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If you’re an affiliate of the Amazon affiliate program, you should have received an email from them recently saying their advertising fee rates (commission rates earned by affiliates) will be changing on March 1, 2017.
The affiliate program is called Amazon Associates and they refer their affiliates as associates, I will use these terms interchangeably. To see how this program works and my full review, please read this post here.
Back to the rate changes which seem drastic for some but also expected for others. Some are groaning about it but some are welcoming the change, it all depends what niche you’re in.
Let’s take a closer look at the changes!
VARIABLE COMMISSION RATES REMOVED
The biggest change is that Amazon commission rates will go from having both variable and fixed commission rate schedules to only one fixed fee rate schedule.
They are removing their entire “Variable Standard Program Fee Rates” so you are no longer able to earn commissions based on volume of sales.
The variable rates used to be applied to “Other Products” which are majority of the products on their monster online retail shopping site. These were products not found on their fixed fee rate schedule.
So if you are a high volume seller and earning the top rate of 8.5%, you will feel an impact if the products for your niche are ones that will have a low fixed rate as of March 1st.
On the other hand, if you were a low volume seller earning 4% – 6.5%, but your products will change to a higher fixed rate on March 1st, then you’re going to be one happy camper!
I’m in neither of these boats as I don’t use Amazon mainly for this site. However, there will be many groaners and happy campers I’m sure as we roll into March.
FIXED COMMISSION RATE OVERHAUL
The biggest reason why Amazon is making the change to an only fixed fee rate schedule is because associates complained about how their schedules were not clear on which products earned which fee rates.
This way they said, will clearly identify which products will earn which commission rate and everything will be simplified with one fixed rate schedule.
If this is true, I wonder if the people who complained about it are happy with these changes.
Let’s take a look again at their Fixed Standard Program Fee Rates before March 1, 2017:
Now here’s the new Fixed Standard Program Fee Rates as of March 1, 2017:
If you take a quick look, you can see the many changes. If products were not on the old fixed schedule, that means it was most likely included on the variable fee rate schedule.
Let me highlight some of the bigger movers here:
- It seems like the products that used to be on the variable fee rate schedule now has a lower rate capped at 3-4.5% for the products that sold the most and the products that sold less have now moved to a better 7-8% fixed rate.
- Groceries and Prime Pantry both were on the old fixed schedule at 4% but now Groceries will move to 5% and Pantry jumps up to 8%. This shows that Amazon really want to push Prime Pantry going forward.
- Gift cards and Wine now at 0%, woah! Could you imagine if you had a wine niche site?
WHAT CAN WE LEARN ABOUT THESE CHANGES?
Don’t put your eggs all in one basket! As an internet marketer, you should always look for different streams of income for your blog.
In any niche, you can find affiliate products in multiple places: either in affiliate marketing networks like CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) or in other private affiliate programs offered directly from the companies selling the products.
There are also different ways you can monetize your blog too, affiliate marketing is just one way, a great way, but you can also add other different types of revenue streams like I’ve mentioned in a video in this post.
Whatever you do, diversifying your streams of income will help alleviate any negative impact on changes made out of your control.
On the other hand, you can now build new niche websites that can take advantage of the new higher fixed rates.
Amazon has moved some of the product categories to higher fixed rate percentages probably because those products must be selling at a lower volume which could mean less competition for you if you get in now and build new websites in those niches.
HOW CAN YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE CHANGES?
If your blog or website is already promoting products that will have a higher fixed rate, then take advantage of this and continue to promote more of those products.
If you’re not so lucky or wanting to start a new website to market those products in the upper fixed commission range, then I’d recommend you build your new site at the best place I know, Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate has the training and tools to help you build your website that will generate traffic with its own content based on an unique technique on how to research your keywords.
They also have the best, high quality hosting available which you can see the details here.
For my full review on Wealthy Affiliate and its membership options (including starting for FREE), click the button below to learn more!
This is the best time to get into affiliate marketing and there’s no other place than Wealthy Affiliate to learn how to build this awesome business!
Would love to hear how these changes at Amazon Associates have affected you and your online business, please let me know in the comments below!!
Let’s make money online!
8 thoughts on “Amazon Affiliate Program Makes Big Changes To Its Commission Rates”
I look at the changes and I definitely want to start promoting the highest commission rate products. But there has to be a reason these are offered at a higher rate. Are the Amazon coins and video game downloads a tough market to sell too?
I imagine the Amazon Coins may be but the video game downloads are not hard to sell.
I think the video game downloads will be appealing to a pretty wide audience and believe these are high commission because it’s a digital product so Amazon makes more money on them than physical products, that’s why they are able to offer a higher commission on them.
I think this could also apply to the Amazon Coins, it’s digital and nothing physical so they have a high profit margin and so can offer higher commissions.
You’ll find a lot of digital affiliate products offer the highest commission rates overall in the affiliate marketing business.
Hope this answers your question! 🙂
Good information! I always only used Amazon for just their Affiliate and didn’t know about this huge change in rates Thank you thank you for pointing this out. Now, I have to do some homework in this Affiliate program.
You’re welcome Michael, yeah it’s a big change and I’m thinking a lot of owners of niche websites will have to make adjustments for this. I hope it doesn’t affect too negatively. 🙂
Very interesting, these changes. Looks like I’m in one of the lucky categories. Thanks for sharing!
You’re very lucky then Shirley, glad your commissions will not suffer from these changes! Best to you!
Good advice on diversification of income stream.
I always rely on Amazon.com as my number one source, but it requires a lot of volume to make a significant income.
Will definitely start thinking about other program now.
Thanks a lot
Glad I can be of help, it’s important not to have all your eggs in one basket so having multiple affiliate programs or income streams is great for your blog.
Best of luck to you. 🙂