Amazon slashed its commission percentages for members of its affiliate program last year.
The new rules were given at very short notice, meaning that any third-party websites linking to Amazon products had commissions cut by up to 80% in some cases.
The new rules on home improvement products, for example, meant a fall from 8% to 3%which is more than a 60% reduction. Grocery items saw payouts slide from 5% to 1% which is a huge 80% reduction.
Amazon says that it regularly reviews its program, and commissions may continue to change. But rates have been in a declining trend for some time now, so a reversal seems unlikely.
The Amazon affiliate program has always been a go-to for bloggers. It can still be a significant revenue driver but if you’re looking for some Amazon affiliate alternatives, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve put together a list of 18 alternatives to Amazon’s affiliate program you can use right now to drive and even grow your revenues once again.
This blog post was written by Alex using our Content Writing Pro Service.
eBay Partner Network
eBay is the second-largest eCommerce network in North America and Europe and offers a competitive affiliate program all of its own. Affiliates can sign up to the “eBay Partner Network” and begin earning commission immediately. Like Amazon, it allows third-party websites like yours to generate income via referrals.
eBay has one of the most generous schemes on the internet. Unlike Amazon, it does not collect revenue from the sale of goods. That goes to the seller. Instead, it charges users auction fees for using its platform and then provides affiliates with a cut.
The amount you get depends on the type of product referral. eBay offers affiliates 4% commission for fashion items, 3% of home and garden wares, and 4% on pretty much everything else.
Affiliates can also earn bonuses and bounties. New members get double commission in the first three months. Plus there is a 100% commission bonus for affiliates who refer new eBay purchasers.
Overstock is an old hand in the eCommerce industry. The retail outlet is most famous for selling electronics, but also offers apparel, home and garden products, and jewelry.
The company’s affiliate program is one of the most compelling and remains surprisingly competitive – far more so than Amazon.
Currently, the eCommerce firm offers a 6% commission on all products over a 14-day referral period. It also provides a dedicated affiliate team for all your questions, as well as paid media opportunities. Third-party sites can link to a broad range of products, including handmade items, sports goods, and games – whatever fits best.
AliExpress, as you might guess from the name, is part of China’s Alibaba group. It is a growing online retailer, especially in Asia, and provides a wealth of opportunities for those hurt by Amazon’s recent changes.
Affiliate rates are pretty solid – 8.5% for beginners. From there, the company offers a progressive commission scale, based on the absolute value of sales your links provide. If you attract more than $50,000 of business, the commission goes up to 9.5%. If you go above $100,000, then the site will pay a 10% commission. And the lucky few who go above $1 million can negotiate rates directly with the e-retailer.
Fat Brain Toys
Fat Brain Toys – no relative of FATJOE 🙂 – is an online game and toy retailer. It offers a niche affiliate program across more than 7,000 high-quality products, including chemistry sets, puzzles, educational materials, and toys for toddlers. This is the most extensive selection of toys in North America, making it ideal for affiliates in the kids, parenting, and family spaces.
Currently, the outfit offers its affiliate program through FlexOffers. Users typically earn around 6 percent from commissions through the site – double the Amazon rate. And you get 30-day cookies, allowing you to mop up even more commission over time.
Walmart is perhaps the most famous brick-and-mortar retailer in the world. In recent years, though, it has pushed into the online space. Like so many other companies in the sector, it can see the writing on the wall. Sales are moving online.
The company, therefore, is pushing hard on the affiliate front, offering third-party sites significant incentives to drum up sales.
Just like other retailers on this list, Walmart offers different rates for different kinds of goods. Some items will net you a measly 1% – no more than Amazon. Books, movies, music, and video games all fall into this category. Others will earn you slightly more. Baby, beauty, home, health, jewelry, tech, and toys all earn a 4% commission.
Specific categories, such as contact lenses, however, earn 10%.
Walmart makes things particularly easy for those with WordPress sites to get started. You just install the plug-in through the platform and follow the instructions. There are also Chrome extensions to help you find and sell products through your site.
The only downside is the cookie duration. Customers must purchase within 3 days of following your link for you to get the credit. If conversion takes longer than that, you won’t benefit.
Newegg is a massive computer hardware online retailer (which is now branching out into other areas). It offers more than 500,000 unique products on its site, with a heavy emphasis on tech.
Because Newegg operates in the electronic sector, commissions are low. Even so, the company has an excellent brand, so your referrals are more likely to convert when they reach the site. Typically, you can earn around 2.5 percent in an industry dominated by 1 percent commissions.
Newegg provides a host of tools to help you on your way. These include:
- RSS Feeds
- The ability to create deep links to any product on the company’s site
- A high-quality and award-winning customer service team
- Simple banner and text ads you can easily insert on a variety of web platforms
- A dedicated affiliate support team for additional help and advice
Don’t underestimate the size of Newegg’s market. The company serves more than 30 million customers, many of whom share your passion for gaming, electronics, and the latest in tech. For some members of your audience, Newegg will be a more trusted brand for electronics than Amazon. Its reputation is second-to-none in the computing niche.
Nike is the world’s leading sports clothing retailer. Currently, it is offering affiliates a respectable 11% commission on validated sales. That’s a full 7% more than Amazon for the same product category.
The benefits of the Nike Affiliate Program are considerable. You get a 30-day cookie period, a range of banners, and specific Nike By You promotional material you can use. Nike also offers a substantial amount of support and regular updates on new products and marketing materials. And you can get free products available for competitions and promotions for successful affiliates.
Nike targets mainly established websites. Typically, it works with news companies, prominent bloggers, health and fitness sites, and fashion sites. However, there are also opportunities for sports sites and shopping directories.
The customers you refer benefit from a range of perks. These include free delivery on eligible orders and lower free delivery thresholds.
Zappos sells a range of shoes and apparel to customers, primarily in North America. While the company is famous for the perks that it offers its employees, affiliates can also benefit substantially from its programs.
Amazon bought Zappos in 2009 and has been the parent company ever since. Don’t worry, though: the site’s affiliate program has nothing to do with Amazon’s – they’re entirely separate. The changes for Amazon affiliates after April 21, 2020, don’t affect those of you using Zappos.
Zappos’ current affiliate rate is around 7 percent, which is considerably higher than the new Amazon rate on clothing. Plus, affiliates can link to the site in several ways, including text links, banner ads, and more. The eCommerce retailer is always keen to experiment with new methods for forwarding customers, so if you have any ideas, just get in touch with the team.
Zappos, however, only operates in North America. Thus affiliate program rules mean that you only get commissions for US referrals. The program does not accept international associates. Furthermore, Zappos does not partner with drop shippers.
Target is a prominent US competitor of Amazon. Traditionally, it was a brick-and-mortar operation, but it has since moved decisively into the online space.
The company offers competitive commission rates across its entire range of products, but its payment structure is quite complicated. The percentage of sale value you receive depends on the number of referrals you generate and the product category.
For health and beauty products, Target fixes commissions at 1%, no matter what your monthly volume. For other product categories, however, the commission is progressive – the more successful referrals you generate, the higher percentage you get paid. For baby gear and furniture, commissions range from 3% to a maximum of 5% for those selling more than 10,001 units per month. For home and outdoor living, as well as apparel & accessories, you start at 5% and work your way up to 8%.
Target’s affiliate program, however, comes with a slight downside: it is not suitable for every niche. Yes, it’ll work for home improvements and outdoor living, but it isn’t so suited to fitness websites. Also, like Walmart, Target is not particularly generous with its cookie duration. Customers must convert within seven days of clicking your link for you to get paid.
Advance Auto Parts
What if you operate a site that deals primarily with automotive issues? Well, you’re in luck – there are affiliate programs available in this sector too.
Advance Auto Parts (AAP) is one of the leading automotive brands in the US – and a top Amazon alternative for affiliates in the space. The company generates more than $5 billion per year in sales and operates more than 6,000 locations throughout North America.
Currently, the outfit is offering up to 10% commissions, starting at 4% commission on all revenue generated from referral sales. And it provides a 30-day grace period between the time the user clicks on your link to the time when they hand over the money.
There are compelling reasons to use the company’s program. Customers, for instance, get free shipping on orders more than $25 – (which is considerably less than the average order size). And AAP also provides pickup options at nearby stores, allowing customers to collect their goods immediately, instead of having to wait.
Just like other affiliate programs in this list, joining Advance Auto Parts’ scheme is straightforward. Once you sign up, you get access to text links, banners, and more, and assistance promoting the full catalog of the company’s products. There’s no cost to pay to become a member, and there’s no limit to the amount of commission you can earn overall.
Typically, we think of Microsoft as a computer software company. But given the importance of online sales, it now offers a compelling affiliate program too.
Affiliates have the opportunity to flog the tech giant’s entire range of products and services. Microsoft sells to both consumers and businesses, meaning that a wide range of third-party sites could benefit. Natural fits for Microsoft’s affiliate program include those in the IT and computing niche.
Added to this, Microsoft has some of the best commission rates in its niche – up to 10 percent on qualifying sales. And it is willing to work with bloggers, not just established companies and websites, opening up opportunities for smaller players.
You also get a 14-day in-app purchase window. If a referral makes additional purchases after following your link, you will receive a commission for those too.
Microsoft is among the best for support too. You get tools for creating your campaigns, as well as tracking and promoting them. As a consequence, you don’t feel out of touch.
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble has had a rough time over recent years, thanks to competition from Amazon. The longstanding retailer, however, is fighting back against the Amazon monster with perhaps the most compelling niche affiliate program on the internet. Like Amazon, it too has its own electronic reader called the NOOK. And it offers books, toys, and games through its website for delivery across the world.
Currently, Amazon is paying less than 5 percent for media items across the board. Amazon Kindle device sales net associates 4 percent, and DVDs get just 2.5 percent. Barnes & Noble, however, offers commissions through CJ Affiliate topping 8 percent. That’s remarkably high for a sector dominated by low rates.
Etsy made a name for itself a few years back, selling niche handmade and vintage goods. For some time now, it has also offered a compelling affiliate program which equals, if not exceeds, Amazon’s.
Practically anyone can become an associate of the eCommerce site, except voucher and cashback sites. And there is also affiliate support in a range of languages besides English, including French, Italian, Spanish and German.
Commissions typically amount to around 4 percent of the total sale value, which is ahead of Amazon’s current 3 percent offering on homewares. You also get a 30-day cookie period and assistance with running competitions.
Etsy has broad appeal because of the sheer range of products available on its site. It is, however, particularly appealing to bloggers, fashion sites, and craft sites. The range of unique products creates an ideal backdrop for the creation of custom native content, designed to provoke click throughs. For this reason, Etsy tends to generate a high rate of conversions. People appreciate the relevance of marketing.
The commission is not much higher than Amazon, but Etsy has a monopoly on many of its products. Members of your audience have to buy from the site. There are no alternatives.
Signing up to the program takes just a few minutes, and you can start earning immediately.
FATJOE – 10% Lifetime Commission
It seems this is the perfect opportunity to introduce our very own Affiliate Program.
We’ve been running this affiliate program now since 2018 and it has been a huge success. With the growth of internet business and the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) our very own affiliate program has seen huge growth. Unlike any other affiliate program we offer a huge 10% lifetime recurring commission on any referrals you make to FATJOE. What this means is, if you refer a client who then orders from FATJOE, you will earn 10% off every single one of their orders for the lifetime of that client. This makes for a huge potential opportunity to exponentially grow your affiliate commissions month on month and right now we have affiliates making high 4 figure monthly commissions (as of 2020).
Commissions are paid monthly via a no-hassle automatic PayPal payment and you’ll get a FATJOE account to monitor your commissions monthly with data being updated in real-time.
This affiliate program is suitable for anyone however it is a perfect fit for you if you already run or write for an online marketing blog, an SEO blog or even anything broadly marketing related as your audience is highly likely to convert.
Zazzle is an online retailer specialising in cards, invitations, clothing, homeware and electronics. It also recently moved into the personal protective equipment space, selling facemasks.
The brand offers one of the most lucrative affiliate programmes of any online retailer. Members can earn in the double-digits on its associates programme, getting paid whenever they generate a sale via blogs, websites, social media or email.
Zazzle’s basic referral payment is 15 percent. However, it offers a volume bonus of up to 17 percent per sale – considerably higher than Amazon.
Zazzle says that signing up to its programme takes less than a minute. And once you log on, you can choose from millions of products to promote, tailoring your approach to your audience. It makes payments via cheque or PayPal – your choice – and the minimum payout for UK affiliates is £50.
For more information on terms, policies (and everything else you need to know), Zazzle provides an Associate Centre. Here you can track your referrals, commissions and more.
CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction)
CJ Affiliates is an affiliate network for publishers and advertisers and one of the oldest around. Bloggers, hotel offers sites, or travel deals sites can all use the platform to earn commission from advertisers by promoting their products and securing conversions.
Currently, annual publisher commissions on the platform top $1.8 billion (£1.3 billion). And new opportunities are emerging all the time. CJ Affiliate estimates that it creates more than 4.8 million new relationships annually.
CJ Affiliates – formerly called Commission Junction – is a little different from many other affiliate networks. For instance, it provides publishers with real-time analytics, getting rid of the need to refresh the page to get updates. The software is also highly intuitive, making it easy to navigate all the selling options.
If you are a prominent publisher (such as a blogger who gets more than 10k page views per month), you’ll qualify for CJ Affiliate’s Content Certified program.
Once you sign up, the network will automatically connect you to many of the top-selling brands in the world. These are the cream of the crop – the brands most likely to sell.
To become a CJ Affiliate, you’ll need to be a publisher over the age of 18. The network doesn’t fix commissions. Instead, each merchant negotiates their rate and then publishers decide whether they want to take them or not.
Affiliate network Linkshare began operating in 1996, back in the earliest days of affiliate marketing. In 2005, Japanese electronics giant Rakuten, bought them out, creating Rakuten Linkshare, now called Rakuten Marketing.
Rakuten is an attractive network for publishers to join because of the sheer quality of the brands you can promote. Top examples including Microsoft, Billabong, Lyft, NordVPN, Nvidia, and Macy’s.
Rakuten is easy to use. The dashboard looks the same as it did the day Linkshare first published it, so it can appear a little old-school. But once you get used to the retro aesthetic, it’s surprisingly simple.
You can find affiliate programmes with a keyword search or look for brands from the navigation menu that appeal to your niche. You can also access some programes automatically via the platform, but many require some form of manual approval before you can begin.
The platform pays net 60 which means that it’ll release funds to you every sixty days or so. If there is an issue with payment, you can call customer service for more information. Payment options include PayPal, cheque or direct deposit into your bank account.
As with CJ Affiliate, the rates Rakuten pays depend on negotiations with the merchant.
ShareASale is another affiliate network that supports publishers “of all shapes and sizes.” It works with content creators and influencers, loyalty and incentive sites and media partners. In 2020, affiliates earned a total of $915 million (£670 million).
Signing up for the network is free for traditional affiliate marketers, vloggers, bloggers, podcasters, website owners and social media influencers. The platform provides tools that make it relatively easy to find relevant retailer partners to promote for commissions. Easy-to-understand reporting tools shows you how much money you’re making and when you’ll get paid.
In sum, there are more than 15,200 brands available for promotion via the platform, running across practically every sector. But ShareASale isn’t a big brand network. Instead, it focuses on more niche and up-and-coming advertisers.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can free you up by eliminating the need to abide by big brand rules.
ShareASale pays publishers on the 20th of the month under the net 30 model. That means you’ll get paid for all sales you made between June 20th and July 20th on August 20th.
As for payment methods, ShareASale uses direct deposit, Payoneers and mailed cheque for those who like to keep things old-fashioned. There’s no PayPal at the moment.
If you continue to rely on Amazon’s affiliate program, it risks hurting you in the pocket. The company claims the changes are necessary because of the disruption caused by the coronavirus however this doesn’t make sense because their sales are soaring because of the pandemic and their stocks are rising. According to various reports, rates, though, will likely never return to their pre-crisis levels.
Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives out there – and many of them will prove far more lucrative. For instance, certain brands, like Newegg and Advance Auto Parts, have greater resonance in many niches than Amazon. Plus, they tend to offer far higher commissions.
So, while Amazon’s changes might seem damaging, sidestepping them is relatively straightforward. On top of that, other companies will be keen to take advantage of the recent changes. After making the switch, you could find yourself making even more money. Now that doesn’t sound too bad, does it?