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Amazon Associate/Affiliate program: What's wrong with it?!
Firstly, WELL DONE to Amazon for having an associate program, an affiliate program, in the early days. Folks could set themselves up as affiliates and join Amazon to help Amazon to sell stuff, and as the Internet is a distributed structure, this was generally very successful. Amazon weren't overly picky about what you could buy, and whether you bought stuff via your own links no-one would mind on the odd occasion as long as you were selling most of the stuff to folks out there in the wider world.
What went wrong with the Amazon Affiliate program (Associate Program) was that Amazon started selling secondhand books, putting them up on show alongside the new books, and the customer might easily be tempted by the cutprice bargain of a secondhand book, and for that sale, the affiliate received: NOWT! Nothing! Now come on, Amazon! It's not fair! The customer has bought the book! The affiliate has brought you a sale, so how about paying out some modest percentage commission for that sale?
Well I don't think it's right, but I'm going to continue to promote Amazon alongside other Online Bookshops. However, I know some affiliates who have given up on putting any more valuable time into promoting Amazon, and have shifted their efforts elsewhere, to programs that actually pay up a fair commission on sales that have been sent! Some of these other online bookshops have been quick to capitalise on the influx of Amazon-Exiles and to establish some ground-rules for fair play in the affiliate market.