What Are Good Amazon Affiliate Program Alternatives? (Now that Amazon Has Lowered Commissions)

What Are Good Amazon Affiliate Program Alternatives? (Now that Amazon Has Lowered Commissions)

Jeff Bezos smiling

Up to date April 15, 2020.

This text was up to date April 15, 2020 with the announcement of extra Amazon affiliate fee decreases.  I initially printed this in 2017 when Amazon slashed commissions the primary time.  That is half 2 of what appears to be Amazon’s goal to in the end reduce out associates and take over on-line retailing.

I assume Bezos figured he wanted a elevate.  Truly, I don’t blame Bezos.  Amazon’s newest fee cuts are merely a enterprise choice.  If they’ll achieve a aggressive benefit lowering prices, that’s what they’ll do.


It’s ironic although. Amazon just about launched affiliate marketing online to on-line e-commerce retailers.  Retailers who didn’t roll out aggressive affiliate packages misplaced out on visitors and gross sales.  Now that Amazon dominates, they’re rolling again their associates program.  Will different retailers observe go well with or see this as a possibility to construct up extra cozy relationships with associates? Time will inform.

The massive query is whether or not it’s time to ditch Amazon as an affiliate?

Perhaps.  Their commissions are just about pennies now.  The difficulty is Amazon converts properly and just about everyone within the USA and a number of other different nations have an account there.

The sensible reply: IMO, Amazon needs to be a supplementary income driver as a substitute of main driver.  No matter area of interest you’re in, I feel it’s time to discover a extra profitable income supply.  By all means maintain selling Amazon, however cut back your expectations and alter focus.

I’ve been round lengthy to have weathered on-line shake-ups corresponding to the primary Google Penguin and Fb Attain discount to call 2 that impacted me.

Now Amazon, a long-time darling service provider for tens of 1000’s of associates, is altering its affiliate fee fee which is able to largely harm most associates who do first rate quantity.

Paradoxically, I’ve lengthy wished that extra of my income was by way of Amazon. I sometimes earn $1,500 to $2,500 per thirty days with Amazon which is okay however nothing like 5 and 6 determine month-to-month earners.


Amazon’s impending March 2017 and subsequent April 2020 affiliate fee construction change hammers dwelling the significance of getting diversified income streams. I’m pretty diversified, which in all probability restricts optimum incomes many months, however it’s a hedging technique that kind of means I can climate large adjustments by a single entity.

Since I don’t do large Amazon quantity and since I’m not in a distinct segment hit arduous by the fee change (i.e. toys, video video games, computer systems), I gained’t discover this transformation in any respect. However I do really feel for associates doing large quantity within the hard-hit niches and product traces.

I believe all this week many associates are researching alternate options to the Amazon associates program that will decrease misplaced income.

This put up gives an inventory of Amazon affiliate choices in addition to discusses another choices you’ve.

The Fast n’ Simple Different = DISPLAY ADS

That is straightforward for me to say, however the fast n’ straightforward different at this level is to start out deploying adverts in your web site.  Advertisements pay properly.  Truly throughout Coronavirus they don’t pay properly, however it’s momentary whereas the slashed Amazon commissions shall be everlasting.

I counsel trying out Ezoic to earn first rate advert income.  You solely want 10K month-to-month web page views.  Ezoic will break up check adverts throughout your web site in an effort to generate you essentially the most income. I exploit Ezoic on a number of area of interest websites.

If you happen to go the advert route, it’s time to rethink article subjects.  As an alternative of focusing in your common product promotion, begin publishing informational content material.  You may, the truth is, discover this liberating as a result of you possibly can write/publish about something you want in your area of interest.  I used to deal with affiliate promotions for years. After I switched to show adverts, it was liberating.  Extra importantly, my area of interest web site income sky-rocketed through the years.

If you happen to don’t like the thought of switching to an ad-based mannequin, maintain studying, though choices are restricted.

The Laborious however MORE MONEY Different = DROPSHIPPING

If in case you have visitors to purchaser intent content material that sells Amazon merchandise, another choice that may show to be way more profitable is to start out dropshipping the stuff your self.  You won’t get pleasure from the identical conversion share, however your margines shall be many instances that what Amazon presents.

If you happen to just like the dropshipping concept and are ready to roll up your sleeves to make it occur, try how these guys do it very, very efficiently.


The Chilly Laborious Reality

Beneath I provide up a lot of Amazon affiliate alternate options, most of which I’ve used sooner or later through the years.

Nevertheless, right here’s the chilly, arduous reality.  Few retailers within the bodily product area converts in addition to Amazon.  You possibly can drive visitors like loopy however when you don’t get conversions, you bought nothing.

That mentioned, it’s time to check new retailers.  Luckily testing is fairly straightforward.

Previous vs. New Fee Construction

Previous Fee Construction

The previous fee construction rewarded efficiency. The extra you offered, the upper the fee fee.

Former Amazon Associates Commission Rates

Supply: Amazon

Amazon Fee Construction as of March 1, 2017:

Amazon affiliate commission structure March 2017

Supply: Amazon

So, when you have been a profitable affiliate incomes 8%, it’s doable your earnings shall be reduce by 20% to 50%.  If you happen to earn $50,000 per thirty days, that’s a $10,000 to $25,000 haircut.

Amazon’s newest fee restructuring (slash-job) as of April 2020 (OUCH!)

Amazon affililate commissions April 2020

Supply: Amazon

Is Amazon Making a Mistake by Reducing Commissions?

Who am I to query Amazon’s enterprise technique? The corporate is the uindisputed king of ecommerce. It was unstoppable in 2017 and nonetheless unstoppable in April 2020.

In truth, I actually don’t know the way a lot associates contributed to its success through the years. I believe associates have helped develop the corporate, if not with direct gross sales, by way of publicity. With lots of of 1000’s of websites recommending Amazon, that actually should have helped constructed Amazon’s model.

Now that Amazon is a family title, they’re much less depending on model constructing and may deal with enhancing revenue margins.  The can enhance margins by decrease bills corresponding to affiliate commissions.

I doubt this transfer will harm Amazon in any respect.

In truth, and right here’s the kicker… sadly, even at decrease fee charges, Amazon remains to be the best choice for a lot of niches.  Nevertheless, I do urge you to check different retailers.  You might be very shocked.  As an example, I earn WAAAAAAAY larger earnings per click on with non-Amazon retailers with one among my area of interest websites, so it goes to point out you that Amazon is NOT the one recreation on the town.

If you happen to imagine these adjustments are going to harm your income large time, take into account some different affiliate packages, that are as follows.

However, earlier than going severing your ties altogether with Amazon, take a couple of moments and determine precisely how a lot you’ll lose…I present a hyperlink to a free device that can assist you determine your potential losses beneath.

Amazon Affiliate Program Alternate options

Jeff Bezos CEO Amazon

1. Google Procuring

Sure, that’s proper, Google Procuring has an associates program on CJ.com.  Learn the main points here.

I’m in as an affiliate.  I haven’t completed a lot promotion however I’m going to start out.  I believe conversions gained’t be pretty much as good as Amazon for now, but when Google is in it for the lengthy haul, I believe given the potential sum of money concerned, they’ll develop on-line retailing market share over time.

And get this… as of April 2020, Google Procuring commissions vary as much as 8%.  Google is hungry.  They provide nice affiliate assist.  They ship associates a variety of emails asking to advertise.  They’re hungry and eager to develop which suggests they’re prepared to share the wealth… for now.

I haven’t completed a lot promotion thus far simply because Amazon labored properly, however it’s now time to ship Google some visitors for a change.  In spite of everything, Google sends me visitors, I would as properly return the favor, proper?  Haha.

2. Walmart?

Walmart is enjoying meet up with e-commerce.  They’re hungry.  They’ve nice costs.  They promote tons of stuff.  They do convert.

Is Walmart a viable different?

Sure and no.  Walmart pays a flat 4% fee.  If you happen to promote product traces at Amazon paying lower than 4%, you might need to give Walmart a shot.

In any other case, at 4% Walmart isn’t precisely a stable different.

In truth, Walmart could need to take into account Amazon’s reducing of commissions as a possibility to draw extra associates.  Walmart may make investments a ton of money into its associates program, be extra versatile in accepting associates (it’s not straightforward to get authorised) and naturally bump commissions to six% or larger and provide a 30 to 90 day cookie.

The way in which I see it’s whereas commissions harm Walmart’s margins within the quick time period, what Walmart wants is for extra individuals to open e-commerce accounts.  As soon as individuals have accounts and be part of any particular packages they provide, these prospects usually tend to purchase sooner or later.

Walmart ought to severely take into account this as a large alternative since many Amazon Associates might be on the lookout for alternate options all through 2017.

3. AliExpress?

AliExpress has some nice offers and so they promote a variety of completely different merchandise, however there’s 2 issues with switching from Amazon to AliExpress.

a. Conversion:  I believe Aliexpress doesn’t convert in addition to Amazon, a minimum of for western nations.  I don’t know for positive, however I believe that is the case.

b. Fee fee:  AliExpress’ fee fee tops out at 4% and as a way to hit that it’s essential to generate $1,000,000 in income for any given month.  Meaning even when you promote a ton of stuff, you gained’t earn greater than Amazon’s 4%.

That mentioned, you possibly can promote AliExpress by way of Skimlinks.  Since AliExpress is a most popular Skimlinks service provider, the typical fee is round 9% by way of Skimlinks.  It MAY be value selling AliExpress by way of Skimlinks.

On the finish of the day, I doubt you’ll do higher with AliExpress than sticking with Amazon… however when you’re taking a income bathtub, it’s value testing.

4. Ebay?

I’ve by no means promoted Ebay as an affiliate, so I’m completely unfamiliar with them.  Nevertheless, on Skimlinks, it units out the typical affiliate fee fee as 7.39% which is a lot better than 4%.

Ebay is a acknowledged and trusted on-line service provider so conversion might be first rate.

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I did a bit of studying in regards to the Ebay associates program and it appears that its associates program pays extra on a price per click on foundation, which is calculated on the standard of visitors you ship their means.  If that is nonetheless the case, your explicit fee fee is unknown.

Truly, I’ve by no means severely thought of selling Ebay, however the associated fee per click on angle sounds enticing.  I simply could give them a shot.

If you happen to’ve been hit arduous by the brand new Amazon fee construction, you might positively need to give Ebay a shot.

5. Particular person Retailers?

I earn far more per click on selling particular person retailers that deal with promoting merchandise serving a product vertical than with Amazon.  Sure, I’ll proceed selling Amazon, however whenever you discover one or two area of interest retailers that convert, they’ll outperform Amazon considerably.  There are 3 causes for this:

a. Larger conversion fee due to extra selection and/or higher merchandise:  As a result of the service provider focuses inside a distinct segment, they could provide higher product choice and due to this fact convert higher.

b. Larger fee fee:  Many area of interest retailers pay a better fee than Amazon.

c. Longer affiliate cookie:  Amazon is exclusive with their absurdly quick affiliate cookie (24 hours).  Most on-line retailers provide a minimum of a 30 day cookie.  I do know firsthand that longer cookies assist enhance income.

The issue, although, with particular person retailers is in some niches you merely gained’t discover retailers that pay a better fee than Amazon, even after Amazon’s decrease commissions.  As an example, Finest Purchase pays some ridiculously low share throughout completely different classes.  It’s not even value linking to.

On the flip facet, Samsung pays 6% to eight% by way of Skimlinks, which is kind of excessive for a know-how service provider.  Evaluate that to Finest Purchase and Amazon’s new know-how commissions and also you’ll agree it’s good.  In fact the issue is you possibly can solely promote Samsung merchandise leaving you scrambling to seek out first rate choices for non-Samsung merchandise.

I feel total, it is going to be more durable for bodily product tech niches to take care of this.  Most retailers pay little or no.

BUT, apart from know-how {hardware} there are numerous viable retailers you possibly can promote that pay fairly properly.

A fast technique to analysis different retailers is trying out the next affiliate networks that have loads of bodily product retailers:

  • Skimlinks (the service provider listing is large so you will discover alternatives there whether or not you utilize Skimlinks or not);
  • CJ.com
  • ShareASale.com
  • Affect Radius
  • AvantLink
  • Pepperjam
  • Linkshare
  • Affiliate Window

6. Skimlinks/Viglinks?

I at present use Skimlinks, however I exploit them not as most individuals do, however as a substitute as a backup service provider.

What I don’t do is deploy Skimlinks sitewide which adjustments all affiliate hyperlinks to Skimlinks.  I examined this and earned fairly a bit much less.

What I do as a substitute is after I need to promote a selected service provider with whom I don’t have an affiliate account for no matter motive, I create a customized Skimlink for that service provider.  Additionally, if a selected service provider is a most popular or elite service provider with Skimlinks, the fee might be excellent.  AliExpress is an instance.

One other facet of Skimlinks I like is a few retailers don’t have in-house affiliate packages and aren’t listed with an affiliate community.  They solely provide affiliate relationships by way of Skimlinks and/or Viglinks.  That is one more reason I’ve an account.

Right here’s a screenshot of some VIP retailers.  As you possibly can see the commissions might be good.  I feel there are 20,000 retailers with Skimlinks so the service provider search perform alone is value utilizing.

Skimlinks merchants

What about Viglinks?

I’ve an account with them too, however my beef with them is it’s essential to apply to many retailers contained in the system.  If I’m going by way of that of their system, I’ll simply apply on to the service provider.

With Skimlinks, when you’re authorised, you’re authorised for all retailers.  That makes it straightforward as an ideal backup affiliate possibility for an enormous number of retailers.

7. AdSense/Show Advertisements?

Am I actually together with show adverts as a substitute for affiliate hyperlinks selling Amazon?

Sure, I’m.  Whereas AdSense won’t ever outperform a decently changing affiliate promotion internet web page, you by no means know now, relying on the area of interest you’re in.  If you happen to’re within the online game area of interest, your fee fee simply went from 8% to 1% with Amazon.  AdSense could also be a greater possibility.

Or you possibly can hedge by preserving the affiliate hyperlinks on the web page and likewise show adverts.  I do that fairly a bit too.

8. Shift Methods?

a. Alter product traces you promote

In some cases you may have the ability to shift product line promotion to one thing associated.  If you happen to’re actually lucky, you possibly can incorporate some digital merchandise, which normally pay excessive fee fee.

The purpose right here is when you assume you’ll take an enormous hit (learn the subsequent part to be taught how one can shortly calculate precisely how a lot you’ll lose), you might need to take into account how one can modify the promotions in your web site.

b. Change up your content material

An alternative choice is to publish extra content material that doesn’t promote merchandise and as a substitute is monetized with show adverts.  I earn fairly properly with show adverts (greater than affiliate commissions) so I wouldn’t rule it out.

Even when you’re clearly in a product-oriented area of interest, there’s all the time just about limitless content material you possibly can publish associated to that area of interest which might be monetized with show adverts.

Associated: My favourite affiliate packages for freshmen

c. Change retailers

Amazon isn’t the one on-line retailer.  There are nice retailers in each area of interest.  Search them out and hopefully among the good ones pay a better fee than what Amazon is now paying.  Take a look at them to get outcomes.

d. Dropship the stuff your self

If you happen to get visitors that sells merchandise, the heavy-lifting is completed.  As an alternative of settling for a measly 3%, earn 20% or extra by way of dropshipping.  Sure, there’s legwork concerned, however it’s higher than rolling over and enjoying lifeless.  Be taught extra about dropshipping right here (these guys actually know what they’re doing).

e. Swap to show adverts as your main rev. supply

As talked about, when you don’t relish changing into a dropshipper or testing different retailers, shift to an ad-supported income mannequin.  I did years in the past and never as soon as have I regretted it. I earn far more with adverts and adore it.  Advertisements are the lazy particular person’s technique to earning profits on-line.

check new retailers?

If in case you have visitors to your purchaser intent web site, testing different retailers is straightforward.  Select one or a couple of of your highest visitors purchaser intent articles and swap out the retailers you promote.  Run that for per week and examine outcomes.  Then check one other… and one other and so forth.

Hopefully you’ll detect an alternate service provider that out-earns Amazon.

What if no service provider earns anyplace near Amazon, even Amazon’s diminished commissions?

That’s a troublesome nut to swallow, however you’ll have to regulate.  You’ll have to regulate your Amazon income downward.  Going ahead you could have to regulate your content material and income methods.

Earlier than Going Nuclear, Determine Out How A lot You’ll Truly Lose?

Earlier than you begin swapping affiliate hyperlinks and cursing Amazon ceaselessly, take a step again and determine precisely how a lot you stand to lose.  It might not be as a lot as you thought.  Let’s hope that is the case.

How one can shortly calculate your decrease Amazon affiliate income?

My fellow Canadian and pal Jon Haver created a spreadsheet (it’s free) that will routinely calculate how the brand new Amazon fee construction will influence you primarily based on previous earnings.

For instance, Jon used his spreadsheet to be taught that he would have earned 24% much less in November and December 2016 underneath the brand new fee construction.

The spreadsheet is fairly cool.  It’s set as much as routinely calculate your losses (or if fortunate positive aspects) by importing your Amazon Affiliate report knowledge.

Go to Jon’s blog post here which is the place you possibly can entry his report.

It’s Not Essentially All Dangerous…

Important adjustments like this aren’t all dangerous… it ain’t nice, however it ain’t all dangerous.

After Google Penguin, there was an enormous search engine optimization alternative when you prevented spam hyperlinks (a possibility I didn’t capitalize on, however want I had wanting again).

After the Fb Attain Algo fiasco… properly I can’t consider any alternative there.  That was a gravy prepare I want by no means ended.  It was an excellent candy gig whereas it lasted.  One other alternative I want I had milked extra.

The place’s the Alternative Right here?

1. Much less cash means much less competitors.  Clearly publishers will proceed selling Amazon, however on the entire there shall be some drop outs… particularly if the income fallout is dangerous.

These that keep the course may even see visitors develop which is all the time a superb factor.

Who is aware of, perhaps there’ll be fewer horrible product evaluations on-line that occur to rank briefly from spammy link-building.  If that’s the case, by all means pen actual evaluations of merchandise and complement the income with show adverts.  Trace – purchaser intent content material usually generates first rate advert income.  Affiliate income may very well be gravy (or the opposite means round).

2. Different retailers could fill the void:  I’d like to see different large retailers fill the void and put money into associates with larger commissions, longer cookies, extra affiliate sources… all of the stuff we love.  I’m considering Walmart, AliExpress, massive area of interest web site gamers (come on Finest Purchase… it’s your time to step up right here) and others.

I perceive that it was arduous beforehand for different retailers to match Amazon’s commissions, however now could be the time for different large retailers to embrace associates. I do not know if this may occur, however we are able to all the time hope.

3.  Low-cost websites to purchase:  Websites that take successful revenue-wise shall be cheaper to purchase.  This might afford an ideal alternative for somebody who has non-Amazon monetization know-how specifically niches.

TIP: Do NOT purchase a web site primarily based on trailing 12 months’ income proper now if income stems from Amazon.  These web site valuations have to be diminished to mirror the adjustments. I believe many web site house owners are speeding their websites to market hoping to drag one over on unsuspecting consumers.  Caveat Emptor.

You by no means know what is going to occur.  Perhaps this transformation will power you to make some adjustments that will do wonders in your on-line enterprise.  I do know Google Penguin in 2012 compelled me to make adjustments which in the long run labored out very, very properly.

Jon runs the place round right here.  He pontificates about launching and rising on-line publishing companies, aka blogs that make a couple of bucks.  His satisfaction and pleasure is the e-mail e-newsletter he publishes that’s “the most effective running a blog e-mail e-newsletter round.”

Hyperbole?  Perhaps, however go test it out to see what some readers say.

In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and proprietor of a digital media firm that publishes a wide range of internet properties visited and beloved by tens of millions of readers month-to-month. Fatstacks is the place he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing enterprise.