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Amazon Affiliate Cookie - How You Are Timed Out Without Commission

Updated on November 25, 2012

Timed Out Amazon Affiliate - The Cookie Strikes Out!

The Amazon cookie - timed out without commission can leave you stranded and out of pocket!

Now, you are proud to be an affiliate with Amazon.

You are working hard with your home internet marketing business and are looking forward to revenue from your affiliate Amazon partnership.

Items that are promotional in nature are key to your affiliate internet business and you busy yourself knowing that if you work hard enough revenue from the affiliate will pay off.

Or will it?

This would have been the case in the past but now the credit crunch has taken hold and guess what?

Amazon has been baking cookies and timing you out!

What are cookies? I thought they were for the computer? This one looks evil though!

Your Home Internet Marketing Business!

There you are busy promoting Amazon products – you know Amazon have a great reputation, brilliant delivery times and fantastic customer service! You might have used the products, researched them thoroughly and checked all the reviews are positive. You might even have your own website set up with an Amazon Affiliate to earn you commission or promote on HubPages. This is your home internet marketing business and you are proud of it!

It costs money to write articles - you need this affiliate program and internet marketing to work for you!

Whilst writing your articles, you might slip in an Amazon capsule containing some key products that might help the reader and enhance the articles. You are careful that these are appropriate and good for all concerned – the buyer gets a good buy that you feel able to put your reputation on the line for, Amazon gets a sale and you get a cut. You see these items as promotional.

This really helps you because it does cost money to write articles! You have electricity to pay for – computer energy doesn’t come free – Internet service providers and your time too. Yes, I know, we all love to write and we all love hubpages, but hubber love doesn’t come free, unfortunately!  You, therefore, need this affiliate program and internet marketing to work for you!

Art Doesn't Come For Free!

Affiliate with Amazon - Look For the Cloak and Dagger!

So how does it feel when you have worked so hard on those capsule to learn that Amazon has graciously and underhandedly, I must say, changed their promotional affiliate programme. This is a real cloak and dagger trick!  Why is that, I hear you ask? Well Amazon have changed the timer on their cookies so they burn out sooner.

Amazon's Burned Out Cookie

What is a Cookie and How Does It Affect Amazon Affiliate Commissions?

A cookie is used to store information in the form of a small text file.  This is sent to your computer when you are browsing the Internet.  If you go to Amazon, for example, via an Amazon promotional capsule at HubPages the next time you visit the site, you will be remembered.  The cookie is there in you computer for when you need it.

If there are products that you wish to purchase, this will also be stored within the cookie.  In the case of Amazon cookies with the relationship to your Amazon promotion capsule, the techies at Amazon have designed a short lasting cookie.

What No Commission?

What may happen, therefore, is that you have put in the work to promote the item; the buyer has then reviewed it and may go away to do something else.  They may do some house chore or browsed elsewhere on the Internet, for example.  By the time they are ready to complete the purchase, the timer on the cookie has timed out.  This results in you losing your cut in the deal – you have been duped!  If the customer doesn’t buy immediately, you get zilch – absolutely nothing!  Amazon, of course are quid’s in!  They have it all PLUS your cut!

As a result, I have cut down on promoting Amazon and I suggest you do too.  If enough people do this, it might teach them to play fair in business. and You're Done... YOU CERTAINLY ARE!


Timed Out Without Commission Just Isn't Cricket!

How to seo are pleased to have brought this to you attention.  If you are informed then you might be able to find strategies around it.  You just might have to work harder to overcome the Amazon cookie, but that is what happens when you deal with big Companies like Amazon.  Great empires are built on slave labour remember!  Yes, there is'nt a gun to our heads, but being timed out without commission just isn't cricket!

© This work is covered under Creative Commons License

A special thank you to Mark Knowles, CMHyno, Cagsil, Marisa Wright and everyone else who joined in this forum thread for bringing this to our attention.

Click Here for Original Forum Post


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    • RadaFrancis profile image

      RadaFrancis 4 years ago

      Amazon is a good additional income, but I would suggest spreading those wings to other affiliate companies out there for a bigger payout. I changed some of my links which previously led to Amazon to another site (same exact product) and I tripled my income pretty much overnight just by taking that step.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain

      Astra Nomik... You misunderstand - the cookie times out after people have clicked through your link. It counts-down after readers have gone via your link. If they do click via your link, keep the product page open, and then goes off to look at other sites with the intention of coming back to order, the cookie might have expired and you won't get your referral fee. I hope this is clear now.

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 5 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      Ouch. I have Amazon ads on my hubs. So basically they will never make me money...? I was considering using Amazon on my new blog. I guess I will not do that now, since the cookie expires too fast for a sale to be made, and thus an affiliate commission to arrive. I wonder why it is used on hub pages so much?

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain

      Did you read the original forum post Tony?

    • profile image

      Tony 5 years ago

      The cookie is 24 hours at amazon

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

      Hi pop... the cookie will still apply provided it is still live. Once the cookie has timed out - that's it, no fee.

      Hope this clarifies things :)

    • popularinfo profile image

      popularinfo 6 years ago

      Thanks Shaz,

      Can you please elaborate this- if one enters Amazon from my affiliate link, then exit the Amazon, and re-enter again, will the cookie still be applied?

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 7 years ago from Great Britain

      Pleased to be of help Eileen :)

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 7 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Great hub Shaz, thanks for bringing this to our attention, you have help make so many people become aware of this.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 7 years ago from Great Britain

      *Doh*, Cindyvine!

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      We'll just have to get the customers to eat the cookies before they run out the door like the gingerbread man!

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 7 years ago from Great Britain

      You can say that again Flread!

    • flread45 profile image

      Frank 7 years ago from Montana

      They all get us in the long run.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      N.Ramius... Yes, but it is difficult. It depends on need. If you cant do without amazon, then you accept their terms. But that, I guess, is why they have become so powerful. Thanks for your comment and I wish you well:)

    • N. Ramius profile image

      N. Ramius 8 years ago

      Well until I'm approved by EBay I'm sorta stuck with Amazon. So I put up with it. I have sold 13 items over my tenure here and are just shy of payout so it's not all bad.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      There have been some exceptions, Bristolboy. Maybe you have been lucky in that your buyers have bought straight away and not gone away to later to purchase. If they had, your cookie would have timed out.

      You might be improving your marketing strategy and opening to a greater audience with traffic etc, so opening up more opportunities for referrals. Creating more targeted hubs?

      It might be, also, that you could have had more sales but not known. I wonder how many potential sales you might have lost? This is how I am looking at it.

      Glad to make you aware :)

    • BristolBoy profile image

      BristolBoy 8 years ago from Bristol

      This is news to me - didn't know about this change at all! However, unusually all my hubs with Amazon links are producing more now than they have ever done with similar traffic so I guess I must be the exception that proves the rule!

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Kirsten... you are absolutely right. It would be great if ebay would start accepting us again. Lets hope that these hard times will end soon and ebay may reconsider.

      Thanks for reading and glad it helped. x

    • kirstenblog profile image

      kirstenblog 8 years ago from London UK

      I would love to see a better amazon cookie! Maybe one with huge chocolate chips and m&m's! Mmmm cookies! Sorry I think you don't mean real cookies but those pics got me hungry now. On a more serious less silly note I assume I am just getting lucky with amazon sales and do wonder just how many people buy outside the cookie because of what I wrote? I mean if I were selling to my hubby my writing might be enough to get him to decide to buy this or that item but he would then scour the net to be sure amazon isn't charging too much and would only come back to buy from them if they have the best price. He can spend hours or even days looking for the best deal. I would love to find a way to get an eBay affiliate account with one of our websites..... If I get lucky with amazon how lucky could I get with eBay? Tho I have heard bad stuff about eBay keeping peoples earnings too :/ Sometimes I think we little folks just cant really win

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Bat115 - I think that if you know there is a reason why you are not getting commissions, then you can cut the cloth to suit you. I don't think that Amazon wants people to know, though. Why let the information loose when they can have it all?

      Thanks for commenting

    • bat115 profile image

      Tim 8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      shazwellyn, Thank you a thousand times over for writing this! I thought something might have been up with amazon. Pretty shady, it appears.

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      hynodude... Im spreading them... the looooove that is! hehehe x

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

      I agree 100% with you, and I hope this hub will be read by the upper spheres. Interesting to know about Squidoo, I'll put it in my "don't write there" list.

      Have a great weekend Shaz. Spread the loooooove!:):):)

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      You are absolutely right. I was so miffed that I couldn't use ebay, but there could be another way to get an affiliate and that is to open a different website (one of these freebies) and then reapply. That is what I intend to do... eventually!

      Maybe hubpages will develop more capsules for affiliates? We shall have to wait and see. At least we don't have our earnings taken away from us after 12 months - unlike Squidoo! If you don't hit the payout level within a certain amount of time - you get nought!

      There is nothing for nothing in business, but all I think we ask for is fair trading - don't you think?

      Thanks again my winged friend x

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

      I agree, but as you rightly said if Amazon doesn't pay then there is no need to keep it. Because at the end what keeps HubPages going are hubbers, with their articles and traffic, and if hubbers don't earn money they'll move where they can. With recession everyone needs money.

      I'm sure the management will do what is needed, also because it wouldn't be fair that older hubbers can use Ebay and new hubbers cannot. Because for what I know since Amazon and AdSense simply pay almost nothing to hubbers, than the real source of money is Ebay, am I wrong? :)

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Thanks hypnodude. Amazon and the ilke are so powerful and big, they wouldn't give hubpages the time of day. Hubpages employees and owners are at the mercy, just like us, of these big corporate giants. The affiliate programs are what help to keep hubpages going - they depend on them for their business model. I recon that hubpages are just as peeved with what Amazon have done as we are. It hurts them too!

      These times are, indeed troubled. No doubt we just have to ride the storm until gentler times come. I have trust and faith that hubpages staff are doing their uttermost in looking for other unique ways of sponsorship in helping us to help them to make money.

      You mark my words - I don't think they will lay down without a fight! It's their business and livlihoods!

      Thanks for reading x

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

      It should be management's concern to help hubbers earn money from publishing here, and if this is true, and I guess it is, the HP management should find a solution, or every hubber should be left free to decide what to display within hubs. Example: since I can't use the Ebay capsule I should have the chance to use Ebid or another competitor, and this should be done for every affiliates. Obviously this would mean that no one would care about AdSense, but since it doesn't pay 90-95% of hubbers who cares? The more time passes, the more AdSense seems to me a kind of bad MLM, few make money and all the rest "fight" each other for a place in the sun, but I can be wrong.

      Great hub, extremely important to know, rated and obviously stumbled. :)

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Camio - these are very tough times throughout! I think that this sort of strategy is one amongst many. We might not ever know what goes on behind the scenes of corporate business, but this one is just the tip of the iceberg!

      Thank for dropping by x

    • camlo profile image

      Camlo De Ville 8 years ago from Cologne, Germany

      Hi Shazwellyn!

      I thought there was something fishy. I've never made a cent from Amazon, despite thousands of clicks. Only clicks, but never, ever a sale ... is it to be believed?

      Kontera is useless. Adsense pretty 'hit and miss'. I hope HubPages brings us a decent alternative soon.

      A great Hub, and thanks for bringing this to our attention.

      All the best, Camlo

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      They say 'this is business', I think it is a rip off! Hope this has helped x

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Now, I understand it more, wow, glad to know about this one, hmmm,-- companies like this-- oh well, are they all the same, user hehe.... Thanks and take care Shaz, Maita

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Paul - Great stuff! I'm glad you visited x

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Ann - you could say that Amazon is a two-faced cookie!

      Thanks for dropping by! x

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Jayne Lancer - it seems to be a fruitless cause, doesn't it? What you have to consider ... is the promoting worth it? They are getting your hard work, essentially, for free with a one shot cookie!

      There was a time that you could promote one item and if the buyer saw another item at Amazon, indirectly from your original source, you could get a sale from something unrelated to the original promoted product. I had this once - not any more!!

      Thanks for reading and heeding the alert! x

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Hilliary... well done! Why should they not share the loooove? If we all refrain from helping them, they might feel the pinch and start appreciating the hard work us writers put in - Stop Amazon by Stopping the Loooove!

      Thanks mate! x

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Waynet... it is outrageous! But I guess that all empires are built up on SLAVE labour! Welcome to the Empire of the Amazon!

      I know that we do have a choice as to whether we accept this or not, but why have an agreement then change it? It is about corporate greed.

      This isn't the only thing they are doing. Did you know that they have preferences over marketplace sellers? Well, what they do is make some listings invisible and other more visible at will. This means that they FAVOUR some sellers over others. They get the business whilst others are squeezed out!

      Im not asking for the world, just some FAIR practice!!!

      Thanks for responding x

    • paul_gibsons profile image

      paul_gibsons 8 years ago from Gibsons, BC, Canada

      I only ever recommend (very) cheap books, or ones that no sensible person buys but gets from the library I think, which is probably the main reason why I am so singularly unsuccessful with Amazon. Still... good to know for when I make a purchase from one of your lists: don't dither too long or click back on.... Thanks!

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 8 years ago from Virginia

      Enjoyed reading and all these cookies! Too bad the one was burnt and the other had a face!

      Good content, Shaz!!

    • Jayne Lancer profile image

      Jayne Lancer 8 years ago from West London, UK

      This is enlightening, Shazwellyn.

      Perhaps that has to do with why I've earned nothing from Amazon, in spite of promoting their products, but have from Adsense, in spite of doing nothing but to allow their advertising. How does it make sense otherwise?

      It's all very puzzling.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks Shaz. You just confirmed my suspicions. I'm boycotting as of today. I for one have absolutely nothing to loose as I have never had a sale. That may say something about my hubs and marketing skills, but somehow I smell burnt cookies too.

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      It just shows that even the big companies can be greedy fackers, I'm sure they'll think up new ways to still have an affiliate program but pay out less to their affiliates, I mean Amazon have already got rid of paid search affiliates which would have wiped out some affiliate businesses, they just don't give a rats arse and would rather have us running around promoting their products for peanuts, so yes it makes me sick too and it's all down my trousers with carrots and sweetcorn dribbling down now!

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      ryan... I agree - I am in the same situation. You have had some good luck on the timer cookie. Apparently it is a 'one hit' wonder, it is that short!

      Thanks for reading though x

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Waynet.. they make me sick. They are really killing the geese that lays them golden eggs!

      Let there be justice in the world! x

    • profile image

      ryankett 8 years ago

      Personally I would like to see Hubpages bring in a further affiliate option, such as Clickbank or maybe even Commission Junction, alternatively Chikita would be a better option than Kontera.

      I am happy using Amazon for now, had a good sales month last month, but feel that I really need something in place of eBay (cant get an account) if I am to continue writing here.

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 8 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      The big companies always treat the affiliates like turd, even after we do all the work for them and then they can change anything at a whim, Ebay has done the same and will more than likely do more, it's best to try and sell our own products as an additional income stream, that way we also beat the big companies at their own game, takes a bit of work, but to try is to succeed!


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