Amazon Associates , Commission Theft, Help Needed

14 replies
Hey guys,

I've been on the Amazon Associates programme for awhile now, and my income have been steadily increasing for the past couple of months. Just, i wanted to check and delete all the spam comments on my sites.

So i went to a random Amazon affiliate site of mine, and tried to click on my affiliate link to see if they were working.

To my horror (really, horror), the links were all changed to


hxxp://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0044BCZ0E/petewill-20


(note: this it NOT my affiliate link, this is the link the 'thief' changed all my outgoing links to.)


I then went back to my posts and checked my links, and they were all proper affiliate links tagged with my amazon tracking IDs. Yet when people go to my sites, the outgoing links were changed to that.

This is apparent someone messed around with my affiliate links right? My question is if some tech-savy warriors could tell me

1) how the **** did he do it
2) what can i do to change them back
3) and how can i prevent this from happening again.

I've heard of commission theft, but didn't figure it could be done this easily.



EDIT: So PeteWill is the creator of Amazon Affiliate Link Localizer Plugin. So if you don't key in your affiliate IDs for all of the countries, his own ID goes on your site. I didn't know that. Now i do, courtesy of Mattward.
#amazon #associates #commission #needed #theft
  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    I think someone hacked your site and redirected your links.. Report that to Amazon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ward
    That is a result of using the Amazon Affiliate link localizer plugin. He's not stealing anything or doing anything malicious. If you don't input associate IDs for every country, it will automatically use the plugin creator's ID for people from those countries.
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    "Keep moving forward."
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    • Profile picture of the author Adie
      Originally Posted by mattward View Post

      That is a result of using the Amazon Affiliate link localizer plugin. He's not stealing anything. If you don't input associate IDs for every country, it will automatically use the plugin creator's ID for people from those countries.
      Wow, smart programmer... I am not using this so I don't know. I manually put all of my aff links to my blogs...
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    • Profile picture of the author jackpot9
      Originally Posted by mattward View Post

      That is a result of using the Amazon Affiliate link localizer plugin. He's not stealing anything or doing anything malicious. If you don't input associate IDs for every country, it will automatically use the plugin creator's ID for people from those countries.

      Thanks for your reply, and you should be right. I think my partner put in that darn plugin.
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  • Wait, let me get this right. Does this plugin send the user to the appropriate Amazon, ie the country he lives in?

    So say for example I currently advertise US based products, and someone from the Uk visits the page. Could this plugin detect this and send him to the UK one?

    If so that would help me a ton and increase my sales tremendously.

    Thanks, Jay.
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  • Ah yes it does.

    This plugin not only automatically changes any Amazon link on your site to use your affiliate ID, but it also changes the link to point to the user's local Amazon store.

    So if your visitor is visiting from the UK they'll get a link to Amazon.co.uk, if they're visiting from the US they'll get a link to the same product on Amazon.com.

    All you have to do is provide all your affiliate IDs.

    It doesn't matter if the link is in your post, in your template or anywhere else on your page - it'll be converted automatically.
    Anyone who is interested:

    WordPress › Amazon Affiliate Link Localizer « WordPress Plugins
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Oxby
    Note you must register with Amazon UK/Canada/Germany or whichever you country want and add the tracking ID's.

    Also note that this only works if Amazon in those countries carries the same product (ASIN #), they have far less categories. Otherwise the visitor stays on the default Amazon US site. Commission and payment methods also vary.

    Having said that I make a few sales each month (2 yesterday), mostly books.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ward
    I agree with the above post and actually found the plugin to be more of a liability than a benefit. The IP/location tracking is iffy at best, and for example, I am in Canada and after I saw that it didn't properly identify me as having a Canadian IP, I uninstalled the plugin.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketing Cheetah
    Ah never though of it. I am not sure if it is allowed to change the plugin coding. Maybe some good version of it which is not doing that thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author kelik
    This thing has just happened to me. I was shocked to see "petewill20" instead of my ID in the affiliate link.
    I tried Amazon link checker and it said: The link does not correctly tag for your Account.
    I thougt I was hacked.
    Now I understand that it's due to link localizer plugin.
    However, I'm still confused
    If I don't get IDs from other countries and still keep the plugin activated, does that mean that this petewill20 guy will get the commission insead of me?
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  • Profile picture of the author briankgallagher
    I thought I had been hacked also. All symptoms as above with links going to petewill-20 after I installed wp Link localizer. Deactivated a few minutes ago and all links corrected back to my Azon acct.

    Glad to know I was not hacked , but liked the idea of the link localizer to help folks shopping.

    The question..if I reactivate link localizer and start getting the petewill-20 urls redirect..does that all ( clicks..sales) still go back to my correct account?

    I am not comfortable with the masked redirected urls(petewill-20).

    There is something to say for he long ugly amazon product url's..you can at least check them by reading them.

    Thanks *
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  • Profile picture of the author Cash Money
    I wonder how much cash Pete has made from this plugin!
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