Amazon Associate Skimming?

Themanhere

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I've been an Amazon associate for many years now. However, over the last few months, my earnings have plummeted. My traffic numbers and clicks are pretty consistent, however, looking at the reports I rarely see credit for big ticket items anymore (despite those being my target). I am seeing credit for add on items or items you would ONLY buy with big ticket items in the first place (which is why I suspect skimming). I'm also seeing credit for square-trade warranties for example, but not the item they're actually protecting with a warranty. Who buys the warranty for an item without buying the item?

There's a huge thread over here discussing exactly the problem I'm experiencing
https://engagedforums.com/discussions/Amazoncom_Associates/_/_/am-associhelp/49949.1

Is anybody here also getting the same? This is across all my niches and website types. Conversations have gone down from a consistent 7%+ to 1-2% and it's mostly only low ticket items I'm getting credit for.

I thought I'd put this thread out to see how widespread this is and potentially warn anybody thinking about starting up with Amazon associates. Don't get me wrong, I've had natural dips in conversations / sales in the past. However, this is different and seems more like purposeful skimming.
 

rednada

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I'm interested as well in this as I just started my Amazon site. Themanhere seems to know what's he's talking about and this is a big red flag to me. So much fails this year...Jesus
 

Themanhere

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I'm interested as well in this as I just started my Amazon site. Themanhere seems to know what's he's talking about and this is a big red flag to me. So much fails this year...Jesus

I'm hoping I'm completely wrong and there's a reasonable explanation or some technical glitch that will be fixed on Amazon's end. However, reading the thread linked above I'm not overly optimistic. Regardless of how this turns out, I'm still going to point my traffic away from Amazon as I can't trust this won't happen again (assuming this isn't a prelude to scraping the programme altogether or a squeeze to boost year end profits). It's a shame because I made good money with the programme over the years. However, almost every change lately has made working with Amazon less and less appealing. Now it's at the point where I could probably make more money with ad-sense with the same volumes of traffic, so it's not financially feasible to send traffic Amazon's way.
 

moonshine7000

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Anything can happen from Amazon.Amazon is hiding more data from analytics than before.I won't be surprised that Amazon shorten the life of the cookie so won't earn as much.I don't focus on Amazon that much.
 

Takoona

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Sorry to say, but I'm glad to find out that I'm not the only one who has been wondering about what the hell is going on. My sales have took a complete nosedive! Like you, my clicks are fairly consistent, and at this time of year I usually see a decent increase in sales. The last few months in particular have been really bad. There has to be some kind of error somewhere, as this just doesn't seem right.
 
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joseph15

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I have not been doing amazon for long, but my site was ranked for the past couple months. I was wondering why conversion rates were so bad with amazon - always hovering around 2% - 3%. I thought that was normal.
 

mezzofanti

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we had little discussion regarding Amazon here:

https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/amazon-skimming.981649/

Personally, as Amazon affiliate my worst months of the year are September and October, so no large drop of expected income for me. And yes, I believe that Amazon had issues with reporting at the end of March 2017 and at the end of October 2017. For 2016, I am not sure.

At the moment, for my sites, Amazon works (including OneLink for UK, CA, DE, IT, ES, and FR Amazon - at the moment, I don't have many visitors from Japan, so I didn't make Amazon's Japanese store), although more expensive items are not as common as I would like to be - but I don't have square-trade warranties without sold items as @themanthere mentioned. I really hope that Amazon doesn't mess things up just before black friday and cyber monday, not to mention December shopping ...
 

Themanhere

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we had little discussion regarding Amazon here:

https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/amazon-skimming.981649/

Personally, as Amazon affiliate my worst months of the year are September and October, so no large drop of expected income for me. And yes, I believe that Amazon had issues with reporting at the end of March 2017 and at the end of October 2017. For 2016, I am not sure.

At the moment, for my sites, Amazon works (including OneLink for UK, CA, DE, IT, ES, and FR Amazon - at the moment, I don't have many visitors from Japan, so I didn't make Amazon's Japanese store), although more expensive items are not as common as I would like to be - but I don't have square-trade warranties without sold items as @themanthere mentioned. I really hope that Amazon doesn't mess things up just before black friday and cyber monday, not to mention December shopping ...

Missed that thread, thanks for posting! The warranties thing doesn't happen every day, but I've seen it 3 - 4 times over the last few months and thought WTF. I sell a lot of big ticket items and people obviously buy extended warranties for them, but no credit for the big item.

I have posts that have been ranked for UK traffic for years too, that drive consistent traffic. Even those pages are converting at 2% instead of 7-10% like they historically have.

Does anybody here know much about the eBay affiliate programme? I'm going to start adding links to my pages and driving the traffic there instead.
 

mezzofanti

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Me too wouldn't mind to know more about eBay, Walmart, ShareaSale and other similar affiliate programs, so if anyone can share a word or two, feel free :)

back to the topic - my UK/CA/DE Amazon accounts never had conversions that could match US Amazon, and I don't think that new ES/FR/IT (I made those last three only recently) will be different either. Personally, US Amazon is by far the most important account and if that doesn't work as it should, then bye bye amazon for me ...

My stats for:

September 2016 - $3.89 average income on Amazon per sale, but only 58% of sales when compared with August 2016 (~51% income, compared with August 2016)
October 2016 - $3.90 average income per sale, but only 69% of sales when compared with August 2016 (~62% income, compared with August 2016)
(and then everything 'exploded' on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 :) )

September 2017 - $5.32 income per sale, 94% of sales and 97% income compared with August 2017
October 2017 - $5.1 income per sale, 86% of sales and 85% income compared with August 2017

Personally, I expected even larger drop in my sales and income for September and October 2017. October 2017 would be even better, but again Amazon IMHO had a strong glitch (to say the least) on 27.10.2017 (Friday) and continued to do so until end of the month.

Long story short - at the moment, my November 2017 is much better than November 2016 and I hope it will stay that way :) but, in the long run, I am really interested what will Google + Walmart combo do for affiliate marketers ....
 

joseph15

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Screen_Shot_2017_11_15_at_4_35_38_PM.png


lol
 

Oceans13

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I've noticed this as well across many of my sites. Big ticket item sales have dropped significantly, at first I thought it was just a dry spell which happens time-to-time but this did seem different. I don't have any explanation as to why this is happening and it looks like Amazon intends to just keep their mouths shut which is super fucking annoying. If this continues (especially over the December holidays) then I won't have much of a choice to start some sort of overhaul and find an alternative.
 

joseph15

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At that point, your traffic is pretty bad.

The traffic is double the amount of clicks, in half a month. 5000-6000 targeted traffic for items $450+ SHOULD be good. You would think.


I have jetpack installed.. that gives me number of outbound clicks.. that amount is way higher than the clicks i see in the amazon associates dashboard.. i have been wondering the same and i think amazon maybe skimming..

Just saw your post and checked my own stats.. seeing the same thing. More clicks in jetpack vs. Amazon dash
 
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Rock_Shock

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I have jetpack installed.. that gives me number of outbound clicks.. that amount is way higher than the clicks i see in the amazon associates dashboard.. i have been wondering the same and i think amazon maybe skimming..
 

Jiung

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I have jetpack installed.. that gives me number of outbound clicks.. that amount is way higher than the clicks i see in the amazon associates dashboard.. i have been wondering the same and i think amazon maybe skimming..
I have jetpack installed as well but I don't see any outbound clicks at all haha
 

NewbieIM

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do those sales go up around november? i'm curious about this
 

Oceans13

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do those sales go up around november? i'm curious about this
Yes, people are doing their Christmas shopping, trying to get to items before they get "sold out", and completing wishlists.
 

redarrow

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sorry but come on you think amazon doing this really come on.

there big boys out there earning millions from amazon trust me there be in court be all over the news sorry dont beleve amazon skimm

all sales are due to year month date and times in sales

heigh and low are normal that sales fullstop

save for rainy days dont look for excuse of low sales trust me been there done that not worth it.

most sales are based of sesseion and financial climate ...

you can go off your head thinking your being skimmed from afflicates go in a mad house suffer from depression be on pills be carefull.
 
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JarLadr

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I've been experiencing this as well. my refund rate also increase by 18%.
What's worse is that the total earnings reported doesn't match to my actual calculation.

I've calculated for each product, for each day, for a month, minus the refunds, and it doesn't equate to the monthly declared earnings. I contacted Amazon, but it's been 2 weeks that they're trying to fix this.
 
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