Handy tip for Amazon associates; you can redeem gift certificates before you buy something. Just go to your Amazon account page and click on apply a gift certificate. Paste in the code and bingo! Instant credit.
I've been an Amazon associate since 1998 or so. All I do is link to things from my blog. The payments have always been pretty small but since I'd link to Amazon anyway, why not get paid? The most popular purchase this year is nose hair trimmers, about one purchase a week and $0.90 in my pocket. Good grooming and enough change for a half cup of coffee all at once!
I don't even recognize about half of the items I get payments for. It's not random shopping; the payments are almost all from direct links. A long time back I released a Blosxom Amazon plugin with my referral code built in by default; I wonder if someone's blog is the source of the purchases I don't recognize?