Home Domains Why I’ve been cut from the Amazon Affiliate Program and you might too

Why I’ve been cut from the Amazon Affiliate Program and you might too

by Mike Sullivan

I just received the note below from Amazon, informing me that I will no longer eligible to participate the Amazon Associate Program. I’d like to thank the Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn for increasing Illinois taxes, mismanaging money and further reducing our income. This isn’t a huge deal for me personally, I have a couple of links and one affiliate website, Mens-Razors.com. Not a major portion of my business revenue. None the less, it’s aggravating that the state law makers with no understanding as to the impact of their decisions.  There are people who have serious revenue that will now be halted.


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 – even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It was supported by national retailing chains, most of which are based outside Illinois, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. 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, Endless.com, or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to April 15, 2011 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of April 15, 2011, any final payments will be paid by July 1, 2011.

You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of Illinois. If you are not currently a permanent resident of Illinois, 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 after April 15, please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.

To be clear, this development will only impact our ability to continue the Associates Program in Illinois, and will not affect the ability of Illinois residents to purchase online at www.amazon.com from Amazon’s retail business.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Illinois-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 Illinois residents.


The Amazon Associates Team

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TeenDomainer March 10, 2011 - 6:24 pm

Its really too bad, but there are some alternatives to amazon that you can easily switch you site over too. But people trust amazon and they have everything so it really is to bad. Hopefully they don;t pull this in florida.

Mike Sullivan March 10, 2011 - 6:28 pm

Florida is safe. In fact, it’s the best state to file bankruptcy in 🙂

Shane March 10, 2011 - 9:31 pm

I’ll take the tax and not have to live in Florida :). That’s the state where people from Illinois and New York go to die.

Shelia March 11, 2011 - 8:31 am

I would leave Illinois as soon as I could and move to the great state of Florida!

Rick Wilson March 11, 2011 - 2:11 pm

Sorry to here that. Went thru that myself here in RI a year ago when they passed their version.

It’s kinda funny that there is now a bill in the RI legislature that would repeal it. Not getting my hopes up that it will pass, tho.

The lawmakers have absolutely NO clue.

Mike Sullivan March 11, 2011 - 3:38 pm

@Rick, I do recall that. Hope RI gets back on the right track and maybe some day IL will too.

Dennis March 11, 2011 - 3:21 pm

We have no such tax over here in Iowa and I can get you an extremely good buy on a house – plus I’ll throw in tickets to the Iowa Speedway here in Newton! You would be only a couple hours away from Chicago and get rid of all the traffic and headache of living in a big city. (Of course you lose the immediate access to the nightlife, sports, art, etc., but hey nothing is free!)

Mike Sullivan March 11, 2011 - 3:39 pm

@Dennis, Maybe I could just get an out of state mailing address 🙂

vegetarian March 11, 2011 - 5:27 pm

Must admit my first thought was interstate postal address, pleased to say in australia we don’t have this problem , but we dont have any good local affiliate programs ……. bummer

Chris March 11, 2011 - 9:59 pm

Not sure what all the fuss is about.
Sales tax on online sales is inevitable. Once California passes it (the bill is in process) it will be a done deal.
And then every business will again be playing on a level
playing field.
Why should a company like Amazon get this unfair advantage over all the local merchants?
They had their free lunch, time to grow up.

Spencer March 13, 2011 - 9:48 pm

Hi Chris,
I don’t believe most businesses would mind collecting and remitting sales taxes. However, the politicians are the ones that need to understand the burden their individual sales taxes laws cause for small businesses at the micro and macro levels.

If you know anything about all the different state sales tax laws, you’ll understand that it isn’t always as easy as multiplying your gross revenue by a single sales tax rate per state. In fact, many, like Washington State require you to collect and remit based on the shipping address — down to the street address. Some cities in States like Colorado have special sales taxes for transit and stadiums — which needs to be collected based on the shipping address. And to complicate things even more, in Colorado the person across the street may not need to be charged the sales tax, when their neighbor does.

This means you have to charge different rates, in some cases down to specific streets or as broad as the entire state. This is all due to Politicians special interests — not for collecting fair sales tax.

If the states want to collect sales tax and make it fair (not just self-serving), then they should work together to create a simple online sales tax scheme that minimizes costs to businesses and minimizes financial waste in government revenue departments that must be setup to collect and enforce complicated sales tax laws.

Politicians need to change the tax laws and their understanding to catch up with the 21st Century. Not make it more difficult and expensive on the citizens or businesses.

Just my 2-cents.


Adi April 1, 2011 - 3:22 pm

I actually purchased two domains a while back and was planning on developing a small Amazon store. Well, now they are just sitting there until I find an alternative to Amazon.

David April 25, 2013 - 5:40 pm

You can use Viglink as an alternative. They allow you to link to Amazon through their proxy, as well as hundreds of other merchants. They take a 25% commission, but 75% is better than nothing!


Mike Sullivan April 25, 2013 - 6:43 pm

Dave, thanks for the tip. Worth looking into.


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