Amazon is inviting registered UK charities to join AmazonSmile, its affiliate marketing service that lets customers generate a donation for charity each time they shop on Amazon.
Each time customers shop at smile.amazon.co.uk Amazon will donate a percentage of the net purchase price for millions of eligible products. There is no additional cost or charge to customers or charities for this.
Customers who shop with AmazonSmile can choose a charity to support before they start shopping. They can change to another charity at any time, should they wish.
OK, sounds good I thought, so I signed up:
AmazonSmile – click here
Basically, if anyone buys any of my books using the link above, Amazon give 0.5% to Animal Free Research UK.
That should net them a few pence every year I thought. But then I did some maths and guess what, it’s probably worse than that!
Let’s begin with the numbers, starting with that 0.5% figure. If you spend £20 at Amazon, that’s 10p. Spend £2,000 and £10 goes to charity – provided, that is, that you remember to bookmark or navigate over to my link! The good news is that it’s not just my books but any product you buy after first clicking the link above but even so…
What, then, is AmazonSmile? It’s marketing, dressed up as altruism. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of charities put the AmazonSmile logo on their websites. They’re promoting Amazon.
Imagine that you spend £1,000 this year buying books from my AmazonSmile link. Amazon gets £995. My charity gets £5. Someone’s doing well, and it isn’t the charity.
No wonder Jeff Bezos is smiling.