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In this guide I will go through some of the pros and cons of being in the Amazon affiliate program and why you might want to join.

Pros and Cons of the Amazon Affiliate Program

I just recently cashed one awesome check that I just recently received from Amazon. I have learned quite a bit over the last few years about being an Amazing affiliate, so I have decided to go through some of the pros and cons of the Amazon Affiliate program.

Being an affiliate is a great way to make money on Amazon without needing to sell your own product.

For example, if you have a website on watches then you promote some of the watches that are on Amazon. You can earn a commission whenever someone clicks through on an advertisement/link and buys a product within 24 hours. Amazon is known as one of the best affiliate programs as it’s super easy to learn and get set up quickly.

As anything with tech, it’s continually evolving so some of the things that I say in this article could have changed since I published it. Amazon often changes thing such as commission rates, the operating agreement and other little bits here and there.

I sum everything up in this video so if you’re interested, then be sure to check it out. Otherwise, you can read my entire article right below the video!

1. Very Easy to Get Started

If you’re just starting out and looking for an easy way to monetize your blog, then the Amazon affiliate program is probably the easiest to get started with.

To begin all you need to do is sign up to the affiliate program. Once done you will have full access to all the linking tools, banners, advertising code snippets, reports, and anything else you need in order to get started with making money with Amazon.

You will be reviewed upon your first sale so make sure everything is done in accordance to their operating agreement. If you happen not to make a sale within 90 days your account will be automatically rejected so, try to make sure you make that first sale within 90 days.

2. Limited Payment Options

If you’re an international affiliate like me, then your choices for getting paid is lacking. In fact, you have only two official choices, and that is to get paid via check or in the form of an Amazon gift card.

The check option can be an incredibly inconvenient because even banks in Australia kick up a fuss when it comes to processing an international check.

Amazon Payment Options

I should mention there is an alternative process in that international affiliates can get paid by direct deposit. The service that you will need to use is called Payoneer.

Basically, you sign up for an account with Payoneer, and this will give you your own US bank details in which you can have money deposited. Once the payment has been made, you can simply withdraw your money to your bank. There are of course added fees and is still a bit of hassle for getting the money back to your primary bank account.

The payment options are one area I do hope Amazon will eventually bring more options such as an international direct deposit or even payments to Paypal.

I am personally happy to pay a more significant fee to avoid going through the hefty process of getting an Amazon check processed or having another payment processor such as Payoneer.

3. A HUGE Amount of Products to Promote

There are thousands and thousands of products on Amazon that you’re able to promote. If you’re unable to find an independent affiliate program for a product you want to promote, then Amazon is a great way to fill that gap. The commission rate is likely to be lower than an independent affiliate program, but at least you’re able to monetize whatever you’re looking to promote.

It’s important to note that commissions rates do vary between different types of product and can change quite a bit. I will go more into that below.

4. Commission Rates Can Vary Quite a Bit

The commission rate varies between different types of products on Amazon, so it can be a bit confusing to the commission rate you can expect for a specific product.

Majority of the products you sell will have a commission rate based on the number of products that have been shipped from people buying through links.

For example, if you only sell six products month then you will just get 4%. This increase the more you sell with the maximum being 8.5% if you’re shipping over 3131 products a month.

amazon variable rate

On the flip side some products you will get a flat rate regardless of how many products you have shipped.

For example, the products in the following image are all static rates so it doesn’t matter how many products you have sold you will always get the same commission rate. So if you’re looking to promote mainly electronics, then you’re only going to be getting 4% on the majority of your sales.

Amazon Static Payments

If you want more information on the commission rates, you can check out Amazon’s detailed guide here.

5.Huge Range of Tools to Use

One thing that I don’t use much but is an excellent feature of the Amazon program is all the affiliate tools that are available to use.

The link tool is available on basically any Amazon page that has a product including the homepage and search pages. This tool allows you to quickly make an affiliate link as just plain text, an image or a combination of both an image and text.

Link Tool

Native shopping adverts let you add a responsive advertisement that can blend quite well into a website. These are typically placed at the bottom of a blog post or web page and should show a range of related products.

Native Shopping Advert

A mobile popover is an advert that only displays on mobile. It’s a small popup that shows as the user is scrolling. This popup is great if you’re promoting a product a product and would love a targeted advert for the said product to display as the user is scrolling. It requires a standard or shortened Amazon link generated by their link tool to work.

Amazon Pop Up

The last one I will mention is CPM (Cost per thousand) adverts, and these are ads that you get paid for just impressions. Y

ou set the target you wish, and Amazon will deliver ads that meet or beat the target. Setting the target too high will cause a low fill rate so keep that in mind when setting it. I haven’t played around with this enough to be able to be able to say what’s the best rate.

There are more tools that I have missed such as aStores, but these are some of the best ones available. They’re easy to implement making them great for anyone who is just starting out.

6. Support isn’t great

If you’re looking for great support than Amazon typically falls a bit flat for this. I haven’t had any problems with their support, but I continually read how bad it can be for other affiliates. It’s especially bad when it comes to something like getting a ban appealed where the longer the ban happens, the more money you lose.

I have never been banned, but I have heard people who have. It’s tough to get a ban overturned especially if you have been in the wrong.

It’s also important to note that you’re only allowed one account so if your account gets banned and you create another then your second account is most likely going to get banned too. If possible, try and work out with Amazon on removing the original ban.

7. You will be Paid on Time

If you have ever gone with a small affiliate program, then you may know the pains of actually getting paid.  Payments occur approximately 60 days after the end of the month of what you’re being paid for.

Amazon has never had a payment missed for me making it a lot easier for me to focus on making great content rather than chasing up on payments. Just make sure your payment details are up to date before the start of the next month

8. Amazon’s Affiliate Programs are Separated

This one is probably one of the more annoying things with Amazon’s affiliate program. If you want to promote products from the Amazon UK store as well as the Amazon US store, then you need to sign up for each of them independently.

You will also find that all Amazon stores have their own approval process and take time.

9. Decent Reporting Tools

The Amazon affiliate reporting tools are pretty in-depth and will provide a good amount of information on how your campaign(s) are performing.  You can track how many clicks, impressions and most importantly the conversions you’re getting.

Amazon Affiliate Reports

You will also be able to see the exact products that been ordered through your affiliate link. Once shipped you will also see commission you got for that product.

You can create tracking ids so if you have multiple websites you can see how they’re performing individually.

10. Make Sure you Read the Operating Agreement

Now, this probably can be said about any affiliate program you’re signing up to. It’s imperative to understand the dos and don’ts of the affiliate program and if you need to include any extra information on your website.

For example, the following phrase is required to be on your website if you run any Amazon promotion. (I typically place this on a disclaimer page that can be accessed via the footer)

“[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (amazon.com)].”

There are also quite a few things that you are not allowed to do while promoting Amazon products. To just quickly name a few things you should avoid doing.

  • Don’t use Amazon affiliate links in emails and offline products.
  • Don’t use your affiliate links to buy products.
  • Don’t shorten your links that makes it hard to tell that it’s directing you to Amazon.
  • Be careful of displaying the price as this changes a lot. If you’re showing incorrect prices, then Amazon may ban or suspend you.
  • Don’t automatically redirect users to Amazon. (The user must manually click on the affiliate link.)

You can find the operating agreement here if you want to read through and familiarise yourself with all the conditions there is to become an Amazon affiliate.

11. You get Paid Commissions for EVERY Product a Customer Buys

One thing I love about Amazon is the fact that you get commissions on just about any product a customer buys.

Sale with Commission

For example, you might send them through a link to a cheap gadget, but they instead buy a TV instead. Even though they didn’t buy the gadget you still get a commission on the TV. As you can imagine, these random purchases can increase your commissions quite a bit.

12. Prices, Products are Constantly Changing

This constant price change could be taken as a pro or also a con but because Amazon is such a big marketplace you will find that it’s continually evolving. Items can go out of stock and never be replaced, or prices may drop or rise without warning.

This constant change can be a lot of work trying to maintain links to products that are in stock. One way you can get around this is to link to a search results page rather than directly to the exact product. Linking to a search page also opens up your customers to alternatives other than the one you were going to promote.

If you want to quote a price of a product on your website, you need to make sure you say that’s subject to change or have a plugin that updates the price, so it’s always the same as Amazon. If you’re found promoting a product at the wrong price you could be suspended or even banned from being an Amazon Affiliate.

If you have anything to share about your experience with making money on Amazon or disagree with anything I have said, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Any other feedback is always much appreciated.

I am pretty excited to show you more and more stuff in the near future including more guides on how to monetize a blog so if you liked this post or the video and would love to see more, then please follow me on social or sign up to my mailing list below.