Support » Installing WordPress » [Plugin: Amazon Showcase WordPress Widget] Plugin Author Skims your profits

  • Didn’t see him mention this anywhere in the documentation, so thought it was worth telling people about.

    On line 311 (at least on version 1.3 of this plugin), the author includes code that will randomly change the AmazonID in the URLs generated from yours to his, thereby skimming 10% of your potential sales.

    Normally, the URLs include whatever AmazonID you supply in the setup, but if a randomly generated number between 1 and 10 turns out to be a 6, his code replaces your value with his own.

    Now, I apologize if that’s stated somewhere and I’m just not seeing it, but to take 10% of your users’ Amazon traffic without telling them just ain’t right.

    It looks like you can safely comment or delete that line if you prefer not to tithe to the author. Or, if you do feel like you owe him a little somethin’ somethin’ for the work he put in but don’t think 10% is right, modify that line to a different value.

    The line looks like this:

    if (rand(1, 10) == 6) $associateId = ‘subversionfor-20’;

    And it’s right under this comment:

    // 10% lovin’

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Justin,

    You are exactly right and you explained the logic perfectly.

    I originally developed this widget for my own personal blog because I was unsatisfied with other Amazon widgets. When I made it public, many people adopted it for their own blogs and started hounding me for support. That line was included simply to help pay for the additional hours I have spent updating this widget with user-requested features.

    This is the first complaint I have received and will act accordingly. I thought I had mentioned this in the text file documentation, but I indeed have not and should have. I will upload version 1.4 tonight minus the 10% line.


    Just remembered that I did document this at the top of the plugin (line 9):
    Author Note: My AssociateID will be automatically inserted 10% of the time. Feel free to disable this.

    So I’m not crazy… but I will remove the 10% referral anyway.


    Thanks for replying here and confirming everything, as well as for pointing out that note I missed at the top of the code itself.

    Frankly, I don’t see any problem with you getting a piece of the action. After all, you’ve given people free use of a great widget. The part that got my Spidey Sense a-tinglin’ was that it was happening without a clear notification for the users.

    Personally, I think that if you were to put that disclaimer on the download page, or in the little blurb that appears in the WordPress Plugin page when you go to activate it, you’d be fine.

    Or, better yet, if you added a simple checkbox to disable it (or a text field that allowed them to modify the donation percentage). Not that commenting out that single line (or deleting it) is that hard, but so many of the people using WordPress are using it precisely because they don’t need to know a thing about PHP to do so.

    No matter what, the plugin is great and I appreciate the work you put into creating and supporting it.

    Thanks again,


Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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