No Amazon for Illinois Residents

Are you kidding me?!?!

I was searching Amazon today, getting a second look at some Father's Day gifts I had found for my husband. After looking around, I started wondering about my Amazon Affiliate account and whether I had any earnings.

I don't check my affiliate accounts very often. To be honest, there isn't much reason to. I'm not a big earner here and I'm fine with that. So, checking my affiliates once every four to six weeks is plenty for me to see that I still have a total of three cents....

Needless to say, when I clicked on my account, I was confronted by a startling warning.

"Account Closed" It said in bold red letters on the top of the screen, followed by, "This account is closed and will not generate referrals. Access to this site is for historical purposes only."

What?!?! My account is closed?!?!

What did I do, I wondered. Have I broken a rule somewhere and not realized it?? Is it because I haven't been very active on my HubPages account? Do my hubs violate some one's TOS??

I needed answers!!

Seriously??

My first thought was to check my email for an explanation from Amazon and/or HubPages. Easier said than done, considering I have five email accounts and couldn't remember which one I had signed up with for Amazon.

I pulled up my HP account on another screen while I scoured my various emails and found that HubPages seemed to have no idea of my recent account closure. There were no warnings on any of my hubs and my Amazon affiliate status said (and still says) 'active.' Apparently, the problem originated with Amazon...

Within a few minutes, I had discovered the email. The one stating that my account was closed and why.  I was shocked. I was mad. I was confused. I don't think I have ever seen anything quite so dumb, or unfair.

One more thing....

For those of you who don't know, I live in Illinois. For many years, our poor state has been synonymous with one thing, crooked politics. Our Governors haven't always been the most upright citizens and Springfield has always been accused of only keeping Chicago's best interests in mind and conveniently forgetting the rest of the state.

So I guess this email shouldn't have really surprised me that much. I think the only way to really share is to copy/paste excerpts from the email itself.

I do have to say that the email came to me from Amazon, not my state government or anyone affiliated with it and the tone of the email is that Amazon, the company, is as appalled with this whole situation as I am. They didn't think it was right or fair to close my account either, but they had to, by law. So I give you the email, or parts of it...

What Amazon says...

"For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of Illinois residents. Unfortunately, a new state tax law signed by Governor Quinn compels us to terminate this program for Illinois-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers - including but not limited to those referred by Illinois-based affiliates like you"

"We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive...We deeply regret that its enactment forces this action"

"As a result of the new law, contracts with all Illinois affiliates of the Amazon Associates Program will be terminated and those Illinois residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com"


Thanks Quinn...

So, as you can see, unless I want to move out of state, I no longer have an Amazon affiliate account. I can still shop on Amazon. com, that hasn't changed, I just can't earn anything with or through them.

It isn't Amazon's fault and I have no ill feelings toward them at all. They just got stuck in the middle and not only had to terminate God knows how many accounts, but also had to be the bearer of bad news and explains Quinn's ridiculous law to us surprised IL residents. I can only imagine how many complaints Amazon will have to field because of this or how much revenue they will lose.

As I mentioned before, I wasn't swimming in cash from my Amazon referrals but now it seems pointless to have Amazon capsules on my hubs if there is automatically no way for me to make money from the products I feature. That means a lot of editing and a lot of hubs with no products to be shown. It makes me wonder if any of the members here who do specialize in product hubs and rely on an income they gain from their Amazon affiliate reside in Illinois. If so, I feel for you.

I'm so tired of living in a place that walks all over the little guy. For years certain regions of the state, certain areas have been and continue to be overlooked. And while this law might not affect an entire region, I still feel like I'm being crapped on by my Governor. This whole situation just stinks...

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Comments 24 comments

Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Wow - Thanks for the info. I live in Chicago, and can't help but feel your pain. How messed up. :(


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 5 years ago Author

Sorry to hear that M2C :( It is definitely messed up...


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

TSA,

Sorry to hear about this and thanks for the info. I hope it helps to tell you that this was a very well written piece. I have never made a penny on Amazon (yet - in almost 3 months) and I really try to place items on my hubs that make sense and feel "clickable" to me. I have lots more to learn. Best wishes to you!

Sharyn


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 5 years ago Author

thanks Sharyn, I always liked being able to have the Amazon capsule in my hubs. It was kind of a nice way to send people directly to a helpful or interesting product. I still like Amazon and still shop there, just wish I could benefit from those products too! Oh well! Thanks for the read!! :)


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois

Hi Sharyn. I also live in Illinois and discovered what was going on in Springfield when I had to pay a percent of my income in taxes to Illinois for any internet purchases I had made. Since I don't have all the receipts from all my internet purchases I was forced to pay this tax that the state had not been collecting. This of course is related to why Amazon can no longer do business with IL associates. I have even seen news stories where businesses have fled across the border to Indiana from Illinois to set up shop. Ridiculous. The state's actions are the equivalent to shooting themselves in their own foot.


celticmelody 4 years ago from Chicago IL

I'm in Illinois too. No Amazon Associate open to us, eBay not open to us. I guess Google Adsense is the only source of revenue open to Illinoi residents on Hubpages. Bummer!


ChasingAutumn profile image

ChasingAutumn 4 years ago from Machesney Park, Illinois

Wow I just joined and I'm from illinois. I'm really bummed I can't get the extra programs because of Quinn.


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 4 years ago Author

It is a real bummer Autumn. I was definitely not happy to get that email! :(


celticmelody 4 years ago

And, that begs the question, what are snowbirds to do? Those that live in, say, Florida during the winter and Illinois during the summer? Can they get an account for the six months they live in Florida? Sounds silly just typing it.

I guess what snowbirds will do is change their permanent residency to Florida which has no state income tax. Pat Quinn will be out ALOT of money if enough of them figure that out! Hmmm. That's got me thinking. I wonder if my employer would let me telecommute from Miami Beach? LOL.

Seriously, I understand that the two reasons for enacting the law is a) Illinois is almost broke and 2) the Illinois state legislature wants to protect local brick-and-mortar stores. And, as someone that works in a local family business, I can understand that. HOWEVER, with the demise of Borders, and Barnes And Noble (which started right here in Illinois) not doing so hot, the local bookstore, whether chain or independant IS in trouble. Amazon is going to be THE bookstore. I don't see this law helping local bookstores.


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 4 years ago Author

Well, after reading your comment, I am seriously thinking of new winter home LOL It is frustrating, that's all I know. Yes, the state is broke but so are all of the people who live in it haha It would have been nice to have a little income from Amazon. I mean I was well on my way to buying my first pack of gum and it would have been taxed so they would have gotten their money regardless :)

I imagine every law/amendment/regulation/etc. starts because someone somewhere thought it would really do some good but this one just seems, well...dumb! Thanks for the comment celticmelody!


celticmelody 4 years ago

You are welcome!

I just heard this morning that:

a) Governor Christie is LOWERING New Jersey State income tax along with several other states.

b) Bridgestone is bringing 1000 jobs to South Carolina since it's a right to work state

c) And, of course Caterpillar is bringing 1400 jobs to North Carolina thanks to the Illinois tax situation.

These things + the Amazon situation makes this law look extra silly to me.


Organized Girl 4 years ago

Interestingly, I was just having a conversation with a friend in FL, trying to come up with a 'workaround' for this law without breaking it.

Florida mailbox, Illinois resident payee, pay taxes on the money earned...is there a tax expert who can tell us if we'd be working within the law?


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 4 years ago Author

I think I'm moving to Jersey lol :D


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 4 years ago Author

hmm, that sounds like a great question to ask in the q&a section or on the forums, OrganizedGirl!


weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 4 years ago from Central USA

I think all Illinois residents should call and complain. I am.. This really is aggravating to me. I am trying to make some money from home since I can't work doing to a disability. Thanks a lot Quinn


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 4 years ago Author

Its incredibly annoying Weezy-really limits us in terms of profits on sites like hubs :(


Modern Lady profile image

Modern Lady 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

I just moved to Illinois and discovered this problem when I tried to update my address with Amazon Affiliates. I am very frustrated that I am going to have to close my account. Thank you for shedding some light on the situation.


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 4 years ago Author

You're very welcome ML :)


weezyschannel profile image

weezyschannel 4 years ago from Central USA

do you have any idea when hubpages is going to affiliate with Amazon like to the do with Ebay? I think we can monetize then, maybe..anyone know of anything about it yet? Thanks


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 4 years ago Author

HubPages is affiliated with Amazon. So far as I know they still are... I'm not sure exactly what you are asking.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

This month Amazon has been added to the HubPages Earnings Program, so people in Illinois should now be able to make money with Amazon capsules.


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 2 years ago Author

I received an email from Amazon about a month or so ago saying that we would be allowed to reapply.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

You don't need to reapply directly with Amazon. Just opt into it under HP. Amazon is included in the HubPages Earnings Program now, as of February 2014.


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 2 years ago Author

Ok, thanks for the info Glenn!

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