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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GeoffreyC1 Premium
Yea I think Amazon are slowly doing away with affiliate marketing as they are big enough to know people will go direct to them to check a product before purchasing.
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JeannineC Premium
They absolutely have used affiliates to train people to go to Amazon, so now affiliates are just something to be discarded. I think it's horrible!
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Mcaul Premium
Thanks for this.
Just starting out so this is valuable information. I'm not sure if my current niche is popular and did some searching (grief healing , funerals) and couldn't find much. I haven't started writing blogs or pages yet might have to change to something else. Any advice appreciated, still training!
Thank you!
Marian
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lucbizz Premium
If you type in Google " funeral + affiliate program" you get some, one is even from Awin :-)
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Mcaul Premium
Ah OK thanks for that tip.
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JeannineC Premium
There are actually a lot of options for that vertical -
1. Books on grief
2. Flowers
3. Travel (to a funeral, to scatter ashes, etc.)
4. Remembrance items
5. Gifts for families - fruit baskets, food, wine, etc.

Check out sites like Etsy.com (available on Awin.com) for ideas, but there are also countless others to check out as well. I can offer specifics if you'd like on both Awin and ShareASale.com.
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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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