Amazon Affiliate Program – How Much Money Will Your Site Make Now?

Want to know the EXACT impact the changes to the Amazon Associate Commissions will have on your site?

With the new changes how much money are you going to lose or more are you going to make moving forward?

With the help of some geniuses I have put together a tool that will show you quickly and easily the exact impact on your account!

What Would Have Been The Impact For Me?

For Nov & Dec Only I Would Have Had a 24% Drop in Earnings!

Amazon Affiliate Program Change Earnings Impact

Find out how much your earnings will be impacted by, it takes under 5 minutes and you can stop guessing at the impact!

CLICK HERE – DOWNLOAD FREE SPREADSHEET

  1. Download Spreadsheet
  2. Download Earnings Report From Amazon
  3. Upload Earnings Report to Spreadsheet
  4. Let the Spreadsheet Do Its Thing & Immediatly See How Much Your Sites Earnings Will Drop OR Grow By!

I like to say it is pointless discussing a hypothetical impact when the data is available to know. The data above is from my account in Nov and Dec 2015. This post and tool will show you the exact impact these changes will have for you and your site and hope will add some data to the discussions which are occuring online now!

 

Amazon Affiliate Program Change:

On Feb 23rd Amazon announced a very big change to the Amazon Associate program. Moving forward instead of having a tiered commission structure people now will have a flat structure defined by category and not related to the volume they drive.

Before:

From – https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/operating/policies#Associates Program Fee Statement

Variable Standard Program Fee Rates

Amazon Associate Commissions Old

With a very limited segment of categories at a lower commission…

Amazon Associate Category Commissions

Amazon Associate Commissions as of March 1st 2017

Amazon Affiliate Commissions New March 1 2017

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/operating/compare

So the bottom line is that many products will now get a flat 4% vs what might have been 8.50% if you were doing substantial volume.

 

So How Will this Affect You and Each of Your Sites?

Fee Change Calculator Tutorial:

Now that you know what the change is… the potentially million dollar question (if your site is big enough) is what will be the change to your earnings?

This tool will allow you to upload your data from your Amazon Associates account and determine what your earnings would be under the old vs new commission structures.

You will see if this policy was in place for whatever time period you select what your earnings would have been.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE SPREADSHEET

 

  • Step 3 – Select Download Reports

  • Step 4 – Select Timeline You Want to Analyze (suggest picking trailing 12 months)

  • Step 5 – Wait For It To Download & Download It

  • Step 6 – Open The Free Tool I Sent To You (click here to get it)

download-tool

(Important – Enable Editing and Enable Content)

  • Step 7 – Open The Downloaded Report

  • Step 8 – Copy the entire “Fee-Earnings” tab

Copy the Fee Earnings From the Report

  • Step 9 – Paste the entire “Fee-Earnings” tab into the tab specified on the tool

  • Step 10 – Go Back to The Instructions Tab Hit The “SHOW ME THE IMPACT” button

  • Step 11 – See Your Results & Analzye!

Amazon Affiliate Program Change Earnings Impact

 

Who Will This Change Help?

  • This will help the little guy starting out in some niches since now from day 1 you have the same earning potential as much larger sellers.
  • Hopefully this will help everyone by having another player become more competitive in terms of a true Amazon Affiliate Alternative (jet/walmart?)
  • Affiliates in Arkansas (random but Arkansas residents can now participate)

 

Who Will This Change Hurt?

  • Any seller heavily focused on a specific niche… toys or PC Components
  • Buyers/Sellers who just either bought or sold a winner or a loser with this shakeup will be impacted
  • From the math it looks like most large Amazon Affiliate site owners will take a hit.

 

How Will This Impact Website Valuations?

Who knows, we will have a month where this gets talked about and the sale of site will likely slow then a process for establishing fair value (hopefully this tool will help that) and things will be back to normal soon I predict.

I predict many of the brokerages will have content coming out soon commenting on how they will handle this change (EmpireFlippers, QuietLight, FEInternational etc).

 

5 Clever Ways to Benefit From This Change:

First, don’t over-react. Things will be back to normal soon and even though I believe this will ultimately take money out of affiliates pockets and into Amazons the change is not substantial enough that there will be a mass exit from Amazon Associate Sites.

Additionally whenever there are changes it provides a unique opportunity. Here are 6 clever ways you can benefit from this change…

  1. Focus your websites content on products related to your site that get a higher commission. If you run a video game review website that makes money via Amazon start focusing content around digital video games and make 10X more for each dollar spent! (great time to signup to a content service that does this keyword research for you!)
  2. If you are an FBA seller than position your product into a category with a higher commission so it will be easier to recruit affiliates. For example a toy makeup kit could (maybe?) be luxury beauty product (depending on being a gated category) changing the attractiveness of an affiliate promoting it from 2% to 10%! (obviously do at your own risk since I am sure Amazon will crack down on people abusing this). This example is a little extreme but look at the example below regarding standing desks attachments being furniture vs PC Components.
  3. Using the tool I have provided here spot an arbitrage opportunity with a website for sale that will perform better moving forward. For example if there is a home / lawn & garden niche site that was only at the 6.5% commission level it would likely now have most products at the 8% level. If you can identify those sites that are selling at a discount relative to expected future earnings you can scoop a deal at an 18% discount.
  4. Buying sites where you know there is a good alternative monetization method. For example if you have a PC component website and have a method of monetizing the site that outperformed Amazon then there will likely be Amazon Affiliate site owners who would be happy to sell at a discount. For example if you run an ecommerce shop in the IPhone/PC Cable space you can likely buy some websites that will drive traffic to your store at a substantial discount to what you could have 1 week ago. This applies for people in the FBA space wanting to pick up an affiliate site to drive sales to their physical product, those websites may have just gotten cheaper for the same traffic depending on the niche.
  5. If you are building a new site (or getting an Amazon Affiliate Site built for you) focus on niches that have products that get a higher commission. This will be a temporary opening as others will do the same thing driving up competition for the keywords in the higher commission categories of Amazon.
  6. For most people this is one action they should do! Review all your most important pages to see if the product you are promoting is in a low commission category vs a high commission category. For example you will be 4X better off promoting a standing desk converter in the furniture category then a standing desk in the PC components category. For example look at the 2 products below they look similar but on one you will earn a 2% (or 4%) commission and on the other you will earn an 8% commission on (Furniture).

How Will This Impact Your Site?

Please use the tool and comment below/take the survey on how this will impact your site! Do you have any ideas on how to benefit from this change?

About the Author Jon Haver

I am a 31 year old husband, father of 2, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours. I am not a GURU but just a regular guy who is grinding out 12+hr days to build a life for my family on terms.
Jon Haver, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

34 comments
James says February 24, 2017

Jon This is crazy FAST. THANK YOU for putting this together as I am sure it wasn’t easy.

Unfortunately for me it looks like it will be about a 18% hit as a result of this update.

Thanks again for putting this amazing resource together!

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    18% is too bad… but not as bad as others or as it could have been!

    Reply
Brandon Cox says February 24, 2017

Your bullet point about Arkansas made my day. I used to make consistent Amazon commissions and then suddenly my account was closed because I’m an Arkansan. Walmart has been a decent alternative but there are some products (especially books) that just do way better with Amazon links. Very cool!

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    haha, I thought that was funny… glad it has worked out for you!

    Reply
Ferzy says February 24, 2017

Wow, you did not waste any time with this one. Super useful, i will give it a try, thanks for sharing with us.

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    Thanks Ferzy, hope it helps. Yah definitely decided to move fast on this!

    Reply
Giovanni Zappavigna says February 24, 2017

I have a question for you. You wrote “Any seller heavily focused on a specific niche… toys or PC Components”. If I compare both tables, PC components were already at 2.5% nothing changed. So if I’m not mistaken whether you sold 3000 PC components you would still stay at 2.5%, since it has fixed rates. So my question is how does it heavily affect that specific category.

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    You are correct, not the best example!

    Reply
Tyler says February 24, 2017

Thanks for sharing. Much appreciated. Super depressed… Taking a big hit. I’m looking forward to figuring out the best way to move forward. Anyone know of good alternatives?

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    Hey Tyler, stick with Amazon for now and slowly test in others. I think this is the big thing that Amazon may have underestimated is that with the sliding scale people used Amazon HEAVILY to promote and not test other services. Now that there is no impact on earnings based on the volume of sales people will be much more willing to test other monetization methods.

    Reply
Luca Todesco says February 24, 2017

Amazon no longer feels the need to have an aff program since everyone in the US has an account with them.

What if we all send an Email to Jet.com to ramp up their aff program and replace the Azon aff program altogether?

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    I would imagine Jet.com is working very hard right now to be an attractive alternative.

    Reply
Sarah says February 24, 2017

Thank provide best tools for us.

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    Glad it was helpful

    Reply
Art Manville says February 24, 2017

This shows how much Amazon values the affilates that helped build it’s brand. Not Much!

This is a serious blow to the whole niche building strategy. I doubt it is worth it to build any new site. We are looking at a 34% reduction of close to 2k per month. Gone!

Shows us how vulnerable we are. We keep relying on big corporations like Amazon and Google for our income streams and they only care about their bottom lines. This cash grab by Amazon has to be worth Millions.

Shopify anyone?

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    Hi Art, sorry to hear about your hit! Definitely options to recover.

    Reply
Nate says February 24, 2017

Great post Jon, maybe the changes will clear the deck a little bit in the Amazon space. Good reminder why you can’t put all your eggs in one basket and ESPECIALLY if on someone elses platform.

Lastly, thanks this reminds me that I need to buy a standup desk.

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    Agreed, single point dependency is scary! Whether it is Google or Amazon not controlling the basket is scary!

    Reply
Deane Alban says February 24, 2017

My husband went through the same process last night and could have saved himself a lot of work by using your spreadsheet. 😉

Anyway our loss looks like it’s in the same ballpark as yours. We sell mostly supplements and have found several affiliate programs for major supplement sites that pay up to 12% and have cookies that last 90 days. Amazon has definitely given us a nudge to give one of these other programs a try.

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    Now there is no impact on volume for testing other services so test away. Glad our results were close to one another.

    Reply
Cowen says February 24, 2017

Thanks Jon for the crazy fast work and useful spreadsheet. My cost impact has a net change of -35% as my focus has been in the Health niche. Perhaps it’s time to consider switching aff links to Shopify now.

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    Testing now is free so test away!

    Reply
Higgins says February 24, 2017

Thank you Jon, Hope its accurate cause a 23 percent loss sounds better than my own global estimation of 40 percent.

Anyways awesome work!!

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    Thanks Higgins, yah 23% hurts but isn’t a nasty 40% hit! Thanks for sharing your numbers.

    Reply
CJ says February 24, 2017

I just noticed the “show me the impact” button is gone in Google spreadsheets

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 25, 2017

    You need to download it and use it in Excel.

    Reply
Chris says February 27, 2017

Hey Jon,
I run a photography website and the majority of my large affiliate sales are in the cameras category which normally tops out at 4%. Just wondering if you know if that’s going to be hit or taken down to a lower percentage?
Cheers!

Reply
    Jon Haver says February 27, 2017

    From what I see it looks like it should be the same but maybe I am reading the table wrong. Why do you question it?

    Reply
      Chris says February 27, 2017

      Ah I don’t, just because I’ve heard a lot of electronics have been affected. I’m sure I’ll see a decrease, but hopefully my staple cameras category should be ok. Thanks for the updates.

      Reply
Dixie says February 28, 2017

Thanks for the efforts in making the spreadsheet. I started to use it but Amazon mooned me when I tried to pull the reports. Doesn’t matter much though, as I already know from the math, most months, it’s roughly going to cut earnings in half. I used Amazon heavily for a number of reasons: they have so much stuff, my people are comfortable with them, and the percentages were good enough despite the sometimes frustrating policies or blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 24-hour cookie.

Of course, the good news is that it’s a great motivating force to test run new affiliate programs. While some of the programs I’m looking at don’t have a stunning percentage either, the longer cookie should help compensate. And one thing I’ve learned from working online early on: diversification is key!

Reply
Bonnie sibanda says February 28, 2017

Just wondering how much cost building a simple website for weddings and clothing for occassions like proms

Reply
Dee says March 2, 2017

Hi Jon,
I’m glad I came across your tool. Very helpful, thanks a lot! Turns out, I’m looking at a loss of 31% to 35% (tested few months earnings randomly) – not pretty at all, but there’s nothing we can do about it, we just gotta work hard and find a way to make things work. Best of luck to everyone.

Reply
Chris says March 4, 2017

37% hit. Ouch. And I’m not even even in the ‘tech’ space!

But I guessing that any figure is based on whether or not you ‘stood still’ and didn’t grow you’re sites?

If you take things such as an; increase in content production, increase in Google rankings AND the ability to leverage sales cross-platform (ie. UK Associates) the amount ‘lost’ should come in far less than expected.

Cheers for the tool though – given me motivation more than anything.

All the best Jon!

Chris

Reply
Nate says March 7, 2017

Random semi-related question. Is there a way to use the Amazon API to pull in Amazons images on my site while also editing the page with Thrive Content Builder?

Reply
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