Amazon has ramped up their 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 email which point to your BigCommerce 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 via the Amazon API 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 For good reason, Amazon doesn’t want you making inaccurate or out of date claims about their products.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 are two ways to avoid this problem:

  1. The simplest option is to remove the pricing numbers (for Amazon products) and rather change your call to action to be something like “Check for best price now” or “View availability here”. Raise a support ticket and we can customize your store to hide the prices for Amazon affiliate products.
  2. Activate auto-sync to enable Spreadr app to update the prices and availability of all the Amazon products once every 24 hours.

Using Their Star Ratings & Reviews

You obviously aren’t the only person that loves this product, look at all of those star ratings and reviews on Amazon! While it may be tempting to copy over some of these great testimonials as social proof and the star ratings to help compare similar products, publishing in a way that doesn’t automatically update could be a quick way to getting removed from the Amazon Associates program.

Again the simplest option to display reviews and ratings is by activating customer reviews feature within Spreadr app. The app makes use of Amazon’s Product API to pull this information dynamically to ensure it’s always up to date and display it in a format which is in compliance with Amazon.

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 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. Spreadr 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 trademarked name in your product link, title or description.

OK –

Not OK –

No Sales In 90 Days

Once you sign up for 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 this circumstances.