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Amazon to Relaunch California Associate Accounts

On June 29, 2011 California Governor Jerry Brown signed a tax bill that forced out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax on purchases made by California residents if those retailers had a "nexus" within California.  Upon the signing of the bill, Amazon immediately terminated its thousands of California-based Associates, thus elminating the "nexus."  Shortly thereafter, Amazon began a referendum process to allow California voters to overturn the new law.

More recently, Amazon extended an olive branch to Governor Brown and the California legislature and a compromise bill was introduced.  Assembly Bill 155 requires Amazon to start collecting sales tax on purchases made by California residents starting in September 2012 if Amazon is unable to come up with a federal deal in which a uniform online sales tax policy is adopted by Congress by next July.  On September 23, 2011 Governor Brown signed AB 155.

With this compromise in place I was curious if Amazon would reinstate their California-based Associate accounts so I shot off an E-mail to Amazon to ask that very question.  Here is the reply I recieved from Amazon on September 25, 2011:

Hello Mark,

As you may have heard, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation repealing the law that forced us to terminate our California Associates.

We're working to relaunch the Associates Program in California as soon as possible.  In the next few days, we'll reach out to all affected past Associates with information how to re-open their accounts.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Good news, indeed!  Perhaps Amazon will go the extra mile and give California Associates credit for purchases made through their sites since June 29, 2011?  Time will tell.

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Reader Comments (6)

Does this mean that Amazon is going to lobby to institute a national online sales tax?! If so this is decidedly NOT good news!

September 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

I hope they work with the Illinois legislature as well.

September 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMikeycav

One thing - just remember that Amazon competes and threatens to put a number of smaller online based businesses 'out of business'. With small business being the backbone of the economy (especially more so today when we are witnessing the not-so-pleasant affects of the large scale corporations), we little guys would really appreciate you NOT automatically selling out to Amazon. It would be different if they were an 'inventor and manufacturer' of any kind (the Kindle aside), but they aren't. They simply use their might and power to threaten the very existence of a ton of small businesses every day. Yes it is easy for you to sign up and become an affiliate and make another $200 a month - but please think of the cost to the rest of the economy. I know it is a tough one to comprehend, but trust me, we face it every day. I wish people were aware of that.

September 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

@Brad I do think of the cost to the rest of the economy. That's why I shop in the most cost efficient method I can (i.e. lowest prices for a given level of quality). That way I help encourage increases in efficiency and productivity.

I do believe that small businesses (i.e. not Amazon, Target, etc.) have their place. And that lies in offering better service and deeper variety. Hopefully small businesses will improve in these areas by nudging them away from mass marketed goods.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfrugal shopper

I've spent the last few months rebuilding my links since Amazon and other businesses dumped CA affiliates with virtually no notice. This current deal merely is putting off the inevitable. Amazon did not show any compassion for those who's businesses were hurt by their actions in CA and several other states. I will not be doing business again with Amazon, Zappos, etc. I don't trust them.

September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I agree with Pam and some of the others about avoiding Amazon from now on. Amazon is huge - in fact I often use it as a search engine for information about new products. Amazon is going to do just fine without me, and did not consider me at all when it was doing away with the affiliates. There are other companies such as Linkshare, Shareasale, ebay affiliates, google affiliates to sell on line programs with, and I agree - it is a shame and penny wise and pound foolish to do away with small business in this way. I will enable my links again because I already have them on existing Squidoo lenses, but my affiliate efforts will be elsewhere from now on. And I might be causing a wildfire to say this but California is hurting, and we need our state taxes for the schools.

October 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRose

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