On the 26th of March, Etsy sent out an email to members of its popular affiliate scheme, detailing a rather significant change to the program’s rules.
Many people have joined the affiliate scheme and regularly post Etsy sellers’ items to Pinterest. This can earn the pinner affiliate commission, but was also valuable promotion for the Etsy sellers they featured.
The letter from Etsy includes the statement:
Moving forward Etsy Affiliate links will no longer be supported on some social media platforms including but not limited to Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.
The Etsy affiliate policy (https://www.etsy.com/legal/affiliates) on the Etsy website, has now been changed and says…
Affiliate links are prohibited on some social sharing sites, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
Etsy sellers have been expressing surprise at this change because they were unaware that Pinterest actually do not allow affiliate links.
Certainly Pinterest didn’t allow such links in the past. But in May 2016, they changed the rule and announced “Affiliate links are now allowed on Pinterest!” This announcement is still live on Pinterest – https://business.pinterest.com/en/blog/affiliate-links-are-now-allowed-on-pinterest
Amazon Associates, the affiliate scheme for Amazon, also are saying Pinterest does indeed allow their affiliate links – https://amazon-affiliate.eu/en/affiliate-links-allowed-pinterest/
I could not find any evidence that Pinterest have reversed their decision and no longer allow Etsy affiliate links.
So where has Etsy got this from?
I have contacted Etsy (28 March) and asked if they could please provide me with the source that Pinterest no longer accepts affliliate links. I have also contacted Pinterest to ask them to clarify the situation from their end.
I am sure there are many Etsy sellers (and indeed, Pinterest affiliate pinners) who are concerned about this significant change.
Stay tuned, I will update this as soon as I have more information.
Update – 30 March
Pinterest have emailed me back and confirmed that “We allow affiliate links on both organic and Promoted Pins.” So no change at their end.
Now I am waiting to hear why Etsy have said otherwise…
Update – 3 April
Etsy have now replied to me and say that nothing has actually changed. “we have actually never been able to partner with solely social media sites and have always required a valid blog or website URL to join our affiliate program.” and that Pinterest, being social media, falls in to this catagory. They also say “Pinterest still accepts affiliate links in general, however our program does not.”
So Pinterest itself DOES accept affiliate links. But Etsy affiliate links are prohbiited (by Etsy) on social media sites, including Pinterest.
If you know anything more about this story, please let me know in the comments, or email me at email@example.com.