An FYI from Amazon
My husband -- who shares my address but not my last name -- ordered two items from Amazon, and they showed up in my associates reports. But after a couple of weeks, with no payout, I thought I'd contact Amazon to find out what was going on. The woman I spoke with (online chat) was very nice, very helpful, and sent me a follow-up email with a full explanation.
I recall someone here at WA suggesting that we ask our friends and family to place orders through our websites just to make that first sale. Here is the caution to keep in mind if you do that:
Paraphrased from Brittany at Amazon: (Sorry, this blog wouldn't allow me to copy and paste the exact email!)
Orders can be red-flagged if Amazon decides that you have asked people to buy things through your website. Amazon won't disclose how they make the determination.
The reason is because their associates program is meant to be advertising, not a discount program, so they are looking for new customers. Associates don't get advertising fees when they "place orders themselves or ask people they know to routinely place orders through their links."
They understand that sometimes your orders might be tagged to you account when you update your sites or check links, but these orders aren't eligible for fees either, and won't show up in your earnings report.
During the online chat she also mentioned it might help to clear out cache and cookies. I'm not sure what that means, but I will be investigating here: (Thanks, Alexander!)
Hope this is useful to you!