Amazon is the worlds largest online retailer with over 400 billion dollars in annual sales. Even though Walmart is the largest retailer over all, because of all those store operations they have in the world, they don’t even come close to Amazon’s online sales. With that said, is it really worth being an Amazon affiliate?
Amazon used to be great place for affiliates because you could get credit even with your own purchases. I was my own best customer back then. But as usual their greed got in the way and commission credits on your own purchases (and those by family members) immediately stopped. Once that happened, so did my purchases with Amazon, unless they were clearly the cheapest on and off line. To date, I haven’t bought anything from them for over a year now.
The next problem I have with Amazon is their 24 hour affiliate tracking cookie. Many people don’t necessarily buy the first time. It can take up to 7 exposures before someone buys, especially when the item is expensive; the higher the price, the more likely the time to research that item before making a final decision and purchase. So you did the work, got someone to go to Amazon to look over the item, and then they don’t buy. But several days later, they reconsider, go back to Amazon and buy the item because of your work. However, your tracking cookie has expired and no credit will be given to you by Amazon for the sale and they take it all.
Fortunately, there are third parties that offer software products which you can use on your affiliate links that refresh your Amazon tracking cookie for 90 days (much more reasonable). Then when someone who saw the item on your site, you will get the credit. Not only that, but if they return to buy anything on Amazon during those 90 days, you will get credit (software not cheap, however and could potentially get you banned from amazon’s affiliate program).
The next issue is Amazon’s commission structure. You only get 4% for the first 7 sales, then it improves a slight bit for the next 150 items, it continues on to where you can get 8% if you are selling over 2,000 items. Ridiculous! But that is not all, bend over because those stats are only for a month (not year). When a new month starts, you go back to 4% and that happens for each and every month, ouch!
As of this writing, there are currently 9 states here in the USA that have passed laws forbidding their citizens from participating as an Amazon affiliate because of the sales tax collection issue, or lack there of. So not everyone can participate.
One of the advantages Amazon has is the fact that purchasing from them saves you from having to pay your state sales tax. In some states, this could be a huge savings. However, the laws in those states haven’t stop their citizens from buying on Amazon, and now they no longer collect income tax from those affiliates who would have made sales. Idiots!
Bottom line, even though Amazon is the largest online retailer, doesn’t mean that you will have the same level of success they do. I mean really, who hasn’t heard of Amazon. And just like me, others check out items on Amazon to see what price range they can expect to pay using them as a benchmark. Whenever the price is the best on Amazon (more often than not it is), they buy it directly.
However, for those potential buyers who are uncertain about a particular product often look to outside sources for reviews and information before they buy. That is where the possibly occurs for an Amazon affiliate to capture a possible commission sale for a product listed on Amazon. Is it all worth it, you tell me!