Amazon Slashes Commission Rates – Again – Because They Can

Last Update: April 14, 2020

If your site only contains Amazon affiliate links, you are probably in big trouble.

Amazon announced huge commission cuts, effective April 21st. Here are the cuts:

  • Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, Pantry – was 8%, now 3%
  • Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial Supplies – was 6%, now 3%
  • Outdoors, Tools – was 5.5%, now 3%
  • Grocery – was 5%, now 1%
  • Sports – was 4.5%, now 3%
  • Baby products – was 4.5%, now 3%
  • Health and Personal Care – was 4.5%, now 1%
  • Amazon Fresh – was 3%, now 1%

Cuts this deep wipe out the reasons to work with Amazon. Using them because it’s so “easy” will cost you a fortune. So what if “they sell everything” – if you may only make a 1% commission if someone buys through your link.

Consider working with the affiliate programs offered through affiliate networks. Not only are the cookies normally much longer than Amazon’s 1-day cookie, but now their commission rates are significantly higher.

I’ll give you odds that the commission from other programs will always be better than what Amazon will now be paying. And remember, Amazon did this because they could, not because they had to. They will still be reporting record profits. Just shows what they think of their affiliates.

Both Awin.com and ShareASale.com have bookmarklet tools which make it just as easy to pull a deeplink to a product.

Since I work for both of those networks, I’ll be glad to recommend merchants to use instead of Amazon for your specific products. Right now I only have about 100 of the ShareASale programs entered into the Affiliate Programs tab, but ShareASale has over 6,000 merchants, so I can find one for just about anything you need. Just let me know what you need.

Time to switch to merchants who actually appreciate having you as their affiliate!

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donco6 Premium
Just signed up for at least 10 good vendors on Share-a-Sale. I'd been a member there for a while, but had a harder time using their links so I stopped. But looking now after several years, they've really improved, and the number of vendors in my niche is high. Already started using some new links. See ya, Amazon!
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JeannineC Premium
I'm thrilled to hear that! If I can help, just let me know.
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Chris737 Premium
Hi Jeannine,

Great post! I've actually only just started as an affiliate and as such haven't seen any sales through Amazon and by the looks of it I don't think I ever will!

I currently sell my own product on Amazon and let me tell you that it sucks just as much for Amazon private label sellers as it does for affiliate marketers. Their fees are ridiculously high. They place ads for their own Amazonlabel brand right next to our product and sell at a much cheaper price so customers end up buying theirs. They obviously hold all the cards because they know what sells well and what doesn't so they hold an unfair advantage there.

Finally their storage fees are ridiculous as well.

So I hear you and I'll be looking at other ways now to diversify my income. All the best.
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JeannineC Premium
Honestly, start your own affiliate program on ShareASale.com. It's super affordable and will give you direct access to a huge publisher base. Cut Amazon out in the middle, cause yeah, they treat their small merchants as badly (maybe even worse) than they treat their affiliates.
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Roybretton Premium
Hello Jeannine,

Hope you're doing well and that business is good.

Thank you for your wise words, I have never seriously promoted Amazon or actually sold a product through Amazon! I find that there are many other affiliate programs much better suited to my niche and payout much more. The one-day cookie is pretty pathetic, bearing in mind that most affiliate programs have a 30 to 90-day cookie.

Have a great day.

Roy
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JeannineC Premium
You got it right, Roy! So glad you won't be hurt by this.
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sherreeamor Premium
Hi... Im just curious... Whats a cookie
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JeannineC Premium
A cookie is a tiny piece of code placed on someone's site when they click through on a link, such as a reader on your site when they click through to a merchant.

There's a timer associated with affiliate links. Someone must purchase within that time for you to receive the commission. The timer for Amazon's cookie is only 24 hours. For most other merchants it's 30 days or longer, which means a much greater opportunity to make the sale and earn the commission.
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Suzay Premium
Thank you Jeannine, I agree with you.

Amazon is another Walmart, where workers' wages keep getting cut and production requirements keep increasing. Sweat shop mentality alone, I cannot support!

Walmart did time-sheet tampering in every state in the union of the U.S. and territories, repeatedly.
I worked at a Sam's Club and they tried to do it to me. Then there was a suit against that store. I signed up, but most employees did not because they feared retribution from Walmart. Wrong is wrong, and I'm glad I stood up against them. I atleast got $800 to sting them for the audacity of lying in the first place!
Funny how they treat their employees and customers like thieves, with receipt checking.

The recent events are the next step, after doing it to warehouse workers for Jeff Bezos, who already is a Billionaire 138 times!
For him to scrape more %'s away from affiliates, for their individual efforts in selling products.
"Excuse" from Webster's is an invalid reason for lack of duty.
I'm changing the word "duty" to forsaking, which is pick and choose forgetfulness!
Jeff you forgot when you yourself were a worker, and worthy of pay on the level of your workmanship." Closing a sale that needed a 3rd party person to persuade the buyer and a Call To Action!
Not surprised! Someone has a never enough for themselves mentality.
Suzay
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JohnnyMark1 Premium
Hey, way to go, Suzay!
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JeannineC Premium
Well said! It makes me so mad for sure!
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Suzay Premium
Bezos is an internationalist. Cain was the first one of those. Cain picked up fruit from the ground instead of doing the sometimes back-breaking labor of starting the natural traffic from the ground up and cultivation of them over time, so to speak.
He planned and executed how to take his own short cuts, even letting nature do all the work. Never mind there were worms and rot in it. It looked OK.
When he presented his offering, although the intent was sloppy and under-handed, not the quality he would demand if he were the receiver. But since he clearly was not the receiver, so what?
So when the big "R" receiver accepted Cain's womb-mate's offering, what happened there? Cain in a rage, killed his competition.
Not zayin' that Bezos did it in a rage, but apparently he did what he did on purpose anyways.
Take this little story for whatever you get out of it.
Suzay
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JeannineC Premium
Quite creative! Thanks for making me smile.
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Jenny28 Premium
Hi Jeannine,
Thanks for sharing. This is so disheartening to hear as an amazon affiliate. It’s really no surprise though, they just don’t care about their affiliates.

I am already part of AWin and ShareASale. I am promoting dog products and I will be looking for other affiliate programs to work with. Can you recommend any?

Thanks,
Jenny.
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JeannineC Premium
There are quite a few amazing dog product merchants on ShareASale and Awin. Many of the ones on ShareASale are specific niches, like dog beds or dog treats, or dog fencing. On Awin, I always love ValuePet Supplies - they have the best prices every on bully sticks and puppy pads!
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Jenny28 Premium
Thank you so much for your help Jeannine I appreciate it. I will check out what you have mentioned.
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