10 Reasons Why You Might Get Banned From Amazon Affiliate Program

The Amazon Associates affiliate program is an excellent choice for people who want to make a very good sum of money with affiliate marketing. Amazon is the largest eCommerce marketplace in the world, and you can earn a decent commission on each sale. 

However, it’s important to understand that failure to abide by the terms and conditions of the program may result in a ban. Amazon requires that you carefully follow its rules and regulations, and if you don’t, there’s always a risk of a ban. 

At AAWP, we work with thousands of affiliate marketers who promote products from Amazon, and we’ve seen how Amazon’s terms and conditions have evolved over time. Whether you’ve already joined Amazon’s affiliate program, or are about to, it’s important to know about things that can land you in trouble with the eCommerce giant.

Here are 10 major reasons why you may end up getting banned from the Amazon Associates program.

1. Cloaking or Shortening Amazon Affiliate Links

It’s important to know that Amazon takes this very seriously. The company doesn’t want affiliates misdirecting their customers, as it indirectly affects Amazon’s reputation. 

Keep in mind that Amazon has banned link cloaking or shortening. The company requires that you avoid cloaking, hiding, or spoofing the URL in any way. Many affiliate marketers often use link cloaking to increase CTR, but if you’re promoting Amazon products, it’s best to avoid that.

2. Using Amazon’s Logo in Your Own Buttons or Direct URLs

Again, this is something that Amazon takes very seriously. Many affiliates often get banned because they start using Amazon’s logo or adding direct URLs in buttons on your site. 

Avoid adding buttons that you think may infringe on Amazon’s copyright, such as using their logo or their brand colors. This effectively amounts to impersonation in a way, and the company doesn’t allow that.

If found, there’s a very high chance that you’re going to have your Associates account banned right away.  

3. Using Your Own Affiliate Links for Purchases

Let’s assume you want to buy an item from Amazon for personal use. It does seem like a good idea to use your own affiliate link to make the purchase, as you’ll make a neat commission for something that you need already. 

After all, not only do you get to shop, but you also make a neat commission. But, you can’t game the system. In fact, Amazon expressly prohibits such types of purchases.

You can’t use your own affiliate links to make purchases for items that you’re going to use personally or commercially (such as for reselling). 

Amazon can easily track purchase activity using your IP – or through your account — so it’s generally not worth risking a ban. 

4. Operating Multiple Accounts

The Amazon Associates affiliate program is by and large the most popular affiliate program in the world. Needless to say, the program is often the target of spammers, and in a bid to stop this, the company only allows one account for each individual. 

This is also designed to ensure that once banned, a user can’t return to the program under another name. If you do want to create another account due to the nature of your business, you need to first reach out to Amazon Affiliates and seek permission.

If you don’t and decide to create another account directly, expect to get banned promptly. Many new affiliates make this mistake, and end up with a ban almost immediately. They think that it’s much easier to create a discrete account for each of their sites. 

However, Amazon lets you create different tracking IDs for each, allowing up to 100 Tracking IDs for each. Instead of creating a new account, you may want to just create a new Tracking ID.

5. Using Amazon Reviews on Your Site

Social proof can help you improve sales and conversions on your site. It’s easy to find reviews for a particular product on Amazon. While it might seem appealing at first to just copy and use reviews on your site, we highly advise against it. 

If you are copying and pasting reviews in a bid to pass them off as reviews on your site, you’re going to get banned. Many affiliates try this to improve the copy on their site, but you may end up with a permanent ban. 

Instead, if you do want to utilize these reviews, you should go through them and prepare a list of positive points. Once you have those, you can then write copy around it.

It’s also important to note that Amazon bans affiliates from using their star ratings. You shouldn’t manually add ratings on your site and claim they are from Amazon either. Instead, you can use your own rating scale and name it something else, such as “Our Ratings”.

6. Not Disclosing That You’re an Affiliate

The cardinal rule of affiliate marketing is to add a disclaimer on your site that states very clearly that you’re an Amazon affiliate. Some affiliate marketers feel that adding a disclaimer on their site on a separate page is enough.

However, Amazon’s terms and conditions are fairly straightforward about this: every single page on your site that focuses on an Amazon product must have a disclaimer. If you don’t add it, you’re risking a ban!

You can announce it however you want, but make sure that the disclaimer includes the following:

  • That you’re an Amazon Associate
  • That you earn a small commission on each sale

7. Adding Product Links on Sexually Explicit Sites

Amazon’s fairly clear about linking to sites that contain sexually explicit materials: it’s prohibited. You can’t use affiliate links on such sites. 

Essentially, this means that you mustn’t add affiliate links on websites that generally focus on sexually explicit content, such as porn websites. 

8. Adding Product Prices

Amazon strictly prohibits affiliates from adding the price of different products on their site. If you’re manually adding the price for products, you’re risking a ban. The reason for this is fairly obvious: prices are susceptible to change, and if you’re adding them manually, there’s a risk that you may end up providing misleading information to your visitors. 

However, if you’re using a plugin such as AAWP, adding the price isn’t a problem. That’s because AAWP automatically pulls the product pricing from the page. This way, you don’t have to worry about the price being out of date. 

But, if you’re still in doubt, you may want to avoid adding the product pricing on your site altogether.

9. Sending Affiliate Links via Email

Email marketing is great, but if you start sending affiliate links via email, you’re risking an immediate ban. You can use email marketing to get more people to visit your site and then buy, but adding affiliate links directly in an email marketing campaign is a strict no-no. 

10. Not Adding Sites to Your Associates Dashboard

A rookie mistake, but one that may end up proving costly. Make sure that you add all of your niche affiliate sites to your Amazon Associates dashboard. If you don’t, and you get a sale from one of these sites, Amazon will insta-ban your account.

Use AAWP To Avoid Getting Banned from Amazon Associates

AAWP is the best WordPress plugin for Amazon affiliates. It helps you manage all product information – and makes sure that it’s always fully up to date and accurate. 

The plugin lets you create custom product boxes and displays to promote Amazon products, all while keeping in line with Amazon’s affiliate program requirements.

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