Over the past two years I have tried not to criticize any company’s business decisions. Although I may not have agreed with the decision to terminate a certain group of Affiliates over nexus issues, I have always respected the right for a company to make the decision that is right for them. I only asked two things. One is that the decision was an educated one, based on counsel from qualified counsel. The second was that Affiliates be treated with respect. We have made some gains over the past couple of years since NY passed their version of the Internet sales tax, but today demonstrates just how little we have gained.
We will assume that the merchants who terminated overnight had legal counsel, they are just too big to assume otherwise, so they made an educated decision. What was not demonstrated was respect for Affiliates. Once again, Affiliates are simply cast aside and terminated from a program with no notice. Sure there was warning months ago that if a law passed action would be taken but Affiliates should be given notice and a chance to replace links. In my opinion, sending an email in the wee hours of the morning is not good business practice. Notice of intent to remove should have been sent out to Affiliates when the Governor signed the bill.
It becomes clear that Affiliates have now become political pawns in the nexus battle.
I am hoping that the merchants who terminated Colorado Affiliates sought counsel before doing so because I do not believe removing Affiliates will have any effect on the impact of the new law. Of course I am not a lawyer or accountant, as I have urged for a few weeks now – Merchants need to retain qualified counsel!
Do not follow the moves made by others. There is more to this story of the decision to remove Colorado Affiliates. Is it just a move to follow through on a threat, a philosophical stance, a raising of swords or is there another reason? We may never know but it does answer one question.
Are we (Affiliates) valued partners? No, in this case, definitely not valued (and I never really felt “partner” was a good choice of words) but it becomes obvious that we are political pawns.
If you are a merchant do not follow blindly. Seek qualified counsel before deciding to remove Colorado Affiliates because removing Affiliates may not remove your need to comply. Don’t be guided by the actions of others without having full knowledge. Merchants, please make the decision that is right for your business and do not become a political pawn in a battle. Be guided by your own counsel and not by the actions of others.
Merchants, your decisions and your actions will be seen by hundreds of thousands of affiliates. Be sure you are making educated decisions and, treat Affiliates with respect; everyone is watching.