Amazon Blows It’s Benevolent Image
In my case, first it was Google that blew its benevolent image by dropping its company motto of ‘Do no Evil!’ and closing my affiliate account without explaining why, and now Amazon has done more or less exactly the same. In both circumstances, I literally woke up one morning to find that a factor of my income that I had put a long time into had been taken away.
Amazon sent me just one email stating that I had infringed some regulation, but that my affiliate account had been suspended. I tried to find out what I had done, but the reply was highly technical and written by lawyers. Something to do with ‘pre-loading’, whatever that is. If it is not using a link with an embedded affiliate link, then I have no idea what it is.
I asked, but Amazon has sent me to Coventry. All I know is that my practices haven’t changed since I joined Amazon more than twenty years ago, so either they have changed their rules or they are very bad at catching criminals like me. From my point of view, the Amazon penalty has cost me about $2 per week, which is all I earned, on average, from the 12,000+ visitors I sent them every month.
I should have left them years ago, and I mean that, but I have other interests. The main problem is removing the Amazon affiliate links from the Smart URL links on my blog of 2,000 pages and the 4,000 Tweets that I have accumulated, so that another company can pick them up and use them in their own name. (#UPDATE: Skimlinks and Viglinks can do this)
It means that I will lose a percentage of my $2 income, but, hey, I can live with that :-).
So, why did Amazon do that to me?
I honestly really have no idea, in exactly the same way that I didn’t know what Google was taking about. I am just a hard-working, one-man band. I don’t try to game any systems. Would you for $2 a month?
I reckon that Google and Amazon just wanted to reduce the cost of paying out to millions of affiliates by picking on them. I mean, if people want to buy from those companies, and many, many do, then they don’t have to go through me, do they? Amazon, Google and the retailer will still get paid, and the customer will still be happy whether a small man lije me is in the loop trying to earn a commission or not, won’t they?
It will mean that Amazon will have to write fewer, but larger cheques, which will save on bank charges… and I think that that is what this is all about – money, and keeping it among the already-wealthy.
The rest of us can go and whistle for it.
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Podcast: Amazon Blows It’s Benevolent Image