Amazon has ramped up its compliance game significantly in the last few months. Let us walk you through the top reasons we’ve seen and heard that gets Amazon affiliates in trouble and sometimes even removed from the program.
Links In Email
Amazon explicitly bans any use of affiliate links in “offline promotion or in any other offline manner,” and it can surprise some new users that that applies to email too. While there are a number of notable influencers that include Amazon links in their regular email newsletters this is forbidden in section four, title “Promotional Limitations” of the Policies page for Amazon’s Operating Agreement. Instead, you can promote links in the email that point to your Shopify store having Amazon affiliate products.
Links In eBooks or PDF documents
If someone just finished your book they probably enjoyed it and it’s probably a really good time to encourage them to buy another of your books, especially if it’s part of a series. Unfortunately, another great way to get kicked out of the Amazon Associates program is to include affiliate links in your book.
Mentioning Prices (or availability)
It seems natural to add the prices on the product pages of your site while you are promoting Amazon products. The bummer is that unless you are dynamically updating that price then you are in violation of the Operating Agreement. For good reason, Amazon doesn’t want you making inaccurate or out of date claims about their products. They require that information is never more than 24 hours old. Amazon mentions this in section two of the Policies page. There is a simple way to avoid this problem: Activate auto-sync to enable the Connectr app to update the prices and availability of all the Amazon products once every 24 hours.
Not Including An Affiliate Disclaimer
You may make the mental argument that an affiliate disclaimer might scare people away or make your site look cluttered but it’s against the law and Amazon’s Operating Agreement! Amazon is a big fan of transparency and it’s important that their affiliates are on the right side of the law!
Your site needs to have a disclaimer explaining that you are an Affiliate, and will earn a small commission from sold products. More info here.
Affiliate Link Shortening or Link Cloaking / Hiding
Amazon is very concerned with affiliates misdirecting the audience, as the reputation of the Amazon depends on how affiliates are referring the site to visitors. The e-commerce giant wants users to know where they are being directed to. For this reason, Amazon bans link shortening that doesn’t make it obvious that you are sending users to Amazon. Connectr app does not shorten, cloak or hide affiliate links to ensure 100% compliance.
Using Your Affiliate Link for Items You Purchase
It’d be a pretty sweet deal if you could do all of your shopping online via Amazon using your affiliate link, and earn some Affiliates commission while you do. Unfortunately for thrifty shoppers, Amazon has expressly forbidden this practice. Rule #29 of the Participation Requirements states:
You will not purchase any Product(s) through Special Links for use by you or for resale or commercial use of any kind.
Link from Sexually Explicit and/or Violent Sites
Amazon clearly forbids using affiliate links on site that contain or promote sexually explicit materials.
Violate Amazon’s Trademark Policy
Amazon can shut down things quickly if they believe you are in violation of their trademark rights. To clarify, Amazon owns a ton of trademarks, not all of which have anything to do with the phrase “Amazon.” Proprietary products like Kindle are trademarked too, and you can quickly violate these trademarks by including trademark information in your site’s Domain name. However, you can use a trademarked name in your product link, title or description.
OK – Abc.com/amazon-kindle-ebook-reader-review
Not OK – KindleReviews.com
No Sales In 90 Days
Once you sign up for the Amazon Affiliate program, you need to sell at least 1 product within 90 days, else you will no longer be an Amazon affiliate.
However, the good news is, you can re-apply to become Amazon affiliate anytime later only on these circumstances.