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Amazon Going Brick and Mortar?

December 6th, 2009

The Sunday Times  is reporting that Amazon is secretly looking for store locations in Britain. Amazon is denying the rumors. But one wonders if there is fire behind that smoke. It may be an attempt to go after the “click and collect” market — where consumers buy online and pick up in-store.

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Amazon Changes Affiliate Program; Will No Longer Pay Fee on Paid Search Traffic

April 6th, 2009

Amazon has announced they will “no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to, or through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines, and their extended search networks.” This will affect those affiliates who have carved out a business by simply buying keywords and sending the clicks directly to Amazon. This is not surprising. We don’t think Amazon was particularly thrilled with this angle. The affiliates here were basically competing against Amazon; by placing a keyword bid higher than Amazon, you got the traffic instead of Amazon. So their thinking undoubtedly was: Why should we pay you a fee for outbidding us? Loophole closed. For further info, you can go to Amazon here.

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Ouch! The Taxman Cometh (CORRECTION)

March 7th, 2009

If several states have their way, the tax law will be changing: “Hawaii has joined California, Connecticut, Minnesota and Tennessee in introducing state legislation that, like a New York state law enacted last year, requires Inc. and other online retailers to process sales tax on orders received through many affiliate web sites.” In the past, the general case law was that a state could only collect taxes on sales from companies that had a physical presence in their state. Now, even if, say Amazon, doesn’t have any offices or other facilities in New York, that state can still tax orders received/referred from affiliates who are based in the state.   The full story is here.

CORRECTION: The original post here said affiliates themselves would now be taxed. We have corrected the error. Affiliates, of course, already pay taxes on the commissions they receive. It will be interesting to see to what extent affiliate marketing is or is not affected, as states begin to tax these orders.

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