Amazon Closed My Account Yesterday Claiming Trademark Guidelines Violations

22 replies
Hey everyone,

I am having an issue where Amazon closed my account due to a Trademark violation that I do not find anywhere in their agreement (https://affiliate-program.amazon.com...ng/amazonmarks). I posted on a site that I work on, which owns several other sites. The posts are automatically sent to the Facebook page where the header image says the names of other major stores that are part of their other domain names. None which belong to Amazon or have anything to do with Amazon. Is that right? I'm completely lost here and would like to know what I did wrong, so that if I can fix this, I will not do it again.

Please no mean spirited comments. I'm just looking to find the answers I need and make sure I'm doing or do the right thing in the future.

Thanks in advance!
#account #amazon #claiming #closed #guidelines #trademark #violations #yesterday
  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    You would need to be more specific. It is not just Amazon's trademarks you need comply with.

    For example, using the image of a celebrity without their endorsement. Using a brand's logo like Sony or Apple in a banner or header image. Etc.

    But without seeing the page or image they are referring to it is hard to say.
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    • Profile picture of the author Linda28
      Hi onSubie, Thanks for your response. Can you please direct me to where this information is found or highlight it for me? I don't want to share the image on here as it does not belong to me and I do not want to get anyone else involved.
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    https://affiliate-program.amazon.com...ssoc_join_menu

    5. Responsibility for Your Site

    You will be solely responsible for your site, including its development, operation, and maintenance and all materials that appear on or within it. For example, you will be solely responsible for:
    • the technical operation of your site and all related equipment;
    • displaying Special Links and Content on your site in compliance with this Operating Agreement and the Operational Documentation and any agreement between you and any other person or entity (including any restrictions or requirements placed on you by any person or entity that hosts your site);
    • creating and posting, and ensuring the accuracy, completeness, and appropriateness of, materials posted on your site (including all Product descriptions and other Product-related materials and any information you include within or associate with Special Links);
    • using the Content, your site, and the materials on or within your site in a manner that does not infringe, violate, or misappropriate any of our rights or those of any other person or entity (including copyrights, trademarks, privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or proprietary rights);
    • disclosing on your site accurately and adequately, either through a privacy policy or otherwise, how you collect, use, store, and disclose data collected from visitors, including, where applicable, that third parties (including us and other advertisers) may serve content and advertisements, collect information directly from visitors, and place or recognize cookies on visitors' browsers; and
    • any use that you make of the Content and the Amazon Marks, whether or not permitted under this Operating Agreement.
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Why not ask Amazon?

    It's not about what you use, it's also about how you use. It may have nothing to do with the header image you're talking about.

    Originally Posted by Linda28 View Post

    Hey everyone,

    I am having an issue where Amazon closed my account due to a Trademark violation that I do not find anywhere in their agreement (https://affiliate-program.amazon.com...ng/amazonmarks). I posted on a site that I work on, which owns several other sites. The posts are automatically sent to the Facebook page where the header image says the names of other major stores that are part of their other domain names. None which belong to Amazon or have anything to do with Amazon. Is that right? I'm completely lost here and would like to know what I did wrong, so that if I can fix this, I will not do it again.

    Please no mean spirited comments. I'm just looking to find the answers I need and make sure I'm doing or do the right thing in the future.

    Thanks in advance!
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  • Profile picture of the author Linda28
    I asked Amazon, but the rep said that only a specialist would know and he could only see something wrong with the banner on FB, not on the site. The banner has since been removed, though it only stated the names of other sites like Walmart, kohl's, etc. Not their actual logos. I think someone contacted Amazon to purposely cause trouble for me, as they were recently fired (not by me). Others partners post on the site as well, using their own Amazon links and did not get their accounts closed. I have only been posting with my link for a week, others for years. Is this a plausible scenario, you think?
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      Originally Posted by Linda28 View Post

      Is this a plausible scenario, you think?
      It doesn't matter. If there were trademark/copyright infringements where your link was placed, you were in violation of TOS. This is why you ALWAYS stick with YOUR OWN properties that you have 100% control over.
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      • Profile picture of the author Linda28
        I'm trying to say that my link was not placed on that page, though the post that advertised the sale on Amazon was. And I don't understand how advertising the stores you are affiliated with is copyright infringement. I am not trying to argue or be difficult, I just want to understand where the infringement is. Especially since no direct links to Amazon were ever on that page. Please don't take this wrong, I just really want to understand.

        Thank you for your help
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        • Profile picture of the author Sojourn
          Linda, I'd try a couple of things. First, I'd call Amazon back and ask again. If they say only a specialist would know, ask to speak to a specialist. It's not uncommon to get different answers each time you call. Just be professional and explain you're eager to resolve the issue.

          Next, focus on the site on which the affiliate link was placed. Does the site have "amazon" in the domain name? Does the site display the Amazon logo in a way not provided by Amazon? Is the site trying to mirror Amazon in terms of its layout?

          Any of those things could cause a problem.

          Then, look at the "post that advertised the sale" on FB. Did it use the Amazon logo in some way? Maybe in the image that was attached to that post on FB?

          Putting affiliate links on a site that you don't directly own is always a risk. In fact, I'd once asked Amazon about doing a joint site with a few other affiliates and they advised against it saying my links could only be on my site and could not contain links from other affiliates (although other sites have done so but perhaps they have some sort of commercial arrangement in place with Amazon). I recall an issue a year or two ago where some affiliates lost their accounts because the site on which they were all posting installed some software that violated the Amazon Associate's terms of service. So, even though the people posting didn't do anything wrong the site owner did and that impacted the people who were posting - sadly!
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          • Profile picture of the author Linda28
            Hi Sojourn,

            Thank you so much for explaining that to me. I had no idea multiple people could not use their Amazon links on one site. We each have our own followers and share the traffic to one site, therefore helping all of our posts be seen by more people. I didn't see where that is not allowed in the operating agreement but I guess there are some silent rules or I have to read between the lines. There is definitely nothing about Amazon anywhere. They didn't like that the cover on the FB page had the names of other stores in it and that the blog is associated with domains that have other store names in the domain name. Though neither is associated with Amazon.

            I have removed the cover photo and will call again to beg for mercy. Do you think they allow affiliates to have more than one active account in good standing?

            Again, thank you so much!
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            • Profile picture of the author Sojourn
              Originally Posted by Linda28 View Post

              Thank you so much for explaining that to me. I had no idea multiple people could not use their Amazon links on one site.
              Like I said, though, it's not uncommon to get different answers when you contact them so I'd ask that question of them next time and then keep a record of that discussion.

              HubPages is a site owned by someone else where affiliates can (or could...) post their own affiliate links so it's an option in some instances to have multiple affiliate accounts on the same site but maybe they had to get some sort of permission first.

              If you've walked through all the other steps above and you're sure there's no trademark/copyright infringement I'd contact them again BUT you might want to take a half an hour and just go through the operating agreement AND the associate's participation requirements documents item by item to make sure you don't see anything that you might be violating in those terms before you contact them. There are the two documents (not just the one operating agreement).

              It would be safer to really check everything and work with Amazon directly to understand the violation and get the account reopened (or permission to open a second account). If you simply try to open a new account and they then discover the second account belongs to the same person as the first account, they can (and most likely will) close the second account by making the association between your first account and second account - guilt by association. Then your chances of ever having an account in good standing go down.

              The good news is that I am aware of people who have had their accounts reopened after running into a problem and this type of violation (at least, in my mind) isn't as severe as cookie stuffing or inflating sales through unethical practices - things that cost Amazon hard dollars, for instance.

              Hang in there!
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    • Profile picture of the author onSubie
      Originally Posted by Linda28 View Post

      I think someone contacted Amazon to purposely cause trouble for me, as they were recently fired (not by me). Others partners post on the site as well, using their own Amazon links and did not get their accounts closed. I have only been posting with my link for a week, others for years. Is this a plausible scenario, you think?

      This raises some questions about how you are going about making money as an Amazon affiliate:

      Someone contacted Amazon because they were recently fired? Fired from where? Why would that make them want to undermine your Amazon business?

      "Other partners post on the site..."

      Other partners in what? A business? A link sharing cooperative?

      What do you mean "post on the site"? Do you mean facebook? Or a shared FB page? Or a blog? Or a link share site?

      It sounds like your business model is not a standard niche blog/site driving traffic from Facebook.

      It could be that the non-standard setup raised flags with Amazon and your account happened to get flagged while others did not.
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      • Profile picture of the author Linda28
        It's a deals blog that has a FB biz page, like most blogs do. The only difference is that multiple bloggers operate it, though we all own our own blogs as well. Nothing against the rules. Just bloggers working together on one site. The image was on the FB biz page, not on the site and it was of the names of some of the domains owned by the blog, not logos or trademarks. Does that make sense? I tried explaining it the best way I could.
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  • Profile picture of the author Popche
    Contact them they have an amazing support. My account was once closed because I didn't add a signature to my contract. So the little things can get you banned. P.S. in those days I made 1500$ and lost them because of a stupid contract, but now it's all good
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    ADVICE: Move on and start selling on your own website. When you do, you can command higher fees, and you wont have to worry about Amazon shutting down your site because you violated the Terms of Service in your own product.
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  • Profile picture of the author xnice
    Originally Posted by Linda28 View Post

    Hey everyone,

    I am having an issue where Amazon closed my account due to a Trademark violation that I do not find anywhere in their agreement (https://affiliate-program.amazon.com...ng/amazonmarks). I posted on a site that I work on, which owns several other sites. The posts are automatically sent to the Facebook page where the header image says the names of other major stores that are part of their other domain names. None which belong to Amazon or have anything to do with Amazon. Is that right? I'm completely lost here and would like to know what I did wrong, so that if I can fix this, I will not do it again.

    Please no mean spirited comments. I'm just looking to find the answers I need and make sure I'm doing or do the right thing in the future.

    Thanks in advance!
    It is difficult for reopen Amazon aff account. And they will not leak the detail of why did they ban your account?
    My advice, go ahead for another affiliate and forget this issue. This is a type of business risk.
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  • Profile picture of the author MSutton
    Sorry you had to experience the might and heavy hand of Amazon. Most people do at one point or another.

    Time to move on. Replying on others for your primary source of income is not a business, it's a hobby.
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    • Profile picture of the author davejarvys
      Originally Posted by MSutton View Post

      Replying on others for your primary source of income is not a business, it's a hobby.
      Well that's simply not true when was the last time you went to the coca cola store?

      or bought cinema tickets from Sly Stallone

      or downloaded music from Bono

      Major businesses rely on other businesses for their income.
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      • Profile picture of the author moneymax
        I got a love/hate relationship with Amazon. On the buying end, I love it and they are the best. On the selling end, not so much. I got my sellers account cancelled because my account was linked to another account that was close. I didn't have a say so and no recourse. I hate this for you, but it is their system and they get to do what they want.

        Al
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        • Profile picture of the author davejarvys
          Originally Posted by moneymax View Post

          I got a love/hate relationship with Amazon. On the buying end, I love it and they are the best. On the selling end, not so much. I got my sellers account cancelled because my account was linked to another account that was close. I didn't have a say so and no recourse. I hate this for you, but it is their system and they get to do what they want.

          Al
          So you hate them because you broke the TOS and were caught out?

          That's clearly the evil Amazon cooperation up to no good there. I think I'm going to coin this as scammers mentality.

          Scammers Mentality: The irrational hatred of a business/corporation/institution or person who caught you out trying to spam/scam a system.

          In the scammers mentality despite the scammer being in the wrong they believe it is the corperation/business/institution or individuals fault for catching them.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        There is a difference between relying on and using other businesses. The OP should have several other amazon-like businesses in his quiver. Amazon goes bad? Redirect amazon links to some other business and look for 2 more businesses, to replace the one that replaced Amazon when they go bad.

        Originally Posted by davejarvys View Post

        Well that's simply not true when was the last time you went to the coca cola store?

        or bought cinema tickets from Sly Stallone

        or downloaded music from Bono

        Major businesses rely on other businesses for their income.
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  • Profile picture of the author Devilfish168
    Originally Posted by Linda28 View Post

    Hey everyone,

    I am having an issue where Amazon closed my account due to a Trademark violation that I do not find anywhere in their agreement (https://affiliate-program.amazon.com...ng/amazonmarks). I posted on a site that I work on, which owns several other sites. The posts are automatically sent to the Facebook page where the header image says the names of other major stores that are part of their other domain names. None which belong to Amazon or have anything to do with Amazon. Is that right? I'm completely lost here and would like to know what I did wrong, so that if I can fix this, I will not do it again.

    Please no mean spirited comments. I'm just looking to find the answers I need and make sure I'm doing or do the right thing in the future.

    Thanks in advance!
    is it your website domain name is using amazon this word?
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