Amazon just notified me in email that my Associate’s account was closed due to not being in compliance with their operating agreement:
“You are not in compliance with Participation Requirement Number 29 because purchases resulting from Special Links on your site have been used for resale or commercial use.”
I have no idea how or why this happened.
A couple of years ago I moved my blog from the free Blogger platform to a paid WordPress.com hosted site. About the same time I signed up for an Amazon Associate’s account, profiting from any Amazon links resulting in sales, hoping that the proceeds would cover the costs of WordPress hosting and domain registration.
A quick calculation shows Amazon payouts of $669.57 between 2 August 2012 and 30 August 2016, that is about $167.39 per year, less the $99.00 for WordPress hosting, less $36.00 for Akismet blog spam filtering, less $19.00 for domain registration, leaves a profit of $13.39. Less $99.00 for bulk domain registration fees, not really fair to charge this fee to one domain, leaves a loss of $85.61 per year.
I do not know why I was suddenly out of compliance, I made no changes to either my Amazon Associates or WordPress accounts, and I’ve not posted any new content in a number of months. The WordPress stats show typical traffic (ignore the last two days), but the Amazon Associates report does show a marked increase in traffic:
I sent an email to Amazon support to clarify the violation, and to request my account be reinstated, but based on similar reports from other low traffic users, I do not expect a resolution.
Instead, I opted-in to use WordPress’s own WordAds advertising platform, I still need to adjust the blog theme and settings to not interfere with reading, and I have no idea what the monetization would be, but at least I no longer have to bother with making special Amazon links.
Please comment and let me know if you find the ads to be intrusive, and I’ll consider funding the site without advertising assistance.
[Update: 1 September 2016]
A day after sending Amazon a request asking for an explanation, I received the following in email:
“This message is to advise you that your pievilsblo-20 account and your August 2016 Advertising Fees have been reinstated. Please accept our apologies for the closure.”
Looks like my account has been reinstated, no explanation of what happened.