Amazon Changing Affiliate Program May Mean No More Website Shops

Filed under: Industry News

amazon_logoAmazon has begun their transition to separate their Store API from their link programs.

As you may or may not know at this time there are a few different methods that Amazon Affiliates can display links to products for sale by Amazon in order to earn a percentage of the sale for directing customers to Amazon’s Website.

The first and easiest for non technical users is the generation of links to products. By logging into your affiliate store or browsing the Amazon website you can generate links to products using product ids and your affiliate ID.

Second is the use of the AStore this is a amazon product that attempts to display products from Amazon with your branding but also with full control over layout by Amazon. For some websites this is fine but for a professional look the AStore offering is lacking many features.

The final way we want to cover is the access to Amazons XML feed.

This is where a programmer in PHP, Perl or another language of choice can develop their own shopping cart system.

This allows webmasters full control over formatting of the products to be displayed but uses real time information from amazon’s site for prices, availability and other information.

This final method is the only real way to display amazons products if you want to have your visitors shop and purchase items.

The other methods are nothing more then full advertising where a customer may or may not generate sales for your site based on hundreds of different factors including technical factors such as cookie settings.

This means you could spend hours every week managing your Amazon links only to have no sales income if the user happens to use cookie blockers.

So what is Amazon Doing that will Mess this up for you?

If you happen to use one of the popular open source scripts to display Amazon Products from their XML feed then you now need to have a new key which is tied to Amazons AWS.

At this time Amazon is not charging for your ability to display products on your site but because the company is hurting like most they may decide in the future to charge you for access to their API XML Feed .

This means if you must pay for access and a few bots hit your store browsing through hundreds of pages of products you could endup paying transfer costs for phantom customers.

Not only that if you must pay for the right to become an affiliate this price will be tacked on to any earnings you may have from your store.

At this time Amazon charges to cut checks to their affiliates. The price for cutting a check is not insignificant

Minimum Payouts from Amazon are $100 if you get a check cut and do not get direct deposit then you will pay $15 for the honor of being paid leaving you with $85 in the end.

This is a 15% charge just to be paid… now if you earn $100 an hour that would not be something to worry about but most affiliates do not earn the minimum payout in a 3 month time span.

This means having an Amazon store is even less profitable.

If you are not an Amazon Affiliate you may want to rethink investing time into becoming one.

If you want to build individual links then we can honestly say it takes many hours to do. On top of that you have to manage your links on old pages which is extremely difficult if you have a site of more then a hunderd pages.

You must constantly verify that each link works AND THAT THE PRODUCT IS AVAILABLE.  This means you can not run a link checker on your site because links will work but products may not be available or may have been eliminated.

As for AStores…. They are just sad and don’t even waste your time.

When a visitor comes to your site and looks through your shopping cart they do not want to buy from your site if they can simply go to Amazon and browse there.


And as for scripts you can make or buy be real careful on the time you invest because come the end of summer or some time after that you might just see them all evaporate.

Lack of Support
We have had conversations with the largest open developer of Amazon Store Scripts and we will not name them at this time but they have said that due to the new keys and possible costs they are strongly considering ending their project.

You see open source is free because the developers do not need to pay to generate the code. If Amazon requires this developer to pay or for the users to pay I can guarantee that in the next 6 months tens of thousands of Amazon Affiliates will be dropping out from the program.

That would be definite.

Amazon would then lose large amounts of free traffic to their site.

Whats even worse for Amazon is that when a customer is sent to them by a Shopping Cart Script. The customer is all ready for checkout.

They have used the remote site to do their shopping and are ready to pay.

This means Not only will Amazon lose inward links and traffic ….. it will be traffic that is 100% directly related to final checkout.


saving a few dollars to end up losing thousands.

Why is Amazon doing this?????

WHO THE FUCK KNOWS but it seems that Amazon wants to get out of Merchandising and into Clown Computing in a heavy way.

But anyone who has seen the Twitter Fail Whale knows that there are problems with that service on a scalable level. Yes Twitter uses the Amazon Clown Computing.

The Bright Side
If you are in a position to start a service like amazon this is probably the best chance you will have for some time.

If some other online sale company started a free brandable xml affiliate shop and amazon starts charging you can bet they will get tens of thousands of signups in just a few weeks.


Keep your eyes open because things are changing at