The good news: Illinois residents are allowed in Amazon's Associate program again. The company kicked us all out almost three years ago when the State of Illinois passed a law that said companies with any physical presence in Illinois had to collect sales tax. Rather than collect tax, Amazon severed ties with Illinoisans. but since the Illinois Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional, now Amazon has invited us back into the fold.
The bad news: I had to reapply for an Associate account. Because my old account was closed, the old links on my site don't earn any credit for me. And there is no way to reactivate them or link them to my new account. In short, Amazon has welcomed me back with the free gift of a huge pain in the ass. I can use a global search-and-replace program to change my HTML files on my other websites, but there is no easy way to change the hundreds of old links in Blogger posts.
This is all stupid because Amazon knows they will someday be collecting sales tax anyway. I've read numerous articles to that effect. So why didn't they suspend our Associate accounts instead of closing them? I am also irritated that the court ruling was weeks ago but Amazon didn't reopen their program to me until Monday. Now I'm going to miss out on part of the holiday shopping season.
I never made a lot of money through Amazon's Associate program, but it paid a chunk of my web hosting bills and provided a nice way to illustrate my blog posts. It was a heck of a lot more lucrative than Google AdWords, which has earned about $50 in three years, which is $0 to me since Google doesn't pay until I reach $100 (Amazon's threshold is $20 IIRC).
For now, any Amazon links from posts after December 1 are active. You still have some Christmas shopping to do, right? Thank you for indulging this shameless plug.