1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Amazon Bans Accounts Showing Old Pricing on Products

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Vladamir, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. Vladamir

    Vladamir Power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    335
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Restore Old Boats
    Location:
    Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Mexico
    Hey everyone,

    I wanted to get some opinions on a section of an article I just read and maybe brainstorm some solutions.

    Cliffs- If you include pricing like Spiderman toy $45 on amazon click here on your affiliate links you will have your account banned, pricing must be shown as such Spiderman toy $$ on amazon

    Has anyone had any negative experiences with this? If so I have to go through and change over 500 link anchors on my site and im lucky I havent been banned yet.

    Could an option for us be to say

    1. Spiderman toy $40ish on amazon

    Or

    2. Spiderman toy around $40 on amazon

    or

    3. Spiderman toy around fort dollars on amazon

    or

    4. Spiderman toy $$ on amazon (this option for sure will lower click rates since the customer wont really know what the price is in my niche prices range from 90 to 2000


    "
    Mentioning Price in Niche Site Contents Manually
    It might be tempting to discuss things like price and how great of a deal certain items are in your content directly, but doing so runs afoul of Amazon’s good graces.

    Amazon changes the prices of items regularly, and putting price information right in your content means that your site will look obsolete when changes do occur.

    And worse than that, discussing prices in your content directly could result in a ban.

    I’m an affiliate marketer with Amazon for more than 2 years now. I didn’t even know there is any policy that might lead me to ban.

    I learned this from Joseph Magnotti from EmpireFlippers while I listed one of my niche sites for sell recently. Here is the email screenshot Joe sent me.

    [​IMG]

    Noticed anything?

    Amazon affiliate accounts are getting banned for mentioning product price in content. An example how I was breaking Amazon’s term.

    [​IMG]

    How to comply with this term? Well, this is what I did in a different post.

    [​IMG]

    Here is what mentioned about price display in Amazon Operating Agreement

    If you choose to display prices for any Product on your site in any “comparison” format (including through the use of any price-comparison tool or engine) together with prices for the same or similar products offered through any web site or other means other than the Amazon Site, you must display both the lowest “new” price and, if we provide it to you, the lowest “used” price at which the Product is available on the Amazon Site. You may not otherwise include price information on your site.




    So it’s clear that we can’t mention price manually, and the only option to show price is using theme like AuthorityAzon (the theme automatically update pricefrom Amazon using product advertising API) or plugin like EasyAzon."
     
  2. starki

    starki Power Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    233
    There is no problem in having a blog that for example mentions a price in text like "$49 on Amazon". If you are paranoid, you can add like "at the moment", "today" or whatever. We have bargain related sites with thousands of post of this type, hasn't been a problem for a decade, because the visitor easily understands it's the price at the time the article was published.

    What you absolutely want to avoid is static prices in any charts, tables, comparisons, like the TOS say. Yes, they ban people for displaying outdated prices in this format, because it's misleading. At least that's what some guy from Amazon told me.

    The easiest way to avoid problems, is pulling the price directly via the Amazon AWS/API (As far as I remember, you may cache prices for 60 minutes to reduce API usage. You could add some sort of publically displayed timestamp, so visitors exactly know when the price was pulled the last time.), add automated sorting of the comparison tables, done. You don't need AuthorityAzon or EasyAzon for this, the API is documented really well and easy to use, any freelancer who knows PHP should be able to write you a plugin for this.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Vladamir

    Vladamir Power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    335
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Restore Old Boats
    Location:
    Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Mexico
    hmmm okay, I have a few charts like these, I guess ill have to put a notice saying *price as of blah 2016.

    I dont think the plugin is an option for me, the chart I have is embedded in a special way through some creative work of plugins so its not read by google yet isnt an iframe
     
  4. T2tkid

    T2tkid Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,826
    Likes Received:
    1,745
    I read some months ago that it is against amazon TOS to list the prices of product on your blog. I have a couple of blogs and I have removed all the price tag.

    If you are amazon affiliate, please do same. it is not good to get your account banned.
     
  5. dondada7

    dondada7 Power Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    286
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The trap
    Fuck that I've seen amazon ban a lot of people over little things there is no point risking it by trying to word it a certain way so you can get a specific price in. Just use the standard $, $$, $$$ or something similar in the tables then in the written review use words like cheap, fair price, expensive, costly ect..
     
  6. blogzandstuff

    blogzandstuff Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Messages:
    6,422
    Likes Received:
    2,999
    Occupation:
    blog creator
    Location:
    UK
    " Price is accurate at time of posting but may be subject to change " is something i have used before.
    You could use a plugin like easy azon so it automatically updates
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. Vladamir

    Vladamir Power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    335
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Restore Old Boats
    Location:
    Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Mexico
    I Like this, I think im gonna use that on top of a chart except change the "is accurate" to "was accurate at time of posting"

    Thanks for the suggestion
     
  8. Jesse Custer

    Jesse Custer Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2015
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    185
    Check your Google Analytics and see what % of Mobile Traffic you have.

    I used the "Easy Azon" plugin when I started, but Amazon since rolled out their "Mobile Popover". This improved my bottom line considerably. As around 80% of my traffic is mobile I replaced Easy Azon with this. That pop-ups with the price and image and says "Found on Amazon".

    Regarding the terming, after reading numerous threads here and on Amazon's forum I sometimes go with "around $40". To make it a bit safer (I feel) you can then put "You can check today's price here" and that's inline with Amazon's Ts & Cs.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  9. trafias

    trafias Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    It is best to use a plugin to provide real time pricing.
     
  10. JabbaTheHutt

    JabbaTheHutt Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Tatooine
    Nop that won't work anymore. I talked with 2 different Amazon staff members and both suggested me not to use prices at all unless I use the API to take current prices. I asked about this and other several methods but their answer is don't use static price mentions in pages where I have Amazon ads. Now there is Amazon live support option so you guys can ask them. :)

    Login use this link > https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/contact

    You will see chat option in right side. Those staff members will ask you about your account contact details bla bla but unless it's an account specific question you don't have to go through that crap. Just tell them your question is not about your account.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. Vladamir

    Vladamir Power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    335
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Restore Old Boats
    Location:
    Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Mexico
    Yeah i'm a bit paranoid of amazon rep just knowing what account I pertain to because im logged in and flagging my account for a review after I ask him the question lol. Thats unfortunate looks like I will have to get something together that grabs updated pricings using the api and puts them in a shortcode for wordpress as I have articles with 3 buttons per article with the click to go to product page $xxx on amazon in them.

    Jesse is the mobile popover a plugin or just a line of code for me to implement ill try to look into it thanks.
     
  12. blogzandstuff

    blogzandstuff Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Messages:
    6,422
    Likes Received:
    2,999
    Occupation:
    blog creator
    Location:
    UK
  13. Jesse Custer

    Jesse Custer Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2015
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    185
    It's a few lines of code that goes in the footer.php file through the WP admin panel (editor section).

    You can then add text and image links through Amazon sitestripe to articles and it should trigger the popup automatically.

    Be warned, it is a bit buggy with EasyAzon. I removed that plugin as I think sticking with Amazon related plugins is probably safer.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. AlexTh3Great

    AlexTh3Great Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    13
    What about showing the prices in an image? Like a screeshot. It's technically not in the anchor link, so AZ would have to manually look at the images to determine if the price is outdated or not... I think it's the safest way to work around this "ban" and still dispaly prices.
     
  15. Vladamir

    Vladamir Power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    335
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Restore Old Boats
    Location:
    Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Mexico
    The code is a great addition to my mobile site big thanks for that.

    Regarding easyAZON. I'm a bit on the fence about getting the easyazon plugin for a few reasons.

    1. The benefit it boasts of speed for me is minimal since i only keep 3 links per review
    2. The plugin adds images looks like by leeching them from the amazon site. Images saved and uploaded to your own site with alt tags and other info are a added bonus for seo and lost traffic if your leeching your image.
    3. Plugin weight. I am already at a high amount of plugins and fight hard to keep them all light and at a minimum this seems like it may add a few extra seconds to load time
    4. plugin conflicts with other plugins - I see alot of this in the reviews

    The only real benefit i see to having it is having the global option to set all links to buy now links, that may improve my turnover since it gives the 90 day cookie and my products are high value products, but phrasing it may be difficult, do I say "click here to view the ### on amazon" or "click here to add the ### to your amazon cart" and would the first one be manipulative and penalize me in any way.

    and localization, about 15% of my triffic is foreign, might get an little boost in revenue from this who knows.

    I wish there was just a super simple plugin that created a simple red button for you with a updating price for your link -_-
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. towelfox

    towelfox Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    61
    You have to get prices from the api and you can't cache product data including prices for more than 24 hours. The operating agreement is quite specific about this. If you're showing prices then automate it.
     
  17. Jesse Custer

    Jesse Custer Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2015
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    185
    Yeah, the big selling point of EAz was speed of adding the links. Since Amazon have got their act together with the pop-up and sitestripe there's no real difference.

    The link localization is the only thing I'm concerned about losing. Around 95% of traffic is for the US market but having the option of more money is always good.

    The "90 Days" cookie I think isn't that effective. I don't like how it takes you directly to the shopping cart page and you have to click back for stars / reviews. Most people impulse buy anyway. That's just my experience of testing that feature out. It might work better in some niches over others.

    I also agree with you about bloated plug-ins and conflicts. Plus the Amazon system is free and "official".

    Regarding the phrasing, you could simply put "Available on Amazon" and a link. I wouldn't think that was too manipulative.
     
  18. JabbaTheHutt

    JabbaTheHutt Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Tatooine
    It's still a risk. I don't see a point risking the account for something like that. You can create a 1000 page site start earning good money and then Amazon decide to check your site. Next day Account will be gone.
     
  19. Vladamir

    Vladamir Power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    335
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Restore Old Boats
    Location:
    Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Mexico
    I think I finally decided on what I'm going to do I found the site that just sold for about $60,000 on Flippa. It's an affiliate site about shavers and basically what he does is he shows the price however he puts a line through the price in a way that it looks like the price is striped out and below the price he writes "check price and availability here" here is the site in question
    http://pickmyshaver.com/the-best-and-most-recommended-electric-shaver-list-2016/
     
  20. Vladamir

    Vladamir Power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    335
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Restore Old Boats
    Location:
    Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Mexico
    For anyone in the future still interested, all i could get out of customer support. This is frustrating lol, looks like im gonna have to pay a dev to make a plugin that shows price on my buttons.

    Me: Hello McK,
    Me: I heard some cases of affiliate bannings due to violation of the TOS and wanted to ask a few questions to make sure im adhering to all amazon rules.
    Me: 1. Pricing, I understand you cannot include unupdated or cached pricing however if I were to include a button that says
    Me: <Check Price and Availability>
    Me: and below the button some smaller text that says
    Me: "Researched Average Price on Web: $599"
    Me: would that not count as pricing since it is not pricing from amazon it says its the average from the rest of the web?
    Me: 2. If I have a pricing table with comparisons of products, could I include a price column if the column title says *Estimated Price, Not Amazon Price" PM
    McK: Please don't list prices or price ranges on your site unless you've used a product link or the API to get that information. No problem using a "click to check price" button.
    Me: so listing the pricing of the same product from another site is also not allowed?
    Me: trying to find some work around since im not a skilled programmer to adapt the api
    McK: In order to avoid any issue with violation, I would advise not to list pricing. Customer support does not enforce the operating agreement.
    Me: ok thanks
    Me: appreciate the help
    McK: No problem, Vlad :)