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How to Get Banned as an Amazon Affiliate

How to Get Banned as an Amazon Affiliate

The Amazon Associates Program is one of the most well-known affiliate programs out there. There are lovers and haters of this affiliate program, but truth is, if you do it right, you can rake in a pretty decent income from your Amazon sales even if you're an affiliate marketing beginner.

However, Amazon can be pretty ruthless when it comes to banning affiliates for doing the wrong thing. Often, accounts are permanently suspended, taking with them the possibility of ever being able to make money off Amazon again. Now, most people will do anything to avoid getting banned as an Amazon affiliate, but if you really want to get banned, here are some recommendations:

 

Amazon Affiliates

 

Don’t Read the Operating Agreement

The Associates Program Operating Agreement outlines the terms and conditions for affiliates participating in the program. The fine print? Who reads that anyway?

A surefire way to get banned is to not read this agreement and have zero idea of what is expected of you as an Amazon Affiliate. The terms are laid out in plain English and are easy to understand. Refuse to follow the guidelines set out by Amazon and you will get banned in no time at all.

Operate More than One Account

Amazon sellers are only allowed to have one account. If you’re keen to get on the banned-wagon, go ahead and create more than one. Some business owners legitimately require more than one account; they can apply to Amazon for a special exception to do so while complying with Amazon’s terms and conditions.

Put Your Affiliate Links on Third-Party Sites

As an Amazon affiliate, you must put your affiliate links only on sites that you own. However, those looking to get banned usually place their links anywhere they can, hoping to generate a few extra bucks by leaving their links in blog comments and the like. Spammy behavior is a great way to get kicked out of the program.

Pass Off Amazon Reviews as Your Own

Reviews of products on Amazon are for people to read on Amazon. When affiliates are looking to get banned, they usually copy and paste these reviews onto their sites like they were their own. You can get away with posting a product picture off Amazon on your site, but try to lift those reviews and you’re getting banned for sure.

 

Three-hole punched paper Amazon review

 

Forget to Mention You Are an Amazon Affiliate

If you’re an Amazon affiliate and decide to hide it, you’re going to be on the fast track to getting banned. Amazon makes it very clear to affiliates that you must clearly declare your participation in the associates program on every page of your website that sells an Amazon product.

If you were to do the right thing, you’d place some text in your footer that identifies you as an Amazon affiliate and informs your audience that if they were to purchase from you, you would earn a commission. However, if you were trying to get banned, you would just leave this information out and wait for Amazon to catch up with you.

Link from Sexually Explicit and/or Violent Sites

Certain types of sites are not suitable for Amazon. If you’re trying to sell Amazon products via a site that promotes sexually explicit or violent materials, you will get banned in no time. There are a number of other no-nos on Amazon’s list as well, including sites containing defamatory materials, promoting discrimination or other illegal activities or violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

For a complete list of sites that are not appropriate for Amazon and will get you banned, check out the Operating Agreement.

Promote Counterfeit Products

Selling fake Christian Louboutin shoes for a quarter of the price and hoping to make a quick buck off Amazon while you’re at it? Unlikely. You’re more likely to get banned first. If you’re promoting counterfeit products of any kind or are in violation of intellectual property rights, you are not going to be Amazon’s friend.

Auto-Tag Amazon Sessions

If a customer clicks on your product link, it generates a cookie and Amazon gives them 24 hours to complete a purchase so you can still get your commission. Some affiliates will try to take advantage of this and attempt to auto-tag users on their site to generate clicks that aren’t real so they can get commissions. These shady practices prime your site for banning.

Sometimes, even if you’re not trying to be shady, using an iframe on your site or a bad WordPress theme can get you in trouble. If you’re more inclined to avoid trouble, always download WordPress themes from trusted publishers to make sure they haven’t been tampered with, or you will risk a ban. AffiloTheme provides reliable WordPress themes that are perfect for affiliate marketing.

 

Amazon Associates join page

 

Buy Paid Search Placements

Amazon will pay out if you’re sending sales their way. However, if you decide to buy paid search advertisements to advertise their products without their permission, you are definitely not getting paid. If you violate this regularly, you can rest assured a ban’s coming your way. Also, if Amazon catches you out redirecting links so they lead to an Amazon product page, they'll definitely find you in violation of their Ts & Cs.

Shady practices rarely go unnoticed by Amazon, and I’m hoping most of you are here are trying NOT to get banned by them. Be sure to do the exact opposite of the get-banned advice above and you should have no problems with Amazon. For more information, check out the list of prohibited seller activities and actions.

If you're new to affiliate marketing, be sure to check out AffiloBlueprint to learn how you can make money selling other people's products. If you're wondering if Amazon is for you, Sam talks about why you should consider Amazon associates.

Are you an Amazon affiliate? We would love to know how your experience has been. Leave us a comment below with your thoughts. 

15 Comments Add your comment
  • Reply Henk • 1383 days ago

    So according to this you're not allowed to put links on facebook?

    Melissa Johnson1382 days ago

    Hi, Henk --

    you would not be allowed to put your affiliate link on Facebook, no. What you could do is post a link to YOUR site on Facebook, inviting your fans to come check it out, and your site would have the affiliate link.

    John Cyscon • 1085 days ago

    is it still true you cannot put link on facebook? i assume you can simply because the amazon chrome toolbar extension has a button to link to facebook, but i am still curious your experience because it is like pulling teeth to get amazon to answer anything.

    Melissa Johnson1083 days ago

    It appears that Amazon has changed its terms. The wording at least suggests that:

    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/t50

    Here's a useful page that shows you exactly how to share links on Facebook, too.
    http://amylynnandrews.com/how-to-put-amazon-affiliate-links-on-facebook/

  • Reply Todd • 1375 days ago

    Can I used adwords to increase traffic to my money site?

    Melissa Johnson1374 days ago

    Hi, Todd --

    Yes, you should be able to use Adwords to drive PPC to a site of your own that has your Amazon Associates products on it.

    923 days ago

    no he can not i chat over an hour with amazon support they told me that i should have organic SEO

  • Reply 1372 days ago

    Hi,
    Your post is reaally helpful to me. But recently I got email from amazon like:
    "Thank you for taking the time to submit your application. Unfortunately, we will not be able to accept your application. Upon review, I noticed you supplied the popular site xxx.net as your registered URL. As a result of this decision, you will no longer be able to access your Amazon Associates account."

    I'm just a beginner, so I don't know what is the pupular site, that site is my own. Have you ever been had the same problem like me? Give me any ideas if you can. Thanks

    Melissa Johnson1368 days ago

    I don't actually know what site it is that Amazon says you submitted. Is it XXX.net? Or is that a placeholder?

    This is taken from the FAQ pages on Amazon:

    All you need to join is a Web site that does not violate intellectual property rights or promote sexually explicit materials, violence, illegal activities, or discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age.

  • Reply Mark 1371 days ago

    Hi Melissa.

    Can I use URL Shortening?

    Melissa Johnson1368 days ago

    Hi, Mark: check out these Amazon FAQs pages -- they outline the policies for linking:

    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/t50
    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/t64/a1

  • Reply Joseph sssssssss1371 days ago

    hi, Could I download the product image and then upload to my site?

    Melissa Johnson1368 days ago

    Hi, Joseph --

    I don't know if you can download the images and upload on your own site. You should be able to just link directly to Amazon images, and as far as I can tell, that doesn't violate Amazon's ToS. I don't know about taking their images and hosting them yourself -- I would be very wary of that.

  • Reply Glenda 1369 days ago

    Hi,

    Your post is really helpful to me as I just a beginer in Amazon affiliate. I made a mistake is "Forget to Mention You Are an Amazon Affiliate", so my account was locked after I got first sale. Now I got your tips, it help me a lot now.

    Really thank you.

    /Glenda

    Melissa Johnson1368 days ago

    Hi, Glenda --

    I hope things have since worked out for you and that you're well on your way to making money.

  • Reply Steven 1368 days ago

    Hi Melissa,

    Really thank you. I'm a beginner with amazon affiliate. Your post help me a lot to avoid being banned by amazon when I get the first sale. Hope to get more valuable posts from your blog. Nice to meet you :D
    / Steven

  • Reply Alfred McCall • 1341 days ago

    Hello

    I am an approved amazon associate and have a site where I make commissions, I want to start another niche site, do I need to register the new site with amazon

    Thanks

    al

    Melissa Johnson1339 days ago

    Hi, Al -

    I suppose that depends on whether you plan on making it an Amazon affiliate page. If you're promoting products through the Amazon Associates page you NEED to disclose that you are doing so.

    Here's a link that should help: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/t12

  • Reply Heinz 1326 days ago

    How about promoting Amazon on blogspot platform??
    ex. I create a blogspot.com and write articles promoting Amazon products..
    Is it 3rd party site too?? and my blog/accounts is possible to getting banned by Amazon...??

  • Reply ezz eliza1312 days ago

    hi melissa,

    I have amazon affiliate account banned . And I know that violated several rules .
    So how do my account that can be restored or do I have to create a new account ?

    thanks

    Melissa Johnson1309 days ago

    Honestly, I am not sure. I'm not finding a lot of information about getting your account restored. I think the only way to find out would be to contact Amazon directly.

    A friend of mine was an Etsy seller, and her account was shut down (basically someone claimed copyright infringement when they didn't have any right to claim said copyright infringement) and so she set up a new shop, and that was shut down. Now she's banned from Etsy entirely (she can't even order things herself). Etsy apparently uses ISPs for tracking.

    The takeaway: don't try to sneak around to get back in the game. It could backfire.

  • Reply Anne M • 1188 days ago

    Hi - just read your post after getting this email from the Amazon Associates program "Hello,

    We currently accept only Facebook.com "Fan Pages," "Verified" Twitter.com pages and/or a YouTube "channel" in the Associates program. All other social network sites are not eligible to add Associate links, or for use to create an Associates Account.

    In reviewing your website, we noticed that the URL listed on your application is a social network website. However, your site is not an approved social network or established with enough unique content and followers yet. At this time, we are unable to approve your application and have closed the account under which you had been temporarily approved.

    Thank you for your interest in Amazon.com Associates."

    I was rather surprised since I had already had 4 people buy the first book I recommended after it being on the site for 48 hrs. Maybe that's just not enough. In looking through their agreement text, I don't see anything saying that your site needs to be a certain size or have a given following. Any suggestions or experience in this?
    thanks

    Melissa Johnson1181 days ago

    Hi, Anne --

    It looks like either your site was based on a network that Amazon doesn't approve of, or it gauged your social media following to be too small? It also looks like the amount of content a site has created is a factor. I don't know the details of your situation so it's hard to say what caused this.

    I hope you get the situation worked out! You might also try asking your question on the Affilorama forum: http://www.affilorama.com/forum/

  • Reply ruth 1059 days ago

    i have lost my amazon account first time. i have done changes, but i again lost, what is problem with my account.

    Melissa Johnson1057 days ago

    Hi, Ruth --

    Without knowing the details of how you marketed your site, I really can't say. You might try contacting Amazon to see if they'll explain.

  • Reply 925 days ago

    i need further help plz i like to advertise my product link at google adwords how could i do that step by step ?
    i am amazon associate i am new at the program

    Melissa Johnson924 days ago

    Hi, John!

    I don't think you would be able to advertise your Amazon link directly using PPC. However, you can use paid search to drive traffic to your own website. Some links that might help:

    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/tips/t2/a2
    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/help/operating/participation/
    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/agreement

  • Reply kivenson 759 days ago

    Hi, Currently I build up a comparison pricing website for shopping, work with affiliate program of eBay, Amazon, Target and etc…
    Is it legal under the Amazon affiliate program? It's important to mention that my website send traffic for those retailers I mentioned before depend on the visitor's item selected.
    Any suggestions or experience in this?

    10X,

    Kivenson


    Melissa Johnson756 days ago

    Hi, Kivenson!

    I honestly don't know about a price-matching site. I can't find anything that suggests it's prohibited, but I can't find anything that says it's OK, either. I would dig through the agreement a bit more and look for whether you're allowed to advertise multiple affiliate programs on your website. You could also just contact Amazon and ask!

  • Reply Abhilash 439 days ago

    Hey I was just wondering... Will I get banned if I use my affiliates link and shop the product from an other account of myself in amazon?

    Justin Golschneider438 days ago

    Hi Abhilash! That will definitely get you banned for life. Don't do it. :-)

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