Amazon and eBay killing off affiliates?

39 replies
Amazon and eBay seem to have every product going, even products that merchants are supposed to sell exclusively via their own site, so how do affiliates thrive in a climate dominated by these mega marketplaces? The only positive I can see with this is is that Amazon is such a highly trusted name that using their affiliate program will compensate to some degree. Work with the tide as opposed to against it. But it instantly reduces income from 30-50% offered by many affiliate networks and merchants to under 10%, the paltry figure on offer from Amazon. Also, Amazon's 24 hour cookie is so short that some potential buyers will no doubt buy after the cookie has already expired, so denying the the affiliate some sales. However, Amazon has excellent cross-selling of related items and because of their large inventory and trust, sellers could end up buying goods worth a lot more than intended. Is it best for affiliates to just promote Amazon unless the product cannot be sourced from Amazon and eBay?
#affiliates #amazon #ebay #killing
  • Profile picture of the author ZanyZebra
    Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

    Amazon and eBay seem to have every product going, even products that merchants are supposed to sell exclusively via their own site, so how do affiliates thrive in a climate dominated by these mega marketplaces? The only positive I can see with this is is that Amazon is such a highly trusted name that using their affiliate program will compensate to some degree. Work with the tide as opposed to against it. But it instantly reduces income from 30-50% offered by many affiliate networks and merchants to under 10%, the paltry figure on offer from Amazon. Also, Amazon's 24 hour cookie is so short that some potential buyers will no doubt buy after the cookie has already expired, so denying the the affiliate some sales. However, Amazon has excellent cross-selling of related items and because of their large inventory and trust, sellers could end up buying goods worth a lot more than intended. Is it best for affiliates to just promote Amazon unless the product cannot be sourced from Amazon and eBay?
    You're looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

    If you are looking to make decent money on amazon then becoming an affiliate ought to be at the very bottom of your list.

    The very big money on amazon is made by selling your own branded physical products. It makes me, on average, 6 figures a month.

    Good luck with your ventures.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrgoe
      Originally Posted by ZanyZebra View Post

      You're looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

      If you are looking to make decent money on amazon then becoming an affiliate ought to be at the very bottom of your list.

      The very big money on amazon is made by selling your own branded physical products. It makes me, on average, 6 figures a month.

      Good luck with your ventures.
      This is true, but I might add that if you really want to be an affiliate and not own your own product, try doing your keyword research. Amazon and ebay don`t dominate all the action keywords for affiliate products, trust me, I rank for some of them..
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    • Profile picture of the author Anton543
      Originally Posted by ZanyZebra View Post

      You're looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

      If you are looking to make decent money on amazon then becoming an affiliate ought to be at the very bottom of your list.

      The very big money on amazon is made by selling your own branded physical products. It makes me, on average, 6 figures a month.

      Good luck with your ventures.
      It all depends. Selling your own branded goods mean you will need to take on the burden of sourcing, buying, storing, after sales, returns and so on. I don't think many people have the energy or the will to go this route even if the sales and income opportunity is far greater.

      I have a niche site and through promoting a product on the site I've actually come across an opportunity to private label it . The merchant offers private labellingon top of the affiliate program. Although its seems very tempting because of the low average price per unit cost, how would I deal with storage, and potential retruns? Its a big headache, something you don't have to deal with as an affiliate.

      By the way, I have noticed some sellers on Amazon have a 'fulfilled by Amazon' label next to their products, does this mean Amazon stores, ships, deals with returns on behalf of the third party seller. I imagine they would have to pay higher fees compared to other sellers, who only use the marketplace to list items.
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      • Profile picture of the author onSubie
        Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

        ...the burden of sourcing, buying, storing, after sales, returns and so on. I don't think many people have the energy or the will to go this route even if the sales and income opportunity is far greater.
        You just need to source and ship to Amazon.

        Amazon does all the storing, sales, after sales and returns.

        They also offer free shipping to your customers at no extra cost to you.
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      • Profile picture of the author THK
        Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

        ...

        I have a niche site and through promoting a product on the site I've actually come across an opportunity to private label it . The merchant offers private labellingon top of the affiliate program. Although its seems very tempting because of the low average price per unit cost, how would I deal with storage, and potential retruns? Its a big headache, something you don't have to deal with as an affiliate.

        ...
        Lots of fulfillment companies out there to do the storage, shipping and return. And yes, it is a headache and that is why you are rewarded handsomely when you do it right.
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

          Amazon and eBay seem to have every product going, even products that merchants are supposed to sell exclusively via their own site, so how do affiliates thrive in a climate dominated by these mega marketplaces? The only positive I can see with this is is that Amazon is such a highly trusted name that using their affiliate program will compensate to some degree. Work with the tide as opposed to against it. But it instantly reduces income from 30-50% offered by many affiliate networks and merchants to under 10%, the paltry figure on offer from Amazon. Also, Amazon's 24 hour cookie is so short that some potential buyers will no doubt buy after the cookie has already expired, so denying the the affiliate some sales. However, Amazon has excellent cross-selling of related items and because of their large inventory and trust, sellers could end up buying goods worth a lot more than intended. Is it best for affiliates to just promote Amazon unless the product cannot be sourced from Amazon and eBay?
          In my not so humble opinion, Amazon has one of the best (if not the best) affiliate programs available anywhere. To put it mildly, eBay is not even close to Amazon. There is no other system of which I am aware that offers such an ingenious "suggestion" algorithm for buyers, and pays commissions on additional purchases made within the buying session.

          Admittedly, more than 60% of Amazon sales do not involve affiliates, but that has more to do with the general marketing incompetence of affiliates rather than any intentional denial of sales commissions. The 24-hour cookie limitation can be bypassed through effective pre-selling, engaging copy, and timely communication including short interval email promotions.

          And as regarding the apparently "low" commission rate, this is not out of line with standard commissions paid for sales reps selling physical products. With products ranging well into 4-6 figure price ranges and by selling the lower priced products in quantity, in addition to Amazon's cross-selling algorithm, one can earn a very substantial income with just the Amazon affiliate program itself.

          Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

          Selling your own branded goods mean you will need to take on the burden of sourcing, buying, storing, after sales, returns and so on. I don't think many people have the energy or the will to go this route even if the sales and income opportunity is far greater.

          I have a niche site and through promoting a product on the site I've actually come across an opportunity to private label it . The merchant offers private labellingon top of the affiliate program. Although its seems very tempting because of the low average price per unit cost, how would I deal with storage, and potential retruns? Its a big headache, something you don't have to deal with as an affiliate.
          Selling your own branded goods is much more than just a big headache. If you get it wrong and the product fizzles, you've also got inventory and other investments down the drain. But as an affiliate, you can simply change promotions to other products. Even with a "niche" site, affiliate marketing can leverage your marketing efforts while minimizing costs and reducing risk exposure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
      Originally Posted by ZanyZebra View Post

      You're looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

      If you are looking to make decent money on amazon then becoming an affiliate ought to be at the very bottom of your list.

      The very big money on amazon is made by selling your own branded physical products. It makes me, on average, 6 figures a month.

      Good luck with your ventures.
      I have to question why someone making six figures a month, meaning a minimum of 1.2 million dollars per year, would be promoting MMO courses instead of growing that extremely lucrative business.

      If what you're saying is true, I can't help but wonder what your rationale is behind spending time on something like that when your time could be used in much more valuable ways.
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    • Profile picture of the author liqcentral
      ASM (now amazing.com) is $4-5k to join.

      http://ecommelite.com is a better program for a fraction of the spend.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex The Lion
    The answer as always is to test it.

    Run an A/B split test with one option offering an Amazon affiliate offer and the other option offering another affiliate offer and see over a 30-60 day period, which one produces more income.
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  • Profile picture of the author shreevarigroup
    back ward integration frist you drive in a rented car then buy your own car that is best for business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      MYOB pointed out something that is wrong with the original post.

      reduces income from 30-50% offered by many affiliate networks and merchants to under 10%,
      That tells me you are comparing Amazon commissions with Clickbank, Warrior Forum WSO's and "make money online" products. In retail, commissions aren't in double figures and never have been. Those 30-50% (and more) IM "commissions" come with some heavy returns, too.

      If you get your customer to go through your link to Amazon - you are on the clock. Amazon will do its best to sell them everything under the sun - and you profit from whatever they buy.
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  • Profile picture of the author ZenDude
    I'm an Amazon affiliate, and I don't really understand it at all. Can someone please explain the 24-hour cookie to me? I have ads and widgets up on my blog for products I review. Are those useless now?

    I know the commissions are low, but I've never considered it a major source of income, but then, my blog is sadly neglected and needs more traffic.

    Forgive my ignorance, please. I'm here to learn. If anyone can point me in the direction of a good resource for learning how to use Amazon, preferably free, please do.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by ZenDude View Post

      I'm an Amazon affiliate, and I don't really understand it at all. Can someone please explain the 24-hour cookie to me? I have ads and widgets up on my blog for products I review. Are those useless now?
      That type of "review" method has always been essentially useless, because the chances of prospects making a buying decision within the 24 hour session cookie set by Amazon is at best less than one in a thousand. In addition, you are competing not only against roughly 900,000 other affiliates as well, but also against Amazon's own quite formidable internal marketing professionals.

      Originally Posted by ZenDude View Post

      Forgive my ignorance, please. I'm here to learn. If anyone can point me in the direction of a good resource for learning how to use Amazon, preferably free, please do.
      This in-depth discussion by several very successful Amazon affiliates may be helpful:
      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...000-month.html
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      • Profile picture of the author Anton543
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        That type of "review" method has always been essentially useless, because the chances of prospects making a buying decision within the 24 hour session cookie set by Amazon is at best less than one in a thousand. In addition, you are competing not only against roughly 900,000 other affiliates as well, but also against Amazon's own quite formidable internal marketing professionals.
        In this case, what do you suggest? I know many potential buyers buy several days after reading a review, rendering Amazon's 24-hour cookie rather useless in those instances, but is there a better way?

        Also, you sort of contradict your earlier post where you say effective pre-selling will get people buying within the 24-hour limitation.
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        • Profile picture of the author @tjr
          Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

          Also, you sort of contradict your earlier post where you say effective pre-selling will get people buying within the 24-hour limitation.
          Not really. The poster states that the review model fares poorly with the 24 hour cookie. Since when is writing a review the only way to pre-sell something?

          Is what the poster says valid? Can't say, I've never done Amazon with any success. Just pointing out that there currently isn't any contradiction in the wording.
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  • Profile picture of the author aforabi
    I don't think so ... it's still the number one ways of making money as an affiliate.

    The fault could be on your end - just be honest - because you could be doing things wrong - i.e. targeting WRONG keywords, not generating enough backlinks to your site, not optimizing your pages for conversion and seo, etc...

    Hope that helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author LisaGrocke
    I don’t promote anything from Amazon because the margin is pretty low (affiliate). Someone pointed out rightly that you should have your own product there on Amazon if you really want to earn some bucks.
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    • Originally Posted by LisaGrocke View Post

      I don’t promote anything from Amazon because the margin is pretty low (affiliate). Someone pointed out rightly that you should have your own product there on Amazon if you really want to earn some bucks.
      Agreed. I no longer work from the Amazon Associates affiliate end of the telescope. Switching to the FBA side of things will be much more lucrative and that's exactly what I am going to do. I don't want to be an "associate". Id rather be a partner and/or vendor with Amazon and they do have these programs too. Most affiliates don't know about them though or think they are too difficult to get into. Nothing could be further from the truth but, hey, more money for me
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

        In this case, what do you suggest? I know many potential buyers buy several days after reading a review, rendering Amazon's 24-hour cookie rather useless in those instances, but is there a better way?
        There are several much better ways, which are covered by several highly successful Amazon affiliates in the link referenced in my post #13: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...000-month.html

        Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

        Also, you sort of contradict your earlier post where you say effective pre-selling will get people buying within the 24-hour limitation.
        I never did, nor would I ever make such a foolish statement that preselling will get people buying within the 24-hour limitation. On the contrary, the chances of getting commissions on sales from this very common "preselling" (aka "product review") method is so low that it is hardly even worthwhile. Preselling is just the beginning of the sales cycle, which can take weeks or months, particularly for high end (3-5 figure price range) products. This misunderstanding is perhaps the leading cause of the frustration and failure among so many Amazon affiliates.

        With no contradiction, here is what I said; "The 24-hour cookie limitation can be bypassed through effective pre-selling, engaging copy, and timely communication including short interval email promotions". All of these steps, as a minimum, need to be implemented before the prospect is offered the affiliate link to make a purchase. Sales is a process, not an event. And for the reasons I already mentioned (post #9, selling affiliate products is generally far more lucrative than trying to sell your own product.
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        • Profile picture of the author Anton543
          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          There are several much better ways, which are covered by several highly successful Amazon affiliates in the link referenced in my post #13: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...000-month.html



          I never did, nor would I ever make such a foolish statement that preselling will get people buying within the 24-hour limitation. On the contrary, the chances of getting commissions on sales from this very common "preselling" (aka "product review") method is so low that it is hardly even worthwhile. Preselling is just the beginning of the sales cycle, which can take weeks or months, particularly for high end (3-5 figure price range) products. This misunderstanding is perhaps the leading cause of the frustration and failure among so many Amazon affiliates.

          With no contradiction, here is what I said; "The 24-hour cookie limitation can be bypassed through effective pre-selling, engaging copy, and timely communication including short interval email promotions". All of these steps, as a minimum, need to be implemented before the prospect is offered the affiliate link to make a purchase. Sales is a process, not an event. And for the reasons I already mentioned (post #9, selling affiliate products is generally far more lucrative than trying to sell your own product.
          Are you saying review sites that post affiliate links inside or/and at the end of articles won't convert? Its it better to capture the email of your visitors, then pre-sell them, before finally presenting the affiliate links. I used to get 4-6% conversion off review pages, without the steps you suggest.
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          • Profile picture of the author myob
            Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

            Are you saying review sites that post affiliate links inside or/and at the end of articles won't convert? Its it better to capture the email of your visitors, then pre-sell them, before finally presenting the affiliate links. I used to get 4-6% conversion off review pages, without the steps you suggest.
            I never said that review sites or articles with affiliate links won't convert. They do, but even a 4-6% conversion rate means a failure rate of up to 96%. Most Amazon review sites and articles embedded with affiliate links have much higher failure rates.

            My marketing model actually was rather simple in concept: establish an "authoritative presence" or brand using article syndication, build niche lists, then recommend relevant products to subscribers within these niche lists on a daily basis. Consequently, the 24-hour cookie limitation was effectively bypassed or nullified.

            Sending prospects to Amazon without first capturing leads and using best practices in sales and marketing is what is killing off so many affiliates. I highly recommend reading "Brand Against the Machine" by John Morgan. Available of course, on Amazon.
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        • Profile picture of the author babywhawha
          Banned
          [DELETED]
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          • Profile picture of the author myob
            Originally Posted by babywhawha View Post

            So how would you go about this?

            Rank for a certain question like 'how does this work', then try to capture their email and presell them such thing? Sounds like a lot of effort to find a potential buyer, lot of traffic loss that will never supply their email address, seems 3-5% of people who subscribe is reasonable to expect but not much more.
            Some affiliates do this, which is at least stumbling around in the right direction. But the most successful Amazon affiliates build lists of their buyers and often use multiple marketing channels for follow-up and to sell incrementally higher end products. As mentioned throughout the referenced link above, conversion rates are considerably higher when driving traffic directly from targeted warm markets rather than the search engines.

            Originally Posted by babywhawha View Post

            Now when my site ranks for a 'best product' I have 3-5% of people buying directly without having to put any additional effort into it.
            And Amazon thanks you for your valued contributions to their email lists and lead-generating marketing machine.

            Originally Posted by Nisip View Post

            Amazon is already the biggest online shop. So they do not really need anymore affiliates. Affiliates they needed in their growth phase
            Amazon is still growing and actually needs more affiliates like babywhawha.
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            • Originally Posted by myob View Post

              Amazon is still growing and actually needs more affiliates like babywhawha.
              Yes...and if you can prove to Amazon that you can sell product on their platform, such as FBA, they will personally invite you into their Vendor's program so they definitely need more people like this. Why wouldn't they when they take a piece of everything you are able to sell? They want as many of these people as they can get!
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    • Profile picture of the author liqcentral
      Originally Posted by LisaGrocke View Post

      I don't promote anything from Amazon because the margin is pretty low (affiliate). Someone pointed out rightly that you should have your own product there on Amazon if you really want to earn some bucks.
      I actually enjoy the best of both worlds. I sell products on Amazon, and I promote my own products with the Amazon associate links. This is perfectly fine with Amazon, and the reporting they give me is crazy cool. So, if I am selling a blue widget, and I am driving traffic with Facebook ads to a landing page that that takes them to Amazon through my affiliate link, I don't really care if they buy my product or not.

      Todd
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    Amazon's 24-hour cookie is a problem because some buyers need more time decide on a purchase. Secondly, does Amazon offer commission on all products purchased on Amazon incuding third party sellers or is it only those they stock themselves?

    As for selling on Amazon, of course, anyone wanting to sell stuff online would love to sell it directly. Profit margins are usually much greater. The problem lies with sourcing the products, the initial large investment required, storage, after sales.

    Out of curiousity, how do third party sellers get Amazon to store and ship their products (fulfilled by Amazon)? What are the fees to do this?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan S
    If you have your own product, continue what you're doing and do it better... If you're an affiliate, well, sign up with them (Amazon/eBay) as their affiliate :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Join Hobson
    This is true? I don't belive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cosmit
    Actually, Amazon's 24 hour cookie applies only to the FIRST purchase after the cookie was dropped. Even so, Amazon is still, in my opinion, the best affiliate program out there, because of the trust people have in Amazon, and the wide range of products they provide.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    ^Just so you are aware, I am only now trying to get into selling via Amazon. I have previously used products mainly through Shareasale, typically with a month or two cookie.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

      ^Just so you are aware, I am only now trying to get into selling via Amazon. I have previously used products mainly through Shareasale, typically with a month or two cookie.
      You can never really depend on cookies to make a sale. As far as I know and with a notable exception to Clickbank, all cookies can be over-written. I strongly suspect you've lost a whole bunch of sales with Shareasale.

      A marketing technique commonly used (including myself) was, in addition to the process described above, to offer bonus incentives that required subscribers to clear cookies before the affiliate link was presented.

      Staying in constant contact with your prospects and customers through multiple communication channels is by far the best strategy to consistently beat the competition all-to-hell.
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      • Profile picture of the author Anton543
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        You can never really depend on cookies to make a sale. As far as I know and with a notable exception to Clickbank, all cookies can be over-written. I strongly suspect you've lost a whole bunch of sales with Shareasale.

        A marketing technique commonly used (including myself) was, in addition to the process described above, to offer bonus incentives that required subscribers to clear cookies before the affiliate link was presented.

        Staying in constant contact with your prospects and customers through multiple communication channels is by far the best strategy to consistently beat the competition all-to-hell.
        To be fair, Sharesale or the merchants I have worked with through them have all been above board. They have not engaged in such activity. I send people to the merchant site from my reviews or articles via the affiliate link and the sale process is completed on the site (merchant) itself. I don't see when cookies can be overridden/overwritten.
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

          To be fair, Sharesale or the merchants I have worked with through them have all been above board. They have not engaged in such activity. I send people to the merchant site from my reviews or articles via the affiliate link and the sale process is completed on the site (merchant) itself. I don't see when cookies can be overridden/overwritten.
          What I'm talking about has nothing to do with possible underhanded activities engaged in by merchants, although the strategies and tactics I've mentioned provide ironclad protection against the potential for such abuse as well. I've always used the same exact marketing methods for all of the affiliate networks which I promoted, including Shareasale.

          Reliance on cookies for your commission is a diminishing false hope because the majority of sales are made only after multiple exposures to the marketing message, and quite often involve more than one device (ie, desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc). And (with the exception of Clickbank) unless your prospect makes a purchase before another affiliate gets in, you've lost the sale. That's just how the cookie crumbles.
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          • Profile picture of the author @tjr
            Originally Posted by myob View Post

            Reliance on cookies for your commission is a diminishing false hope because the majority of sales are made only after multiple exposures to the marketing message, and quite often involve more than one device (ie, desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc).
            Source for this?
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            • Profile picture of the author myob
              Originally Posted by myob View Post

              Reliance on cookies for your commission is a diminishing false hope because the majority of sales are made only after multiple exposures to the marketing message, and quite often involve more than one device (ie, desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc).

              Originally Posted by @tjr View Post

              Source for this?
              There is no affiliate company currently with the sophistication reliable enough to track visits for commissionable purchases from multiple devices nor to compensate for the growing privacy concerns of shoppers.

              The cookie is dead. Here's how Facebook, Google, and Apple are tracking you now | VentureBeat
              A new worry for consumers: Cross-device tracking | CBS News
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              • Profile picture of the author Anton543
                Originally Posted by myob View Post

                There is no affiliate company currently with the sophistication reliable enough to track visits for commissionable purchases from multiple devices nor to compensate for the growing privacy concerns of shoppers.

                The cookie is dead. Here's how Facebook, Google, and Apple are tracking you now | VentureBeat
                A new worry for consumers: Cross-device tracking | CBS News
                You sound very much like a former member who was very prominent on these boards.
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                • Profile picture of the author myob
                  Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

                  You sound very much like a former member who was very prominent on these boards.
                  You sound very much like you've been reading a lot of extracurricular fiction. Despite the outrageous speculations and wild stretches of the imagination seldom seen outside the dark recesses and shadows of conspiracy theorists, both of us always have been completely separate and wholly independent individuals. Yet this untenable belief persists beyond reason or explanation even though neither one has ever met the other, and are in fact physically separated on opposite sides of the pond.

                  Perhaps we both do have similar writing and marketing styles, but that has much more to do with a common adherence to best practices rather than such nonsense as being the same person. I recommend that you carefully study our posts and reference links; these lessons are given as comprehensive training for my own students on live webinars (including this thread ). In darkest contrast, you're not going to learn anything worthwhile from such silly speculations and supercilious detractors of the WF.
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  • Profile picture of the author professorrosado
    Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

    Amazon and eBay seem to have every product going, even products that merchants are supposed to sell exclusively via their own site, so how do affiliates thrive in a climate dominated by these mega marketplaces? The only positive I can see with this is is that Amazon is such a highly trusted name that using their affiliate program will compensate to some degree. Work with the tide as opposed to against it. But it instantly reduces income from 30-50% offered by many affiliate networks and merchants to under 10%, the paltry figure on offer from Amazon. Also, Amazon's 24 hour cookie is so short that some potential buyers will no doubt buy after the cookie has already expired, so denying the the affiliate some sales. However, Amazon has excellent cross-selling of related items and because of their large inventory and trust, sellers could end up buying goods worth a lot more than intended. Is it best for affiliates to just promote Amazon unless the product cannot be sourced from Amazon and eBay?
    The answer is simple. Go with the tide but have your own boat.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nisip
    Banned
    Amazon is already the biggest online shop. So they do not really need anymore affiliates. Affiliates they needed in their growth phase
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    • Profile picture of the author Cosmit
      Originally Posted by Nisip View Post

      Amazon is already the biggest online shop. So they do not really need anymore affiliates. Affiliates they needed in their growth phase
      if they are dumb enough to remove affiliate program they will instantly drive billions in sales to competitors. if i were amazon's competitor i would pray every day that amazon closes its affiliate program. but amazon is smart, they value affiliates
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