Amazon.com is without a doubt one of the most if not the most popular affiliate programme worldwide.
There are so many pros but also quite a few cons as to why you should (or shouldn’t) sign up with this powerful selling giant.
My detailed post will showcase crucial things you should know before you join the Amazon affiliate program. As I pointed out in my post How To Become An Amazon Affiliate, it is quite easy to get accepted into the program.
But there a few things to follow otherwise you are at risk of getting your Amazon affiliate account closed.
Disclaimer: even though I am trying to be as comprehensive as possible, please read Amazons TOC’s to get a full overview of their policies. Amazon makes changes to their terms and conditions quite frequently. The good news is that you will get notified about any changes.
My post is not meant to be legal advice. It is a guideline for you to get a better understanding of what Amazon requires.
Amazon has a comprehensive list of Terms and Conditions, and I guess most people will read only parts of it. To be honest with you I find the wording sometimes hard to understand.
So I decided to put a list of the most important aspects together. (as far as I know it and have read in certain forums)
# 1 Identify Yourself As Amazon Associate
You have to let your reader know that your website contains affiliate links to Amazon. Ideally, you will have an affiliate disclosure on your site (I have placed mine in the footer) plus a note on each post/page that includes affiliate links.
Your best bet is to use this original wording:
“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.” ( as stated in the Associates Program Operating Agreement)
With one of my Niche websites, I made the mistake to add a sentence saying something like ‘ by purchasing products through my link you help me to support my website’. This is a big No No because shortly after I received an email from Amazon stating that “ your website provides an incentive for customers to click on your Associate’s links. Associates aren’t allowed to reward customers for visiting or purchasing from Amazon.com.
Were unable to approve your application and have closed the account under which you had been temporarily approved and that approval has now ended.
Thankfully, they accepted my apologies and reinstated my account after I had taken off the ‘offending’ sentence.
#2 Offline Promotions
If you are sending out emails or giving an ebook away to your audience or printable pdf’s, you are not allowed to add Amazon affiliate links to these promotions.
Emails, ebooks, and the likes count as offline promotions because you can read them offline.
My tip: When you send out emails put the link to your post in the mail. That way your readers get redirected to your post which then includes the affiliate links.
#3 Affiliate Links
You are not allowed to hide or cloak Amazon affiliate links. Amazon provides shortened links for you to use.
#4 Product Price Tag
The prices on Amazon change frequently, and therefore you shouldn’t add the price manually. It is okay to use the option “Text plus image” provided by Amazon. This link shows the product item and the price as well and will automatically be updated by Amazon.
On the screenshot, you can see the three different display options. The ‘text and image’ is the only one that shows the price. You can customize the background, title and price color.
Sometimes I don’t want to use ‘text plus image’. So instead I give my readers a price range or I say, the prices are less than $15 for instance.
Another way of doing it is placing a call to action e.g. Check the price into your post and link it to the product page.
#5 Countries that are excluded from the Amazon Affiliate Program
If you are a resident of Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island or Connecticut, you are not able to join the affiliate program.
#6 Using reviews from Amazon
A great feature on Amazon are the review pages. That allows the potential buyer to get more information about a particular product. Reviews are a powerful tool.
But, you are not allowed to copy and paste Amazon customer reviews for your website. That would be duplicate content, and you will get punished by Google and Amazon.
In my opinion, you can refer to Amazon reviews though so your audience knows where they can get more information if they want to. Or, you could summarize what other people have found out about a product in your own words.
# 7 Advertising
I mentioned in my post How To Become An Amazon Affiliate that you need to have a sale in within the first six months of joining the program. If you don’t get a sale you need to reapply with Amazon.
Some people are asking friends, family, etc. to purchase through their affiliate link to get the sales spiral started. But you are not allowed to do so.
My advice is to become an Amazon affiliate once you see traffic coming to your site; roughly at around 3 to 4 months. This time frame allows you to build out your new site by adding quality content.
Update (11.10.2018): Amazon.com requires now that you make at least three qualifying sales in within the first 180 days.
#8 The Use Of Amazon Images
At the beginning of the year, Amazon sent out an email stating that affiliates are not allowed to download and use product images from the Amazon store.
Instead, you can pull the images from the site stripe feature (see attached screenshot) and download the code straight into your blog post wherever you need the image.
# 9 Amazon Stores in different countries
Amazon has stores specifically for individual countries. These are United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, China, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico, and the newest one Australia.
What does it mean for you? If you target all these countries regarding audience, you would need to apply with each affiliate store individually. For instance, your primary audience is coming from the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. To earn commission from these customers, you need have an affiliate account with each of these stores.
If you are only affiliated with the US warehouse, you will potentially miss out on commission from sales in the UK and Canada. I hope it makes sense?
Sounds complicated? How the heck do I put all these affiliate links in? Don’t you worry – help is on the way …
#10 OneLink And Other Options To Redirect Amazon Links
I have used OneLink for a while but didn’t find it not working very well. I have heard similar complaints from other bloggers.
So my preferred option is Genius link which is free for up to 1000 (Amazon)clicks. After that, you pay US$2 for any additional 1000 clicks, e.g. 2000 clicks equal $4. and so on.
One account can be used for all your sites (if you have multiple sites).
The customer service is super helpful if you should have any issues. But once it is set up it works smoothly.
If you would like to sign up with GeniusLink, here is my affiliate link.
It is easy to become an affiliate with Amazon but the list of do’s and don’t’s can be quite daunting. I know of fellow affiliate marketers that can’t be bothered with Amazon due to these regulations.
You have to decide for yourself if you want to go ahead with Amazon.
I find Amazon very convenient for two of my websites. I have so many different products on them that I would have to apply to at least a dozen or more different affiliate programs. With Amazon, all these products are in one place. And that makes my life so much easier.
I don’t mind the lower commission because once a customer buys something chances are that they will add other products to their shopping cart as well. And that means more commission for me.
So I guess, everything has got pros and cons.
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Please share in the comment box your experiences with Amazon. What is your personal view on this matter? I’d love to hear from you.