Warning for Amazon Associates

Last Update: December 17, 2019

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re doing well. First off, I’d like to thank Kyle, Carson, Jay and everyone else in here who’s helped me in my journey to make money online, I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

This is actually my very first blog post and the reason why I'm making it is because this community means a lot to me and I know how hard it is being an aspiring entrepreneur.

So, Amazon sent me an email today where they said I was in violation of their operating agreement. Here’s what they said specifically:

Your Associates account is at risk of closure.


Why?

We reviewed your account as part of our ongoing monitoring of the Amazon Associates Program. During our review, we determined that you are not in compliance with the Operating Agreement.

The violations include the following:


-You are incentivizing others to visit the Amazon Site via your Special Links by offering rebates, cashback, discounts, points, donations to charity, or other incentives, or by stating that customers can support you by shopping through your Special Links.

So, I called Amazon to find out what they meant and they said that my affiliate disclosure page is the only page in direct violation and the reason why is because of statements like: “if you purchase through my link, it will support my blog” as well as “if you purchase through my link, it will be no additional cost to you.”

They said that those types of statements violate their operating agreement because it could be encouraging customers to support me versus just focusing on the product, so I had to delete those statements and then they told me everything was restored back to normal once I emailed them back.

The thing is, I had copied the template for the affiliate disclosure page from Wealthy Affiliate a year and a half ago for my site and Amazon hasn’t said anything until now.


I think the main reason they reached out to me is because I’ve been having a lot more sales than usual, and it’s probably because of the holiday season.

Anyway, I wanted to provide this warning to others who use Amazon because they said I had 5 days to comply otherwise they could’ve closed my account and withheld my fees.

I don’t want that to happen to any of you so just make sure you adjust the wording on your pages and posts if you copied the template from here like myself, and you’re an Amazon Associate.

All they want is for you to disclose that you’re an Amazon Associate who will earn a commission if someone purchases through your link, that’s it.

You can’t say “at no additional cost to you.” and you can’t say “your purchase can support my blog.”

Anyway, I hope this helps you all out and I wish you much success in your online journey.

All the best,
James

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Jeffreybs Premium
This is from Amazon Associates themselves for how you must post your affiliate disclaimer

You must clearly state the following, or any substantially similar statement previously allowed under this Agreement, on your Site or any other location where Amazon may authorize your display or other use of Program Content: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” Except for this disclosure, you will not make any public communication with respect to this Agreement or your participation in the Associates Program without our advance written permission.

You will not misrepresent or embellish our relationship with you (including by expressing or implying that we support, sponsor, or endorse you), or express or imply any affiliation between us and you or any other person or entity except as expressly permitted by this Agreement.

Is Amazon really paying you enough to put up with their
crazy rules

Jeff
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ReyCool Premium
Thanks for the tip, i also work with amazon but i only have this in mine privacy police, not on every page, in mine privacy police i say this is an affiliate website, you support us by purchasing threw our affiliate links.
It sound strange but most people i talk with offline, they don't know what is affiliate marketing! so why writing it every where its not necessary i think!

You think amazon have a problem with it as well in your privacy policy?
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DaveSw Premium
From the sounds of their reply to James, yes they might have a problem...I would reword it if it has anything close to what he has. Full disclosure I do not promote Amazon nor products from the platform...

Cheers!
Dave : )
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ReyCool Premium
hmmm, i also call them our clients, because that's what they are
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Jeffreybs Premium
It sounds to me Amazon does not allow the statement on your website period if you are an Amazon Associate....you can do a Google search for Amazon's affiliate policy to be sure or check your Amazon Associates policy in your account what exactly they want you to post on your website

Jeff
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uebomoyi Premium
Yes I'd remove it from the privacy policy, they seemed pretty strict when I contacted them.
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Jeffreybs Premium
You know things like this is the reason I try to discourage people to join Amazon Associates, you just never know when they are going to ban you for whatever stupid reason they can come up with.

There are plenty of much higher paying affiliate programs that does not make your life as stressful with messages they might ban you or their constant updates and changes most of us don't even understand. Why can't Amazon by now know what they want from their associates, and why do they keep changing the rules only to confuse everyone.

You know many people claim they don't receive back from any questions and complaints with Amazon, so if this is true is this really the type of affiliate program you want to be connected to.

Amazon is nothing special you can find much better affiliate programs, so why put up with their garbage and threats when they are not even appreciating all you have done for them

In my opinion, Amazon is not worth the trouble they bring upon their associates for a lousy 4-6% commission which is pennies compared what you can be earning from other affiliate programs

Jeff
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uebomoyi Premium
I hear you, I've thought about trying other programs out. I'm currently testing out ClickBank so I'll see how that goes but I don't know if there is another major online retailer I can use that will convert as well as Amazon.
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Jeffreybs Premium
I recommend you check out eBay Partner Network as well as ClickBank, you will find eBay has products at low prices for just about any niche just like Amazon and there is Walmart you can check into as well.

Google eCommerce affiliate programs and take your pick, you might be surprised just how many better programs are out there you have never known about

Jeff
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uebomoyi Premium
I didn't think about eBay or the Google eCommerce affiliate programs. I'll definitely stay open to that.

Clearly, diversifying your income is a must these days.

Thanks a lot for the recommendations,
James
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mrschippy Premium
On the flip side, Amazon does work for a lot of people (including me). I'm actually v grateful fo their affiliate program - it's made me thousands. It's not 'that' hard to adhere to their policies, although I agree they do often change them and some policies are a bit nebulous. I've also received really good customer service as a customer and an affiliate, but that's just my experience. There's an element of risk with any affiliate program though I think. I was going really well with one affiliate who shut down without warning, so nothing is ever guaranteed.
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Jeffreybs Premium
you can also check

Sovrn // Commerce

It is similar to an affiliate network but they provide companies in every niche plus you just add a browser extension to check and post on Twitter and Facebook if a program is in their program

Jeff

Free to join you get a dashboard with your revenue and which of your programs are earning you the most sales and traffic
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uebomoyi Premium
Ok cool stuff, I appreciate you sharing this
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Jeffreybs Premium
No problem my friend,
I hope this helps everyone understand what Amazon actually allows and does not allow so you can fix this and move on promoting your business
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Jukkah Premium
Ok, this is downright ridiculous from Amazon. I can't for the life of me figure out how disclosing the fact that it will not cost your reader any extra money if they buy through your link could be "incentivizing". Even though you are required to state it's an affiliate link.

I'm annoyed because I will have to go over about 100 posts during the holidays to check every little detail for their operating agreement. Including these points you raised. I think Amazon has it too good these days, makes other business opportunities more enticing.

Thanks for the heads up anyway!
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uebomoyi Premium
So sorry to hear that, people like you are the reason I made this post. I got lucky because I only had it on one page.

I've thought about using Wal-Mart and Target in the future, it's just that Amazon converts so well and is very strategic.

Anyway, I hope you get it taken care of in time & I wish you well.



All the best,
James
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Jeffreybs Premium
I totally agree Amazon is not worth the pain they inflict on their associates, so what I wonder is did someone turn in this young man's website to Amazon?

Jeff
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Jeffreybs Premium
From what I can understand you are not allowed to post anything which connects you with Amazon in writing but I posted their affiliate disclaimer for everyone to read and maybe understand better what Amazon expects in your disclaimer

In my opinion, Amazon is not worth all the trouble they cause their associates when there are plenty of other programs you can join and earn even more commission

Just my two cents worth
Jeff
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Jukkah Premium
Thanks for the tips Jeff. I'll have to look into other options on my most succesfull site. Only using Amazon currently so might try CPA offers and ads. I'm going to focus on WA affiliate program for 2020 but would hate to lose my current source of revenue due to technicalities.
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Communicator Premium
Thank you, uebomoyi, for providing the warning for Amazon Associates. I've added "This post contains affiliate link(s). An affiliate link means I may earn advertising or referral fees if you make a purchase through my link." at the top of my posts that have affiliate links, and I've adjusted the wording on my Affiliate Disclosure page.

https://giantswithin.com/affiliate-disclosure/

Your post was very timely. It's something that I needed to take care of anyways. It's best that it was done before it was urgent.

Thank you again for your warning. It was very helpful.
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