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‘Bout those Amazon Native Ads

Remember those Amazon “Native Ads” we talked about last week? I ran the first of them today at the bottom of the interview for Lies of Omission.

Take a look. Do you see it?

If not, would you very kindly turn off your ad blocker for this site? (Instructions below.) For the month of November, Amazon is paying a 12% commission for purchases made through those ads. That’s huge; Amazon commissions usually range from 2% to 7.5%.

The 12% applies only to the items listed in and purchased through the native ads. I believe it may also apply to items purchased through the search box at the bottom of each of the ads, but Amazon has been mum on that and it’ll take a few days of observing purchases for me to know.

These ads are created by me or by Amazon from categories and keywords I specify. They are not tracking ads. If you see items in them that echo your interests, it’s because I echo your interests.

So give the Living Freedom blog a holiday shopping boost without costing yourself a dime more than you’d already spend on Amazon. Unblock ads and peruse the selection. Or, if you don’t want to do that, just use my usual Amazon links.

How to unblock ads for this page:

1. Look for the ad blocker symbol, probably near the top of your browser.

The symbol for AdBlockPlus looks like this: screenshot-from-2016-11-01-11-46-53

The symbol for uBlock looks like this: screenshot-from-2016-11-01-11-47-29

2. Click on the symbol. A drop-down menu will appear.

3. For AdBlockPlus, click where it says “Enabled on this site.” It will change to “Disabled on this site.” For uBlock, click on the on/off (power button) graphic. Reload the page and … voila! An Amazon ad appears.

Here’s an ad, below. Do you see it?


  1. FishOrMan
    FishOrMan November 1, 2016 12:17 pm

    Just used the ad search to get the Bai5 Beverages, (ASIN: B0088MXS6U ). I use subscribe and save to get the extra discounts, so it probably won’t pass anything on to you for a few weeks. 🙁 Sorry.

  2. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2016 12:37 pm

    Nothing to be sorry about, FishOrMan. Thank you!

    Still a lot to learn about these Amazon Native Ads. For example, there are several types. In one, I personally select the items from a limited list Amazon gives me based on my criteria. These (called custom ads) seem to work pretty well. OTOH, there’s another type (called recommendation ads) where I choose the criteria but Amazon fills in the specific products. That one’s driving me bonkers.

    The recommendation ads are easier and can be saved on my Amazon account for later use, which the custom ads can’t be. However, they — maddeningly! — have a habit of completely changing overnight. In one case, an eight-product ad for tech items turned overnight into … huh? … ad ad for a single Deepak Chopra DVD. Srsly? Deepak Chopra??? No matter how I revised it, so it remained. In another case, an ad still had eight products in it but they were all related to either Anthony Weiner, Hillary Clinton, or WikiLeaks. (The recommendation ads search the copy around them for clues as to what they should contain, but that’s ridiculous, especially when I’ve specified categories that don’t include politicians.)

    I’ll keep you posted about how I see the ads working in the next few days. If anybody else buys something via an ad search box but not listed in the ad itself and wants to tell me about it, I’d be curious to know. It would help me see just how, and whether, the ads are working properly.

  3. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2016 12:44 pm

    FWIW, FishOrMan, I already see the Bai beverages in the orders list. So the ads are working at least as far as giving my account proper credit. It’s what shows up in the shipped-products list that really counts, but so far, so good!

  4. Comrade X
    Comrade X November 1, 2016 1:11 pm

    Consider generators, flash lights, backpacks, water purifications, chocolates, knives, sleeping bags, any camping & gardening stuff, water catchment, solar panels, first aid supplies like tourniquets, etc. Not that I am buying any of those soon but it the type of items that catches my eye at least.

  5. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2016 1:18 pm

    Will do, Comrade X! Quite a bit of that was already on my list — though I confess to leaving out chocolates!

    Anybody else with suggestions, great. Love to hear them.

  6. FishOrMan
    FishOrMan November 1, 2016 1:39 pm

    Well, my discounts took the order down to 11.19, (+.95¢ tax). But adding two more subscriptions over next couple weeks, should take another 10% off. Not sure how they itemize it for you to see what percentage your take its. Good luck.

  7. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2016 1:46 pm

    And I’m not even sure how the ads work with Subscribe & Save. But just keep doing what’s best for you and thanks for thinking of me.

  8. Pat
    Pat November 1, 2016 2:08 pm

    Please add teas (black, decaf, and herbal) to the list; it’s part of my survival equipment! Also radios with weather/SW.

  9. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2016 2:22 pm

    Thanks, Pat. Got a weather/SW radio coming up in an ad in a day or two. Will also list some teas.

    It’s tough because I have the impression (though I could be wrong and hope I am) that only the specific items in the ads earn the higher commission. So if I list echinacea tea and somebody clicks on that but ends up buying ginger tea, how does the commission work? It’s like that with every item. Supplements, radios, books. Or what if somebody clicks on orange-spice tea, but ends up buying maple bacon?

    I should know more about how this works in a few days. Meantime and always, keep those suggestions coming.

  10. Comrade X
    Comrade X November 1, 2016 3:02 pm

    On the teas; Yerba mate, I’m completely addicted to it and loving it!

    Leaving out chocolates, and I thought you were a prepper! Life without chocolates isn’t worth living!

    But I could be interested in Cacao Plant seeds and even tobacco & coffee seeds too for that matter, I wonder if you can get Yerba Mate seeds?

    Now we are getting somewhere.

  11. LarryA
    LarryA November 1, 2016 4:01 pm

    Please add teas (black, decaf, and herbal) to the list; it’s part of my survival equipment!
    That’s how I learned to drink it. We accompanied my Army father to Germany in 1955-58. That was pretty soon after WWII. Off-post it wasn’t safe for us to drink water or anything with ice, and my parents thought we were too young (10 and 6) for coffee, so in restaurants we always had hot tea.

    Down here in Texas, of course, there’s a different survival reason everyone serves iced tea in large glasses, with free refills.

  12. Joel
    Joel November 1, 2016 4:30 pm

    Disabled adblocker for all of, and I still don’t see it. Tried refreshing the screen, no change.

  13. Pat
    Pat November 1, 2016 4:39 pm

    “Pat if you cut an amazon link off after the first string of random characters it still works.”

    Joat — Thank you, I’ll try that next time.

  14. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2016 4:44 pm

    Pat and Comrade X — Will do. Will try my best to do, anyhow. Amazon presents only a limited number of items, but I’m finding that the more specific my search terms as I create the ad, the better customization I can do on the ads. We shall see how this experiment goes.

  15. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2016 5:02 pm

    How about also allowing scripts on, Joel? Have you tried that?

  16. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2016 5:05 pm

    Thanks, Joat. I didn’t know that, myself. I believe (though I’m not quite sure) that if you cut off the URL like that, then put a slash and my my Associates’ ID after it, you’d also have a proper Amazon link that credits my account. So …

    Not 100% sure on that but looks like it works.

    Still. I’ll try getting that particular radio into a native ad in the next day or so.

  17. just waiting
    just waiting November 1, 2016 7:40 pm

    Hi Claire,

    Celebrated our 1 year anniversary in the PNW last week by getting a new truck. (btw, I am sooooo glad we don’t call ourselves “Wetters”) Now we need to get some accessories.

    If I send along the items I’m shopping, would run them and let me know when to look?


  18. Claire
    Claire November 2, 2016 1:33 am

    The good news and the bad news. Late yesterday Amazon finally sent out the “official” announcement of the November native ads program and it turns out there are exclusions:

    *Applicable only to eligible associates registered with and on all categories except MP3, Video, Game Downloads, Gift Cards, Grocery, Video Game Console products, and DVDs.

    So I will not be putting chocolates, teas, or coffee into the custom ads. However I’ll still get credit for grocery items you buy through either my regular links or (it appears) the search box on the ads — it’ll just be at 4%, which is the standard commission for grocery items. So feel free as always to buy your own yerba mate, orange spice, Bai drinks, or chocolates. All of which is making me hungry just to talk about.

  19. Claire
    Claire November 2, 2016 1:38 am

    jw — A year already! That’s amazing and a great thing. I hope the dust of New Jersey is long gone from your feet. But “Wetters” … um, nope.

    Sure, send along any special items you’re shopping for and I’ll do my best to work them in.

    It does appear at this point as though even using the search box on the ad will earn the higher November commission (except on excluded categories), so it may turn out not necessary to list specific items. On that, I’ll keep you posted as I learn more.

  20. Linux419
    Linux419 November 2, 2016 4:13 am

    Just FYI, I am using uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger and had to turn both off to see the ads.

  21. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty November 2, 2016 5:04 am

    I’ve disabled adblock on all your pages and still see no ads. Will poke around in the guts of this machine and see if I can discover a reason for that.

  22. Brad R
    Brad R November 2, 2016 5:52 am

    I also have disabled adblock for this site, and enabled Javascript, and I see no ads with PaleMoon browser on Linux. I do see the ads with Iceweasel (Firefox), except that I see only the text of the ads — the area in each ad that looks like it should have an image, is blank.

  23. jorge
    jorge November 2, 2016 6:47 am

    I am on devuan jessie (a fork of Debian without systemd).

    Palemoon is my default browser. With uBlock off and No Script disabled for this site: No ads

    Other browsers – none of these have any extensions installed:
    Firefox ESR

    Also no ads.

  24. Claire
    Claire November 2, 2016 7:07 am

    jorge — Sigh. That is because, for reasons utterly unknown and incomprehensible to me, both ads I placed yesterday have disappeared. The code is still there. The ads … not.

    I’m sorry for everyone’s trouble, grateful for everyone’s input, and wondering if Amazon has lost it’s freakin’ mind.

    I’ll continue to work on this, but it might turn out not to be worth the trouble for any of us.

  25. Claire
    Claire November 2, 2016 7:47 am

    I posted about this problem on the Amazon Associates discussion form and almost instantly got a response from an Amazon rep saying that he could see the ad just fine and maybe we who couldn’t just had our ad blockers on. Sigh. I’ve continued to test this a.m. on several browsers, some with no ad blockers, some re-enabling then disabling the ad blockers. No dice.

    I even have a private post with five or six saved ads on it for future use. All are gone.

  26. jed
    jed November 2, 2016 7:57 am

    FWIW, on Amazon, you need only the /dp/ followed by the ASIN:

    I regularly shorten URLs. There’s so much cruft, including tracking variables in them now. Anything starting with UTM for example. 99% of the time, everything from the ? and following can go away. (Obvious exceptions apply.)

    Unless unexpected money shows up, I’m not likely to be buying non-essentials for a while. And, I suspect the USB controller on my desktop machine is going wonky. Probably a mobo/cpu replacement coming up. That’ll push a Kindle purchase off the radar for a while. Sigh.

  27. Mike
    Mike November 2, 2016 8:20 am

    Used your Amazon link to order asus laptop 995.00 Hope this works for you

  28. Claire
    Claire November 2, 2016 8:27 am

    Thank you, Mike. That’s a fabulous thing. Electronics and computers have a fixed commission because of their low margins. But on the rare occasions a purchase of that size turns up on my Associates reports, it’s always occasion for rejoicing. Usually I never know who deserves the thanks. Today I do. 🙂

  29. Comrade X
    Comrade X November 2, 2016 9:35 am

    Earlier today I could not get the adds now I can.

    There’s magic in this box for sure.

  30. Claire
    Claire November 2, 2016 10:18 am

    Well, I’m glad they’ve returned for you, Comrade X. They’re still among the missing for me.

    I did get this potentially helpful reply from Amazon:

    Hi Claire,

    There was some maintenance update today to the systems serving these ads and it might have caused ads to not appear for some users who had visited your page before, for some time, because of browser caching. The impact should be quite limited and most new users would not have experienced the problem. The caches are getting refreshed as we speak and in a few minutes, majority of users should start seeing the ads.


    But after all the previous oddities with Amazon’s native ads, I’ll believe that fix when I see it. Meantime I’m going to go clear cache and see what happens.

  31. Claire
    Claire November 2, 2016 10:41 am

    The Amazon native ads have returned for me. Now I believe it was actually an Amazon maintenance problem. If they haven’t come back for you, you might clear browser cache.

    If you have disabled your ad blocker but never saw the ads here and still don’t, you might enable scripts for this site and/or fiddle with your other privacy add-ons, as Linux419 suggested.

    Now I’m off to write a new post with a new ad in it.

  32. Joel
    Joel November 2, 2016 11:19 am

    Well, I don’t know what else to do. I disabled adblocker for Scripts and everything else have always been permitted. Cleared my cache, and I don’t even know what that is. Refreshed, rebooted, all but sacrificed a chicken and I still can’t see any ad on your post.

  33. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty November 2, 2016 11:22 am

    OK, for this site I’ve turned off adblock, cleared the cookies and cashe, even allowed popups… rebooted Firefox and still no ads. Who knew it would be this difficult to get advertisements? 🙂

  34. Claire
    Claire November 2, 2016 11:45 am

    Joel and ML — I don’t know what to tell you other than to say thanks for the try! Yep, who knew it would be this difficult to see ADS???

    BTW, you can disallow pop-ups again. These ads won’t pop at you and neither will anything else on the site. As to everything else, I can only hope Amazon’s a.m. glitch is still in the process of healing itself. But if you never see the ads … thanks for using my regular Amazon links.

  35. jorge
    jorge November 2, 2016 6:43 pm

    Ads are now working.

  36. Claire
    Claire November 2, 2016 7:13 pm

    I am very relieved to hear that — even though I’d never expect to get any Amazon orders (except perhaps Kindle books or gift cards) from your part of the world. It’s just nice to hear that they work.

  37. John
    John November 3, 2016 3:10 am

    Well, yesterday I showed all of two (2)* adds stopped by AdBlockerPlus for this site, When I did nothing other than disable AdBlockerPlus, I could see the adds fine. As of just now – no ads are showing.

    Ordinarily, I would like that fine.
    I fear to invite damnation by hoping Claire can have her ads back up…

    *wimpy! I’ve gone where 200-400 blocks show! The doors to hell are marked!

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