Amazon NEVER calls you to sell you anything. The person on the phone does not work for Amazon. It's a scam!
It Started With A Phone Call
I received a phone call some time around noon a few weeks ago. I knew what was up from the get-go because all these conversations start the same:
“Hello, is this Nathaniell?”
“Is it true that you are looking to make a little extra income from home?”
Well this guy greeted me and said that he works for Amazon Associates. Now THAT caught my attention. If you don't know what Amazon Associates is, it's basically a way for you to sell other people's products on Amazon for a commission. Sell a $10 item, you get 4% commission ($.40).
Why would they call me? Is there a problem with my account?
He then started to tell me that he had a great opportunity for me. There were thousands of people already working from home, selling products on Amazon, and I could do the same. He just needed to see if I qualified to work with them.
Ugh. I knew right then that is was another scam.
These Guys Do Not Work For Amazon
Despite how heavily the reps I spoke to implied it, they 100% DO NOT work for Amazon. They do not work for the company, nor do they work for the Associates affiliate program. They are a 3rd party company that builds websites for you and puts some Amazon products on there.
Amazon doesn't pay them, endorse them, or even condone what they do.
How do I know?
I called Amazon!
Yes, I actually am a member of the Amazon Associates program, and I do make money by selling products from Amazon. Affiliate marketing is what I do, and they are one of the many affiliate programs that I am a member of. It's free to join, and with a very basic website that costs $10 per year or even free, you can start selling products from their website.
They do not try to sell you anything, and do not charge any fees. They are aware of the problem of these scammers, but there are more than one, and they are hard to find. If you do a search for the company details I provided above, you will see that these are not real companies, or at least it's hard to tell whether or not they actually work with the guys that called me.
Lies or Clever Marketing?
The language they used on the phone call was very clever. Here are some of the exact phrases they used on the call.
- “We paid out about 6 billion dollars…”
- “Back in '96 when we started this…”
- “We're famous.”
- “They (Amazon) hire us…”
- “We are the number one reason Amazon does so well” (LOL, try not to laugh at that one!)
- “This is Steve Field with the Associates Program” (paraphrase)
So what do you think? Is it clever advertising to imply that by being part of they affiliate program that they actually represent Amazon? Or is it just a plain old lie?
Don't Give Them A Dime
So, aside from all the double speak and misleading advertising, let's look at what they actually offer. Here is a screenshot of the example website they plan to build for you for a shocking price of at least $599.
They might have give you a different price. I'm looking at my notes here, and I see $599, $999, $2000, and $19.95/month written down. No doubt there were various levels of packages they offer. Typical of these types of companies, they usually offer “one time discounts”, or in this case, they offered to give me a cheap price up front, and collect the rest after I made a certain amount of money.
To be honest, I took the call about 3 weeks ago so the pricing is fuzzy. Either way, that website is not worth more than $50, and most of that price is the labor that went in to setting it up. Nothing on there is of any value.
The best line of all was when someone I spoke to said that I could start making $800 – $1000 per month, and it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Making money online can be fun, and it certainly is a job that I want to continue doing. But saying that it is easy is very, very far from the truth. It takes a lot of time, patience, research, and especially hard work.
You can see that in the REAL Amazon Associates program that there are no fees to join, and you can even call their support phone number to ask bout the company that called you.
The truth is that lots of people are looking for ways to making some extra cash. You really can sell products from Amazon and make money with your very own website. You need to get the proper training though, and definitely need to check your expectations with regards to time and money invested in this online business venture.