Amazon Affiliate Rules that could get you banned for life if broken

If you’ve read my income reports, you know that a good majority of my $5,000-$6,000 monthly income is thanks to Amazon Affiliates. It’s pretty scary to know that all of that income could be gone in just a few minutes. As it states in the Amazon terms and agreement Amazon has the right to:

2) terminate your account in connection with any unsuitability or abuse (as determined in our sole discretion), you cannot attempt to re-join the Associates Program without our advance authorization. Advance authorization may be initiated by completing the Contact Associates Customer Service form available here. We reserve the right to withhold fees for future unauthorized Program activity.

As if being banned wasn’t bad enough, you won’t ever see another dime from them. Not even the pending money owed. Scary stuff.

The Amazon Affiliate Rules that will have your account banned for life if broken

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Think it’s not possible? This guy wrote a blog post about how he earned $10,000 a month through Amazon Affiliates. Amazon must have read it, checked out his site and quickly decided he was not complying with some key affiliate rules (especially #3). So he was banned for life. $10,000 per month to $0 in an instant.

So while it may be tempting to cloak a link or send a link in an email, it’s not worth it. I’ve quickly come to depend on my income from Amazon and don’t want to risk losing it. Here are a few of the most common mistakes made by blogger.

Again, if you plan on making substantial income from this affiliate platform, I suggest reading through the T & C’s yourself.

Not properly disclosing

This is probably one of the most important things you can do as an Amazon Affiliate blogger. You must properly disclose the fact that you are an amazon affiliate on your website. To play it safe, I suggest posting your affiliate disclosure on every page and post on your blog, even if it doesn’t have an affiliate link. Some bloggers simply add it to their sidebar to ensure it is always visible.

Here’s what Amazon has to say about proper disclosure:

(e) disclosing on your Site accurately and adequately, either through a privacy policy or otherwise, how you collect, use, store, and disclose data collected from visitors, including, where applicable, that third parties (including us and other advertisers) may serve content and advertisements, collect information directly from visitors, and place or recognize cookies on visitors’ browsers.

Properly disclosing is also needed in order to comply with the FTC policy for bloggers.

If you are looking for specific examples of how to disclose in certain social media situations, check out Bloggy Law’s post that covers just about every scenerio.

Sending affiliate links in an email, including them in eBooks or PDF’s.

This one can be easily broken with your monthly or weekly emails to subscribers or your free eBook downloads. You cannot include your Amazon links in emails, eBooks or PDF’s. Here’s the exact rules from Amazon:

You will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities on behalf of us or our affiliates, or in connection with the Amazon Site or the Associates Program, that are not expressly permitted under the Associates Program Operating Agreement. For example, you will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities in any offline manner, including by using any of our or our affiliates’ trademarks or logos (including any Amazon Mark), any Content, or any Special Link in connection with an offline promotion or in any other offline manner (e.g., in any printed material, mailing, SMS, MMS, email or attachment to email, or other document, or any oral solicitation).

It’s strange to think that email is an “offline advertising activity”, but Amazon considers it to be. You can, however, link your blog post filled with affiliate links in your email or eBook.

Listing reviews, product star ratings or product prices on your website

How tempting is it to share with you readers how great of a deal or product you have just found? I have been guity of this one before and had to go back and remove the price after pubilshing a post. It’s a common mistake amoung bloggers.

Unfortunately, it is against their terms to list prices, reviews or star ratings without getting the information directly from Amazons API. Here’s what Amazon has to say about it:

You will not display or otherwise use any of our customer reviews or star ratings, in part or in whole, on your Site unless you have obtained a link to that customer review or star rating through the PA API and you comply with the requirements for the PA API described in the License .

In regards to pricing, Amazon states that their pricing changes frequently meaning if you list a price, it is likely is will be inquorate (and therefore in Amazons eyes, “deceptive”) in a short amount of time.

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Shortening or cloaking your affiliate links

Amazon has a stellar reputation and they want to keep it that way. They do not want their affiliates misleading readers or not making it clear that they are being re-directed to the Amazon site. Here’s what amazon has to say about altering your affiliate links:

You will not use a link shortening service in a manner that makes it unclear that you are linking to an Amazon Site.

This practice was more common on social media sites in the past. Now, Amazon provides you with a social sharing button on your Site Stripe. Be sure to use this in order to ensure you are staying safe when it comes to sharing.

Site Stripe Share- How to properly share you affiliate links on Social media

Tony from Digital Media Marketing had his account closed for link cloaking. The email below shows the notice he received from Amazon. Read more on his story here.

Email from Amazon associated banning affiliate

Purchasing items through your own links

I know this one can be tempting, especially if you buy off of Amazon frequently. But this is a big no-no. Even for your friends and family.

Here’s what the terms and conditions say:

You will not directly or indirectly purchase any Product(s) through Special Links, whether for your use of for the use of any other person or entity, and you will not permit, request or encourage any of your friends, relatives, employees, contractors, or business relations to directly or indirectly purchase any Product(s) through Special Links, whether for their use, your use or the use of any other person or entity. Further, you will not purchase any Product(s) through Special Links for resale or commercial use (of any kind) or offer any Products on your Site for resale or commercial use of any kind.

Ready to start making the most of affiliate marketing and monetize your blog? I’d love to help you! Check out my eBook with the exact strategy I STILL use to this day to bring in an average of $5,000-$6,000 per month on my parenting and pregnancy blog.

Master Affiliate Marketing. Monetize your blog to fill-time income!

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