Amazon Hacks
100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: August 2003
Pages: 304

Amazon Hacks is a collection of tips and tools for getting the most out of, whether you're an avid Amazon shopper, Amazon Associate developing your online storefront and honing your recommendations for better linking and more referral fees, seller listing your own products for sale on, or a programmer building your own application on the foundation provided by the rich Amazon Web Services API.Shoppers will learn how to make the most of's deep functionality and become part of the Amazon community, maintain wishlists, tune recommendations, "share the love" with friends and family, etc. Amazon Associates will find tips for how best to list their titles, how to promote their offerings by fine tuning search criteria and related titles information, and even how to make their store fronts more attractive. And the real power users will use the Amazon API to build Amazon-enabled applications, create store fronts and populate them with items to be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon. And just about anyone can become a seller on, listing items, deciding on pricing, and fulfilling orders for products new and used.

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Amazon Hacks Review

By Dale Farris

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Amazon Hacks:

Amazon Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools

By Dale Farris, Secretary

Golden Triangle PC Club

September 2003

Mention the word "Amazon" today and most people will not necessarily think of the largest river in the world, especially the very young. The common perception of is that it is a web-based bookstore, but like its namesake river, is much more than merely a place to buy books.

Today, is really a complex web application. Instead of just a place to buy various items, is a tool you can customize and adapt to your own uses. This includes participating in the Amazon community, earning money through Amazon's Marketplace and Associates Programs, as well as improving the way you interact with the site.

This latest addition to O'Reilly's very successful Hacks series shows readers of every level how to tap into the power that Amazon offers. Through these industrial-strength tips and tools, readers will learn how to get the most out of

Over Amazon's lifetime, the company has invested $900 million in technology. Though is more often thought of as an online "shop," today the company is really a highly advanced technology company. More and more, is in the business of providing technology to other businesses, as well as their customers. For example, 30% of Amazon's business is from third-party sales. This means other businesses, and sometimes even competitors are making money through

In this super new "Hacks" title, we have a call to all true hackers out there to innovate on the platform. By lowering barriers to entry and experimentation on top of the Amazon platform, true hackers are invited to extend and enhance the platform for all to enjoy.

There are tools and tips here that will appeal to a wide variety of audiences, including online shoppers, web site owners, sellers of products, and software developers. Readers are also encouraged to remember that some of the hacks in the book will continue to evolve. You can always find the current ingredients for any serious software development, the API, at

When first opened its virtual doors on July 16, 1995, it was one of several online booksellers. As Amazon embraced the technology to categorize and display millions of books in one space, people embraced the ability to search for and purchase books in a new way. The experience of building a successful business based on an open system like the Web has influenced Amazon throughout its history.

Amazon has consistently pushed the technology envelope in their quest to provide a satisfying, personalized experience for their customers. What started as a human-edited list of product recommendations has morphed into a sophisticated computer-generated recommendation engine that tailors product choices for tens of millions of individuals by analyzing their purchase history and the patterns of other Amazon customers. As the Web evolved into a two-way space for discussion and community, Amazon developed features that let anyone post information and advice about products.

With this intriguing history, it should not have been a surprise when on July 16, 2002 Amazon released a free Web Services interface that gave developers programmatic access to Amazon's vast collection of product and customer data. With this interface, Amazon combined their core features of recommendations, affiliate marketing, and marketplace commerce into a single technology platform that can be used to build applications and businesses.

"Amazon Hacks" is not intended to be merely an exhaustive explanation of Amazon's features. Instead it's intended to highlight some lesser-known features, show some tricks for working with Amazon efficiently, and document ways to access Amazon programmatically. Developers are already creating new features for Amazon through the Amazon API, and it is this book's intent to convey some of their creativity and excitement, inspiring the hacker in you.

Summary of Table of Contents

The 100 Amazon hacks are organized into 6 chapters, including the following:

1 - Browsing and Searching

2 - Controlling Your Information

3 - Participating in the Amazon Community

4 - Selling Through Amazon

5 - Associates Program

6 - Amazon Web Services

Key Topics Covered

This book will show you how to do the following:

Find just the product you are after among the millions available at Amazon

Access, control, and fine-tune your Amazon preferences, recommendations, and information

Participate in the growing Amazon community and integrate Amazon features into your own Web site

Become and Amazon Associate, develop your own online storefront, and hone your recommendations for better linking and higher referral fees

Sell products online using Amazon's billing, inventory, and marketing infrastructure

Build full-scale desktop and server applications on Amazon's Web Services API

Book Contents

304 pages; foreword by the Amazon technology team; preface; figures; tips; sample scripts; index; cover colophon


Paul Bausch

About the Author

Paul Bausch is an accomplished Web Application Developer, and is a co-creator of the popular weblog software Blogger ( He co-wrote "We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs" (John Wiley & Sons), and posts thoughts and photos almost daily to his personal weblog onfocus (


August 2003 First Edition


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