Shot Down By The Amazon Affiliate Program

by derek on May 8, 2008 · 39 comments

When sharing the latest recap on blogging for money, I mentioned that there appeared to be an issue with the earnings from the Amazon affiliate program as there had been four products ordered yet there were no commissions credited to my account.

As you might remember, I recently decided to purchase a Macbook through Amazon, as well as a few of my wife’s birthday gifts.

Being an Amazon affiliate, naturally I logged into my account and created affiliate links for the products that I was going to order so that I could use them on this blog – as well as when making my actual purchase in order to take advantage of the commission.

When it came time to compile my earnings for the month, I checked my Amazon account and noticed that the items were being reported as purchases yet there was no income. It has been quite some time since there was any activity on my Amazon affiliate account so my first thought was that maybe it took awhile to update the earnings statement.

Being the curious sort, I figured that I would shoot off an email to the Amazon support while I waited.

And here is a snippet of their response (emphasis added):

I am sorry if there was any misunderstanding of our personal orders policy. Associates do not receive payment for referral fees on any personal orders placed. This is because the Associates Program places certain restrictions on the types of orders that may be placed through an Associate’s web site.

We operate a referral program, rather than a discount program. Our goal is to have our members refer new customers to us, and we then pay you for this effort, rather than simply offer discounts for shopping at


In the time that I have been an affiliate with Amazon, I thought there were one or two times when I had ordered a book and had been credited with an affiliate commission. Given the statement above, it would appear that those commissions were incorrectly applied to my account.

Have you ever ordered on Amazon using your own affiliate links?

While I assumed that was rather common practice, as I know many other affiliate programs allow you to receive credit for your own purchases, maybe I am in the minority here.

However, since it appears that Amazon does not allow an affiliate to purchase products using their own affiliate link, I might have to place an open query to all of you in the community to provide me with your own affiliate link when I am looking to purchase a product.

After all, if I cannot save myself a little money using my own affiliate account, I might as well help a few of you make money by using your affiliate links.

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