WARNING: If you are any of the following, this video may get you very pssed off (yes that’s a typo):
- An Apple (AAPL) shareholder
- An Amazon shareholder
- An Amazon associate (there’s reported to be over 700,00 of them)
Imagine this happening:
A potential Apple customer is looking to buy some Apple stuff – maybe the new Ipad Mini.
A lot of people do… And they are hoping to see this:
- So they go straight to the address bar to type in apple.com – it’s said that over 4% of traffic is directly entered in the address bar. It’s called direct navigation or “type in” traffic
- BUT instead they mis-spell it and type in something different e.g. aapple.com
- And they end up at this Apple product page on a legitimate ecommerce store: Amazon.com:
Without thinking twice, and maybe even forgetting that they intended to type in Apple.com (vs a search in Google), they proceed to load up their cart with Ipad mini’s and accessories. “Kaching!” goes the Amazon shopping cart.
The customer doesn’t know or even care that some sneaky affiliate is cashing in on this deal, pocketing up to 8.5% of the sale in commissions. See the Amazon Associate commission table here:
Who’s happy now?
Customer? Check – they got what they wanted. Maybe even with free shipping
Sneaky Affiliate? Hell yeah – they just earned a nice 8.5% commission for their tiny $9/yr domain investment
Amazon? Hmmm – well they probably are happy since they made a sale instead of Apple directly (where the customer originally intended to go), but maybe they wouldn’t be so happy knowing that they’re paying an affiliate some commissions on a brand they are an authorized reseller for, and brand infringement is not only against their Terms of Service for Associates, it’s also illegal.
Other Amazon Associates? Probably pissed off since here’s someone cheating the system, making associates look bad, and reducing the profitability of the associate program therefore reducing commission rates.
Apple? Probably but shold they be? They just sold another Mini Ipad to their reseller (at wholesale pricing) BUT they could have sold for full retail price and not pay any commissions, due to their brand mindshare.
Want more proof?
This video says it all:
If someone who cared about all this used Typo Assassin, which clearly identifies the offender doing this, they’d shut this stuff down in a heartbeat and make a lot more people happy AND make more money for Apple and it’s shareholders. It would be one less bite out of Apple.