Amazon has changed its Affiliate Program


Amazon has changed its Affiliate Program. Are We Screwed?

Amazon made some significant changes to their Affiliate program, and everyone who is associated with it is under the heat. How you may ask? And even though the bigger players may be shielded from these changes, all the dust is on the little guy. 


From a little guy, I mean the small shoppers, bloggers, and affiliates who have helped Amazon become what it is today, a multi-billion dollar company. 


In this excerpt, we are going to talk about what had really happened, which forced all of those small business owners to have sleepless nights. 


But, don’t worry, I am also going to talk about how to come out of it. But, first let’s discuss the problem. 


What really went down?

We all know that Amazon runs the world’s biggest affiliate program. Any product link that takes the user to Amazon from your preferred medium, and if they buy it through that link, you will get some money in your account. 


Simple yet elegant. 


But what happened now did not start abruptly, albeit it started a year back when Amazon lowered the commissions by some percentage. Was there uproar then? Of course, but not that much as compared to what the consequences will be with their recent changes. 


  • Earlier, the commission that you got from Amazon was between 3 to 8%. It was fine, and everybody was happy with it. 
  • But, the changes that we have seen today and which are effective from the 21st of April, 2020 this commission window comes down to 1 to 3%. 


Yes, it is shocking and outrageous. 

And this comes at a time when Amazon has so many orders. When the prime account holders may have to wait for up to 3 weeks to get their orders. Well, that can also be due to the current health situation that has left the whole world flummoxed. 


But, why did Amazon have to reduce their commission rates? They have to prioritize their orders and supply the essential commodities first. In that those who are selling things like beds, car parts, and other non-essential items, these guys have also taken a hit. 


So, this is the email that you must have got. Now, if you would open the “What’s Changed” link, you will get a list of the items whose commission has been reduced. 


So, these are all the items that have seen a reduction in the commission. All of these items had commission rated above 4%. And those whose sole source of income is Amazon Affiliate, they have been hit hard. 


Those who were getting an 8% commission earlier, now they are down to 3%. Groceries were around 5% before, now they are 1%. That is literally insane and outright mind-boggling. 

But why????????

Unfortunately, we don’t know what’s the right answer. It may be due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, or it can be due to any other reason. Either way, it is also not clear whether these changes are permanent or they are only until the situation normalizes. 


So, what’s the way out – If there is one?

There is a way out

Good for you. I am going to talk about some other methods that can get you money, and some of them are even more lucrative than Amazon. 


So, here are the five things which I will be doing and would suggest that you also do the same. 


Check on Other Affiliate Programs: Well, as much as it hurts, you start looking for other affiliate programs. I mean, if Amazon is going to be like this from now on if this is going to be the new normal. Then you have got to look for some other options. 


What you can do is contact your manufacturers whose products you are selling on Amazon. So, instead of Amazon, you can become a part of their affiliate program and start earning commission. 


They might be willing to offer you more commission than Amazon. The manufacturer who’s products you were selling on Amazon could possibly even set up their own affiliate marketing if they don’t already have one. This might only happen if you are already promoting a large number of their products on your website.

There can be one downside to it, and that is the customer behavior. People are accustomed to buying from Amazon. So, given another link or another source to buy from, it is not very certain that they will show similar enthusiasm. 


But, this is a good thing to start right now and start nurturing this kind of relationship. It may take some time and convincing, but if you could land the deal, it will be better and much more profitable. 


Run Advertisements on your Website: Yes, it is a bit out of the normal, but the normal that we were used to has changed. So, you need to make a new NORMAL. 


There are no issues with it. And if you post clickable ads, you may make money from the tune of $8000 to $9000 in 5 or 6 months. 


The difference is that if you try to sell through Amazon, you will only get money if someone buys a product. But, if you run ads, you will earn even when a person sees or clicks on the ad. 


Yes, a few fears are lurking around that the website traffic may go down, or you may lose on your SEO. But you don’t know this for sure, it might be worth the risk, if monitored correctly. 


So, start thinking something new and implement it. 


Convince your Audience to Support You: Well, it does not matter what the size of your audience is, if you have some audience, you can get help from them. 


What has become popular is setting up an account on Patreon. This is a website where you can set up your account and ask your supporters, aka Patrons, to support you. 


For instance, you can ask them to pay you $25 a month. And in return, you may provide them with something extra. It can be something like entry into the pre-launch event of a product or helping them get a new product earlier than others. 


You can also provide them with a bonus blog every month. You can conduct live sessions where you try to help them understand some concepts and more. 


So, it will be like a quid pro quo situation, where you will be getting some extra resources and return it in kind. 


How about making your own products: Well, this is definitely a big step. Yes, it is a bit overwhelming, and you cannot just start a business overnight, but when you think about it, why shouldn’t you. 


We all know that China is the biggest market for manufacturing physical products. So, if you are selling something a lot via Amazon for someone else, why not get them made from China, find a way to ship them directly to the customers and earn well. 


This way, you can get up to 50% of the profits and not to mention the brand value that you can create with your own business. Well, if you can do it for someone else, why not do it for yourself. 


Start sharing information with people: If you know something, why not share it with people and create money just like that, out of thin air. 


All you need to do is reach out to the right audience and start helping them. It can be anything from a blog to a vlog. You can make a course, a training program, or anything else. 


It will take some time, but once you get that train going, and start making something (it should not have to be a lot). Even if it is little, you will have some assurance and something to fall back to if something like this happens. 

Do not keep all your eggs in one basket

I cannot stress enough that you need to start building your own blog, product, and brand. If you have not started with, do it today. 


If you are thinking about becoming an Instagram Influencer or building your own YouTube community, it is good. Some Instagram Influencers have not thousands, millions of followers. YouTubers get millions of views on their one video.


But in the end, all it will take is just a single change in the algorithm, and it will go down the drain. Because of the way you rely on Instagram to help you become famous, to get more and more followers, they can change that overnight. 


You may not lose everything, but that curve might start to get in the shape of an inverted U. So, instead of doing all that, why not build something that is more stable, reliable, and on which you have more control. 

I hope that everything comes back to normal

Yes, it is really frustrating what Amazon has done. They have literally crushed the little guy. I mean, who gives 1% commission on groceries. And if the reason for this step is COVID-19, then groceries are an essential item. If not anything else, people are going to buy more and more groceries. 


In the end, I can only hope that everything comes back to normal and that you will try to bring one of the steps given above in action. Don’t be disheartened, don’t be sad. You will find a way. Stay Safe, stay secure, and keep hustling.