Last week California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law requiring online retailers like Amazon.com to start collecting sales tax on purchases made by Californians. Prior to the signing of this law, if you walked into a Sears and bought a drill you would have to pay California sales tax at the register. But, if you went to Amazon.com and bought that same drill, you paid absolutely no sales tax. A consumer sales tax loop hole.
I understand it. Go to the local flat screen tv dealer and buy a new Vizio for $1,500.00 and you can add (in my city) 7.25% sales tax of $108.75. Or, you could go to Amazon.com, buy the same new Vizio, and save yourself $108.75. Who wouldn't? But if you do, can you still bitch about the financial situation your state is in if you're taking precious tax revenue out of its coffers?
I originally blasted Governor Brown on my facebook page for signing this bill into law because it affected me and the Pod Zeppelin podcast directly. Because of this law, Amazon.com terminated our contract for the simple fact that we're a California base affiliate. It's taking money, albeit a small amount, out of our pockets. Valuable money that helps to pay for this web site, hosting, bandwidth, equipment, software, promotional items, the gas we need to drive to a professional studio, and so on. I was wrong.
Amazon.com is the bad guy. Shame on them for putting an estimated 10,000 California affiliates at risk and, basically, out of work. Being an Amazon.com affiliate is not my main source of income, but for many it is. More importantly, you cannot give a huge online retailer an advantage, a huge price advantage, over the small businesses and big chain stores who actually have a presence in California.
We have removed all Amazon links from our web site and will be persuing relationships with new online retailers who will provide you with great products and services as well as help support this podcast. Our first new relationship is with Buy.com where you can buy anything your heart desires, earn "Super Points" for future Buy.com purchases, and help support our podcast.
As an example, I went to Buy.com and searched through hundreds of guitars and accessories (because that's what I'm into) and found my guitar, the Schecter Hellraiser. I own this guitar and it is, hands down, the best metal guitar I'ver EVER owned. Now, you can buy it at Buy.com and have it shipped right to your door.