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Risks of an affiliate referral link deal - Scam?

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Hi everyone, I have a question concerning affiliate deals. Following situation: An online marketing company writes you a mail, offering you a certain commission if you place an affiliate link in one of your videos + traffic during a promotion for a certain product (that’s what they use your video for). Has anyone here done such a deal? What are the risks? Is it possibly a scam offer? Generally speaking, what precautions do you have to follow? I would be very glad to hear some experiences.
I’m not sure if I’m allowed to give details on the specific company, so let’s keep it simple: company that approached me, sits in a co-working space and has a rather small website, plus it exists only slightly more than a year. My concern is to do something wrong and putting my channel at risk.
 
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Jungle Explorer

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There is nothing wrong with doing this. But there are few requirements.

1. The affiliate link MUST be to a product that is associated with the content of the video.
2. You MUST place a Disclaimer somewhere in the description informing that the link(s) are affiliate links and that you earn money when people use them to buy the product.
3. You CANNOT use wording that encourages people to support your channel by using affiliate links. EXAMPLE: Please use my links to buy products and support my channel!
4. You MUST check the two boxes circled in red in the advanced options as seen in this screenshot. promotion.jpg
5. It is highly recommended that you announce in the video itself how you are receiving compensation for the product in the video. Example: The company sent me this product for free to do this review.
 
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AllVisuals4U

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I'd be careful with this.

What I could find about affiliate links:

Note: Affiliate content doesn't violate YouTube’s Terms of Use. However, massively posting affiliate content in dedicated accounts may violate our policies around spam. You can learn more about what's allowed in our Spam, deceptive practices & scams policies.

@Jungle Explorer: where did you read that you cannot use word like 'please support my channel'?
 
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Jungle Explorer

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I'd be careful with this.

What I could find about affiliate links:

Note: Affiliate content doesn't violate YouTube’s Terms of Use. However, massively posting affiliate content in dedicated accounts may violate our policies around spam. You can learn more about what's allowed in our Spam, deceptive practices & scams policies.

@Jungle Explorer: where did you read that you cannot use word like 'please support my channel'? I use the words 'You can support this channel by shopping...'. Im curious about this.
This is not a YouTube ToS requirement, but an FTC thing. I cannot remember exactly where I read it the moment, but I researched and verified it. I will try to see if I can find the information. But the bottom line is, the FTC has very strict rules about product promotion online. Violating those rules can open you up to huge fines. Following the five guidelines, I listed will protect you from these dangers.
 
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AllVisuals4U

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There is nothing wrong with doing this. But there are few requirements.

1. The affiliate link MUST be to a product that is associated with the content of the video.
2. You MUST place a Disclaimer somewhere in the description informing that the link(s) are affiliate links and that you earn money when people use them to buy the product.
3. You CANNOT use wording that encourages people to support your channel by using affiliate links. EXAMPLE: Please use my links to buy products and support my channel!
4. You MUST check the two boxes circled in red in the advanced options as seen in this screenshot. View attachment 43639
5. It is highly recommended that you announce in the video itself how you are receiving compensation for the product in the video. Example: The company sent me this product for free to do this review.
What about when you want to review a product without getting paid by the company? Do you know more about that too? The second box doesn't have to be checked then, because you don't get paid (I guess).
 

Jungle Explorer

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What about when you want to review a product without getting paid by the company? Do you know more about that too? The second box doesn't have to be checked then, because you don't get paid (I guess).
If you own a product that you bought without any incentive and you decide that you just want to review it, then you are not required to check the box in items number 4 or number 5.
 
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AllVisuals4U

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If you own a product that you bought without any incentive and you decide that you just want to review it, then you are not required to check the box in items number 4 or number 5.
Thanks! What I still think is that you have to check the first box only in the case I described. The one with endorsement.
 

AllVisuals4U

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If you own a product that you bought without any incentive and you decide that you just want to review it, then you are not required to check the box in items number 4 or number 5.
I think i was not completely clear. I meant I bought a (similar) product for myself and make a video about it. Then I only put affiliate links with disclosure in the description. In the video I just use the product (no review) and only in the description I put the affiliate links. How about that?
I dived into the rules and I believe they tell that where a call to action is made, there must be the disclosure about the relationship between you and a company (Amazon for example). So if you trigger viewers to buy something in the video, the disclosure must also be in the video. But if you don't trigger viewers in the video to buy something, but only use a product, the affiliate links with disclosure can only be in the description.
 
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Jungle Explorer

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I think i was not completely clear. I meant I bought a (similar) product for myself and make a video about it. Then I only put affiliate links with disclosure in the description. In the video I just use the product (no review) and only in the description I put the affiliate links. How about that?
I dived into the rules and I believe they tell that where a call to action is made, there must be the disclosure about the relationship between you and a company (Amazon for example). So if you trigger viewers to buy something in the video, the disclosure must also be in the video. But if you don't trigger viewers in the video to buy something, but only use a product, the affiliate links with disclosure can only be in the description.
Hi. I was on a deep-sea fishing trip all weekend, so that is why the delay in response.

The thing that you must understand is that there are three sets of rules that you must comply with. There is YouTube's Terms of Service. There is requirements of your Affiliate (Amazon.com) program. There are the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission. So, it is not just one set of rules at play here. So, let me address each one individually.

1. YouTube's rules.
YouTube does not really provide clear guidance on this subject, other than to say that any product links must be related to the video. So, if you are building a storage shed, and using a hammer to drive nails, and you place a link to the hammer in the description of the video, you are in line with this guideline, because the hammer is related to the video, even though the video is not about the hammer. Placing a link to a Carribean cruise or a diamond ring would not be related to the video, unless of course, you mentioned a Caribbean cruise you went on in the video, or used the diamond ring to cut a pane of glass in the video.

2. Amazon.com's Affiliate program requires that you place a disclaimer anywhere you use affiliate links. Other affiliate programs have similar requirements. This disclaimer must place at a minimum on your Youtube About Me page, but it is highly recommended that you place it in the description area of each video in which you use affiliate links.

3. The FTC strictly requires that anyone participating in any form of online marketing expressly make it clear that they are receiving compensation for a product, even if it is just receiving the product itself of free. This is the one you really need to fear, because making a mistake here, could result in life-altering legal by the FTC action against you. It is much better to err on the side of being too safe in this regard.


Let me say it this way. You cannot be TOO safe or take TOO many precautions, but you certainly can not take enough. I have given you the five ways to make sure you are safe. While not all are required in all cases, only you can decide when and where to draw that line. Be honest with yourself and always err on the side of being too safe and you will be fine.
 
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