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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 15, 2011

Barnes & Noble woos dumped Amazon affiliates

"If Amazon doesn't want you, we do!" is the message from Barnes & Noble to Amazon affiliates recently dumped by the online megastore over sales tax issues.

by Helen Leggatt

Barnes and Noble Logo.jpgDisputes with several U.S. states about whether Amazon should collect sales tax - based on the company having a physical presence in the state - has led the firm to cut its affiliate program in several states including Hawaii, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.

"Barnes & Noble is disappointed to hear that Amazon would threaten small businesses' livelihood rather than comply with state law," said John Foley, president of, in an open letter dated 14 February, 2011.

"Here at Barnes & Noble, we value the 13,000-plus members of our affiliate program worldwide. They are an important part of our overall business success and strategy. Barnes & Noble collects and remits sales tax due from its sales, including from, our e-commerce business."

In addition, Barnes & Noble have committed to taking care of the collection and remittance of all sales taxes "so you and our customers don't have to worry about being hassled or prosecuted by state tax auditors".

Due to an ongoing tax dispute with Texas, Amazon last week announced the closure of its Irving distribution facility, rather than pay Texas the $269 million being demanded in past sales tax.

"We regret losing any business in the state of Texas," said Allen Spelce, spokesman for the comptroller's office. "But our position hasn't changed: If you have a physical business presence in the state of Texas, you owe sales tax."

Tags: affiliate, ecommerce, tax

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