Amazon Closed My Account-In Trouble-Ideas?

46 replies
Hi Warriors,

I'm freaking out. Amazon closed my affiliate account for a violation saying "It has come to our attention that you are framing our Web site".

I have no idea what the violation is. Can someone look at the site and tell me what the infraction was? Was I hacked? http://buyinversiontables.net/

Is there any way to get reinstated at Amazon? Can I reapply? Anyone know how to talk to a real person at Amazon? Am I banned forever?

I have a portfolio of 15 sites and it looks like I have to sell them. But I don't feel right if something is wrong in the design and someone else could get in trouble. Any ideas on salvaging my business?

This is a crushing blow as my regular job ended a while ago and Amazon is my only source of income to fight off the wolves at the door. I am in dire straights. After years of futile attempts at IM I finally found something that was working and was banking on it.

Any help or ideas warmly welcomed. billurell (AT) hotmail.com or PM

Thanks,

Bill Urell
#accountin #amazon #closed #troubleideas
  • Profile picture of the author socomplete
    I'm sorry to hear that, have considered signing up with the overstock affiliate program? Or even cj.com?

    It will take a little work to take out the links but it may be worth checking out.


    Keep trying to contact amazon, they will respond.

    this link might help:// Amazon.com Help: Contact Customer Service
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    You didn't give the url of your site, but as for your Amazon questions about whether or not you could be reinstated, only Amazon can answer that.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      I don't see any readily obvious specifics on that particular website, but violating Amazon's TOS is generally unforgiveable, and they are very explicit about not framing their site and product pages. You perhaps should consider replacing affiliate links for now with comparable products from Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, etc while you pursue what may be a rather long appeal process.
      Signature
      “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
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  • Profile picture of the author billurell
    Thanks for the input, I am not sophisticated enough to try to game Amazon. Everything was by the book, to my knowledge.

    Those are standard links and standard images. I have not found a link yet going to anywhere but Amazon directly. Figured more sets of eyes could find it.

    I did find out how to talk to a live person in affiliate program Mon-Fri

    Thanks,
    Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I visited and cannot see any framed pages. You might call up Amazon support if you can get a phone number. Or email them and try to explain. Not sure it will work. Most of these companies .. once they give you the boot, they don't seem to bend.
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  • Profile picture of the author foxtrot3
    Yes you do have some framed pages. Personally I wasn't aware that this wasn't permitted by Amazon. I tried to find it in their TOS but was not successful. This means that anyone using the "JVPress GoPages plugin" or anything similar that creates an iframed page with Wordpress and Amazon links had best find a different way to cloak their links ASAP.

    Here is the framed page. There may be others.

    http://buyinversiontables.net/goto/Inversiontable

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by foxtrot3 View Post

      Yes you do have some framed pages. Personally I wasn't aware that this wasn't permitted by Amazon. I tried to find it in their TOS but was not successful. This means that anyone using the "JVPress GoPages plugin" or anything similar that creates an iframed page with Wordpress and Amazon links had best find a different way to cloak their links ASAP.

      Here is the framed page. There may be others.

      http://buyinversiontables.net/goto/Inversiontable

      .
      Yep ... you're right. It is definitely framed, and that's what the plugin claims it can do. Can you use that plugin with iframing the page?
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    • Profile picture of the author pukimama
      This is link cloaking right ? so Amazon don't allowed this too ?

      Originally Posted by foxtrot3 View Post

      Yes you do have some framed pages. Personally I wasn't aware that this wasn't permitted by Amazon. I tried to find it in their TOS but was not successful. This means that anyone using the "JVPress GoPages plugin" or anything similar that creates an iframed page with Wordpress and Amazon links had best find a different way to cloak their links ASAP.

      Here is the framed page. There may be others.

      http://buyinversiontables.net/goto/Inversiontable

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    First I am sorry for the case with Amazon, but I don't think there is much you can do.

    Amazon doesn't really pay much care for his affiliated, you will get shocked that you have a better shot to go back to Adsense than Amazon.

    There is indirect ways that doesn't seems 100% leigitmate that can return you back. There are books about these stuff.

    Amazon detect every single information that can help him keep you out of the system.
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  • Profile picture of the author billurell
    Thanks Foxtrot3 I did not know that is a framed link. That is from a very popular plugin, MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate that manages affiliate links. I bet a lot of people might be in trouble and not know it.

    Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author Frugal Jen
      take out any framed stuff and try Skimlinks.com while you try to get reinstated.

      jen
      Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author pdrs
    Bill really sorry to hear that and if cloaking affiliate links is considered framing I think many of us might be setup for trouble and not know it!!

    I use CloakPIG and it uses PHP Header for cloaking - does anyone know if this is considered framed?
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    RemoteControlHelicopterReviews.(com/net) - Up for sale! No reasonable offer refused. Great branding for a super hot niche!
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    • Profile picture of the author FredJones
      I see an empty page there. But assuming that you had violated the guideline somewhere, fix it and see if calling Amazon helps. I suspect that it will not help, unfortunately. So consider other affiliate programs - there are great ones out there. For example, CJ. For example, ShareASale.

      Careful about the guidelines, read them carefully and then go ahead with the implementation.
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    • Profile picture of the author RayFinckle
      Also curious as to which is the safest method to put amazon links on a blog or website.
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinw1
    Hmm. If you are framing the whole page, I can see why they might not like it.

    I'd be interested to know if iframing a certain section (like customer reviews - as ReviewAzon does) is also a problem.
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    • Profile picture of the author chubbsky
      Originally Posted by kevinw1 View Post

      Hmm. If you are framing the whole page, I can see why they might not like it.

      I'd be interested to know if iframing a certain section (like customer reviews - as ReviewAzon does) is also a problem.
      Found this under Associates Program Participation Requirements:
      22. You will not frame the Amazon Site, or any part of it, within your site. However, displaying a Special Link on your site in accordance with the Operating Agreement will not be considered framing the Amazon Site.

      ====
      So iframing customer reviews is definitely a violation if we are to go with the above requirement.
      Signature


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  • Profile picture of the author Cee
    You have an iframe around your youtube video. I wonder if that could be part of the problem.
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    • Profile picture of the author foxtrot3
      The OP fixed the link, which is why it's no longer working.

      Personally I use php redirects with Amazon affiliate links. They are totally safe and easy to set up. See this site -

      301 Redirect - How to create Redirects

      You need to FTP an empty folder to the root directory of your site. Name the folder "go" or "likes" or similar. Then make a php redirect file for each of your Amazon affiliate links. Name each php file greenwidgets.php, bluewidgets.php, pinkwidgets.php, etc. FTP each php redirect file into that same folder.

      Now instead of that mile long Amazon link. you can use ---

      http://myniftysite.com/likes/bluewidgets.php

      And if you've set it up right the user will be taken to the Amazon affiliate site. This is a simple redirect. There is no framing involved here.

      Last but not least - how to make a php redirect file...

      Open Notepad or similar text editor.

      Paste in this code (modified to suit your needs).

      <?
      Header( "HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently" );
      Header( "Location: http://www.your_amazon_affiliate_link_goes_here.com" );
      ?>

      The code shown above must be the only code you write into the text editor and it must start at the very first line of the text editor.

      Save this file as bluewidgets.php and then FTP it to your "go" or "likes" folder.
      Do separate php files for each of your amazon affiliate links.

      I'm sure this looks confusing as he** to someone who's never done it, but give it a shot. It works like a charm, and it won't get you banned from Amazon.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author abhi1
        Originally Posted by foxtrot3 View Post

        The OP fixed the link, which is why it's no longer working.

        Personally I use php redirects with Amazon affiliate links. They are totally safe and easy to set up. See this site -

        301 Redirect - How to create Redirects

        You need to FTP an empty folder to the root directory of your site. Name the folder "go" or "likes" or similar. Then make a php redirect file for each of your Amazon affiliate links. Name each php file greenwidgets.php, bluewidgets.php, pinkwidgets.php, etc. FTP each php redirect file into that same folder.

        Now instead of that mile long Amazon link. you can use ---

        http://myniftysite.com/likes/bluewidgets.php

        And if you've set it up right the user will be taken to the Amazon affiliate site. This is a simple redirect. There is no framing involved here.

        Last but not least - how to make a php redirect file...

        Open Notepad or similar text editor.

        Paste in this code (modified to suit your needs).

        <?
        Header( "HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently" );
        Header( "Location: http://www.your_amazon_affiliate_link_goes_here.com" );
        ?>

        The code shown above must be the only code you write into the text editor and it must start at the very first line of the text editor.

        Save this file as bluewidgets.php and then FTP it to your "go" or "likes" folder.
        Do separate php files for each of your amazon affiliate links.

        I'm sure this looks confusing as he** to someone who's never done it, but give it a shot. It works like a charm, and it won't get you banned from Amazon.

        .
        Agreed. You can also do a 301 Redirect to your affiliate links from the .htaccess file.
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      • Profile picture of the author Abbie88
        Originally Posted by foxtrot3 View Post

        The OP fixed the link, which is why it's no longer working.

        Personally I use php redirects with Amazon affiliate links. They are totally safe and easy to set up.

        ...
        Big thanks for this post, foxtrot3..
        Signature

        no sigs at the moment :)

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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    I'm really surprised that Amazon would care about this and even more surprised that they'd give you the boot. I've seen people abusing Amazon a thousand times worse than this. I think if you can reach a human you should have a good chance at being reinstated. Good luck.
    Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author Targeted Traffic
    You are sure of your innocence then continue to contact Amazon, meanwhile also start finding other sites to be affiliated with like Clickbank, cj, markethealth or linkshare...all best of luck to you...
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  • Profile picture of the author harrietfredge
    I feel bad for the situation you are in. If you can have a direct contact with the Amazon, you can always try to explain your and try to make it out for them. There are certain possibilities that you are hacked or you may have done something really wrong for Amazon to close your account.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    I would use the warrior forum search function, there have been a few posts in here on how to get your account back. One of the ideas, was a gem and was pretty easy and secret contact that not many people knows about.
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  • Profile picture of the author MIRENGE
    Contact Amazon for they are the only one's who can give you the reason for closing your account. Sometime you need to read and understand their rules and regulations.
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    Interior design .... where beautiful homes is all we care.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marketing Merit
    Can anyone offer some insight into the various Amazon plugins that pull in reviews and cloak links? Are these in violation of the terms also?

    I'm specifically thinking of WP Amaz-One plugin that I was considering purchasing to scale up the number of Amazon sites that I currently have.

    Any thoughts?

    PS: Billurell... your site looks so much like a Jan Roos one...is this the method that finally worked for you?!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tony Shipp
    Can someone explain what is an iframe?

    Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author musicabonita
      Originally Posted by tshipp View Post

      Can someone explain what is an iframe?

      Thanks
      Hey, I found this explanation. Hopefully this will help.


      "Framing usually means that someone looks at your site and sees Amazon's site, too, basically as if Amazon is embedded in your site. It can be done with iframes in HTML.
      It used to be pretty common to see sites framing each other because site owners didn't want people leaving their sites while visiting others. I seem to recall Ask Jeeves used to frame other sites, for instance. But framing is considered bad behavior because it can confuse people about what site they're on. Did someone set up your site for you? If so, ask them about how to remove any frames."
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinw1
    frames and iframes are two different things, which is why I originally asked. The Amazon-generated link that has a picture, name, price etc all built in is an iframe.

    Framing makes it look as if the framed site (in this case Amazon) is part of your site. An iframe lets you put a small, specific set of data into a region of your page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    I'd give Amazon a call and have a talk with them because I cannot see any violations on the site you mentioned.

    Mike Hill
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  • Profile picture of the author trytolearnmore
    Yes, contact Amazon first. They will explain everything.

    And if that doesn't work, you can sell your website on Flippa and buy yourself some time for building new websites (and paying the bills).

    Believe in yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    Sign up with Skimlinks. They have promote Amazon products and because of the high volume they have because of all the affiliates, they get the highest commissions, and so you can often make more in commission than being an Amazon affiliate, from what I have heard.

    It isn't hard to get signed on. I linked the name if you are interested so just click on the name to find out more about them. This should be your easiest alternative I would think. Just switch out the links to the one Skimlinks gives you.

    Good luck.

    PS: I don't see any framing being done on your site. Have no idea what they are talking about.
    Signature

    Tim Pears

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    • Profile picture of the author JennyDeen
      I know nothing of iframes or frames but I just clicked on you contact us page and found this.

      Contact Us

      Please use the form below in the event you require assistance here on the site or if you would like to engage our visitors with your Advertising.

      Your location has been identified as part of a reported spam network. Contact form has been disabled to prevent spam.

      Thank you.

      Site Administrator
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  • Profile picture of the author pbdollars
    you can contact them and tell that you are not iframing. They should accept it I guess. They closed my account because I am in Illinois.
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  • Profile picture of the author Super Warrior
    Contact Amazon AFTER modifying your website.
    Explain that you were totally unaware about that thing and you've cleared everything and request them to reinstate your account.

    I tried but couldn't find a phone number for you.


    - Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author davidtong
    I asked Amazon before through their discussion forum and they said using bit.ly and similar URL shorteners are OK... Now I'm not sure whether prettylinks is OK.... i might work on that 301 trick mentioned above if prettylinks equates to framing to Amazon.
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    • Profile picture of the author NBaller
      First, sorry to hear about your misfortune. I had my adwords account banned a while ago for not being fully aware of the T&Cs and hate how final these bans are. Like you, I wasn't intentionally trying to sneak something by Google -- it is just so hard to understand the nuances of these rules.

      For anyone who might know the answer -- I currently have about a hundred Amazon websites that have comments in frames. I also use WP-Robot to cloak links. This post makes me a bit concerned about my account. Is what I am doing wrong as well?

      Best of luck with getting your account back. Please do let us know if you are successful.
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      • Profile picture of the author athenistic
        If in doubt, call them up and ask before you try something: 800-372-8066
        Signature

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        • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
          I just saw a 'free' offer in the War Room for something that lets you do a pop-up over another site to drop your affiliate link or request an email signup to your newsletter.

          Probably not a unique script.

          What the seller does NOT disclose is that this is done by framing the merchant's website. Even worse, he encrypts the frame code so that unless you are experienced you have no idea you are framing another site.

          Undoubtedly, unsuspecting Warriors use scripts like that, just looking at the sales page and all the great benefits being offered, without realizing they put themselves on the fast track to being banned.

          .
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        • Profile picture of the author Heidi White
          Originally Posted by athenistic View Post

          If in doubt, call them up and ask before you try something: 800-372-8066
          I disagree. Coming from dealing with banks - it's best you get your self set - before you call. These folks who enforce rules are often paid $10 and hour and don't really care about your sob story. Sorry if that sounds cynical.
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      • Profile picture of the author Nero Arcnumé
        Originally Posted by NBaller View Post

        For anyone who might know the answer -- I currently have about a hundred Amazon websites that have comments in frames. I also use WP-Robot to cloak links. This post makes me a bit concerned about my account. Is what I am doing wrong as well?
        With 'comments in frames', do you mean customer reviews? It seems there's a bit of confusion surrounding the use of customer reviews and showing them in an iframe on websites.

        The Amazon API used to provide customer reviews which various plugins etc then showed on a site. But now Amazon provides you with a URL that can be used to show an iframe instead. According to the following announcement from Amazon, you're perfectly fine displaying customer reviews in an iframe because that's what it was meant for:
        Dear Product Advertising API Developer,

        On November 8, 2010 the Reviews response group of the Product Advertising API will no longer return customer reviews content and instead will return a link to customer reviews content hosted on Amazon[dot]com. You will be able to display customer reviews on your site using that link. Please refer to the Product Advertising API Developer guide found here for more details. The Reviews response group will continue to function as before until November 8 and the new link to customer reviews is available to you now through the Product Advertising API as well.

        Thank you for advertising products for sale on Amazon[dot]com.

        The Product Advertising API Team
        I can't post a link to it but you can find the official source with 1 second of Google

        Although, depending on which plugins you might use for WP (or any other CMS), I advise you to find out in which ways those display Amazon content on your site, if you're unsure.
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  • Profile picture of the author algrant
    Well interesting long thread guys, with a mixture of sugestions. I am looking at getting started with Amazon this week, so is their a definative answer? i was going to use Pretty Links but i am probably just as confused as the rest of you grrrr isn't life fantastic? Problems-Solutions all the time
    Signature

    Al Grant

    Creating | Wealth | Together

    https://www.creatingwealthtogether.com

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  • Profile picture of the author HeathHarwood
    I am also interested in building amazon affiliate sites, so this news of being banned for reasons that are amorphous and not bright-lined is disconcerting, and makes me want to get my Affiliate Do's and Don'ts ducks-in-a-row before I start building amazon niche sites.

    That said, I did look at the above inversion table site and maybe the framing claim came from the the amazon content that populated the site (although aren't we allowed to use their content in promotion of their products).

    Also, could a site like that which seems to mimic a storefront on its face be violating number 20 below (e.g., potentially confusing a visitor as to the site owner's relationship with Amazon)?

    Thanks OP for bringing this to our attention as it is productive food for thought. A handy non-legalese guide to navigate these waters by an experience Amazon Affiliate would be a great tool.That, and an amazon approved link cloaker and Amazon Niche website plugin.

    Below are APP rules that affiliates could innocently run afoul of, and we should be particularly mindful (the other one's listed seem to require an overt, proactive and not ambiguous action to violate the affiliate agreement):

    "Associates Program Participation Requirements


    19. You will not use Special Links to link to the Amazon Site from references to items on your site that are not Products.



    20. You will not take any action that could reasonably cause any customer confusion as to our relationship with you, or as to the site on which any functions or transactions (e.g., search, browse, or order) are occurring.



    22. You will not frame the Amazon Site, or any part of it, within your site. However, displaying a Special Link on your site in accordance with the Operating Agreement will not be considered framing the Amazon Site.



    28. You will not display or otherwise use any of our customer reviews or star ratings, in part or in whole, on your site unless you have obtained a link to that customer review or star rating through the Product Advertising API and you comply with the requirements set forth in the agreement."
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