Amazon Screwing Over Affiliates Is A Good Thing!

Last Update: April 15, 2020

Yeah I said it!

But hear me out before you start throwing shade my way. As all of you may know by now, Amazon slashed the commissions they pay affiliates (aka associates) by up to 80%. You can see the crappy announcement here.

Why Did Amazon Associates Slash Affiliate Commissions?

We all know that Amazon.com has had to prioritize shipping essential products because of the "Rona" out break. So a lot of product categories that they would normally sell, aren't leaving the warehouse. I suspect that because of this they're not really making money on that stuff so they cut the rates.

But we've also heard that they are hitting record numbers of sales because of the "Rona". So maybe that theory doesn't pan out. Honestly I don't really know why. At the end of the day it doesn't matter.

The Truth About Amazon Associates

The reality is that the Amazon Associates program has always been anti affiliates. The fact that you can only earn on sales made within 24 hours of someone clicking on your amazon affiliate link is shady. Most decent affiliate programs will allow you to earn within 30 days to 90 days. And some have lifetime cookies where you'll earn any time after someone has clicked on your affiliate link. But Noooo Amazon decided that a day is enough time for you to hopefully earn a commission.

I don't know about you. But sometimes it takes me several days to make a decision. And Amazon knows this. And their affiliate cookie policy accounts for this and designed to screw you over. They know that most sales will happen after that 24 hour period and they don't have to pay you. So being shady to affiliates isn't a new thing for Amazon. No one should be shocked by this. Okay Eddy, fine we knew there were shady but how is their recent actions a good thing for us? I'm glad you asked my friend.

The Silver Lining

Amazon screwing you over will now force you to look into including other affiliate programs. And guess what? Many other programs tend to pay better than Amazon where you would only make anywhere from 4-10% if you were lucky.

Whereas other affiliate programs can pay you significantly higher than that depending on what you're promoting.

Another thing for you to realize is that you were leaving money on the table if you just built made for Amazon sites. If you're whole monetization strategy was just sales from Amazon, you've literally missed out on hundreds if not thousands of dollars from your existing traffic.

As some of you know, I'm a big proponent of multiple streams of income on your blog. I've written an article:

Back At 5 Figures: I Earned $10,640,56

in this article I discuss how I use several ways to monetize my site and most of it isn't even dependent on sales. It will help you make the adjustment to your own blog and combat what Amazon has done to you. So you'll want to read that ASAP.

My strategy to combat shady affiliate program changes is to utilize a healthy mixture of Display Advertising, CPA and some sales based affiliate marketing to monetize my sites. I don't have all my eggs in one basket. My sites are all set up to make money even if someone never clicks on a link and buys something.

So even right now where one of my sites has Amazon links, it's not my only source of income. I will still make money with it because I don't limit my blog income to Amazon. And you have the same opportunity. So read that article to understand how.

Are You Going To Fold or Adapt?

Right now I am reading a lot of people bitching and moaning about Amazon. And its all justified. I have the same feelings about Google and their constant algorithm updates. But what are you going to do about all this stuff?

You can come online and whine about how unfair this is. Or you can take the situations by the horns and adapt. As someone that has been in the industry for over a decade, I've experienced crap like this before.

I've had affiliate companies change their rates, dropped me or stiffed me out of money. I've had Google wipe out my site traffic. And like all of you, I complained, got angry, swore away this business, etc.

It's a natural reaction. But guess what? It's not going to change the circumstances. You have to make changes like:

  • Add more ways to monetize your site.
  • Consider creating your own product.
  • Diversify your traffic.

In this business you have to accept and expect that things will always change in your business and plan accordingly.

I'm speaking from experience. My organic traffic has started to take a hit yet again for some of my sites. You know what I did? I started a YouTube channel. And now that's making me money and giving me additional traffic. Sure I still bitch that Google sucks. LOL But I didn't wait around for them to love me again. I adapted. And that's what it takes to be a successful business owner.

You're going to face challenges and it's not fair. But life isn't fair and we all get up every day and push through it. You have to take the same approach with Amazon.

What's Next?

So what are you guys planning to do? Sink or swim off to better calmer waters? Let me know your thoughts about this Amazon situation and how you plan to adjust down below. I think whole situation is timely. Even right now with the Rona taking over our lives, there are people and businesses thriving. There is always an opportunity in the darkest of times. You just need to see the light in the situation to make it work for you. And this Amazon situation is a perfect example of this.

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Recent messages
roamy Premium
Thanks, Eddy, and sorry for the late comment as I just saw this.
I`m one of those online marketers who made a mistake on creating a site that depended almost solely on Amazon, what a mistake, how stupid and ignorant of me.
When things were ok, it was tolerable, I was not ok with the 24-hour cookie period, but the thought of changing links "terrified me" how do I change links in over 200 posts?= about 600 affiliate links and products.
Amazon has now forced me to do what I should have done for 3 years and I must admit, in a way I'm furious but also grateful for them to make me take action.
My niche was dropped to 1% commission so there was just no way I was going to accept or tolerate the unjust any longer.
As you`ve said so well,we don`t have to put all out eggs in 1 basket and that`s exactly what I did with the site.
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EddySalomon Premium
Hey Roamy,

I'm sorry you were impacted by their shady move. But I promise you in the long run you're better off for it!
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etseil20 Premium
Eddy,

Thanks for sharing! I've never been a fan of Amazon Affiliates, but I still utilize it to write product reviews. What Amazon did is frustrating, but it's not the end of the world.

As you and others have suggested, you have to diversify and look for other ways to earn affiliate commissions. It still blows my mind that there are dozens of affiliate programs today (which gives us plenty of opportunities to make commissions elsewhere). Some pay more, while some pay less. Luckily, Amazon is not the only affiliate program in the world. Otherwise, we'd be in trouble.

Thanks again for sharing. As much as this news sucks, I like your positive spins. We need more positivity, especially what's gone on recently (,i.e. "Rona").

All the best,

-Eric
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EddySalomon Premium
Hey Eric,

I totally agree with you. As a business owner you're going to deal with a lot of stuff that is out of control. But we can control how we react. And being negative doesn't help you make more money. So it's a lesson I learned over the years. And i want people to learn it quickly as well. Thanks for chiming in.
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michaelvgATN Premium
Hey Eddy,

Great article and well written. This is the thing that annoys me the most and the fact that the owner is just a man, like the rest of us makes it even worse. I mean, how can he feel justified whilst living among us every day, you would think he would be more helpful and rewarding to affiliates the ones who sell his products because without us he would still be blogging.

I'm with eBay and this has backed me up even more for my future investments about who to affiliate for.

With Best Regards,

Michael
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EddySalomon Premium
A lot of big business make decisions based on their share holders and share prices. And sometimes those decisions screw over the people that help make the company. Companies lose some of their make up once they go public.
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michaelvgATN Premium
Great comment, well done, thanks again.
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Shawn Martin Premium
LOL< yep Eddy, good point, my experience is once they go public it is all about the $$$$
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EddySalomon Premium
Exactly Shawn
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DerekMarshal Premium
Totally agreed "Mr With a Y" lol.

You are hitting on something that I bang on about a lot on my site - diversification not only in which merchants/programs we use but diversification of business models and income methods.

I gotta give that CPA a go - been missing out on that one yet it has been glaring me in the face!

Thanks for the timely reminder!.

Derek.
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EddySalomon Premium
Agreed Derek. Diversification is a great way to grow and protect your business. And situations like this are a great reminder of this.
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littlemama Premium
Hi Eddy, Not surprised one bit. It's going to go away in due time I'm sure. They are just doing it slowly so people don't get TOO pissed. Lol

I agree with diversification, and the ever changing terrain we have to go through in our online businesses is always going to be there, so wise up and adapt, not fold.

We have to continue finding ways to reinvent our online business and keep it moving forward.

Great post!
Grace
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EddySalomon Premium
Yeah I think they're past the not pissing people off too much. At this point they should just rip the bandaid off and be done with it. lol But at least this gives affiliates enough time to move on to bigger and better things.
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Labman Premium
As Kyle says in his post, they forgot where they came from. I hope that the loss of affiliates significantly impacts their business. I assume that they have decided that they are big enough to weather the world without their support base. I hope they are mistaken and begin a free fall. It would be an appropriate comeuppance.
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EddySalomon Premium
Yeah a lot of companies forget where they come from. Google and Facebook are another example of this. And they're all on the radar of the government here and abroad. So the karma will get them. But fortunately we're in a business that allows us to easily adapt and find programs that appreciate us.
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