No more Amazon Affiliate links for Minnesotans

There’s a good chance you won’t notice, but some of your favorite sites no longer provide Amazon Affiliate links to products they link to. For years affiliate links have been a low key way to make a little percentage on each sale resulting from someone following a link on your site. Now, in response to new legislation, Amazon has fired every one of its affiliates located in Minnesota.

When Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed a law recently compelling retailers like Amazon to collect state taxes when someone makes a purchase on the site, their response was predictable. Ending their relationship with affiliates who are based in the state exempts them from the obligation to do this. The same thing has already happened in a number of states which enacted similar laws.

It’s tempting to get mad at Amazon for ditching their “loyal associates” but I don’t think this makes any sense. Amazon doesn’t owe its affiliates anything. It’s not “loyalty” when you’re getting money from affiliate links, it’s just business.

Amazon aren’t going to make themselves less competitive just to keep people happy. You can argue that collecting state taxes at point of sale doesn’t affect their bottom line, and it doesn’t, per transaction. The business they’ll lose by having to collect Minnesota’s tax on behalf of the state will.

If it’s a big enough deal then affiliates will move elsewhere. Or find other ways of making money. Don’t like it? Blame the state legislation. Amazon calls it “unconstitutional”. If you really care, then write to Governor Dayton.