Amazon API Scratchpad “Too Many Requests” Error (Fixes)

The Amazon Scratchpad feature available to Amazon Associates/affiliates within their dashboard is a great feature to pull product images and other information to display on their blogs. In fact, going forward post 2023, it’s going to be the ONLY real way to properly display Amazon product images as the old SiteStripe image feature is being retired (see our guide on switching your old SiteStripe images over using the API/Scratchpad).

However, the Scratchpad feature itself doesn’t always work properly, and a common problem that new users especially can run into is a weird error that indicates the user is over-using or sending too many requests via the Scratchpad (even when in reality they’re not).

When you input the product/affiliate details plus your own API Key/code requested on the Scratchpad interface and click “Run Request”, you’ll often be met by an error message in red which says:

“Error! TooManyRequests. The request was denied due to request throttling. Please verify the number of requests made per second to the Amazon Product Advertising API”.

However, this error more often than not appears to affiliates who’ve literally just got their API key/code and literally haven’t put ANY other requests into the database yet. But therein actually lies the problem.

The most common cause of the Scratchpad “Too Many Requests” error is that the user has only just been given their API credentials, and needs to wait 48-72 hours before these details work on the Scratchpad.

I’ve just had this problem myself, and that’s what fixed it for me. Therefore it’s not always a big deal despite all the scary sounding technical language and exclamation marks, but we’ll cover some other solutions as well.

Fix #1 – Wait A Few Days Before Using New API Credentials

This is actually the most likely cause of this error, especially with current events in late 2023 where the SiteStripe image feature is being retired. Lots of Amazon affiliates who previously used the SiteStripe tool will be requesting new API keys so they can switch all their images over to API rendered ones so they keep displaying properly on their sites (see here for our guide on doing this).

For fully qualified Amazon affiliates who’ve made the required 3 sales in 180 days, getting your API Secret Key and Access Key is pretty easy (see here). But once you have it, you need to wait 48-72 hours before you can use these credentials to fetch images and other data using the Scratchpad. 

It’s something that catches out affiliates who’ve just got their key – they go straight to the Scratchpad and think it’ll work straight away, only to run into this error.

It’s what just happened to me, but once I waited 48 hours, it worked fine and I could fetch images fine using the Scratchpad and there was no error message.

Therefore, if you’ve only just got your API credentials, this is the first thing to try – just wait a few days. For me, it worked after 2 days waiting, some people might have to wait 3 days. But give it a few days and this error often disappears.

While you’re waiting, if you’re needing to switch over a lot of images from SiteStripe ones to API/Scratchpad ones, you can be grabbing all the individual product ASINs from the Amazon product pages, ready to plug into the Scratchpad to generate new API image codes to replace your old ones.

Fix #2 – Don’t Send Too Many Requests Per Day Via The Scratchpad

Honestly, it’s strangely not very likely with this error, but on occasion it may be true and you may be sending too many requests via the Scratchpad which is triggering this error and causing your use of the tool to be restricted or “Throttled”.

There’s two main things to watch out for here:

  • The number I’ve most commonly seen quoted as the maximum number of requests allowed via Scratchpad is 50 per day, so limited yourself to this when fetching product images and other data using the API.
  • Also try not to send too many API requests too quickly in succession. Leave some space between Fetch requests.

There’s more danger of this in the late 2023/early 2024 period, when lots of affiliates are switching over their old Amazon SiteStripe product images to API ones. And if there’s a lot that need doing across your sites, you might be over-doing it on the Scratchpad.

If this is the case with you, spread out your requests and don’t use the Fetch feature more than 50 times per day.

Fix #3 – Contact Amazon Affiliates Support

Some users still run into this error message even when they’ve waited more than 72 hours, and aren’t sending too many requests via the tool.

In these cases, it’s best to contact Amazon Affiliates support and explain the issue to them.

Provide as much detail as possible, including:

  • The exact error message you’re getting.
  • That you’re entering all the information requested by the Scratchpad correctly (confirm this, including making sure the API access key and secret key are correct).
  • Your affiliate ID and storefront/country you’re using.
  • That your API credentials are not brand new and therefore it’s not a “wait 2-3 days issue”.
  • That you’re staying within the permitted request limits and not over-using the Scratchpad by sending too many requests.

Log into your Amazon account and follow this link to contact Associates Support and explain the issue.

Sometimes, the API tool might run into errors that you may need to wait a few days to get fixed. If this is the case, Amazon Support should let you know.


I like to draw on my own experience to help new bloggers and other digital marketers solve common problems encountered when working and making your money online

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