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  1. #1
    Member
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    July 12th, 2007
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    Austin, TX
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    Unhappy Amazon change in Terms of Service - Yikes!
    Yesterday, Amazon sent me an email letting me know that effective Aug 1, my terms of service are changing and that basically...I will only receive affiliate commissions on products chosen from a list that they "classify as eligible". After poking around a bit, I found that this same issue popped up for some superaffiliate coupon/discount sites in October: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=79905 . My site is a bargains site which usually falls into Amazon's second-highest pay tier and almost never uses Amazon coupon codes but definitely unearths some great discounts.

    I feel ill and disgusted by this email. I just quit my day job and now my top merchant is breaking up with me. My question is - to the folks who have previously been affected by this policy change - were any of you able to work out mutually-agreeable terms with Amazon? As a business woman, I completely acknowledge Amazon's need to make money and can understand how bargain sites cut into their margin. The terms they are offering will certainly not work for my business, and I'm surprised that they're willing to lose all traffic from superaffiliates. A middle ground feels achievable, but does anyone know if they have been open to that in the past?

    Thanks!
    Sharon

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
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    November 3rd, 2006
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    You're not alone...other sites also got the same letter in this round -- http://forums.prosperotechnologies.c...=19639.1&ctx=0

    I can't help answer your question, though. I'm not sure if any of the others that posted in the other ABW thread will read your post, so you might want to ask the same thing on the Amazon Associates forum.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Newbie
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    August 9th, 2007
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    17
    I wish I had better news. We are a bargains site and were given that letter in December. We have had little luck even getting an email answered.
    We have played by their rules since day 1 and went along with the new program. They are not interested in working any other way with anyone as far as I have heard.
    The items are usually pretty crappy. We finally had a decent month in May (still only about 1/10 or less of old commission). They sent us an email containing our payment date and the commission due. There is even a list of all items sold. That date has come and gone, we haven't gotten any payment and our account in their system is blank for April and May.
    I have sent repeated emails which they do not answer. There is no phone number to call. I am beyond frustrated. I wish I had better news to tell you but wouldn't want to get your hopes up.

  4. #4
    Member
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    July 12th, 2007
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    Thanks for the reply, PennyPincher. We've still not heard back from them and have essentially written them out of our site. I guess your experience kind of confirms our doubts that we'd ever hear back from them. Sorry to hear that they're adding insult to injury by not being transparent or timely with your payments. As soon as we were locked out of the Associates area where we could see reporting, we decided to leave Amazon behind entirely. If I can't see what we've earned, and they've already proven themselves disloyal, the last thing I want to do is waste valuable pixels on their wares.

    This was a nice wake up call for me. Before now, I just grabbed products from merchants that were attractive to my reader base. Now, I'm putting time into researching which affiliate programs have poor reputations and am learning a whole different (ugly) side of things, but it is long overdue on my part. So my Amazon breakup was for the best...but man I miss that sweet sweet Amazon cash.
    -Sharon

  5. #5
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    June 18th, 2006
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    You will find sweeter cash. Locking people out of parts of their account and having one of the lowest commission structures is no way to run an affiliate site with real marketers.

    Sorry you didn't switch to different programs before you quit your day job. But you will be back in money, and bigger money, within a month I bet.

  6. #6
    Member
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    July 12th, 2007
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    Thanks, andbeyond. The good news is that we'd already been working with 100+ merchants when Amazon broke up with us, and THANK GOODNESS, haven't seen a decline in profits, but I've definitely had to work a lot harder. Amazon was easy. Building their links was easy. Getting people to buy from lesser-known merchants...and loading up their carts the way they would for Amazon, has been a much larger challenge. It's working out fine, but I'm probably spending an extra 1.5 hrs daily to make it happen.
    -Sharon

  7. #7
    Full Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    218
    You're lucky... we got that email from them mid October of last year, right as Q4 was starting. They convert for crap now, and we don't push them anymore. We let the sales we'd get for them anyway come in, but we went from 10's of K every quarter for Amazon to 3-4 digits/quarter... we've devoted all our resources to the merchants directly, and are doing great without them.

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