11 Alternatives To The Amazon Affiliate Program
Amazon has one of the most popular affiliate programs in the world. Their program is called Amazon Associates and it’s one of the easiest to use. That’s also why is usually the first program new bloggers and marketers will join. Overall is a great affiliate program and one of the best ways to get started with affiliate marketing.
If you are selling physical products then you should absolutely take a look at Amazons affiliate program. It is not a coincidence Amazon is so popular or why so many marketers choose to work with them. I would like to briefly mention just some reasons why Amazon Associates is considered to be one of the best affiliate programs.
1) It’s one of the world’s biggest online retailers and they have a huge selection of products. It is very difficult NOT to find what you are looking for on Amazon. They are also a trusted and well-recognized brand worldwide. That means people will not hesitate to buy from them. This is important for you (the affiliate marketer) for one big reason. The conversation rate will be significantly higher compared to many Amazon’s competitors. Millions of people shop from Amazon every single day.
2) It’s easy (and free) to join. You can set up an account in just a few minutes. The sign-up process is easy without requiring from you to fill out complex forms like in some other affiliate networks. Plus their requirements for accepting new sites are of the lowest in the industry. They even accept barely there sites with small amounts of traffic and not much content.
3) You can earn commissions from products you don’t promote. No matter what a visitor buys when they land on Amazon through your affiliate links you will earn a commission. So, regardless of the products you are selling on your site, you will still get commissions of anything the user buys.
4) Seasonal sales and holiday spikes can help you increase your online revenue. Amazon’s biggest advantage is probably the number of deals they offer. You can’t pass on opportunities like Black Friday and Christmas. Amazon can help you make the most out of them.
Reasons Amazon Might Not Be For You
But unfortunately, there are also a number of reasons why people don’t like Amazon’s affiliate program. Many new bloggers and marketers associate affiliate marketing with Amazon believing it is the only program worth joining. They will never even try to look for any alternatives. And if things don’t go very well with Amazon they will choose to abandon affiliate marketing altogether. That is just wrong.
Amazon isn’t the only platform with a great affiliate program. There are plenty of great affiliate networks you could join. You can read my post “The 15 Best Affiliate Networks For Bloggers“ to find out more about affiliate networks.
The truth is there are a few issues with Amazon Associates program that makes people want to look for alternatives. And if you are reading this post the chances are you have faced some of the problems below.
1) Commissions are quite small. That’s one of the biggest complaints about Amazon. Although i don’t personally believe their commissions are that bad i can’t say they are great either. The commission rates are between 1% and 10%. For the majority of their products categories, you can earn a 4% commission.
2) Affiliate cookie only lasts for 24 hours. Every time you refer a user to Amazon the tracking code is activated. If they buy something in the next 24 hours from Amazon you will earn a commission. But after the first day, the cookie is deactivated. Most affiliate programs offer a cookie duration of several days. That’s a big drawback for Amazon. People like to take their time before making any big purchases.
3) You may have been banned. Their Terms & Service can be a bit confusing. If you violate any of their terms your account could be banned. It’s not that difficult to cross that line since they regularly update their T&C and you might not even realize you are doing something wrong.
4) Limited Payment Options. Basically, if you don’t live in the United States you are left with only 2 choices. You can either get paid by checks or by Amazon Gift Cards (not a practical choice). The problem with the check is that you also have to accept the processing fees (both from Amazon and probably from your bank too). That can be a significant amount of money especially if you are not earning much in the first place. Plus it takes time for the check to arrive at you. Amazon doesn’t use PayPal and direct deposit is only available in the U.S.
You should never depend on just one affiliate program/network for your online income no matter how good it is. It is always better to use a number of them at the same time. The majority of the programs mentioned below are similar to Amazon Associates program and they all have their pros and also their cons. The amount of money you will earn depends on your skills and on the decisions you will make. You just need to find the ones you feel the most comfortable working with. But you can certainly make money with all of them.
So, let’s take a look at 11 of the best alternatives to Amazon Associates program.
1) eBay Partner Network
eBay has one of the most popular affiliate programs. Anyone can join their affiliate network and there are millions of products available for sale. But their selection of products is not as big as Amazons. It’s also one of the oldest affiliate programs.
It is a well-known brand and they are recognized globally. People trust eBay and have no problem buying from them. That means you will enjoy high conversation rates. Of course, eBay is structured differently compared to Amazon. It is an auction-based marketplace and not an eCommerce store. That’s also the reason why its commission structure is a bit difficult to understand.
They have a great selection of products and their affiliate program is very similar to Amazon Associates. But don’t expect to find products for every niche here like in Amazon. The commission rate (1%-8%) is also pretty similar to Amazon’s and for certain product categories, the commissions are better.
The commission rate depends on the number of sales you make every month. So, the more products you sell the bigger the commission you will get. That’s one of Target’s biggest advantages if we compare them to Amazon. That and their 7-day cookie. Plus it’s a world recognized brand.
A great alternative to Amazon Associates. Jet is a massive online retailer that sells almost everything. So, just for that, you should seriously consider joining their affiliate program. The commission rate (around 2.5%) is not that great but for certain product categories, they offer higher rates. And that commission rate can still be better to some of Amazon product categories.
Cookie duration is 7 days. You can join the Jet.com affiliate program through Rakuten Marketing.
Although they are not as popular as Amazon their affiliate program can be a nice alternative for those living in Canada, USA, and Mexico. Walmart is famous for having the lowest prices so don’t expect high commissions. The commission rates are between 1% and 4%. For the majority of their categories is 4%. Generally speaking, you can find better commissions elsewhere but for some products, Walmart’s commission rate is competitive.
I personally would only use Walmart’s affiliate program to supplement my online income and not as my primary affiliate program. Cookie’s duration is 3 days.
Is one of China’s leading online stores with more than 70,000 quality products. They are a global brand and they ship their products to almost all the countries in the world. In Banggood you can find pretty much every kind of physical product at a very good price. If your niche is electronics you will be happy to know they have dedicated an entire category to Apple Accessories. Commission rate is up to 8% and the cookie lasts for 15 days.
Etsy is a very famous online marketplace that focuses mostly on handmade and vintage goods. Their categories include home products, clothing, jewelry, arts, crafts, toys, books and much more. The standard commission rate is 4% and the cookie duration is 30 days. People like shopping at Etsy because they trust the quality of their products.
You can join Etsy’s affiliate program on Awin. That means you have to apply to Awin first.
7) Best Buy
One of North America’s biggest retailer for electronics and tech products. Here you can find everything that has to do with technology. If that’s your niche and your target audience is in the USA, Canada and Mexico then you might want to take a look at their affiliate program. Their commission rate is honestly awful. It is just 1% and that doesn’t even apply to all of their categories. For Laptops, Tablets, Desktops, Video Game Hardware the commission rate is 0.0%.
The only reason i am suggesting them is in case you have run out of options. For example if you are banned from Amazon. Or if your audience prefers shopping at Best Buy for some reason. Best Buy’s affiliate program can be found in Rakuten Marketing.
It is an online shoe and clothing store. They also sell accessories, bags, jewelry, watches, camping gear and much more. Here you can find products from top brands like Nike, The North Face, Timberland etc. Zappos was bought by Amazon back in 2009 but their affiliate program is completely separated from Amazon Associates. You should also know that Zappos is not an international brand and they only operate inside U.S. If you are not from U.S.A the only way to make money with them is by driving U.S traffic to their site.
As far as i know their commission rates, are pretty good. Their affiliate program is run by CJ Affiliate.
Newegg is a huge online retailer specializing in electronics and tech products. They have over 500,000 products for you to choose from. They operate worldwide and their prices are very good. Personally, i believe its one the best eCommerce stores and a great alternative to Amazon Associates if your niche is technology. Their affiliate commission rate is 2.5%. That may sound small but when it comes to electronics you can’t expect high commissions rates. But they do compensate by offering free shipping deals on thousands of products. I couldn’t find any accurate information about the duration of their cookie.
Their affiliate program is run by CJ Affiliate.
AliExpress popularity has increased a lot over the last few years and it’s not slowing down. It’s a massive online store offering more than a 100 million products. They are part of China’s giant Alibaba group. It is a trusted brand that operates worldwide shipping products (many times for free) in almost every country in the world. They launched their affiliate program back in 2013 and it’s completely free to join. AliExpress has a 30-day cookie period and their affiliate commission rate is up to 50% for some products. But usually the commission rate is 8%. Which is still great for physical products.
If you are looking for something that can compete with Amazon you should definitely check AliExpress.
Overstock is a global online retailer. They offer international shipping to over 180 countries and they are a very well-known and trusted brand. Here you have access to a broad range of products including books, electronics & computers, apparel, jewelry, home improvement products, furniture, sporting goods, office supplies and much more. You can earn up to 7% commission on all of their products. Overstock’s affiliate program is run by CJ Affiliate.
Here’s the deal
I haven’t personally tried all the affiliate programs mentioned above. So, i can’t tell you how well they convert compared to Amazon. I also couldn’t find any hard data about that and i don’t want to speculate. But it is a well-known fact that Amazon converts really well. So, my advice to you is to take care of your Amazon account and make sure you won’t get banned.
Amazon is not your only option. There are plenty more affiliate programs you could use. Earning a few hundred $ or a couple of thousands per month with Amazon Associates is absolutely possible. That is actually a very realistic goal. On the other hand making 5 and 6 figure monthly income just by using Amazon is a very difficult thing. Especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in affiliate marketing. That is why is always better to work with many affiliate programs and networks at the same time. You can take advantage of all the different features and products they have to offer.
Affiliate marketing will keep growing in the next years. And I would like to believe that with this post and the previous one about “The 15 Best Affiliate Networks For Bloggers” you will be able now to better understand how to make money with affiliate marketing.
Are you interested in starting your own affiliate business? Or perhaps you already have a blog and want to learn more about affiliate marketing?
Then you should definitely check one of the best affiliate marketing training course. You can join for free ($0). Click the button below to read my review.
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