Thursday, October 13, 2011

Like a Sales Tax Pawn

Some of you might have noticed I haven't had an Amazon link featured on my blog for a while now. If you didn't notice, that's cool. Be advised this blog has been Amazon-free for some time.

It's not that I gave up on Amazon, it's that Amazon gave up on me... plus thousands of other Amazon affiliates. You see, for some time, Amazon and the State of California, the state where I reside, have been squabbling over collecting California sales tax on all orders which result from the efforts of their California affiliates.

Some of you might be wondering, "Why should I pay California state sales tax? I don't live in California."

Well, Amazon agrees with you. And so do I. But the State of California believes otherwise. The state contends if an Amazon customer makes a purchase as a result of clicking a link to Amazon from a website, like this one, where the site's owner is a resident of California, you should have to pay California sales tax regardless of where you reside and regardless of the fact that Amazon does not sell and ship products from the State of California. Anyway, that's their beef in a nutshell. (My apologies to vegans for stuffing meat in a nut in my last sentence.)

As a result of this Amazon/California sales tax feud, one in which neither party would give any ground -- sound familiar? -- Amazon decided to dump all of it's California affiliates and offer a big GFY to the State of California.

Some time later, cooler heads prevailed: California and Amazon kissed and made up, at least temporarily. Apparently, they forged some sort of deal which includes putting off the sales tax issue for two years.

Now, of course, Amazon is saying to all it's former California affiliates, "Hey guys! C'mon back! We love ya!"

Although thousands of California Amazon affiliates, myself included, have been played like virtual pawns in this Amazon/California sales-tax chess game, I'm not a grudge-keeper. While I don't make much pimping Amazon, I do make some -- which I take in the form of gift certificates rather than cash -- and so, in the spirit of reconciliation and gift certificates, I'm gonna take the high road, be the bigger man, and embrace Amazon again.

My Amazon link is now back in the right-hand column. If you click on it before going to Amazon, I receive a small commission (and some gift certs later on) from whatever you might purchase. Doing that helps keep me motivated to author this blog. I'm not saying I'd quit authoring it without some sort of monetary motivation. I'm certainly not authoring this blog for Amazon's sake or simply for the sake of anything else I might "sell" via this blog. I authored this blog for four years before I ever sold, for instance, a single e-book from it's pages. I find authoring it personally rewarding in many ways beyond earning a few bucks with it. Still, added rewards are added rewards and, like most people, I like being rewarded in many different ways.

Sorry but I don't recall the upside-down model's name seen at the top. I could search my records for her name but, frankly, that sounds a little too much like work at the moment.

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