It costs you nothing and it helps me keep this site going.
Start any shopping session on Amazon by clicking on the link for your country, below, and you'll help support this site:
This Amazon program costs you nothing but helps provide this site revenue. It's called an Affiliate Program, and the above links are part of that. Here's how it works: when you click on an affiliate link you're taken to the Amazon site with an ID that identifies that you came from the bythom.com site. If you purchase something during that session, byThom gets a small commission. However, note that the price you pay for something from Amazon is always the same whether or not you started on my site or not. Thus you're essentially diverting a small portion of what you pay from Amazon to me, not paying more to Amazon to support me.
Why do vendors do that? It's a form of advertising, basically. They're looking for continuous visibility on a high volume site, and are willing to pay a portion of their sales proceeds for that. The fact that they can directly track where their sales come from helps them better target their future advertising and marketing dollars. The extra links to their site helps them with search engine optimization.
Why do I do it? As I said, to help defray the costs of running this and my other sites. By making Support this Site links visible, I hope to generate enough extra revenue to continue adding new content to this site and eventually offer more complicated and time-consuming things I can't do now (e.g. videos). Heck, it might eventually allow me to hire some help that'll allow me to greatly increase the content of these sites. Unfortunately, due to changes in interpretation to Pennsylvania law, that is now in jeopardy, as almost no affiliate programs are still active in the state. Fortunately, Amazon still is.
The Support this Site program is entirely voluntary on your part, and there's no other hidden relationship. If you use one of the above links to start your Amazon shopping, I get a small percentage of your purchase price. If you don't use Support this Site, you still pay the same price as if you had. So it's your choice. If you're going to order something from Amazon you can support me or not, your choice.
One small thing, though: you have to start your ordering from a link on this site and complete that order in your current session for me to get any money. If you put an item into your wish list, or you let your Web session with the vendor expire (usually after an hour or two), or leave something in your cart overnight, the affiliate link is dropped and I get nothing.
Thanks for your support. It really does help me make this site better over time.