Amazon is trustworthy and is best known to people. They will buy more easily from Amazon than from BN or any other bookstore, IMMHO. Personally, I stick to Amazon, even if their policy is a bit affliate-unfriendly as far as payment scheme is concerned. If you sell enough, it compensates though.
Anyway, those are my thoughts...
It's not just their policies that are unfriendly. There's more to it. if I make the effort, pick out a book and link to it directly and my visitor buys it, I must get 15 % in line with their policy.
This doesn't seem to happen and it's dishonest.
Pros of amazon:
No Brick and Mortar stores to compete with. (Hey, it's here at BNs site, I can go pick it up and not wait 3-5 days for it.)
If they don't buy what you offer, they find themselves looking at other things and buying. They aren't called "Earth's Biggest Selection" for nothing. (I push DVDs and CDs through my current sites, and end up with commissions for toys, small appliances, and a couple high-dollar books.)
Awesome implementation of Webservices. You get 15% for books that people add to cart on your site.
Cons of amazon:
If a person clicks through a book discounted 10-30%, and that person's first action is to put the book in their cart, you get 15%. This is a negative, since Amazon's landing pages are loaded with other things to click on. (Super saver shipping, click here, you may also be interested in... click here.) It's a pleasant surprise when you get it.
Commission caps on electronics ($10) and appliances ($50).
Only 2.5% commissions for items sold by a third party or amazon partner, and some amazon partners don't pay any commission (bad because the products I want to push are only available new from an amazon partner, and my CJ affiliate offering the same product has been dropped by CJ). Amazon likes to insert a "buy this used from $xx.xx" link right under the price for the new item, cutting your commission by at least 50% (5% to 2.5%, then the used price is lower than the new price. What should be $1.00 commission for a $20 new item is now 40 cents because the used item is $18, for example.)
I guess getting 2.5% is better than nothing, which is what we got before.
The biggest reason I would choose Amazon over BN is your conversion rate will be much higher with Amazon. I would guess a large percentage of the people who have shopped online have made purchases through Amazon before and trust them. They also have their shopping profile already set up and it would be easier for them to order through Amazon. I have ordered through both before and if I was at a site that had a link to Amazon and one to BN I would easily choose Amazon.
You might wish to explore [powells.com...]
They also have used books and may still be the Amazon supplier of used books.
I switched from Amazon to Barnes and Noble and my conversion rate dropped like a lead balloon. Even if other book dealers have better affiliate terms and cookies, I've found that for my sites the higher conversion rates with Amazon and the fact that people tend to buy lots of other stuff besides what I sell on my site still result in the highest total commissions at the end of the month. I've switched back to Amazon and will stay there now for book sales.
I get lots of 15% commissions on one site that sells niche books.
I always figured I'd go with Powells if I tried to do book sale links... mainly because I like the idea of giving a boost to the little guy. Amazon and BN have both become corporate behemoths...
I think any of the three could yield a good conversion rate if you "play" the material on your site well enough.
I'm not sure Powell's counts as a "little guy", but I do love their used books. If I ever do an affiliate site, I'll probably go with them. I don't like the way Amazon handles personal information, so I don't do business with them, period.
>>...and other book stores
I have all the other bookstores named in this thread already. But I was considering trying something different on a new site. Has anyone tried Books a Million? Any luck with them?
|I'm not sure Powell's counts as a "little guy" |
Well, they're not a huge chain yet, are they? Last I heard, their bricks and mortar operation was still limited to Portland, OR...
And they apparently pay 10% on any sale coming from your site. Not good as 15%, but if you're not getting 15% from Amamzon anyway, 10% is better than 5%. ;)
I just signed up with them, but haven't put any books on my sites yet.
No matter what I do I always go back to Amazon since they always convert due to the trust factor.
I've never heard of Powell's will have to check them out, have some traffic looking for out of print or unusual books.
|Amazon.com doesn't seem to pay 15 % even when we take time out to select books and link to them directly. |
To be sure you get the 15% commision from Amazon you'll want to implement the ref=nosim tip outlined here. [webmasterworld.com]
I use links to Amazon and Powells side by side and the former gets clicked and bought through much more than the second (but Powells gives you 10% on both new and used books.) Also, the new "1-click button" option (2 clicks really, since the first opens a pop-up from the affiliate site) shows promising transformation rates.
Alibris works great for second-hand books. My policy is to give users a choice, which is another reason not to go with B&N: they insist on exclusivity, or at least they did last time I checked.
B&N no longer requires exclusivity.
From an article in out local paper, reprinted from the San Jose Mercury News:
"According to a new survey by Forrester, 10 percent of U.S. households shop at or browse at Amazon's web site once a month...."
Last week, besides the usual books, DVDs, and CDs, I got a commission for a crock pot and a Cuisinart food processor from Amazon, on a site that only has book links. People will buy all sorts of stuff once they get on the Amazon site, even if they only started out going there to look at books.