Selling on Amazon - the downside

Jump to Last Post 1-11 of 11 discussions (30 posts)
  1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
    TessSchlesingerposted 6 years ago

    "Every Amazon product in an article should contain significant, useful information beyond what can be found on Amazon, as well as your personal experience and opinion. Always provide this information when adding products or reduce the number of products in the article."

    So basically, as Amazon does not sell to South Africans (or any other third world country), it means that I cannot advocate any Amazon product.

    Effectively, the above conditions for linking to products means it's pretty much useless to earn money, and hubbers must rely solely on the revenue coming in from ads.

    It's very disappointing.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Confusion.  Are you saying that you live in South Africa, have never used any products Amazon sells and thus have no experience with anything there so cannot give a personal evaluation of it?

      Bear in mind that HP is not an advertising agency.  It is not intended to produce long winded advertisements pushing readers to a seller that has the same thing to say.

      1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
        TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I've been back in South Africa for two years. Even paypal payments are 'different.' One has to sign up with a particular bank, then when one wants to draw from paypal, one has to sign into that bank's website, go through a 5 minute rigmarole, then that bank takes one to the paypal page when one withdraws, then back to the bank's page. Then one has to tell that bank to pay into one's own bank. Then the process takes 10 days.

        This happens because the American IRS told the South African banking fraternity that they wanted to know exactly what money was coming into South Africa from America. So South African banking regulations are so stiff and so crazy that many internet companies won't deal with South Africa.

        That includes Amazon.

        Of course, I've bought from Amazon - both in the States and in the UK. However, I don't write about products. Products are incidental to what I write about.

        So, for instance, I just wrote a hub (nearly 1700 words) and mentioned 3 products, not because I'd used them, but because they were the best options in terms of global warming. I don't have to use them in order to know that they are the best in the market. I can read the specs, see thousands of reviews, etc.

        I'm not sure how to take your statement about HP ot being an advertising agency.

        The initial comment I wrote was what Hubpages wrote to me.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          "I don't have to use them in order to know that they are the best in the market. I can read the specs, see thousands of reviews, etc."

          That's the point.  So can anyone else; to add one more comment that they are the best, because other people say so, is worthless.  You might as well go on record as saying that God exists because millions of other people have said so.

          1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
            TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            But I wasn't advocating that people use a product. I waas saying things like smartphones have multiple uses and are therefore earth friendly because one can use them as a camera, a calculator, a phone, a computer, etc. This meas that one can one product instead of buying four or five products. This is a multi-functioal product and so it is earth friendly.

            People can then buy whatever smartphone they like.

            Why must I advocate that they use a particular brand.

            The article is on gifts for minimalism. It is talking about ranges of products, not advising people to buy one particular product.

            I removed all links and still got another email back saying that it was spammy.

            I want to know how it is spammy.

            Only in very rare occasion would I advocate products, e.g. a mosquito net and Black Cumin oil. I couldn't name a specific product because it is not the brand that is important . It is the product

            It doens't matter what brand it is. I don't advocate brands ever.

            So what hubpages is saying is that unless I advocate a particular brand, I'm not allowed to mention a product.

            So no saying that using bicyle is more user friendly than using a car, because I have to say which brand of bicycle is better than a car.

            I am not advocating a particular brand of bicyles. I would be advocating a range of products because the one range is earth friendly and the other is not.

            Can you see what I mean?

            From the comments at the bottom of my article, everybody else got the point. Hubpages doesn't, though.

    2. TessSchlesinger profile image60
      TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      The point is that Hubpages no longer permits one to advocate a product one hasn't used oneself.

      In other words, earning money from Amazon is now no longer a matter of earning as an affiliate, as one can now only earn as an affiliate if one has actually bought and used the product, and can think of saying something about it that no one else has said before.

      In other words, one cannot read 30 or 40 other reviews, look at the specification of the product, read the trade magazines, etc, and provide a link to a product without saying anything about it oneself

      So you are telling me how to buy the product for $300 online so that I can write a nice review on it that will earn me maybe $5 over the next year if someone actually buys the product.

      That would be a very bad business deal for me

      This is no longer affiliate marketing. This is a reviewing service in that one can only advocate a product if one had personally used it.

  2. Marisa Wright profile image86
    Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago

    Amazon is not selling its own unique products. I can look at and see hundreds of products that are available from retailers in Australia.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
      TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, but they aren't available in South Africa, and if they are, they are twice the price, plus the average salary in South Africa is about $360 per month.

      1. watergeek profile image94
        watergeekposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Tess, from my own experience, I would assume that South Africans are not the only ones reading your articles. People from the US and other countries read them also, do they not? And they can buy from Amazon. So your links will help them, as long as you advocate from personal experience with the product.

  3. TessSchlesinger profile image60
    TessSchlesingerposted 6 years ago

    What do you mean? Amazon doesn't service South Africa. If I click on a product, a notice immediately comes up and says, "This product is not availble to South Africa."

    1. Marisa Wright profile image86
      Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      That means the product is not available for you to order FROM AMAZON.  However, it's very likely the product is available for you to buy from other retailers. Very few products are exclusive to Amazon.

      Especially books, of course. You could have  read those books in the library or ordered them from a bookshop. Hubpages can't prove otherwise.

      1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
        TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        No, I can't read the books in a library. The libraries here have very little budget and books are 10 years old and older.

        I haven't been able to read a book on the bestselling list since I returned to South Africa.

        One other thing, no international postal service will insure parcels to South Africa. This is because of the high incidence of them 'going astray.'

        Also South African internet is still in the 90s. You only know otherwise if you have lived in the first world.

  4. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

    There will still be things you already own or could easily access that are for sale on Amazon.  Paper, pens, cotton thread, beverages, medicines, shampoo... pretty much anything.  Not every example will be there, but I guarantee some are.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
      TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      You are right about that. The problem is that I don't write hubs to sell products. I write hubs to sell ideas.
      So, for instance, if I was explaining how solar panels work, how they are mounted, etc, it would be a good opportunity it link to a solar product.

      Now I don't need to have used a solar panel in order to know that in terms of global warming, it is a far better choice than fossil fuel.

      I also have the capacity to read dozens of reviews, plus look at the specifications of the product. and decide which is the product best suited to my hub.

      The Amazon link is incidental to my hub - not the purpose if my hub.

      As I am anti-consumerism because it is destroying our planet, I am not going to be writing about products in order to sell them.

      So it is very distressing to me that the few times I actually can link to a product because it fits with what I am advocating, I can't link to it without dreaming up a reason that is different to the ones offered on Amazon.

      1. tritrain profile image70
        tritrainposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Even when selling an idea, you could reference a product, such as a book for further reading.  Especially if you enjoyed a version of the book yourself.

        I think there's a lot about South Africa that is unknown to much of the world, especially the US. 

        I know that one of the things that SA is particularly known for is sustainable agriculture.  I know I learn every time I read about it from SA's experience.

        1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
          TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          That's what I did, but because I didn't give my personal review and just inserted a text link, it wasn't accepted. To me, it's more important that the idea is accepted than a product is sold. So if there is a conflict, my higher duty is towards humanity, not to my self
          I am a humanist.

        2. TessSchlesinger profile image60
          TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, but you can't advocate the product unless you have used it yourself.

  5. Marisa Wright profile image86
    Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago

    I lived in Africa so I understand what you mean, but I was able to order books. Retailers don't insist on insurance. It was my risk if they went astray.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
      TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Marisa. Again. My monthly income is between $250 and $350 per month. My rent is $250 per month and that is about as low as it can go in Cape Town which has the third highest real estate in the world. The other $100 is spent on food. I barely come out.

      With what money must I order books?

      Bear in mind that I am on the autistic spectrum closer to 70 than 60, living in a third world country that has a high crime rate, plus oodles of other negatives, and my options are not even remotely close to yours.

      The bottom line here is that I cannot link to Amazon because I cannot meet the requirements.

      I accept that.

      Just sometimes I just want to give up.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image86
        Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Tess, what I'm suggesting is that you pretend. If you have done thorough research and you're confident the product is the right one, and it's available on Amazon, then link to it and say why you think it's the best. Let HubPages prove you don't have personal experience of it! Of course they can't.

        What you can't do is pick a random example of that product.  There is little point in selecting a random example of the product anyway, because it probably won't sell.

        1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
          TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Marisa. I'm austistic. I am absolutely and utterly incapable of lying and pretending. I understand what you're saying, but that doesn't work for me. I also apologize. I just went back to the article and found that I hadn't removed the Amazon link. I forgot about it. Also, I didn't realize that the link that spoke about the multifunctioning clothing was a shopping site. I clearly got mixed up with an article about it.

          My thanks for your constant kindness to me.

  6. Marisa Wright profile image86
    Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago

    To put it bluntly, HubPages staff have no idea of the limitations of your location, and they can't prove whether you have used the product or not. If you give a solid review couched in personal terms, drawing on other sources outside Amazon,  you should be fine

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
      TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I understand that. I guess I just find it too uncomfortable to do that.

  7. tritrain profile image70
    tritrainposted 6 years ago

    That's weird.  When I was an Amazon seller I shipped everywhere, it seemed.  But you shouldn't have any problem being an Amazon Associate.  You can sign up for Australia, if you're not already.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
      TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      My issue is that I live in South Africa. Amazon does not ship to South Africa because a) it is too expensive and b) there is no insurance for normal services because about half the things that get shipped to South Africa get stolen

      Please just accept for reasons I have enumerated several times on this thread that I cannot comply with hp policies regarding Amazin

      it is now 4am and I would like some sleep. smile

  8. Marisa Wright profile image86
    Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago

    You're welcome

  9. newbizmau profile image89
    newbizmauposted 6 years ago

    I agree with Marisa. I had the hardest time trying to save an article I wrote a very long time ago on Squidoo. … -guest-bed I changed the name from something more generic to Why I Love My Sert EZ Queen Bed , I also changed the picture from a picture of the bed to a picture that related to the mood of the review, a guy or guest laying on your sofa meant to descibe how it looks when guest come over and you don't have guest rooms. It wasn't until I changed the entire mood of the review to focus on all the reasons I don't like having guest sleep on the floor or my sofa that it was finally approved. It isn't the get right to the point review article I'm used to writing but I can live with it. I researched a while ago saw review pages that were doing well had to oversell the feeling of not having the item they are reviewing. While I still think it's over kill at least now I know what is working.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image60
      TessSchlesingerposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I truly, truly understand what you are saying, and I thank you for sharing your expertise with me.

      However I have a certain life view, and I am not comfortable with doing that.

      I will consider it.

  10. paperfacets profile image89
    paperfacetsposted 6 years ago

    The bottom line is I also feel HPs cuts off our Amazon modules too fast. I have whole articles about a product and have the module edited out.
    And why?
    The links I do have get sales once in a while. A surprise and a happy moment. I still believe every cent counts for some people.
    So many on the forum say give new info, well, when I write about a product and used the product all the experience is new to me. That is the joy of writing to give others your experience or in some cases your "point of view". The cuts of Amazon links may not be thought out, because the editor may have not read your whole review and give the link a second thought.
    Is there a quota? If HPs see X number of Amazon links too many, time to cut some?
    People say it is easy to feature a Amazon link, but I had too many cut to have that opinion.

  11. watergeek profile image94
    watergeekposted 6 years ago

    I've been confused about how HP handles Amazon links too, so I've been experimenting. Recently I rewrote a hub on how a person can ensure that they drink enough water every day. I submitted it to RemedyGrove with an Amazon capsule included and they accepted it. The product I advocated for was coconut water, which I had listed in the article as one of several healthy supplements to tap water.

    There's a particular brand of coconut water that I like---the only one I'll drink these days---and that's what I advocated for. Here is the description I wrote in the capsule:

    "Harmless Harvest is the best of all the brands I've tasted by far. When I was a kid we lived in Hawaii for a few years, where we drank coconut water straight from the shell. This brand tastes almost exactly like what I remember. It's the only store-bought coconut water I drink now."

    It's all true and there is no way I could have acquired this information from reviews on Amazon. Makes you want to check out the product, doesn't it? That's what I think HP is looking for.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)