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Is it illegal to do your Amazon shopping from a link on HP?

  1. Solaras profile image90
    Solarasposted 5 weeks ago

    It just occurred to me that I might have been able to get commissions on my holiday Amazon purchases, if I had entered through one of my HP amazon links. Is that against TOS?

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      I don't think it's against Amazon TOS (not sure though) but do know it won't work.  The know who you are and you won't get paid for it.  With that in mind, it isn't worth the effort to try and sneak in - I'd hate to lose my Amazon account.

    2. Christy Kirwan profile image
      90
      Christy Kirwanposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      Yes, this is against our rules and Amazon's as well.

      1. Solaras profile image90
        Solarasposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

        Is it against the rules to access HP through another hubbers article and earn you guys a commision?

        1. SmartAndFun profile image91
          SmartAndFunposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

          I have always understood it to be perfectly OK. I believe this answer came from a staff member, but it was several years ago so I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly. The original forum post is somewhere floating around the interwebz... maybe someone with time on their hands can find it.

        2. Christy Kirwan profile image
          90
          Christy Kirwanposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

          Yes, clicking on your own or your friends' ads is always considered fraudulent activity, regardless of whether it's on HP's share of the impressions or the author's (it's randomized, so there's no way to be sure whose share it will be at any given time anyhow).

          1. makingamark profile image77
            makingamarkposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

            Aren't you talking about the Adsense rules not the Amazon rules?

            There's no financial reward for people clicking on Amazon links in the way as there is with AdSense. Income re. Amazon is directly related to sales only.

            The problem arises is if people click on the link and then buy with a view to boosting the income of the Amazon Associate - that's not allowed. The Associate can't do it and neither can family or friends.

            1. Christy Kirwan profile image
              90
              Christy Kirwanposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

              Amazon's agreement states: "You may not purchase products during sessions initiated through your own Associates links and will not receive referral fees for such orders. This includes orders for customers, orders on behalf of customers, and orders for products to be used by you, your friends, your relatives, or your associates in any manner."

              HubPages interprets this to mean that it is both prohibited AND that violators will not be paid for purchases made this way. We are not willing to endanger our relationship with Amazon by permitting this in our own rules.

              1. makingamark profile image77
                makingamarkposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

                I agree - and I think that's what I said.

                The clicking on links matters if you go on to make purchases.
                It doesn't if you do NOT use that account to then go and make a purchase. (i.e. it doesn't in contrast to the way it does on AdSense)

                I keep my Associates email/account seperate from my personal Amazon email/account and that way I never get the two confused.  In other words the email I use for the Amazon account I buy from is not known on HubPages and is not the one used for my Amazon Associates account

                I think the confusion re the variation in AdSense and Amazon "forbidden practices" arises because both are referred to as "adverts" whereas strictly speaking:
                * AdSense has clear adverts
                * Amazon has Amazon modules or links related to products

          2. Marisa Wright profile image94
            Marisa Wrightposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

            But another random Hubber is not a friend.

            1. Millionaire Tips profile image90
              Millionaire Tipsposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

              Ethically, I would not click on a Hubber's link so they would get the credit.  The reason Amazon pays people for referrals is that this Hubber has convinced the buyer to go to Amazon or use Amazon to buy this product.

              If you already know what you want and are just using the link so someone can get a commission, it is an improper use of the link/capsule..

    3. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      You can be banned for doing this, so forget about it.  Clicking on anybody's ads via HP is a no-no because it is considered to be cheating.

      1. makingamark profile image77
        makingamarkposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

        Clicking won't get you in trouble but a friend or family member who thinks they are being kind and clicking on your Associate link prior to buying is breaching the rules as I understand it.

    4. Michael Kismet profile image90
      Michael Kismetposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      Hello Solaras, long time no banter!

      I LOVED how you asked if it was "illegal".  As if they would haul you away in handcuffs and send you straight to a federal penitentiary, all for clicking on the wrong Amazon ad.  smile

      I can see it now, a joint task force made up of Google's military division and Amazon private security forces kicking down your door and screaming "Step away from the keyboard and put the f---king mouse down!"  Sorry I deviated from the topic at hand, I suffer from a medical condition called "immaturity".

      1. Solaras profile image90
        Solarasposted 4 weeks ago in reply to this

        LOL - That's how they roll, the Internet police.

  2. lovebuglena profile image92
    lovebuglenaposted 5 weeks ago

    I think if you buy something on amazon through your own link you will not get credited for it. But I wonder though, what if someone in my family buys something and ships it to themselves will I get paid for those purchases if I used to live at that address?

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      Amazon says your family will earn you nothing, either.  Just how they're going to determine who your family is, I'm not sure and they do not address that. 

      I mean, there are at least 3 generations of people in my area with my last name.  Although sometimes aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, etc. I've seen just one in the last 50 years (he was the salesman in the store I bought a carpet at) and there are even more that are none of those things.  Will Amazon refuse commission from all of them, too?

      1. makingamark profile image77
        makingamarkposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

        Amazon knows what your IP address is - hence any other computer using that IP address will be recognised as being linked to your account.

        Amazon also knows the names and addresses of people you send gifts to back to the beginning of time (i.e. when you opened an account).

        I'm guessing they can also make other connections to.....

  3. lovebuglena profile image92
    lovebuglenaposted 5 weeks ago

    Now, if you are using the HP Amazon not your own Amazon I wonder how that works... if you buy something through one of those links on your hubs.

  4. SmartAndFun profile image91
    SmartAndFunposted 5 weeks ago

    Usually I pick a Hubber I like or who I know might really need a couple of extra dollars, and when I am ready to make a purchase I access Amazon through one of their hubs.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      I do what SmartandFun does. 

      Amazon isn't as punitive as eBay.  With eBay, if you even click on your own links you can lose your account.  With Amazon, you can click on your own links but you won't earn commission so there's no point.

      1. makingamark profile image77
        makingamarkposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

        There's clicking on links and there's buying via links - two different things.

    2. SmartAndFun profile image91
      SmartAndFunposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      Keep in mind if you decide to do this, there are HP commission periods and Hubber commission periods. The commission on whatever you buy might go to HP instead of your fellow Hubber. We have no way of knowing. Of course, I don't mind helping HP stay afloat, either, even if it is just a few dollars.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image94
        Marisa Wrightposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

        My thoughts exactly.

      2. Lipnancy profile image93
        Lipnancyposted 4 weeks ago in reply to this

        Actually, you can look in the browser and tell who gets the commission. It will say something like "Tag=XXXX-20".

  5. makingamark profile image77
    makingamarkposted 5 weeks ago

    I can't believe that people are talking openly about how to get around Amazon's rules!

    The rules are there for a reason and consequently if you breach them they delete your account.

    I think there are people who need to go and reread the terms and conditions of agreement they signed up to.

    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      +1  Gotta tell you that I see people doing things like this all the time and can't figure out why they agree to things and then try to get around them.  This causes SO many problems in life.  What is so hard about simply doing what you agreed to do in the first place?

      1. makingamark profile image77
        makingamarkposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

        Exactly!

    2. galleryofgrace profile image82
      galleryofgraceposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      Not necessarily makingamark!
      On my Amazon associates account- they have been holding $9.49 for over 4 years because the payout is $10! I have begged and pleaded with them to understand how there could have been no more commissions. All my accounts are fine, I'm in the forums everyday.
      Believe me it has been so tempting to get someone to just make a small purchase to get over the $10 payout.
      I've even considered hiring a mystery shopper to see if purchases were actually being credited! i removed all Amazon links in my hubs because it was hopeless!

      1. makingamark profile image77
        makingamarkposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

        If you sign up for an account with a minimum payout you either work out how to exceed the payout level or you restrain yourself from whinging.

        It's a business fact of life. There's a reason why they have minimum payout levels.

        Perhaps you'd prefer that they pay you the sum less the amount it costs them to make a payment that small?

        Or maybe you could try living in the UK where the minimum payout level for Associates on Amazon.com is way higher than $10 AND they won't automate the transfer so we have to set the minimum payout way higher just to offset the currency conversion fee which is charged by the bank every time an Amazon cheque arrives!  Mine's currently $150 and I'm thinking of raising it to £200 or $250 (i.e. the currency conversion charge is set and hence a bigger percentage deduction of smaller sums)

        1. galleryofgrace profile image82
          galleryofgraceposted 4 weeks ago in reply to this

          I must say I feel enlightened. Thank you.

  6. camarochix72 profile image90
    camarochix72posted 5 weeks ago

    If you really want to make something back with your purchases from Amazon, use a site like ebates or mypoints, then you're not risking your Amazon and HP.  That's what I do.

  7. Will Apse profile image91
    Will Apseposted 5 weeks ago

    I would delete this whole thread and send warning emails to those who deserve them.

    1. Solaras profile image90
      Solarasposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      LOL - I got my answer, so that would be fine with me.

      1. DrMark1961 profile image89
        DrMark1961posted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

        I just read through this and think you already have an answer, but wanted to add something anyway. If you examine the amount of dollars you would get as commission, it is not worth messing with your account anyway. (Of course, unless you are going to be buying thousands of dollars worth of gifts?)

        1. Solaras profile image90
          Solarasposted 4 weeks ago in reply to this

          I probably spend $4000-5000 annually at Amazon lol

        2. makingamark profile image77
          makingamarkposted 4 weeks ago in reply to this

          It's not worth messing with your account period.

          If you don't want to lose access to Amazon, it's ALWAYS best to read the rules and then comply with them.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image94
      Marisa Wrightposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

      No need. This question is openly debated on Amazon's own forums all the time.  It's a perfectly innocent question, it's been explained that you can't click on your own links - and no one has suggested doing anything else that contravenes the rules.

      People are confusing Adsense rules and Amazon rules - it is NOT against anyone's rules to click on a random Hubber's Amazon ad and buy something.

      1. makingamark profile image77
        makingamarkposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

        Yes and No

        1) People are confusing AdSense and Amazon rules

        2) You can click on your own Amazon links - what you can't do is BUY via a click on your own link (and you don't know how long the system stores your click). (I keep it simple - I have an email/account I use for associates and another email/account I use for buying for personal use. That way I can't ever mix the two up - even inadvertently)

        3) The other issue which came up in this discussion is using family and friends to click your link and net commission - which amounts to the same thing. You or your circle benefit and that's not allowed either. I wouldn't recommend trying to be clever in case you find out exactly what Amazon does know about your relationships.

        4) There's a lot of difference between discussing the issue in a neutral way to clarify queries and actively discussing what you can do to get the benefit of the commission. The first is informative and the second is getting very close to conspiracy to defraud.  Not a wise thing to do on a public platform.

        1. Marisa Wright profile image94
          Marisa Wrightposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

          I didn't see anyone suggesting that family and friends should click on links to buy, so what's the problem?

          1. Will Apse profile image91
            Will Apseposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

            Quote from MovieMatt in this thread,  2 days ago:

            'You might be able to do a sort of round robin with a friend or family member with a different last name. Buy all your Amazon purchases through each other's links.'

            That suggests a way for people to engage in fraudulent practices. Others have suggested that it would be impossible for Amazon to detect this kind of thing.

            Just delete the thread before it puts ideas into the heads of idiots.

            1. makingamark profile image77
              makingamarkposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

              Or just delete the links which identify/suggest fraudulent practices.

              I see that as a Moderator task if the individual doesn't see sense and do it themselves.

            2. Millionaire Tips profile image90
              Millionaire Tipsposted 5 weeks ago in reply to this

              I think this is a good idea to discuss openly, because many people have wondered that, and may actually be doing this and not discussing it.  At least this way they learn that it is against the rules.

            3. Lipnancy profile image93
              Lipnancyposted 4 weeks ago in reply to this

              Do you really think that we are so impressionable that we cannot have an open adult  conversation? Especially when I see it discussed freely on other forums including Amazons.

              1. makingamark profile image77
                makingamarkposted 4 weeks ago in reply to this

                Being adult does not bring exemption from being ignorant or silly.

                Lots of adults sign up to do things and never ever read the small print in the terms and conditions - of what they can and cannot do - and consequently run around with fanciful ideas of what they THINK is right and OK to do.

                EXAMPLE: I see copyright discussed in many forums. Some of the conversations amount to no more than complete and utter nonsense by people who are ignorant of the facts and have never thought it worth their while to check out what they're talking about.

                The thing is others come along and read the nonsense and then they go and repeat it in other places - because it must be right because they read it in a forum.  Indeed I've lost count of the number of times I've read people deny the truth of what the law states on copyright - because they don't happen to agree with it - and they've read in another forum that what they've done/want to do is OK because somebody else said it was OK. People think terms and conditions don't apply to them when they don't see the point of them or don't understand them.

                IMO it's fine to discuss - but only if care is taken to make it clear when notions are incorrect based on facts and not opinions.

                Otherwise what you see in forums is no better than all the "fake news" that has been doing the rounds - passed on by people who know no better.

  8. UnnamedHarald profile image95
    UnnamedHaraldposted 5 weeks ago

    We can justify it anyway we want, it's still gaming the system and sooner or later will result in consequences.

  9. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 5 weeks ago

    I agree with Unnamed Harold, TimeTraveler and others who question the merits of putting our accounts and reputations at risk 

    Of course, I may be a bit jaded today. I just wrapped up grades for the online course I taught in the fall term, and I am dismayed that a few people can't seem to understand why they're failing the entire course after plagiarizing their final term papers and some essay answers on the final exam. I told them they'll be contacted by the main campus - it's out of my hands now.

  10. 61
    paulasiscoposted 4 weeks ago

    yes @lipnancy is right

 
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