Amazon Affiliate Changes And New Rates For Amazon Associates: What To Know

Amazon Associates Affiliate Changes

Big changes are coming to the popular Amazon Associates program–and many entrepreneurs who make extra money through Amazon affiliate links are going to lose out. Amazon is making widespread changes to Amazon affiliate fees starting on March 1; these changes mean Amazon affiliate participants are likely to make a lot less money.

Amazon Affiliate Changes: The Overview

Starting March 1, 2017, members of the Amazon Associates program will have a new fee structure for the commissions they receive from Amazon.

Here are a summary of the changes (full info on the new rates can be found via Amazon):

  • Amazon will no longer offer a commission on Amazon gift card purchases.
  • Commissions for many electronics items will be sharply reduced.
  • Grocery commissions (including Amazon Pantry) increase from 4% to 5% for standard grocery purchases and 8% for Amazon Pantry.
  • Industrial product commissions decrease from 8% to 6%.
  • Amazon Associates will no longer receive 8.5% commissions for increased volume; there will be flat rates instead.

Several smaller changes are being made; Amazon Affiliate members can get a more detailed picture clicking on the link above.

(Thanks to Button co-founder Mike Dudas, who posted before-and-after information to Twitter.)

Amazon Affiliate Changes: What Do They Mean?

For the thriving subculture of Amazon Affiliate site operators, YouTube and Instagram creators, and websites that make money through Amazon Affiliate links (Disclosure: Almost Millions is a participant in the Amazon Associates program – buy some of those fine Amazon items on our site!), profits from Amazon links are likely to drop over the next several months.

The sharp reduction in commissions on electronics and industrial equipment mean Amazon Associates members will make a lot less money referring customers to expensive, profitable items that generate a lot of money each month. They’re especially painful for journalism sites like the New York TimesThe Wirecutter site, which relies on affiliate links to make money.

Amazon Affiliate Changes: What To Do?

There’s one big lesson from the changes to Amazon Associates and new Amazon affiliate pricing that goes with it–make sure your online business relies on multiple revenue streams.

The great thing about the Amazon Associates program and Amazon affiliate links is that they let participants make money online without spending any money (well, not spending any money beyond buying a domain and setting up a website or social media presence). The not-so-great thing is that your moneymaking relies on another business’ platform and another company’s goodwill.

Amazon isn’t giving you free money out of the goodness of their heart, after all. Amazon pays participants commissions because those links on your site generate a ton of inbound traffic for Amazon, and help Amazon become a market leader in numerous industry verticals.

Based on our analysis of Amazon’s changes, we recommend featuring more digital purchases (Kindle books, streaming videos, digital music, etc.): Commission rates for those products are extremely favorable. We also recommend, if you have an Amazon affiliate site, searching Amazon for high-value, high-cost items of consumer interest that will net you the maximum possible commission.

Amazon’s official statement can be found here; we’ll update this post if there’s any additional information to share. Hacker News has some useful analysis of the changes to Amazon Associates as well.

(Image via Amazon)