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I was recently accepted into the Amazon affiliate program, as I'm planning on advertising books I read on my website. Before going live with my website, I would like to:

  1. test the whole affiliate program to make sure it's working properly.
  2. buy the books I will review and promote on my website under my own affiliate program in order to get some cash back and therefore save money.

To do so, I thought about setting up a simple HTML page which will just list the products I will buy before going live. That way I test, get some cash back, and don't expose my website before going live.

Can I do this without having my account suspended by Amazon (i.e. won't Amazon think I only applied to the program to get some cash back, will Amazon be happy with receiving affiliate traffic from an almost empty website...)?

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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Amazon have a link checker tool on their associates website which will help determine if your links are valid, use that for testing.

As far as the books go, you need to read the Amazon Associates Agreement and decide for yourself if you're breaking the TOS.

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Pretty sure I've read elsewhere that buying from your own links is (understandably) against the rules. From the linked agreement: Qualifying Purchases exclude... any Product purchased through a Special Link by you or on your behalf. Can't say how they determine when to suspend, though. –  joshuahedlund Jun 4 '12 at 17:44
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@joshuahedlund It's pretty clear you shouldn't do it then, steer well clear if you don't want to get canned. –  toomanyairmiles Jun 4 '12 at 17:50
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If your link is for use with one of the international stores the above link checker won't work. You will find that each store will have their own link checker. EXAMPLE Japan affiliate.amazon.co.jp/gp/associates/network/tools/link-checker/… UK affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk/gp/associates/network/tools/… Canada associates.amazon.ca/gp/associates/network/tools/link-checker/… ETC you can probably see a pattern with their url addresses :P –  moomoochoo Jul 18 '12 at 7:19
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No, you are forbidden to purchase products through your own affiliate ID. See the "Associates Program Participation Requirements", section 29 (as of 25-jan-2013), it reads:

"29. You will not purchase any Product(s) through Special Links for use by you or for resale or commercial use of any kind. Similarly, you will not request or encourage any of your friends, relatives, or associates to purchase any Product(s) through Special Links for use by you or them or for resale or commercial use of any kind. Further, you will not offer any Products on your site for resale or commercial use of any kind."

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