Is Amazon Associates Worth It?

Last Updated on December 20, 2023 by andrewtk

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Should you build an Amazon affiliate website?

Is Amazon Associates worth it?

Or are the Amazon affiliate commissions just too low to bother with?

And are their infamous Terms and Conditions just too much hassle to deal with? 

Let's take a good close look!..

Should You Build An Amazon Affiliate Website?

If this question is running through your head…

…you are not alone!

A lot of people involved in affiliate marketing, both new and old, are wondering ‘is Amazon Associates worth it`?

Personally, I believe that building a website that you will initially monetise through the Amazon Associates program is still worth it. 

And I've had sites battered by the commission rate slashing that has previously taken place!

Let's take a balanced look at he facts…

Amazon Affiliate Program: Pros & Cons

Love it or hate it, Amazon Associates still comes with a stack of advantages…

…even if it does carry a fair bit of unfavourable baggage about!

The Pros of the Amazon Affiliate Program:

is amazon affiliate marketing still worth it

#1. A highly recognised, trusted brand

The third most recognisable brand in the world in fact!..

…well, according to this article by anyway. But it sound about right!

And hand-in-hand with being super-recognisable, as long as it's for the right reasons of course, goes being trusted.

Consumers the world over have come to genuinely trust Amazon. 

And as an Amazon affiliate, this is massively powerful.

Your site visitors trust the link that you are asking them to click, and once they have clicked through…

…they trust the Amazon platform 100%.

#2. The market place covers a huge range of products & niches

You can go right ahead and build your site around whatever niche you want.

Because no matter what your chosen niche is, within reason, you will find products on Amazon that you can promote. 

Bikes, TV's, Virtual Reality tech, running shoes, kitchen ware…

…you will find products to promote that match your site's niche.

As an Amazon affiliate, you are able to promote everything that Amazon has for sale.

#3. Get paid on the whole shopping cart for 24 hours

Okay, this is a massive plus-point.

I'm not aware of any other affiliate program that offers anything quite like this.

If a site visitor of yours, clicks through to Amazon from one of your affiliate links, whatever they purchase from Amazon within the next 24 hours will result in a commission for you.

So they may click through from your site via a link to a $3 kitchen utensil, not buy the kitchen utensil, but return to amazon within 24 hours and purchase a TV…

…you're going to get paid commission on the TV purchase!

Or, they may click through on your kitchen utensil, go ahead and buy it, and then stay on Amazon and buy a ton of other stuff…

…you're going to get paid commissions on the whole of the basket they check-out with!

#4. Amazon is a conversion machine

Amazon is a highly-tuned conversion machine.

Most e-commerce sites convert at a rate of 2%.

Amazon converts at a rate of 10%.

And that's not even the whole story.

Web traffic analytics specialists Millward Brown Digital reckon the average ‘Prime' member converts a staggering rate of 74%. 

That's insane!

#5. Reliable customer service

Not something that affiliates generally have to deal with directly.

But it's fair to say that if one of your site visitors, clicks through from your link, and then converts, only to experience product issues that are dealt with badly…

…the result is that they will forever associate your site with that bad experience.

That's not going to happen with Amazon.

If you've ver had reason to contact Amazon's customer service, I'd be surprised if you didn't find the whole experience to be pretty efficient and courteous.

It all helps your site in being seen as trustworthy by your visitors. 

#6. Customer maximum purchase limit is super-high

Way, way back at the dawn of the internet, when Amazon was but a twinkle in Jeff Bezos' eye…

…the average internet user was comfortable making a single purchase, of a maximum value of about $10.

Amazon came along and pretty quickly pushed that ceiling up to a still modest $30.

But now, on Amazon, due to the high level of trust they have built up…

…online consumers don't give much thought to a maximum amount that they are happy to spend on a single purchase.

That consumer resistance has pretty much disappeared for Amazon.

Amazon customers will happily spend thousands on a single item, because they totally trust that nothing will go wrong with the transaction.

And that trust has been earned!

The Cons of Amazon Affiliate Marketing:

pros and cons of amazon associates

#1. Low affiliate commission

Disappointingly, Amazon have been chipping away at the commission rates it pays to affiliates since 2012.

2020 saw the biggest slashing of affiliate commission rates.

2022 actually saw Amazon increase rates across a few select categories…

…but they're still a long way from where they were at their peak.

It's hard to call the severe slashing of affiliate commissions anything other than simply an act of meanness. 

Is it fair to pay someone who is actively spending their time driving targeted traffic to your site, so that you can make sales, a commission of something like 3%?

No. Not really.

But, they are Amazon. They can pretty much do what they want.  

24 hours!

Nothing you can say to that really.

Tight' doesn't really seem to do it justice!

Maybe ‘mean' once again?

Did an affiliate marketer once do something really hateful to JBez?

Did they hang him from a fence by his underpants?

Who knows? 

There are a few very good reasons why affiliate marketers want to cloak their links.

But as far as Amazon is concerned, link cloaking is a world of rampant sculduggery!

And if you decide to go right ahead and cloak your Amazon affiliate links despite being told not to…

…it's only a matter of time before you get an email from amazon, informing you that you have been removed as an Amazon associate.

You will be cancelled!

I don't believe I fully understand Amazon's thinking behind this one.

But make no mistake, because it's in the ‘Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement'…

…clear as day!

You cannot use any Amazon affiliate links in the emails that you send out.

If you do, you will be kicked off the program quicker than you can say “where ever in the world did JBez get those bicep implants”?

#5. Adding product images is a pain

Images, images, images.

How in the world can something so simple be made to be so complicated?

If you don't already know, as an Amazon affiliate, you have to use Amazon's product images.

And they complicate the matter to the nth degree!

Of course they do!

You can't just go right ahead and download their images and add your affiliate links.

Oh no…no ,no, no.

You have to involve yourself in using SiteStripe or API.

So you have absolutely zero control over what images you can use…and a lot of the images in Amazon are pretty low quality, which doesn't appear to bother them.

#6. Strict terms and conditions

It's really easy to get banned from Amazon.

Their terms and conditions are extensive, and if you put a foot wrong on any of them…

…and get caught in the act…

…you're getting banned!

So read them well!

Who Is Amazon Associates Good For?

I think that amazon affiliate marketing is great for anyone new to affiliate marketing.

Particularly if the niche they are in has a good number of physical products related to it, and available to buy on Amazon.

Why do I believe that Amazon associates is still a good fit for new affiliates?

Because Amazon is a conversion machine, and new affiliates have a good chance of getting some commissions in early.

Sure, it's not going to be a ton of money, but I think it's a great confidence booster.

I've been at this affiliate marketing thing for a few years now, and I still hook up to Amazon Associates when I'm getting a new site up and running.

Once the site is bringing in commissions, I look around for good quality alternative retailers that I can earn better commissions from.

And this is what I believe most new affiliates should. 

There is no shortage of great affiliate programs for beginners out there! So you shouldn't struggle to find an alternative program to move to.

Take advantage of Amazon's conversion power in the early days, and then start hooking up to offers that pay a whole lot better.

Is that being disloyal? 

Not at all.

As an affiliate, Amazon doesn't care about you…they just want your traffic…

…and they want to pay as little for it as possible.

So absolutely no need to feel bad for them!  

How Much Money Can You Make As An Amazon Affiliate?

You can make ‘okay' money as an Amazon affiliate, but it's very unlikely that you'll make big money.

The tiny commissions they pay, and the 24-hour cookie pretty much limit the ability to earn really well from the Amazon associates program.

But, as I've said earlier in this post, for new affiliate, it's a great way to start getting your first commissions in.

Affiliate marketing with Amazon will not make you rich, but it's great to get new sites earning relatively quickly.

Have You Enjoyed This Article?

Why not read some more from thedoublethink ‘Affiliate Marketing' series?

Best Affiliate Marketing Courses

High Paying Affiliate Programs

7 Affiliate Marketing YouTube Channels Worth Following

How To Become An Amazon Affiliate

Joining Amazon Associates is a fairly straightforward process.

It's just a sign-up form that you can find here.

Everyone who completes the sign-up process fully gets approved at this initial stage.

It's further down the line that you might have approval pulled…

…because Amazon are clearly going to crawl your site and make sure you are complying with their T&C's.

Amazon also require that new affiliates make at least three sales within 180 days of joining the program.

If you don't you will get kicked-off…but you can reapply.

Better to not get kicked-off in the first place though, so try and time your application at a point where you know Google is ranking your site at least.

Wrapping It Up!

So yes, I believe that Amazon Associates is still worth it.

But it comes with caveats as discussed further above.

It can be great for new affiliates to get commissions coming in and to build confidence from.

It can also be great for experienced affiliate who are launching new sites in a niche with physical products available.

But make sure you have a plan for your site to spread its wings further down the line.

Do not expect that Amazon is going to see your site earning big bucks.

As always…good luck!

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