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amazon referral fee system

     
8:44 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm trying to understand amazon's referral system and how associates earn commissions. I'm not an associate but I'm trying to figure out whether it would be worth pursuing.

I came accross the following changes they're making and I'm having trouble understanding it.


We are replacing the 15% direct-referral rate for qualifying
discounted book purchases with a 2.5% incremental premium for
direct-link purchases, both retail and Marketplace, across *all*
product lines. The effective referral rate, which includes this
incremental premium, is 7.5% for direct retail purchases and 5%
for direct Marketplace purchases. This referral rate will be
applied when customers add direct-linked products to their carts
even if they visit other product pages first. Individual Item
Links and links that add products to the customer's cart qualify
for the direct-link premium.

Does this essentially mean that they're changing their direct link system so customers can now browse before purchasing and the affiliate will earn a 7.5% commission? And do you think this will be more benificial to affilates?

8:54 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does this essentially mean that they're changing their direct link system so customers can now browse before purchasing and the affiliate will earn a 7.5% commission?

Yes.

And do you think this will be more benificial to affilates?

Hard to say. That's been debated on the Amazon discussion boards for a few days. Many affiliates don't do the direct-link thing. I do, but I see very few 15% commissions. Most other direct-linkers agree, but some have different results.

Some of my lower commissions are due to people buying a related item, not the one I linked. Others are probably due to clicking around before buying the one I recommended. For those I would get a higher commission that I do currently.

The real question: Is Amazon a good affiliate company?

Complainers at the AMZN boards say it's terrible. But 900,000 of us stay with AMZN. Most of us make very little money. Some make 5 figures a year -- maybe more.

9:12 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thanks dwilson.
I think the only reason amazons affiliate program is succesful is because they're amazon.

They have everything in the world to sell but I think affilates might be better off focusing on niche sites that have less complicated commission structures. I mean if amazon simply make there commissions a flat rate (7.5%) without the direct linking it would be way more lucrative for their affilates.

It seems to me that amazon are happy to get the traffic but unless the traffic behaves the way they want it to, the affiliate loses out.

10:27 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I wish they'd scrap the $10 cap retroactively...apart from that, I only see one or two 15% sales a month, so I'll have to run this for a while to see how much of a difference it makes.
3:53 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The $10 cap is being taken away for electronics next quarter.

I started trying to sell books with a little company I found on CJ. They offered better commissions and their prices were as good as Amazon's. I got lots of click-throughs, but no sales. I was inexperienced enough that I didn't switch until the outfit quit affiliating w/ CJ -- may have folded, not sure. So I switched to Amazon -- and started selling.

The reason I stay with Amazon is that they are a known name and people are comfortable buying books there. I'm not selling nearly what I'd like to -- but I am selling.