Top Five Things You Should Know About Amazon Associates.

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With our recent introduction of global support for the Amazon Associates Program, we wanted to give you a little background info to show what the program is all about.  Whether you have been using one of the Associates Programs for years, or have not yet started, these five things will give you the information you will need to help you get started and begin maximizing your commissions.

1. What is Amazon Associates?

Simply, the Amazon Associates Programs is like other “Cost Per Action” or “affiliate programs” where you can earn commissions from sales that result from advertising Amazon products on your site.

There are currently 11 different Amazon storefronts across the world (United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, China, Japan and India).  Each of these storefronts, excluding Brazil, has its own Amazon Associates Program.

China, Japan and India, have specific regulations that state that you must have a registered bank account within each country respectively, in order to receive commissions.  For many, this restriction makes getting accepted into these programs much more difficult.

It is also important to note, that each of these programs are run independently of one another, so you will need to create an account in each program to earn your commission from sales in the corresponding storefront.  You can join these programs now, for free, by going to this address https://affiliate-program.amazon.com.  Our “step by step guide” will help walk you through the sign up process, and send you on your way to start making more money.

 

2. How does it work?

After signing up, you can create links to nearly any product in the Amazon Store, and earn commissions each time someone clicks from your site and goes on to purchase an item.  The best part is that it doesn’t even have to be the item you were specifically referring.  There are some items, however, that are excluded from the Associates Program, which will be discussed in more detail later.

Commissions for most physical goods range from 4-8% while digital goods such as digital videos can earn you up to 10% (note: these figures may vary slightly among the different programs).  Amazon allows a 24-hour “Affiliate Window,” which means that if the consumer adds anything to their shopping cart within 24 hours of clicking from your site, you are eligible for a commission.  While the item needs to be “shipped” to actually earn the commission, the consumer has up to 89 days to complete the order.

Commissions are paid on a monthly basis in one of three ways: check, gift card, or direct deposit (which vary by country).  It is important to note that Amazon will withhold a payment until the commissions reach over $100 for check, or $10 for direct deposit or gift card.  In the fine print, Amazon states that if you wish to be paid by check, an additional $15 processing fee will be deducted from each check sent, but there are no processing fees for direct deposit or gift card.

 

3. Tools for the Job.

Amazon offers many different tools to help you maximize your commissions, but here are some of the most important tools that you will need.

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There are three different ways to create links to the Amazon store: 1) links/banners, 2) widgets, or 3) an aStore.

  1. Links and banners are the most basic ways to create links and allow you to create simple text links, image links, or banners to specific products, product categories or promotions.
  2. The widget tool allows you to insert an interactive “mini-application” into your site, where users can browse multiple items without leaving your site.
  3. Finally, the “aStore” is a customizable online store that you can place within your site, to allow customers to browse through any number of Amazon Products.  It is important to note, however, that the last two options, widgets and the aStore, may not work for your international consumers.  The links and banners, however, can be used alongside the GeoRiot service to ensure that your links work internationally.

Regardless of the tool, an essential part of using the Associates Program is the unique tracking ID that identifies you as the referrer.  This ID is what identifies each of your links as affiliated, and makes sure that the relevant commissions are routed back to you.

 

4. What are the restrictions?

There are some products that are excluded from the Associates Program.  These include some digital purchases such as Kindle subscriptions or any products sold through the Appstore for Android.  The full list of excluded products can be found here.

In addition, it is also important to note that at this time the Associates Program is not a mobile friendly platform.  As stated in Section Seven of the Participation Requirements, it is prohibited to link the Amazon Store from any form of mobile device.  If, however, the site is not specified as a mobile site, but a user visits it from a mobile device, you will not be penalized and can still receive commissions.

While unfortunate for app developers and app discovery services we’ve heard rumors across various blogs and forums, of Amazon becoming mobile friendly in the future.  Stay tuned and we will let you know what we hear!

In addition to product restrictions, there are other restrictions that limit who can join the Associates Program.  If you are based in the United States and are a resident of Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, or Rhode Island, you are ineligible to participate.  Minnesota was just added to the list this past week.  These state restrictions are put in place because of issues with taxes in these areas.   More about this can be read here.

 

5. Where does GeoRiot fit into all of this?

As we mentioned in our blog post “What Causes Geo-Fragmentation,”  large international e-tailers like Amazon, segment their online stores into region-specific storefronts to help avoid problems that arise with differing currencies, languages, tax regulations, and physical and digital distribution.

Further, this division creates a bad user experience for many international users who click on links leading to international Amazon storefronts, and leads to lost commissions for those collecting the affiliate revenue.

Using the Amazon Associates program with an international audience, to avoid the issues mentioned above is where GeoRiot fits in.  The GeoRiot service ensures your affiliate links route your international traffic to their local store and that the proper affiliate tracking is used to earn commissions on those international referrals.

By simply creating a GeoRiot account and entering your Associates Account information into the our dashboard, you can ensure that your links will function properly for your global audience, you’ll earn affiliate commissions on those international referrals, and, ultimately, your customers will enjoy a better shopping experience.

 

As usual, we love to hear from you, so let us know what you think and feel free to ask us any question you may have.

  • mike

    There are currently 11 different Amazon storefronts across the world (United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, China, Japan and India). Each of these storefronts, excluding Brazil, has its own Amazon Associates Program.

    China, Japan and India, have specific regulations that state that you
    must have a registered bank account within each country respectively,
    in order to receive commissions. For many, this restriction makes
    getting accepted into these programs much more difficult.

    Which ones are worth it and which ones are not?

    How does one get paid from one of the european affiliate programs (for example)?

    i’m guessing your site has to be built and fully functional for them to approve you, naturally

    • Jesse Lakes

      Hi Mike.
      There are actually now 14 storefronts and 12 Associates Programs around the world (Brazil and Mexico have programs), Netherlands and Australia have stores but no program.

      With regards to your question about which ones are worth it and which ones are not, this depends a lot on your site and traffic. All of them can be “worth it” if you have significant volume. However, we find that most of our clients focus on signing up for the US, CA, UK, FR, DE, FR, IT, and ES programs as they are all fairly easy to sign up for and will all payout commissions internationally (usually via paper check).

      The European programs will pay via paper check in their local currency. Because of this you’ll likely want to set a reasonable threshold to ensure you aren’t getting lots of small foreign currency checks that your bank might charge a fee to cash / deposit.

      Yes, it’s best if you have your site to at least the stage as a “proof of concept” before applying. However, if you are denied you can always reapply again after a couple of weeks.

  • adhi

    hi jesse.
    This article is very helpful for me about amazon affiliates. i am from india i have amazon affiliate account in amazon.in i want to target usa based product and traffic also comes from us. if i used my indian amazon affiliate links in my website there is any problem in future when collecting my commission. I also tried to create account in amazon.com but there is issues with non usa persons like tax related issues. can you tell me how to create amazon affiliate account from amazon.com. thank you

    • Approve.

      Cole Lakes
      Dir. of Ops | Geniuslink
      Follow us (without being creepy)
      Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

    • Hi Adhi,

      Glad you found the article useful! It can definitely be a pain to monetize off international traffic, since the Amazon Associates programs are all country specific (meaning the Amazon.in program will only earn you commissions in amazon.in, and the amazon.com program will only earn you commissions in amazon.com).

      Unfortunately there’s not really any “tricks” to get into the amazon.com Associates Program. Generally if you’re outside the US, you still have to abide by whatever taxes your country has, and it’s up to you to work with Amazon directly if needed. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you, but I wish you the best of luck!

      Cheers,
      Cole

      Director of Operations
      Geniuslink

  • Marcy Lillard

    Hi,
    Thank you for the great article. I am currently building a website on Weebly and have embedded an Amazon AStore. Unfortunately, it is not responsive on mobile devices. Do you know if it is possible to have an astore work on mobile devices and if so, how to do it? Thanks so much!
    Marcy

    • Hey Marcy,

      Good question, and unfortunately a bit outside the scope of our expertise. I’d definitely recommend contacting Amazon’s team to see if they can help with that. Sorry I don’t have a better answer, but good luck!

  • Awesome info! I had no idea that a US affiliate account was not eligible for international commissions. I just spent the morning creating all the new Amazon accounts and integrating your Link Engine software! Very excited to see if we can bump up our affiliate earnings!

  • Clinton007

    Hi,

    I’m going to be using Amazon Native Shopping Ads on my website, using the option that allows Amazon to automatically recommend the best product match based on my webpage content. I am hoping to attract visitors from the the US, India and Australia to my website and would like to known if your service would be of any benefit to me, specifically in helping me to earn commission on sales when a user from either of the countries mentioned clicks on the Amazon ad and purchases a product?

  • Thanks for the great information, especially on GeoRiot and fragmentation, but also about the limitations on each country regarding signup. Keep up the great work!

  • Richard

    As a international member how do i signup for the affiliate program without a SSN. That’s where i got stuck at the signup process.

    • Hi Richard, thanks for reaching out. That seems really odd, you should not have to enter your social security number when signing up for the Amazon Associates program. Please make sure you are signing up here: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com I hope that helps, but let me know if you are still running into any issues. Please feel free to reach out to us at “help {at} geni {dot} us” as well and we can help you trouble shoot.

  • daydreamer

    if I’m from another countrie can I still sing up for amazon associates? and if i can, how do they send they pay me?

    • Thanks for posting, and great question! You should have no problem using the Amazon Associates program even if you are from a different country. I would recommend signing up for any of the Amazon Associates accounts where you see traffic (e.g. US, GB, CA, etc). Once you are signed up, they will give you a few different options in which to get paid out. Some countries allow you to receive direct deposit if you have a local bank account, and others you may need to just have them send you a physical check each month.

      I hope that helps, but please don’t hesitate to reach out at “help {at} geni {dot} us” if you need any further assistance.

  • Cynthia Gisela Polillo

    Hi Taylor Ripp, I am in a similar dilemma, since I wanted to use native ads ( since they look great) but I dont Know how to Geolocalize them, make them global, like with regular links. If there Is a way could be explained simple (for dummies 🙂 like myself step by step? Pleaseeee 🙂 Thansk Best regars Cynthia

    • Hi Cynthia,

      It looks like Joey already answered this question for you in another post, but please let us know if you have any other questions.

      Thanks!

      • Cynthia Gisela Polillo

        Yes, he did!. Thanks Taylor Ripp! well.. actually I already have another question, since we cannot click our own amazon links, how do I test If this (Regular) links I generated with Geniuslink do work?, sorry for so many questions! I saw a guide or post here somewhere but I didn’t get the idea, If you could put it in a little bit easier language, I really really would appreciate it! And I thought Law school was difficult! Yeah right! 🙂

  • Raphael Lim

    Hi Joey, I am from Malaysia. How can I get paid if I start the amazon affiliate program, if my country is not on the list?

    • Hi Raphael, thanks for reaching out! It seems like Payoneer might solve your problem, as it allows you to send payments from Amazon Associates to a Payoneer account, from which you’ll be able to transfer to your local bank account.

      https://www.payoneer.com/en/

      Feel free to reach out to us at help(at)geni(dot)us if you need assistance with this or have any other questions!

  • Divyanka Krsna

    Hey, I have an account on Amazon India. Do I have to make my account another account on Amazon.com for US people?

  • John

    Hi Im just wondering, Im not based in the US and my country does not show up on the affiliate program out of the 12 countries that are on the list (I live in New Zealand). Is it still possible to do do the affiliate program if my country is not there?

    • Jesse Lakes

      Hi John – Yes, you can certainly be in the Amazon Associates program (I’d recommend you start with Amazon.com).

      However, please note that you may have slightly limited payment options, such as receiving a paper check for your commissions (in an international currency). There are ways around this for most of the affiliate programs however, but that’s a conversation for another day.

      • John

        I assume I have to use something like Payoneer if im dealing with affiliate amazon from another country thats not on the list?

        • Jesse Lakes

          Exactly! Payoneer is great for receiving revenue from the Amazon.com and five programs in Europe. That should cover you for your main markets.

  • patrick

    hi, i tried to sign up for the amazon associate program but in the identity verification stage,after inserting my number,(with the international code)i dont receive any call for the pin,pls what should i do?(from nigeria)