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What Amazon have said to me about Pinterest

 
AJ
Posts: 251
Message
on 04/14/2012

Here's an update on my correspondence with Amazon, regarding the pinning of their images on Pinterest - but first a bit of background:

Amazon TOS clearly state that you can only use their product images, providing you link either the image, or the text relating to that image (which must be close to the image) to the Amazon product page.

See Section 5 of the Amazon Associates Operating Agreement 

If you Pin a page and the image is an Amazon Product Image, then if the link on the Pin goes back to your page and not to the Amazon Product Page, then it looks like you are in violation of Amazon TOS.

As an Amazon affiliate, I have been seeking clarification from Amazon on the use of images on Pinterest, to make sure my affiliate account is not jeopardised. This is the latest email I have received from them:

"I'm still researching to find out what the exact policy is for people that repin. It's quite possible if they are an Associate that their accounts could be closed, however I really want to ensure that I have concrete information to give you. I will continue to research and as soon as I have any additional information I will notify you via email." 

So, we still do not have the definitive answer. It looks like there's several ways that Amazon can go with this:

1. Stick to their Terms of Service and insist that PIns that feature Amazon products are linked to the Amazon Product Page

2. Change their Terms of Service - particularly if they think it will lead to more sales!

3. Wait and see - which will leave us still wondering Frown

In the meantime, it looks like providing you don't Pin your own pages, that feature Amazon Products OR you change the link to go to Amazon, rather than your page, then you are OK.

If others Pin your pages and don't change the link to go to the Product Page, then I do not see how you can be held liable for the actions of others. But they could be at risk if they are Amazon Associates.

I will keep you posted.

 


humagaia
Posts: 652
Message
on 04/14/2012

Thanks for bringing all this to our attention AJ, including your efforts to get to the bottom of the issue.

Until a definitive policy is confirmed, I have switched Pinterest off where any Amazon pictures occur.


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 04/14/2012

Why can't I Pin my own pages with Amazon product recommendations?

All I'd have to do is use my own (or Public Domain) images for the Pin, no?


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
lakeerieartists
Posts: 769
Message
on 04/14/2012

 

chefkeem: 14. Apr 2012, 09:52

Why can't I Pin my own pages with Amazon product recommendations?

All I'd have to do is use my own (or Public Domain) images for the Pin, no?

Yes, I think you are right on this.  It is only a problem if the Amazon picture is the one you use.  I will be very surprised if Amazon chases this as a problem.  They are much more likely to wait and see if Pinterest lasts and measure the incoming vs. lost traffic.  It is more likely that they gain business that affiliates lose in the Pinterest shuffle.


Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists) is the owner of an online art gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery and a freelance writer
dustytoes
Posts: 1140
Message
on 04/15/2012

 

lakeerieartists: 14. Apr 2012, 15:30

  It is more likely that they gain business that affiliates lose in the Pinterest shuffle.

I think this is exactly right.

I read an interesting article the other day that leads me farther away from liking Pinterest.

http://www.geekosystem.com/spammer-makes-1000-day-spamming-pinterest/


AJ
Posts: 251
Message
on 04/15/2012

 

chefkeem: 14. Apr 2012, 09:52

Why can't I Pin my own pages with Amazon product recommendations?

All I'd have to do is use my own (or Public Domain) images for the Pin, no?

Achim, yes, if you use public domain images or your own image of the product, then you are not breaking Amazon TOS.

But the thing I am wondering is, does anyone want to risk a picture on Pinterest ranking higher in the SERPs than the image on their Product Page?

In my experience, the more clicks you introduce to try to get people into "buying mode", the less likely they are to buy. Imagine this scenario: the potential buyer is looking for a new Wii Game. This is the possible sequence of steps:

1. Product/information search on Google

2. The Pinned Image on Pinterest

3. Clickthrough to your product page from Pinterest

4. Clickthrough to Amazon

It seems to me that the more clicks you introduce into a "journey", the less likely the buyer is to arrive at the final destination, ie the Amazon Product page

And if Pinterest frowns on you focussing on sharing your own stuff, then why put in all that effort to help other people make the sales?

I know people are reporting increased traffic via Pinterest for some of their pages, but I wonder if that traffic is converting?

I would far rather concentrate on keeping my original pages ranking high than introduce competition for my own page in the form of an image, on another site, that may rank higher than the image on my original sales page.

But, that is just my personal preference and what I think has potentially far more serious consequences will depend on whether Amazon shrugs their shoulders at what is happening and allows it because they think it will benefit their sales figures.

 

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