As per Amazon Associates Program participation requirements, “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.”
If Amazon comes to know that it is through your IP address purchase made (which can happen if say you operate an internet cafe), they will not allow incentive. In other words, you are not allowed direct selling. This restricts the scope. Here is a reply received from Amazon.in customer care when an order was actually made by a friend of an Amazon Associate Program member:
I reviewed your Associates Account/Id:xxxxxxx and saw that the order for ‘product name’ in your account’s Orders Report was flagged as ineligible for advertising fees. This could be because these orders were placed by you, or on your behalf. This can also happen if we have determined that the orders resulted from you requesting or encouraging your friends, relatives, or other people you know to purchase products through your Special Links. Due to the proprietary nature of the way we make these determinations, we can’t share the full list of criteria by which we detect these ineligible orders.
The reason behind this policy is that the Amazon.in Associates Program is an advertising program rather than a discount program. Our goal is to have our associates refer new customers to us in return for advertising fees. Associates are not eligible for advertising fees when they place orders themselves, or ask people they know to routinely place orders through their links so they can earn advertising fees.
At a time when most of us already have an Amazon account, one is not sure how going forward this Associate Program can be viable for publishers if the ‘goal is to have associates refer new customers’. That being said, Amazon Bounty Program, part of the Associate Program, is where publishers can refer and earn fixed advertising fees when visitors try and/or sign-up for additional Amazon services and programs. So, if a visitor from your site who already has an amazon.com account registers for Amazon Business account, you as an Amazon Associate earn $15.00.
“The Amazon Bounty Program offers fixed advertising fees (bounty) when visitors try and/or sign-up for valuable services and programs.”
Know more and start your Associates accounts (available for 23 countries till last checked).
If you have an Associates account from India, you can connect with Associates programs of other countries with the same login credentials. This, of course, is true of all Amazon products.