By now, you may have noticed that the Amazon affiliate program commission rates have been on the decline for quite some time.
Just a few years ago, you could earn upwards of 8% through the program, but now it’s dropped to as low as 1% on some products.
This article will examine what’s going on with the Amazon Associates affiliate program, whether you can still make money through the program and how you can find alternatives to Amazon if you are ready to move on.
What are The Current Amazon Affiliate Program Commission Rates?
When you sign up to become an affiliate, you join a network of other sellers. You earn a percentage of sales when someone clicks through your link and buys an item.
Some categories on Amazon have higher commission rates than others. If you’re selling a product with a low commission rate, it might be worth seeking out other opportunities to make money online.
Commission rates can vary widely between one product and another—and one category to another.
In fact, in 2020 Amazon slashed some of its commission rates to less than half the previous rates. The image below gives the current table.
Here’s what changed:
- Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products and Pantry went from 8% to 3%.
- Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial supplies went from 6% to 3%.
- Outdoors, Tools was cut from 5.5% to 3%.
- Sports and Baby Products categories went from 4.5% to 3%.
- Health & Personal Care was slashed from 5% to 1%.
- Amazon Fresh was cut from 3% to 1% .
Why Have Commissions Dropped on Some Products?
The commission rates were slashed on April 21, 2020. Thus, we consider the cuts were probably caused by the huge demand on particular products due to Covid-19.
The increases in online shopping during the pandemic were enormous. In fact, Amazon was forced to hire more workers to handle the increase in demand.
We suspect that this is one of the factors that led to the commission drops. Amazon had more business than it could handle.
Therefore, it did not need to rely upon external advertisers to promote its products. So, the commissions on high demand products were greatly reduced.
The e-commerce giant is undoubtedly still a gold mine for some affiliates, but there are fewer products with high commissions.
And so you may wonder whether there are alternatives to Amazon for the products in your niche. After all, it’s not wise to put all your eggs in one basket.
So we’ll discuss some of the alternatives a bit later.
Can You Make Money Through the Amazon Affiliate Program in 2022?
The Amazon affiliate program has been around for many years and is a tried-and-true way to earn money online.
It’s easy to get started, but, with these reductions in commission rates, you do need to put in some extra work if you want to see results.
How much money you can make through the Amazon Associates affiliate program in 2022 is totally dependent upon you.
In fact, it is possible to make good money from this program with a little bit of effort, and the right choice of products.
Amazon Associates Affiliate Program – Be Aware Of The Stringencies.
The Amazon Associates Affiliate Program has more stringent rules than many other affiliate programs.
You should be aware of them so that you do not transgress and have your account suspended. This link will take you to the Amazon Associates Operating Policy page where the rules are laid out.
Here are some of the things to bear in mind if you decide to apply to become an Amazon Associate.
- Do not use your affiliate link to buy products for yourself, or even have family members do it.
- You can only use your affiliate links on your affiliate website, not offline. So, if you are promoting products to your email list, the link in the email should be directed back to your website page.
- Do not shorten or cloak links unless using Amazon’s own link shortener.
- You cannot use affiliate links on sexually explicit or violent sites.
- You must make at least one sale within your first 180 days of being an associate. If you do not your account will be suspended. Under these circumstances you can apply to rejoin the program.
- As an Amazon Associate, you must disclose your affiliation on any page that has Amazon affiliate links.
You should definitely check out the Operating Policy to make sure you are not in violation of these and the other rules.
Some affiliates find that, because of these stringent operating policies, being an Amazon Associate just isn’t worth it.
Some vendors pay higher commissions. And, while you can still make a reasonable income from selling Amazon products, there are other options available for people who want something else.
Alternatives to the Amazon Affiliate Program
There is a huge list of companies offering affiliate programs. In addition, there are many affiliate networks that represent a wide range of companies.
You can shop around for specific affiliate programs for your niche. Google is a great source of information and if you search for Your Niche + Affiliate Programs, you will discover some better opportunities.
As an example, I have a golf niche as well as this one.
When Amazon suspended my account through lack of sales, I searched for some other golf affiliate programs.
I am now affiliated with the following:
- Worldwide Golf Shops
- Vice Golf
- PGA Tour Superstore
- Global Golf
- Diamond Tour Golf Wholesalers
- Wilson Family of Brands.
All these offer commissions between 5% and 10% on product sales, which is a much better deal on Sports Equipment than Amazon at 3%.
Amazon Affiliate Program Commission Rates – Is It Still Worth It?
I would suggest that it is certainly worth it for some affiliates.
Of course, this all depends upon the niche you have chosen and whether your products fall into the higher commission rates at Amazon.
For instance, if you are in the Luxury Beauty category, then commissions at 10% on expensive beauty items, would be a worthwhile proposition.
On a personal level for me, I can get better commissions on the same products from my golf affiliates than I can from Amazon. So, the suspension of my Amazon Associates account did me a real favor.
If you are just starting out in affiliate marketing, then it would probably be a good idea to avoid Amazon until your website has some authority and significant traffic.
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