So in the last month or so I’ve had a few comments and questions come in regarding the Amazon Affiliates program and some difficulties people were having. So I did some research and got some valuable info forwarded to me by a family.
I dug into the Terms & Conditions agreement (snooze) and basically the bottom line is that the exclusions make it difficult to use the Amazon Affiliates program to benefit your adoption.
Specifically, this section of the Participation Agreement:
29. You will not purchase any Product(s) through Special Links for use by you or for resale or commercial use of any kind. Similarly, you will not request or encourage any of your friends, relatives, or associates to purchase any Product(s) through Special Links for use by you or them or for resale or commercial use of any kind. (https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/operating/participation)
So sending out cards, emails etc with a specific link to your AA account = bad. But having a book review on your blog and linking to that book through your AA account = good.
Personally, it seems a bit ridiculous. Even if I offer a link on my blog, who reads my blog? Friends, family and “associates”.
One adoptive mom contacted me today. She had noticed that her AA account was not reflecting purchases she knew some of her friends had made. She emailed Amazon and got a response back, which I’ve partially pasted below for a little more clarification.
“A good portion of the items listed in your account’s Orders Report were marked by our system as ineligible to generate Associates advertising fee earnings.
At this time, due to the proprietary nature of the way we make this determination, we can’t share the full list of criteria by which we detect these ineligible orders. Typically referred orders can be marked because our system recognized the orders were placed by the Associate, or on their behalf. This can also happen if we have determined that the orders resulted from you requesting or encouraging your friends, relatives, or other people you know to purchase products through your Special Links.
The reason behind this is that the Amazon.com Associates Program is an advertising program rather than a discount program. Our goal is to have our Associates refer new customers to us in return for advertising fee earnings. Associates are not eligible for advertising fees when they place orders themselves, or ask people they know to routinely place orders through their links so they can earn advertising fees.”
On the upside, there is a great alternative in the Pure Charity fundraising platform that is now available to adoptive families. PC is linked with hundreds of online retailers. The earned percentage is lower but the shopping options are wider. It also “spiders” and as people sign up under you and then other people sign up under them, you earn percentages all the way down 10 levels. (More about Pure Charity here.)
On a side note I thought this line was kind of funny – “Our goal is to have our Associates refer new customers…” Um, has anyone NOT bought something on Amazon?