The Amazon Affiliate Program is one of the first online affiliate marketing programs and was launched in 1996. They’ve paid out millions in affiliate commissions over the years and Amazon is one of the most trusted brands in the world. In short, you’re not going to get scammed by them as long as you follow all their Terms and Conditions.

In my firm opinion, a good affiliate program should provide its affiliates with multiple tools to make promotion easier. And there’s no other program in the marketplace that does this better than Amazon’s. There are various options in the Amazon Affiliate Program through which one can promote Amazon’s wide range of products. These include:

  1. Build Links and Banners
  2. Site Stripe
  3. Text and Product Links
  4. Banners
  5. Amazon aStore
  6. Widgets

Personally, I love the Site Stripe functionality as it’s a huge time saver for me and text links work out best in terms of conversions. Now onto one of the most important features of any affiliate program – the Commission Structure!

The Amazon Affiliate Program refers to commissions as “Advertising Fees.” The standard advertising fee starts at 4% for most items, though for a few of their verticals (partner stores) it may be as high as 15%.
One can choose between the Standard Fee Structures which pay out 4% for all items (wonder who goes for it though) but most people go in for the Performance Fee Structure based on your sales volume. Also there’s a special rate for certain categories

A lot of people complain about the low commission rates with the Amazon Affiliate Program but frankly, I think it’s comparable to any other affiliate program out there. And once those items start to add up, the commission rates keep going up. There’s never been a month where I’ve earned less than a 7% commission.

Amazon Affiliate Program offers 3 different payment methods and payments are processed 60 days after you hit the threshold limit. For example, if I requested payout in the month of January, it would be credited to my account at the end of March.

One can choose to receive payments in the form of:

  • Amazon Gift Card/Certificate – $10 minimum
  • Direct Deposit – $10 minimum
  • Check – $100 minimum

There are a lot of pros with the Amazon Affiliate Program. I might be a little biased because I’ve seen success with this but let me list out some of the major pros:

  1. Amazon is one of the biggest brands out there. People recognize and trust the brand and don’t hesitate to hit that Checkout button. All one needs to do is get people into Amazon and then let them do the rest. They’ve literally spent thousands of dollars on optimization and know the best way to convert customer, cross-sell and up-sell. No wonder then that conversion rates with Amazon are really high.
  2. Amazing referral tools for getting visitors to the Amazon site. I’ve already mentioned them above.
  3. You get paid for all products the visitor has bought if he visits Amazon through your affiliate link. Now this is huge! What this essentially means is that if I have a website that promotes the new Call of Duty PS3 games and the visitor goes to Amazon via my affiliate link and ends up buying 20 other game titles, I get paid for all of them! (Provided this is within the 24 hour window)
  4. Amazon has a huge range of products that you can promote so it’s very easy to incorporate it into your niche.
  5. The Amazon Affiliate Program becomes extremely lucrative during the holiday season and often December is one of my best months in terms of earnings. My advice would be to take maximum advantage of this and go all out promoting Amazon during the holiday period.

No affiliate program is perfect though and the same is true for the Amazon affiliate program as well – although, honestly speaking, the pros far outweigh the cons and that’s why I’d still vote for the Amazon Affiliate Program as my favourite one. Here are the reasons why:

  1. Amazon has an extremely short 24 hour cookie duration for all affiliates. This means that supposing a customer visits Amazon after clicking your affiliate link but purchases an item only after 24 hours (for whatever reason), you don’t get the commission! Also, if a customer clicks somebody else’s affiliate link after clicking yours, you still lose out on the commission!
  2. Another issue that people usually complain about is the low commission rates. A lot of affiliate programs offer up to 70% in affiliate commissions but honestly it’s far easier to convince a customer to buy from Amazon.
  3. The 3rd point is applicable for International affiliates such as me who don’t have the option of direct deposit which means that I need to wait for a payment via cheque and for which I need to earn a minimum of $100 in commission. Sometimes a cheque gets lost in transit which means that I need to wait an additional month or two before they reissue the lost cheque.

Like I said, it has few cons but the pros far outweigh it and you should always look at the brighter side. So why not sign up to the Amazon Affiliate program now and start making money from your website.