Monetization of Sites Where Amazon's Pulled Out

61 replies
Hey Warriors!

I'm in the latest state threatening to get zapped of Amazon affiliate income, and I know several of you have been before Texas. We're not there yet, but the pissing match is very volatile here between the company and the state so I expect it soon.

I thought we'd brainstorm some ideas on what to do with the efforts we've put into these sites if and when Amazon pulls out of your state.

Personally, I've tried Share A Sale, Commission Junction, etc., and compared to Amazon, have made diddly squat (that's redneck for "nuthin"). So I don't want to swap links out for those.

The only two ideas I can come up with so far are:

1.) Sell the site on Flippa or equivalent

2.) Take the content and sell it to someone else or as PLR content.

Any others?

Tiff
#amazon #monetization #pulled #sites
  • Profile picture of the author matt5409
    can you not simply change your address to a relative in another state, or hire a virtual office with an address elsewhere?

    sorry if this is no help, i'm in the UK where the policies are a little different.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    You could try the Ebay affiliate program, maybe?

    https://www.ebaypartnernetwork.com

    Lee
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    I would think the best bet is to build the site up as big as you can, then flip it.

    If the site is about to become worth less to you than it is to others, sell it to those others. Don't forget the value of your site is not being effected in any area other than those states that have done this.

    It would be easy to slip into the mindset that your site has been wrecked by this (If it goes ahead), as your income from this site could literally stop. That is only an illusion based on your location but I have found such things are very persuasive.

    I recommend flipping it before you have to explain why the income stopped dead.

    If I was buying a website and the links didn't work, well I wouldn't trust what anyone said about the reason behind it. This is a little irrational I admit, but "it-works", "it-doesn't" is representative of the mindset of most buyers.
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    • Profile picture of the author magicmarcus
      Hi Tiffany,

      there are two things i would look at here...

      1. the niche you are in (amazon is rarely the best bet for a niche IMO because of the low payout) so there is probably a more profitable way.

      2. look at the amount you were making on amazon and see where you can better it... ie can you build a list and a following, can you help users beyond the normal (buy stuff on amazon) pitch... i think if you can answer these questions you can dive in and you will find better ways to profit.

      i find that when things like this happen it forces us to be better, serve the market better, and ultimately make a whole lot more

      Marcus
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      • Profile picture of the author TheCG
        I would just use a mail forwarding service like full time RVers use.

        Full timers pick a state to use as a home state to keep their personal taxes and such as low as possible and use a remail service to forward all of their mail to them from it.

        Of course in this case you would only be using it for Amazon so you would get next to nothing sent to you from the address but it would work.
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  • Profile picture of the author wendyloohoo67
    What about something like skimlinks? I read on the amazon forum where someone replaced their income using this when amazon pulled out of Colorado and had success with this program. It looked pretty cool and might be worth checking out so you don't lose the income.
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    • Profile picture of the author advancedyn
      Originally Posted by wendyloohoo67 View Post

      What about something like skimlinks? I read on the amazon forum where someone replaced their income using this when amazon pulled out of Colorado and had success with this program. It looked pretty cool and might be worth checking out so you don't lose the income.
      Yes! What about SkimLinks? No one here is using it? Why or why not?
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  • Profile picture of the author 1960Texan
    This is what I came up with in this thread:

    Yeah, the writing is on the wall. I've made a little being an Amazon affiliate but I haven't put much effort into it because I saw this coming. I don't remember the exact post, but about 2 years ago I saw someone in another state mention here that they were losing a six figure income with Amazon because of a similar situation. At that time I was just getting started with Amazon and knew that it was going to happen sooner or later.

    Now, if I'd been plugging away at it and had anything of consequence to lose, I'd be looking real hard at setting up an LLC and an office in Delaware right now. In fact, it might not be a bad idea for a group of warriors to get together, pool their resources, and rent office space. You get a broom closet sized office with ten different people splitting the rent and it would be pretty affordable, no matter what the cost per square foot of office space in Delaware.

    If that doesn't appeal to you and you don't have a niche that would convert to some other form of monetization, I'd strongly consider flipping it. It could even turn into another stream of income for you, building Amazon ready sites for those who don't have the technical skills or interest in building a site, but would still like to earn affiliate income.

    Will
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    Yip i was totally bummed-out when the news started circulating that Amazon was probably pulling out of Texas. (I never thought it would happen in TX but alas...)
    Just started work on 2 new Amazon Aff sites,,damn...
    @Tiffany
    I must say i'm also using CJ and Link Share etc and my results are not too bad, i use comparipress wp-plugin great for comparing prices from all your merchants.
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    • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
      Tiffany - Sorry this may happen and how you can find a good solution.

      "If I was buying a website and the links didn't work, well I wouldn't trust what anyone said about the reason behind it."

      I am curious if Amazon pulls out in your state do they disable the links or do the links still work but you don't get credit?
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      • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
        Originally Posted by LilBlackDress View Post

        Tiffany - Sorry this may happen and how you can find a good solution.

        "If I was buying a website and the links didn't work, well I wouldn't trust what anyone said about the reason behind it."

        I am curious if Amazon pulls out in your state do they disable the links or do the links still work but you don't get credit?
        I was wondering that myself. I assumed they must either deactivate your links or not pay you the commission, but I don't know.
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      • Profile picture of the author Leslie B
        Originally Posted by LilBlackDress View Post

        Tiffany - Sorry this may happen and how you can find a good solution.

        "If I was buying a website and the links didn't work, well I wouldn't trust what anyone said about the reason behind it."

        I am curious if Amazon pulls out in your state do they disable the links or do the links still work but you don't get credit?
        I believe that the links still work (Amazon wouldn't want to lose traffic, now would they?) but you wouldn't get credited anymore.

        Have you guys thought of partnering up with someone that you can trust and that lives in a state/country that is still approved to receive Amazon commissions?

        Leslie
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      • Profile picture of the author nimcus38318
        I think the Amazon links still work, but you don't get the credit as an affiliate
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  • Profile picture of the author matt5409
    seriously - nobody has commented on what i said. is it not possible to base your business address in another state??
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    • Profile picture of the author paulie888
      Originally Posted by matt5409 View Post

      seriously - nobody has commented on what i said. is it not possible to base your business address in another state??
      This is definitely possible, I think someone posted a comment about incorporating in a different tax-free state (this only applies to state taxes). I see there being at least two options - for those who are really serious and want to continue with Amazon, then incorporating in a different state will take care of this issue, and for those who do not wish to continue, then it'd be a fairly simple matter to flip their sites on Flippa or another marketplace. I've seen Amazon sites flipped on Flippa for fairly significant sums of money, so this isn't necessarily a bad option if you just don't want to deal with the hassle of the incorporation route.
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    • Profile picture of the author cashcow
      Originally Posted by matt5409 View Post

      seriously - nobody has commented on what i said. is it not possible to base your business address in another state??
      It's possible but kind of a hassle. You have to form a business entity in that state which is either a separate business for all your Amazon stuff or move all your existing business into that entity. You have to be careful to not use any of your Texas based addresses/bank accounts whatever in the new business. Perhaps there are other complications as well so consulting a professional is advised.
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      • Profile picture of the author cyberws
        Tiffany, that hasn't happened in Georgia - and I'm shocked that Texas would so STUPID! But we had a similar problem that needed an out-of-Georgia solution and it worked perfectly. Here's what we did:

        1. We opened a corporation in another state - there are lots of places online that will do that for you

        2. We opened a bank account in a bank that has a branch in that state

        3. We rented a mailbox in that state - you can use companies like PakMail, UPS, etc. They're not hard to find.

        4. All monies went to that state.

        Worked perfectly. We received checks in our biz venture, but you can open a Paypal account in the name of the new company with no problems.
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  • Profile picture of the author markowe
    Bummer.

    I second eBay Partner Network. Why, when it is so controversial as a network? Simply because it is the only retailer online which converts anything close to the way Amazon does. I know what you are saying about CJ - I have the same experience, rotten conversions. eBay converts like crazy because of the trust factor and the vast range of stuff on there. Get a decent eBay plugin and give it a try. The program has some very weird quirks, but is still a great earner for me.

    If you decide on EPN, just read up on EPN accounts - how to get one first [disclosure, this article is mine, but it's the best one I know of ], because a lot of people get rejected by EPN unnecessarily.
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    • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
      There is a bigger danger here to worry about as most states are suffering from a tax revenue deficit and are scrambling to find dollars to cover it. Trying to outrun the bullet by setting up business in a different state may only offer a short term solution.

      Amazon in a May 2008 lawsuit challenged the New York law where this tax has taken place and it has yet to be decided. If Amazon loses, then I expect to see the trend in large marketers to cancel all affiliate contracts as more states enact new legislation to tax these programs. There will be an inflection point at which time companies like Amazon will no longer find that this model is worth the money and maintenance.

      As marketers I would suggest the best thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to stay close to any legislation being put forth in your state regarding this type of tax. Make it known to your elected officials that instituting such taxation will only have the opposite effect of reducing revenue from the loss of affiliate incomes.
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      • Profile picture of the author donhx
        Originally Posted by BeechHill View Post

        There is a bigger danger here to worry about as most states are suffering from a tax revenue deficit and are scrambling to find dollars to cover it. Trying to outrun the bullet by setting up business in a different state may only offer a short term solution.

        Amazon in a May 2008 lawsuit challenged the New York law where this tax has taken place and it has yet to be decided. If Amazon loses, then I expect to see the trend in large marketers to cancel all affiliate contracts as more states enact new legislation to tax these programs. There will be an inflection point at which time companies like Amazon will no longer find that this model is worth the money and maintenance.

        As marketers I would suggest the best thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to stay close to any legislation being put forth in your state regarding this type of tax. Make it known to your elected officials that instituting such taxation will only have the opposite effect of reducing revenue from the loss of affiliate incomes.


        Great answer. There is a bill in Congress called The Main Street Fairness Act (H.R. 5660) which will force all online businesses to be taxed locally.

        Who is the Great Satan in all this? Amazon, of course. Local businesses can't handle the competition. However, if Amazon were forced to pay sales taxes everywhere, affiliates could be everywhere.

        The nightmare has begun, but it will probably get worse before it gets better. Change is the only constant.






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        • Profile picture of the author Dave Rodman
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          Originally Posted by donhx View Post

          Great answer. There is a bill in Congress called The Main Street Fairness Act (H.R. 5660) which will force all online businesses to be taxed locally.

          Who is the Great Satan in all this? Amazon, of course. Local businesses can't handle the competition. However, if Amazon were forced to pay sales taxes everywhere, affiliates could be everywhere.

          The nightmare has begun, but it will probably get worse before it gets better. Change is the only constant.





          That bill doesn't have a prayer of passing anytime in the near future. It MIGHT pass with a huge D majority, but not with a GOP controlled house.
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          • Profile picture of the author Dave Rodman
            Banned
            In regards to the tax issues. Personally, I'd wait it out.

            I'm not a tax attorney, but to me the issue has always been kind of a simple one.

            The problem here is that Amazon might drop YOU from their affiliate program. So what do you have to do? Just incorporate into another state and resign up with Amazon.

            A lot of people will say "But that's tax evasion!!!". How is it? You're going to pay tax on the income you take in from Amazon. Especially if you're incorporated as an S-Corp, you pay taxes on your personal income taxes anyways. You have a Nevada Corp, income gets passed through to your state income tax return, you file the returns, and you're done. It's not your obligation to collect taxes from Amazon's customers.

            Bingo. It's as simple as that. You're just trying to get around AMAZON's rule, NOT the IRS rules.
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            • Profile picture of the author nubchai
              Originally Posted by Dave Rodman View Post

              In regards to the tax issues. Personally, I'd wait it out.

              I'm not a tax attorney, but to me the issue has always been kind of a simple one.

              The problem here is that Amazon might drop YOU from their affiliate program. So what do you have to do? Just incorporate into another state and resign up with Amazon.

              A lot of people will say "But that's tax evasion!!!". How is it? You're going to pay tax on the income you take in from Amazon. Especially if you're incorporated as an S-Corp, you pay taxes on your personal income taxes anyways. You have a Nevada Corp, income gets passed through to your state income tax return, you file the returns, and you're done. It's not your obligation to collect taxes from Amazon's customers.

              Bingo. It's as simple as that. You're just trying to get around AMAZON's rule, NOT the IRS rules.
              This is very true. To address the residency issue: If you set up a corporation in Nevada for example and open an Amazon account in the name of the corporation, legally thecorporate entity does reside in Delaware.

              As far as VigLink goes it's not a bad option for Amazon if you're willing to give up 25% of your profits. They also ask you your state of residence but they pay you through PayPal. So if they're enforcing the Amazon restrictions on certain states it would probably be smart to not list one of those states as your home.
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          • Profile picture of the author donhx
            Originally Posted by Dave Rodman View Post

            That bill doesn't have a prayer of passing anytime in the near future. It MIGHT pass with a huge D majority, but not with a GOP controlled house.
            I think you're probably right. But states are cash-starved and the Republicans are not going to be giving them bail-out money. Something like this may be a concession.

            There is a definite move towards an Internet sales tax, so it's probably just a matter of time. Actually, it already exists in 22 states as a "use tax." The only reason it's not working is because people must self-report stuff they buy online, and of course, they don't. If they catch you not reporting, or under-reporting, there are penalties.
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            • Profile picture of the author Dave Rodman
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              Originally Posted by donhx View Post

              I think you're probably right. But states are cash-starved and the Republicans are not going to be giving them bail-out money. Something like this may be a concession.

              There is a definite move towards an Internet sales tax, so it's probably just a matter of time. Actually, it already exists in 22 states as a "use tax." The only reason it's not working is because people must self-report stuff they buy online, and of course, they don't. If they catch you not reporting, or under-reporting, there are penalties.
              Yeah, Illinois has a use tax and they told everyone towards the end of 2010 that they would have amnesty if they paid their back-taxes. The problem is that I don't think the message got out there...and even if it did, I think most people assume it's the retailers responsibility to collect any taxes owed. I wonder how much they got.

              I don't know. I don't think the internet tax will actually happen any time soon. That's something that is easy for the consumer to understand and I don't see politicians wanting to lead the charge on that.
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              • Profile picture of the author DebiJ
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Dave Rodman
                Yeah, Illinois has a use tax and they told everyone towards the end of 2010 that they would have amnesty if they paid their back-taxes. The problem is that I don't think the message got out there...and even if it did, I think most people assume it's the retailers responsibility to collect any taxes owed. I wonder how much they got.

                I don't know. I don't think the internet tax will actually happen any time soon. That's something that is easy for the consumer to understand and I don't see politicians wanting to lead the charge on that.

                ---------------------------------------
                Just one more step that my home state has taken to undermine small and home based businesses, which continues to affect friends.

                One of many reasons that I will stay in Arizona and not return home... sad really.

                Debi J.
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  • Profile picture of the author tritrain
    Too bad we couldn't rent a office, with a chair and phone in Jamaica, like all the big "off shore" corporations do.

    I've heard a lot of mixed statements about if and how someone could do business out of another state. I'd really like clarification on it.

    The big area of concern is that eventually Amazon will have to decide if they want to even have their affiliate program anymore. Moving your business to another state may not be worth it.


    Selling your site - I think selling it makes sense. *There could be a big increase in the number of Amazon affiliate sites going up for sale. This could be great for those that live in "safe" states or countries. But, if Amazon pulls the plug on their affiliate program, many of those sites could end up being pretty much worthless.*


    What about moving your site to a UK webhost and then go with amazon.uk? If your content isn't US-specific, then it could be a good way to go, without losing all your work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peggy Baron
    Hi Tiff,
    Sorry to hear your TX is going the same way as my CO.

    davidjames42973 of the WF did a report on this very subject and what the possible answers are. I can't remember if it was a WSO or not.

    Yes, your links will still work, but you don't get any commission.

    One alternative to Amazon is Barnes and Noble which is through LinkShare.

    Peggy
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  • Profile picture of the author aidanjb1
    Im not an American so not sure how useful my advice here will be, but what if you set up an LLC or similar in a "safe state"...I have an LLC in Delaware and although I dont use it for Amazon parts of my business, it's helped be as an affiliate with other companies...
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    • Profile picture of the author thecableguy
      If I'm not mistaken Walmart is on linkshare and somewhat similar to Amazon
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  • Profile picture of the author esmconcepts
    I live in Colorado and I did scrap several sites that where heavy with Amazon sales pages/ ad’s ect.

    The fine line between residing in the state you are supposed to pay the taxes on, and or where the website is located was my first idea. My host is Texas.

    Amazon agreement for associate’s put it as; “your resident state”. So, I wonder if I can reside in Colorado, but contract my web page space to someone else who lives in a state without the tax/Amazon burden.

    I think the idea of opening a corporation in a different state might override the benefits of being an associate with limited profits. And if they get wind of it, I’m not sure of the added problems a person might incur.

    But if I rent space to a different webmaster to allow them to display their Amazon ad’s, then this is free trade and any profits sharing I might receive could only be considered as personal income. My personal tax responsibility to deal with as income in Colorado.

    As an example: I rent/ lease you a page on my site. You pay me a percentage of the profits you receive from those ads. You receive the direct payment and membership from Amazon. I only receive rent for the space. To me this would mean that I am NOT an Amazon Associate. I am a broker of advertizing space.

    I should also be able to charge for placing the ads on the pages and doing the required upkeep as required. All I need is an affiliate ####### and I'm good to go. The Amazon Associate can live on the Moon. I am simply using my ability to provide the ads.

    What do ya think? Would this work?
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    • Profile picture of the author edlewis
      Well...if Amazon won't take you, Barnes & Noble wants you as an affiliate.

      Here's the open letter they issued today to Amazon affiliates:

      Barnes & Noble Booksellers

      I realize this would only help those selling books...but if B&N is willing to do it, I'm sure other companies will be too.
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      • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
        Originally Posted by edlewis View Post

        Well...if Amazon won't take you, Barnes & Noble wants you as an affiliate.

        Here's the open letter they issued today to Amazon affiliates:

        Barnes & Noble Booksellers

        I realize this would only help those selling books...but if B&N is willing to do it, I'm sure other companies will be too.
        The problem is, other companies face the same music that Amazon does, including Barnes & Noble. Besides, B&N is just one step behind Border’s eminent bankruptcy. Do you really want to chase that rabbit down the hole?
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  • Profile picture of the author stephfoster
    The advantage to companies such as Barnes & Noble or Walmart is that they usually already have physical locations in your state. They're already dealing with sales taxes in different areas, I would expect. It's not much of a switch for them.

    Amazon's big enough, they can do the programming necessary to handle sales tax issues if they really want.
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    • Profile picture of the author edlewis
      Originally Posted by stephfoster View Post

      The advantage to companies such as Barnes & Noble or Walmart is that they usually already have physical locations in your state. They're already dealing with sales taxes in different areas, I would expect. It's not much of a switch for them.

      Amazon's big enough, they can do the programming necessary to handle sales tax issues if they really want.
      Yeah, that was what I was getting at. If you're selling books, DVD's, etc then B&N will handle that sales tax stuff for you.

      At least that is what they said in the open letter they released today.
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      • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
        The sales tax issue is a complex one and an issue that's not likely to go away as the camel gets its nose under the tent. It's estimated that states lose about $12 billion a year from untaxed online sales. While at the same time, the significant savings of 5% or more for customers buying through online services is affectively closing local retail stores, which were a source of state, local and city tax revenue.

        Right now the state of Texas is looking to collect 269 million in back taxes from Amazon. Many states are amending their laws to make these kinds of collections stick.

        I'm more concerned on where it ends. Why for instance is ClickBank any different? What about the individual marketer selling their product online with an affiliate program? Are they going to be responsible to paying out taxes to some 7,500 local taxing jurisdictions?

        Falling back and settling for commissions from B&N or Wally with payouts of 1% to 5% on limited items is a tuff alternative to making any money.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ralph Moore
          Originally Posted by BeechHill View Post

          The sales tax issue is a complex one and an issue that's not likely to go away as the camel gets its nose under the tent. It's estimated that states lose about $12 billion a year from untaxed online sales. While at the same time, the significant savings of 5% or more for customers buying through online services is affectively closing local retail stores, which were a source of state, local and city tax revenue.

          Right now the state of Texas is looking to collect 269 million in back taxes from Amazon. Many states are amending their laws to make these kinds of collections stick.

          I'm more concerned on where it ends. Why for instance is ClickBank any different? What about the individual marketer selling their product online with an affiliate program? Are they going to be responsible to paying out taxes to some 7,500 local taxing jurisdictions?

          Falling back and settling for commissions from B&N or Wally with payouts of 1% to 5% on limited items is a tuff alternative to making any money.
          Kind of puts a "chilling effect" on building Amazon sites regardless of where you live, doesn't it?

          I was just getting started with that too... maybe not so much now.

          It also emphasizes the benefit of having your own evergreen products at the heart of your business as well.
          ~
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  • Profile picture of the author mki
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

    Hey Warriors!

    I'm in the latest state threatening to get zapped of Amazon affiliate income, and I know several of you have been before Texas. We're not there yet, but the pissing match is very volatile here between the company and the state so I expect it soon.

    I thought we'd brainstorm some ideas on what to do with the efforts we've put into these sites if and when Amazon pulls out of your state.

    Personally, I've tried Share A Sale, Commission Junction, etc., and compared to Amazon, have made diddly squat (that's redneck for "nuthin"). So I don't want to swap links out for those.

    The only two ideas I can come up with so far are:

    1.) Sell the site on Flippa or equivalent

    2.) Take the content and sell it to someone else or as PLR content.

    Any others?

    Tiff
    Build the site up as big as you can and sell the adspace to highest bidder.
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    • Profile picture of the author TrekkieGrrrl
      Could you rent the site?

      Keep control of it, but allow someone to use it, add their links, etc., for a certain amount of money per month?

      I'm not really sure how that would work or if it's even practical, but it's an idea if the site is profitable and you'd like to bring in residual income from it.

      And, for example, if you rented the site to someone in, say, SC - but SC later becomes a state that enacts the same law as TX - you can then rent the site to someone in another state.

      You could even, technically, develop sites for the express purpose of renting them to others.

      Just a thought. Not sure how it would work, but if you have a list to go with the site, you could keep control of the list and just insert someone else's links in the emails?

      I dunno. Just tossing an idea out.

      JMHO. YMMV. LLaP.
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  • Profile picture of the author netlexis
    Tiffany, have you thought about moving some of your Amazon products to Wal-Mart? Big retailers like that are already in the state and charge sales taxes on their internet sales. It might be worth a test.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    Tiffany I 'third' the Ebay affiliate program. You can do really well with it and although, like Amazon, the commission percentage is quite low, you would be surprised at how many people sign up to Ebay through your link and then you earn a referral commission and these add up quite nicely.

    I use PhpBay Pro plugin and it is really good!
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  • Profile picture of the author nubchai
    Hi Tiffany. I think it depends on the number of Amazon sites you have and how big a revenue stream it is for you. If it's significant, I would look into CyberWs's suggestion. If it's a small part of your business I'd flip the sites.

    I believe an LLC as a corporation would have "resident state " status in whatever state you opened it in.
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  • Profile picture of the author nubchai
    Tiffany, I checked into this a little further. It looks like the texas governor and others oppose the move to collect back sales tax fromAmazon The Biz Buzz - ยป Amazon leaving Texas in sales tax dispute The News Tribune Blogs, Tacoma, WA

    So you may have some hope this will die.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel J
    Check into Buy.com, ebay partner network, commission junction, linkshare etc. Otherwise, if you are in a specific niche, find a popular website selling those products and ask if they have an affiliate program. The trust level will not be as high, but if you have several different affiliate programs going on one site, you may be able to make up for the loss.
    Daniel J.
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  • Profile picture of the author Efrain Hernandez
    Ebay and Walmart are good alternatives. Target however has higher percentages than Walmart. Up to 7%. Here are the affiliate pages to a few good alternatives:

    Buy.com - Affiliates - Buy.com

    Target - https://www.connectcommerce.com/secu...l?ccmid=K24850

    Kmart - https://www.connectcommerce.com/secu...l?ccmid=K74438

    Overstock - Affiliate Education Center

    Best Buy - Best Buy Partner Page

    Home Depot - Affiliate Program FAQs

    Wal-Mart - https://affiliates.walmart.com/aff_benefits.jsp

    Ebay - https://www.ebaypartnernetwork.com/f...-US/index.html
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  • Profile picture of the author TimG
    Tiffany,
    Lots of things you can do and plenty of alternative companies you can plug in to fill the gap but personally, I'd consider selling the sites.

    Here is a harsh lesson I learned. I had a site making $1000 a month and was considering selling it but really liked the residual income. Long story short is I lost the monetization stream and the site now makes about $50 a month.

    The lost income stream was my fault so it would not have happened to another person if I had sold them the site. I let my residual income blindness prevent me from selling the site to someone losing a very nice payout/cashout for myself.

    Bottom line is you need to do what is best for yourself monetarily speaking. You may find that building and flipping Amazon affiliate sites to other people that live in states where Amazon continues with affiliate business may be more profitable then what you are currently doing.

    Respectfully,
    Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author frank07
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

    Hey Warriors!

    I'm in the latest state threatening to get zapped of Amazon affiliate income, and I know several of you have been before Texas. We're not there yet, but the pissing match is very volatile here between the company and the state so I expect it soon.

    I thought we'd brainstorm some ideas on what to do with the efforts we've put into these sites if and when Amazon pulls out of your state.

    Personally, I've tried Share A Sale, Commission Junction, etc., and compared to Amazon, have made diddly squat (that's redneck for "nuthin"). So I don't want to swap links out for those.

    The only two ideas I can come up with so far are:

    1.) Sell the site on Flippa or equivalent

    2.) Take the content and sell it to someone else or as PLR content.

    Any others?

    Tiff
    Did you try Buy.com, it is similar to Amazon and the aff. manager is kind.
    Put Amazon tracking links associate with your squidoo : squi.... , so you will get about 1/3 income from Amazon through Squidoo by Paypal. I do not know it is allow you to earn from third party( not direct from Amazon).
    At squidoo, I see you delete some make money lens, why not transfer it to your friends for gifts .
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  • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
    This is an issue that cuts across all political parties and resides with the states. If I'm not mistaken both Texas and Arizona are red states where this taxation is being considered. Also, you need to recognize that some of the largest contributors to both ruling parties comes from small businesses, which are losing sales, and reside within their states. So you have the double whammy of a constituency crying foul and an ever shrinking tax base.

    Unless the legislators are educated to the danger they can easily cave in to local pressure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Rodman
      Banned
      Originally Posted by BeechHill View Post

      This is an issue that cuts across all political parties and resides with the states. If I'm not mistaken both Texas and Arizona are red states where this taxation is being considered. Also, you need to recognize that some of the largest contributors to both ruling parties comes from small businesses, which are losing sales, and reside within their states. So you have the double whammy of a constituency crying foul and an ever shrinking tax base.

      Unless the legislators are educated to the danger they can easily cave in to local pressure.
      Arizona and Texas are different issues. Amazon has distribution centers in those states and those states feel that is a presence, which most people would agree. States like IL, Amazon has NO physical locations and it's trying to use affiliates to establish one.
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      • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
        Originally Posted by Dave Rodman View Post

        Arizona and Texas are different issues. Amazon has distribution centers in those states and those states feel that is a presence, which most people would agree. States like IL, Amazon has NO physical locations and it's trying to use affiliates to establish one.
        While true, Amazon is closing its Dallas, Texas distribution center over the sales-tax dispute. This leaves the state without jobs and without affiliates. Shouldn't local marketers wakeup their legislators to this?
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        • Profile picture of the author MsKeshaOnline
          Skimlinks.com and Viglink.com may be something you can check out. I saw a few posts on this site, Warrior Forum and various sites online. I am checking both of these out myself, because I plan on moving back east to a state that already has this in effect. For myself, it would be a pain to incorporate in a state, not knowing if they plan to impose this in the future. States are strapped for cash, so they are finding ways to make up revenue. I live in California, and every time I look, they are finding some way to get more money out of me (that is why I am moving) and the Sales Tax Bill is up for voting in California, again. Plus, I can't stand having to do rework. As they say work smarter, not harder. But, everyone's situation is different, so you have to figure out what is best for your situation.
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          My sites coming soon...
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  • Profile picture of the author RemingtonSteele
    Originally Posted by TiffanyDow View Post

    The only two ideas I can come up with so far are:

    1.) Sell the site on Flippa or equivalent

    2.) Take the content and sell it to someone else or as PLR content.

    Any others?
    I can't believe that no one mentioned AdSense. If you have product-oriented sites, then these can be quite good for AdSense revenue. (I would remove all links to Amazon, as well as any mention of Amazon, though.)

    Another thing that you can do is some demographic targeting. What other products or services can you advertise on your sites that would appeal to either the demographics or psychographics of your audience?
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    • Profile picture of the author paulie888
      Originally Posted by RemingtonSteele View Post

      I can't believe that no one mentioned AdSense. If you have product-oriented sites, then these can be quite good for AdSense revenue. (I would remove all links to Amazon, as well as any mention of Amazon, though.)

      Another thing that you can do is some demographic targeting. What other products or services can you advertise on your sites that would appeal to either the demographics or psychographics of your audience?
      It isn't exactly the same thing, and not every Amazon site can be easily adapted to Adsense ads. People may not be advertising heavily via Google in the niche you're targeting for your Amazon products, and those ads may not necessarily convert as well either, especially if they're not relevant enough.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Thayer
    You might want to look into VigLink.com. They act as a middleman between publishers and affiliate networks. You might actually make more through them than you did with your own Amazon affiliate account because the are undoubtedly hitting the highest Amazon sales tier.

    In addition to Amazon, they claim to cover 12,500 merchants across 20 networks. No need to set up dozens of affiliate accounts, you let them handle everything.
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    • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
      Originally Posted by Rob Thayer View Post

      You might want to look into VigLink.com. They act as a middleman between publishers and affiliate networks. You might actually make more through them than you did with your own Amazon affiliate account because the are undoubtedly hitting the highest Amazon sales tier.

      In addition to Amazon, they claim to cover 12,500 merchants across 20 networks. No need to set up dozens of affiliate accounts, you let them handle everything.
      VigLink has stated the following:

      Affiliate Tax Issues and Merchant Transparency – An Update
      Monday, September 13th, 2010

      VigLink is committed to giving merchants complete control and transparency into who is sending them traffic and letting them decide who they do business with. The tax landscape with respect to affiliate marketing is changing rapidly in the United States and different merchants have different concerns. VigLink provides them a number of tools to ensure whatever requirements they have are respected by VigLink:

      Checking the location of all publishers. If a merchant chooses not to work with affiliates in a certain state we will honor that.
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  • Profile picture of the author AFI
    You could try Buy.com. A lot of times they have the same products as Amazon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Thayer
    Originally Posted by nubchai

    As far as VigLink goes it's not a bad option for Amazon if you're willing to give up 25% of your profits. They also ask you your state of residence but they pay you through PayPal. So if they're enforcing the Amazon restrictions on certain states it would probably be smart to not list one of those states as your home.
    VigLink's 25% cut sounds like a lot, but if you're doing a relatively small amount of sales per month it can be almost nothing -- in some cases, it may actually get you MORE commission. Here's an example:

    Assume you're selling $2,000 worth of merchandise a month and are in Amazon's 3rd commission tier (31-110 items). You're making $130 a month at 6.5%.

    Since VigLink is consolidating thousands of affiliates, they are obviously getting the top commission tier of 8.5%. So on that same $2,000 of sales, the commission is now $170. Minus their 25% cut and you get $127.50, or $2.50 less than you would have received by going directly through Amazon.

    Now I don't use VigLink because I don't have to (yet), so I am making the assumption that they are giving you the top tier percentage and taking their cut from that. If they don't, then I wouldn't use them. If you're already in the 4th commission tier or higher, it would probably be worth incorporating out of state.

    By the way, I suggest Montana or Wyoming over Nevada. Wyoming has no state taxes, their filing fees are less, and they allow lifetime proxies.
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    • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
      As far as LLC's, if you look at the Wyoming Corp. You will see several

      advanatages to Nevada's. I used Wyoming in a Real Estate LLC, will

      renew with them soon. I like Delaware & Nevada's but Wyomings was a better

      deal for a small business.
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    • Profile picture of the author nubchai
      Originally Posted by Rob Thayer View Post

      VigLink's 25% cut sounds like a lot, but if you're doing a relatively small amount of sales per month it can be almost nothing -- in some cases, it may actually get you MORE commission. Here's an example:

      Assume you're selling $2,000 worth of merchandise a month and are in Amazon's 3rd commission tier (31-110 items). You're making $130 a month at 6.5%.

      Since VigLink is consolidating thousands of affiliates, they are obviously getting the top commission tier of 8.5%. So on that same $2,000 of sales, the commission is now $170. Minus their 25% cut and you get $127.50, or $2.50 less than you would have received by going directly through Amazon.

      Now I don't use VigLink because I don't have to (yet), so I am making the assumption that they are giving you the top tier percentage and taking their cut from that. If they don't, then I wouldn't use them. If you're already in the 4th commission tier or higher, it would probably be worth incorporating out of state.

      By the way, I suggest Montana or Wyoming over Nevada. Wyoming has no state taxes, their filing fees are less, and they allow lifetime proxies.
      Very good points. I did read somewhere that VigLinks negotiates volume deals with the merchants and it's actually possible to make more with them even after the 25%.
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  • Profile picture of the author erichammer
    Personally, I pay $100 a year for a mailbox in Las Vegas which is my legal mailing address. Problem solved. It's really no big deal at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ofthemix
    This has honestly terrified me. A good chunk of what I make online comes from Amazon. I'm now left wondering if I should stop building Amazon sites completely. . . which sucks because I'm suppose to be working on one later on today.

    Another concern is that this isn't going to stop at Texas, so everyone who has an Amazon affiliate site should be worried about this. Once Amazon pulls Texas, some other state will be trying to impose the same tax. It's already becoming a domino effect.

    I absolutely HATE the idea of selling some of my sites because they are such good earners. I'm a bit iffy about switching everything over to Ebay because I'm not really a huge fan as of yet.

    Having said that, if you're going to apply for the EPN, I'd do it right now. I've noticed that lately, quite a few people have been accepted, including myself, that were previously rejected. It seems like they're gearing up for their new pricing change by allowing more affiliates into their program. That's just what I've seen though and is not a guarantee of approval.

    Having to start an LLC in another state seems like a real pain in the you know what. But switching over all of your links to another program seems almost as daunting, depending on how large your site is and how you set up your links to begin with.

    I'm still on the fence as to what to do. The greedy person in me says to keep building Amazon sites until Amazon pulls the plug, because I do so well with it. The realist in me tells me to switch over to building Clickbank sites. Now I'm wondering if I even should bother working on that Amazon site today. *sighs*
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