of the page impressions. It's most likely tied to all the other affiliations as well, Ebay, Adsense, etc. They would need to change the script to separate Amazon from the rotation.
Okay, I'm confused...sorry.
I thought that our affiliate code shows up on our hubs 60% of the time, and the other 40% it showed HP's affiliate code?
Well, if HP's account got cancelled, shouldn't we get what was their percentage?
Isn't that what you meant when you talked about the 60/40 share of impressions?
I don't mean to sound dense, just trying to understand all of this...
Like I said, there is a rotating script and I'm sure they have made no changes to the script so right now we are still getting 60% of impressions and the 40% that HP should receive is in oblivion. It will remain that way until they can make changes to the rotation.
Okay, so that's what I was talking about. I guess I was using the wrong wordage, sorry--still learning all the correct lingo...
I'm not actually sure we've ever gotten 60% of the Amazon impressions, Richard. How could one tell for sure? Surely HP could use a different program for the Amazon program if they so desired and we would have no way of knowing. Or am I mistaken in thinking so?
I think writing multiple rotating scripts for different revenue programs would be too much of a hassle to even bother with. I have no reason to believe that HP would purposely deceive us on that issue.
Back when I was earning anywhere from $60 to $100 a month from Amazon alone (end of 2009 most of 2010) it was great. 2011 has been a total failure and as of March I lost my affiliation for living in Illinois. I'm confident that PMA will win out and prove the nexus to be unconstitutional and get my affiliations back. Amazon was just the tip of the iceberg. I've lost out on Half.com, NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, Ritz Camera, eToys, and Overstock, which amounts to between $5 and $25 a month from each. It adds up and having to revert to adsense is a pain. The only reason I'm still here at HP is because of the HP ad program and that's going to earn me less and less as I move my content to my own sites where I have total control.
Perhaps you are right, Richard. I suppose it depends on how much a "hassle" is actually worth in terms of cash. I just don't understand why we have no way of knowing when our Amazon code is being displayed like we can Adsense.
I don't like being suspicious of a company I'm involved with. It's because of my past experience with similar venues which makes me look at some aspects of HP. That and the lack of communication from the PWB.
If you hover with your mouse pointer over the Amazon capsule, you will see a long affiliate link (at the bottom of the screen in Firefox) which includes the tracking ID you entered in your Hubpages affiliate settings.
Thank you Elijah S!! Great information! Now maybe Randy and others can rest a bit easier! Have a GREAT 4th! Blessings, Earth Angel!
Sorry, I cannot see my code displayed when I do this. Even when I can identify my Adsense code.
We'll have more information in a few days! Stay tuned and thanks for your patience.
Aha! So you got left at the office during the holidays, eh Pia!
But thanks for at least letting us know someone is there on the job. It does help somewhat, believe it or not.
Hmm... would you mind clarifying to us just how many days is a 'few'?
It is now '5' since you posted the above message!
And 7 days since she started that thread...Jason came on another thread yesterday, saying Pia or Paul would be commenting on this thread yesterday or today. Well, nothing yesterday, so maybe today?
It's the weekend coming up again, though...so will they put us off another few days?
I think one thing Hubpages should state sooner rather than later is that you will NOT be cancelling the Amazon program even if you are not able to use amazon yourself on your impressions until you come up with a workaround.
Agreed, but as Publicity Manager of Hubpages PiaC is probably between a rock and a hard place at the moment, especially since this is a holiday weekend. I'm sure she's having a rough time countering all the negative attitudes at the moment. Her boss should know this and make a statement rather than post silly baseball and cooking threads on the forums.
Do you think that's realistic? They've been tightening up on every leak that takes clicks away from their own ad program - that they don't benefit from. I heartily agree that they should be saying more than "Stay Tuned."
I've also had a couple of items ordered on July 1st and earnings, so for the moment all looks as though it is going on as normal
I'm a California hubber. Although our governor's budget just took all potential Amazon earnings from me, I guess that wasn't enough: in the very same budget, an item was inserted that allows (despite a standing, previously-passed CA law that DISallows this very thing!) the state to take monies directly from cities without the cities' permission. I've just learned that, as a result of this, my town's operating funds are targeted to be so severely raided by the state that my town has announced it is likely going to become insolvent and have to disincorporate, reverting to county property.
So Mr. Brown took not only a source of my income, but my very town as well. Nice.
You guys are all going to fall into the ocean anyway someday! Why sweat the small stuff!
CA may indeed fall in the ocean but the bigger picture is that you don't want to get between a bloated government and money. At some point this is coming to other states too and probably the federal government. Probably worth keeping an eye on no matter where you live.
In the mean time, I saw someone mention Skimlinks. I've taken a quick peek and it looks like a decent alternative to Amazon but don't know too much about the details. Waiting on HP to make a move. Since they have skin in the game so to speak, I think they will be motivated to find a solution in the near term.
Hi Michael, The "not display" capsule is completely invisible to Google - it is like it doesn't exist. We wouldn't do anything that "hides" text or links in the manner you are talking about as that is seen as poor practices. Have a great 4th weekend!
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