How Not To Get Banned From The Amazon Associates Program

In my post, I show some of the Amazon affiliate program rules that could get your affiliate account terminated if you break them.

Are you new to the Amazon affiliate program? Worried you might get banned? Then this is the post for you.

I recommend you read the Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement. And the Amazon Associates Program Policies yourself to familiarise yourself with the program.

Let’s get started.

You Have 180 Days To Make Three Qualified Sales

After creating a new Amazon affiliate account, you have 180 days to make three qualified sales.

180 days

If you have a new website with little traffic, I recommend not applying to the Amazon affiliate program until you get regular daily traffic to your blog.

Should you not make the three sales within 180 days. Amazon terminates your account. You can reapply to the program immediately and start the process again.

After you make three qualified sales, Amazon audits your website. Once the audit is complete, you are notified by email regarding your application to be an Amazon affiliate.

You Can’t Download Or Screenshot Images From Amazon To Use On Your Website

Images on the internet are copyright protected. If you download images or take a screenshot of images from Amazon to use on your website, you could get into legal trouble.

Image copyright

Amazon affiliates get access to the SiteStripe. The SiteStripe gives you one image per product to use on your website.

Amazon authorizes affiliates to use product images obtained from the SiteStripe.

Learn how to use the Amazon SiteStripe by reading my ‘How To Get Amazon Product Images For Your Website‘ post.

You can’t change the affiliate link you get from Amazon. It has to be clear that you are linking to Amazon.

You can not use your affiliate link to make purchases. You also can’t ask friends, family members, or work colleagues.

Unqualified sales

When you get closer to the end of the 180 days and haven’t made the three qualified sales, it is tempting to ask friends and family to help. I don’t know how Amazon finds out you asked them, but they do.

If you don’t make the three sales and Amazon terminates your account, you can reapply to the program immediately.

You Must Declare Your Association With Amazon

As an Amazon affiliate, you must declare that you get a commission from purchases made through your affiliate links. The disclosure must be clear and easy to find on your website, preferably before affiliate links in your blog content.

Disclosure

Learn how to write an affiliate disclosure for your website. Check out my ‘How To Write An Amazon Affiliate Disclosure‘ post.

You can only add affiliate links to publicly accessible websites. You can’t use links on member-only sites or websites not available to the public.

Publicly available

Don’t Use The Amazon Brand Name

You are not allowed to use the word Amazon in your domain name, a tag, a username, a group name, or an affiliate ID. I also recommend not using Amazon in your text links.

Amazon brand name

Don’t Copy Customer Reviews From Amazon

You can’t use any part of an Amazon review or the star ratings for your website.

Customer reviews

You can only add your affiliate links to your publicly accessible website. You can’t add links to emails, printed material, ebooks, private messages on social media networks, or attachments.

Links in emails

Don’t Display Product Prices

Amazon can change the price of their products at any time. Displaying the incorrect price on your website could cause customers to be disappointed when they get to Amazon.

Unless you use an affiliate link in which Amazon updates prices automatically, I don’t recommend adding product prices to your content.

I have seen affiliate websites use dollar symbols to communicate if a product is cheap or expensive to get around this rule.

Prices

You can’t promote your affiliate links by offering an incentive. Place your affiliate link within your blog content and let the reader decide to click or not.

Conclusion

I recommend you read through the Amazon operating agreement to familiarize yourself with its rules.

There are many rules. I have listed the ones I think new affiliates could miss and get their account terminated.

I recommend concentrating on producing content that offers value to your readers and adding affiliate links when it fits naturally.

Once you have a loyal following, your visitors will purchase using your affiliate links.

Do you want to join the Amazon associates program? It is free to join. To apply, check out my ‘How To Sign Up For The Amazon Affiliate Program‘ post.

I hope you found my article informative. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below. I check twice a day.

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2 Comments

  1. John,

    Thank you for writing this article. I wish I read it when I first started my first website. I didn’t follow a few of the guidelines that you outlined and low-and-behold, my associates’ account was terminated.

    The main culprit was my images. I knew that copy and pasting images was a big no-no but I didn’t realize that screenshots were also not so good. I didn’t understand how to add the HTML code to my page at first so I would screenshot the amazon product and paste my affiliate link in the image URL.

    Needless to say, after I made my 3rd sale amazon crawled my site and send me an email explaining why my account was terminated.

    It was obviously my fault for not doing my research first but it was still a bummer!

    Hopefully, this comment will serve as an example of what NOT TO DO to those that are starting their first affiliate site.

    Keep up the good work!

    -Tevah

    1. Hello, Tevah. Thank you for taking the time to leave such an informative comment. I think you detailing your experience with the Amazon affiliate program will help others. Thanks again.

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