swa66 - 5:50 pm on Jul 7, 2012 (gmt 0)
I know reasonably well a publisher of an item I promote as affiliate on amazon.
The publisher sells it directly for X USD (but well paying and shipping is much more complicated than it is at amazon.com).
The publisher also ships stock to amazon and sells it for USD X+1 there (end user price- of course amazon needs a big margin)
Every time the publisher slacks up a bit in keeping up the stock at amazon, amazon starts to promote some of those sellers trying to sell it through amazon at 3*X or even 7*X. Since I sell quite a few of these items (about a dozen or so a day) as an affiliate I notice it too: the volume drops as most people aren't ready to pay such ridiculous amounts, but those that do sell make up for the loss in volume and actually make me earn more as affiliate in the end. Still I absolutely hate to promote those selling the item at such inflated prices - I feel like I help them cheat my visitors. And hence I tune down the promotion and am even making it more automated to completely stop promoting items only sold by 3rd party sellers.
It's simply dishonest IMHO to promote the 3rd parties selling at such inflated prices.