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How Does Amazon Associates Work?

How does Amazon Associates work
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

If you’re looking for ways to monetise your website or blog, Amazon Associates is a good place to start. Amazon is one of the largest online retailers, generating around $830,000 in revenue every minute. If you have a website, blog, or social media platform, Amazon offers a way for you to share its vast profits through its affiliate marketing program, Amazon Associates. But how does Amazon Associates work?

 

How Does Amazon Associates Program Work?

Amazon Associates is an affiliate marketing program that works on a pay-per-sale model. When someone buys a product through an Amazon affiliate link on your website, you receive a referral fee, which is a percentage of the sale price. Amazon uses traffic from your website to drive their sales.

So, you’re effectively doing the marketing for them! In return, you earn a commission from these sales. Affiliate programs are generally a great way to monetize your website. You might already recommend products to your customers or readers for free. Amazon Associates allows you to monetise these recommendations, without having to set up your own store.

Amazon affiliate links aren’t just for websites and blogs. You can also add them to YouTube videos, along with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts. Now that we know how Amazon Associates works, let’s look at how you can become an Amazon affiliate.

 

How To Become An Amazon Affiliate

1. Log in to Your Amazon Account via Amazon Associates

Go to the Amazon Associates homepage and click on “Sign up”. Sign in to your Amazon account, or create one if necessary.

2. Add Your Account and Website Details

Add the websites and mobile app URLs where you’ll be adding affiliate links.

3. Select a Store ID and Add Information About Your Website

Amazon wants to know what your website/mobile app is about and what kinds of products you promote.

4. Add Information About Your Website’s Traffic and Monetisation

Amazon will ask how you drive traffic to your website/mobile app, how you build links, how many unique visitors per month your website receives, and how you otherwise monetise your website or mobile app.

5. Enter Your Phone Number and Register a Pin

Once you’ve added all the necessary information, enter your phone number. Amazon will then call/text you to register a four-digit PIN for your account.

6. Enter Your Payment and Tax Information

You can do this when you first register as an Amazon Associate or at a later stage.

And that’s it! You’re now registered as an Amazon Associate and can start adding affiliate links to your website and earning a commission. So, how much does Amazon Associates pay you for sales made through your affiliate links?

 

Amazon Affiliate Commission Rates

Amazon Associates pays commissions on sales of:

  • Products you have linked to or a product in the same category (called direct qualifying purchases)
  • Unrelated products bought by a customer who has navigated to Amazon through one of your links (called indirect qualifying purchases)

Commission rates are different depending on the type of product and whether it’s a direct or indirect qualifying purchase.

Amazon affiliate standard commission rates range between 1-10%. We’ve listed some common product categories and their current commission rates on Amazon (UK) below.

Product Category Direct Indirect
Grocery, Health, Personal Care 6% 1.5%
Video Game Consoles 1% 1%
Home, Home Improvement, Garden, Pet Products 7% 1.5%
Computers and Electronics 3% 1.5%
Physical Books 6% 1.5%
Fashion 10% 1.5%

There are also special commissions for bonus events or Amazon subscriptions, ranging from 50p to £25 per registration. These include programs such as free trials for Prime Video and Prime Music, Wedding Registry, and Audible subscriptions.

Amazon’s Associate program pays out commissions around 60 days after the end of each calendar month. For example, you’ll receive your January commission at the end of March. You can choose whether to receive your commission via direct deposit, cheque, or Amazon gift card.

 

How Long Do Amazon Affiliate Links Last?

Standard Amazon affiliate links last 24 hours. This means the customer has 24 hours after clicking on your affiliate link to complete a purchase. If the customer doesn’t do this or uses another affiliate link within that 24-hour window, you won’t receive the commission.

What happens if a customer uses your affiliate link to add an item to their shopping cart but leaves Amazon before completing their purchase? If they added the item within the 24-hour window, the timeframe for them to complete their purchase, and for you to earn your commission, extends to 90 days.

 

What Are Qualifying Purchases For Amazon Associates?

You only receive Amazon Associate commissions for “qualifying purchases”, which are purchases that comply with all of Amazon’s affiliate program rules. A purchase qualifies when a customer clicks on your affiliate link and completes their purchase within the above timeframes.

Amazon can disqualify purchases from earning a commission if they don’t comply with the program’s rules. Actions that might result in a purchase being disqualified include occasions where:

  • The customer has initiated a cancellation, return, or refund for the product
  • The customer made their purchase via a redirecting link (a link that directs customers to an intermediate site without requiring the customer to click a link on the intermediate site)
  • Amazon can’t track or report the purchase due to the affiliate link not being properly formatted
  • Link shorteners are used to disguise the fact the affiliate link goes to Amazon
  • The affiliate link is in content that can only be accessed with a paid subscription
  • The link is on a closed Facebook group or personal Facebook profile
  • The affiliate link is in an email, eBook, or PDF
  • You displayed the price of the item (as prices on Amazon fluctuate)
  • You, your friends, or your family made the purchase

 

Important Terms for Amazon Associates

In addition to the rules around qualifying purchases, there are other terms and conditions you must follow as an Amazon Associate. Amazon Associate’s terms of service are set out in its Operating Agreement and Associate Program Policies, which are updated regularly.

It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these documents. If you violate any of the rules, Amazon can ban your account without notice.

Some of these additional terms include:

  • Within six months of registering, you need to refer a minimum of three qualifying sales to keep your account open
  • You must clearly state on your website that you might earn a commission on any linked products e.g. “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases”
  • Your website must display a comprehensive privacy policy
  • Your website must contain genuine, quality content (it can’t simply be content directly copied from Amazon)
  • As an individual, you can only hold one Amazon Associate account
  • You can’t design your website to look like the Amazon website and you can only use the marks or logos specifically provided by Amazon
  • You can’t promote products to children under the age of 13
  • Your website can’t contain any obscene, violent, sexually explicit, discriminatory, or fake material

If you already have a website or blog set up, then Amazon Associates is a good starting point to monetise it. While initially familiarising yourself with Amazon’s terms of service will take some time, registering for an account is quick and easy. And you can then start earning a commission from your blog or website immediately!

If you want to learn more about other ways to monetise your website, check out our other articles here. For a more in-depth look at affiliate marketing, check out this article.

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