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Old 10-30-2013, 01:51 PM   #1
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Thumbs up AmazonSmile: Amazon will donate to charity of your choice with each purchase

From Amazon Launches AmazonSmile – A Simple, Automatic Way For Customers To Support Their Favorite Charitable Organizations:

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SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 30, 2013-- Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today launched AmazonSmile, a new program that makes it easy for customers to support their favorite charitable organizations every time they shop. Customers who visit AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com) will find the exact same Amazon they know and love. They’ll enjoy the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience – with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to their favorite charitable organization. There is no cap on the total donation amount and customers can choose from nearly one million organizations around the country.
....
When customers first go to AmazonSmile they’ll be asked to select their favorite charitable organization from almost a million eligible organizations – and that’s it. Once a customer has selected an organization on their first visit, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from any eligible purchases through AmazonSmile from that point forward, whether a customer shops just once or once a day. Customers can select a new charitable organization at any time, but don’t need to add any additional information or change the way they shop. All they need to do is remember to type smile.amazon.com into the browser on their PC, tablet or phone.
When you first sign up, you will be presented with several "spotlight charities" (currently American Red Cross, The Nature Conservancy, DoSomething.org, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and charity:water). You can select one of those or search for another organization close to your heart. There are nearly one million to choose from, and you can change your charity at any time.

From then on, make your purchases at smile.amazon.com, and the charity of your choice will receive 0.5% of the purchase price. Be sure to update your browser's bookmark if you use that when buying at Amazon.com.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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Thank you for pointing this out. As much money as Amazon brings in, this could end up really helping a lot of charities.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:00 PM   #3
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As much money as Amazon brings in, this could end up really helping a lot of charities.
Yes! For example, 0.5% of $1,000 is only $5, which doesn't seem like much, but when multiplied by purchases made by millions of customers, the amount donated to charities could really add up.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:50 PM   #4
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My daughter's school's PTA was already doing this, I think via an affiliate link. So isn't this the same as the affiliate program, but only for non-profits? How much do affiliates make? 0.5%? I see our PTA is listed in the smile program. I guess the benefit to this, as opposed to the affiliate program, is that it's more "exposed." Previously I could use the affiliate link, but it wouldn't say on the site that I was shopping to benefit the PTA. I still have to remember to go through a special link!

eP
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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I wonder how you give out a persistent link with the charity attached? Charities don't want to say "go to smile.amazon.com and search for us," they want to give out a LINK. I tried the Facebook share (well I previewed it, I didn't actually post it) and it didn't look like the charity was attached.

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Old 10-30-2013, 04:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
I wonder how you give out a persistent link with the charity attached? Charities don't want to say "go to smile.amazon.com and search for us," they want to give out a LINK. I tried the Facebook share (well I previewed it, I didn't actually post it) and it didn't look like the charity was attached.

eP
I don't believe it's possible to provide a persistent link in the manner you suggest since charity selection is initiated by the customer and tied to his/her account.

Note that the charitable organization needs to register with AmazonSmile in order to receive donations allocated to them. There's more information about that here (AmazonSmile Org Central). You can find contact information there, too.

Quote:
As long as your organization is listed by GuideStar and meets our eligibility criteria, customers will be able to select your organization. However, no donations will be made to your organization until you complete your free registration.
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:46 AM   #7
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I don't get it. Does this replace affiliate links, or does an affiliate still get a percentage? I think affiliate links pay more than 0.5 percent.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:18 AM   #8
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I don't get it. Does this replace affiliate links, or does an affiliate still get a percentage? I think affiliate links pay more than 0.5 percent.
From USA Today article "Amazon to make charitable donations when customers buy":

Quote:
AmazonSmile is not replacing Amazon's existing affiliate programs, which already help charities and other small organizations and individuals earning money when shoppers go from their websites to Amazon to buy something.
I regularly use a particular affiliate link myself whenever I shop at Amazon, so I was also curious and asked this Amazon Associate yesterday. His understanding is that the affiliate code will still work when added to the end of the smile.amazon.com URL. I have read elsewhere that the standard affiliate link should be edited by removing "www.amazon.com" and replacing it with "smile.amazon.com" (note there is no "www" in the latter). Both the affiliate and the customer's chosen AmazonSmile charity should then receive credit for the purchase.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:12 AM   #9
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I regularly use a particular affiliate link myself whenever I shop at Amazon, so I was also curious and asked this Amazon Associate yesterday. His understanding is that the affiliate code will still work when added to the end of the smile.amazon.com URL. I have read elsewhere that the standard affiliate link should be edited by removing "www.amazon.com" and replacing it with "smile.amazon.com" (note there is no "www" in the latter). Both the affiliate and the customer's chosen AmazonSmile charity should then receive credit for the purchase.
It seems very confusing to me. What is the point of the "smile" URL? Why not just tell account holders that they can choose a charity if they so desire, and then shop normally? Why the extra hoop to jump through?
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:04 AM   #10
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It seems very confusing to me. What is the point of the "smile" URL? Why not just tell account holders that they can choose a charity if they so desire, and then shop normally? Why the extra hoop to jump through?
Well, if I was feeling paranoid and all, I'd say it was so Amazon could get lots of goodwill from the anouncement but not have to give much money to the charities.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:24 PM   #11
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It seems very confusing to me. What is the point of the "smile" URL? Why not just tell account holders that they can choose a charity if they so desire, and then shop normally? Why the extra hoop to jump through?
I agree that it's confusing.

I expect that most customers won't regularly purchase through AmazonSmile, especially since so much traffic is driven to Amazon via affiliates whose links will generally lead to Amazon.com. It would be better if Amazon either gave this option at Amazon.com checkout or allowed customers to choose one charity through the regular Amazon site. As MikeB pointed out, Amazon probably has their reasons for not doing it that way.

But for those of us willing to change the way we buy at Amazon, it's a painless (and no-cost) method to direct a little extra money to charity. I changed my browser bookmark to go directly to smile.amazon.com (with my preferred affiliate tag attached) instead of Amazon.com, so I don't think it'll be a big adjustment for me.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:07 PM   #12
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When I click through from a promo email I got from Amazon, it goes to the "smile" url with my charity attached. This is different from the affiliate program, and a very nice touch by Amazon, IMO!

I am still curious about the percentages for smile vs affiliate, though.

eP
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:17 PM   #13
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I am still curious about the percentages for smile vs affiliate, though.

eP
AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of the purchase price from eligible purchases. I don't know much about Amazon's affiliate program, but it looks like payment varies, depending on products sold. Here's a link that may explain: Amazon Associates - Advertising Fees. And here's the main website: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/. I hope that helps.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:41 AM   #14
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I'm very happy about this. We do a ton of shopping at Amazon, especially at this time of year.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:46 AM   #15
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Wow, that's a first. Amazon are notorious for not giving to charity. Well, I guess they'll do it if it increases revenues. But it's a good thing if it helps someone in need.
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