UK affiliate promoting US Amazon - worth it?

31 replies
Hi

Is it worth the trouble of promoting products from the US amazon, if you are based in the UK?

Cashing a US$ check/cheque here in the UK seems a little pricey, plus I believe it can take weeks to clear.

Should I just stick to UK amazon? Can you still make decent money from amazon.co.uk?

thanks
#affiliate #amazon #promoting #worth
  • Profile picture of the author highrank
    I'm in the same boat. I can tell you that it really depends on your traffic.

    I'm considering finding a US based Amazon affiliate to recieve the cheques and just send me the money via Paypal. Maybe you could do the same, takes the hassle out of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
    Not earn much at the mo.

    Don't really know anyone in the US who could do that for me, or that I would trust to (there could be a business idea in that thought!).
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    • Profile picture of the author adamj2
      If you have a .co.uk domain and UK hosting then I would focus on the UK market for that particular website.

      Otherwise probably better to focus on Amazon US as that is a larger market.

      You can probably do both though and provide the link twice in the review etc. for the specific country.

      There is a wordpress plugin that automatically sends you to same country of amazon of which the reader is from. But I tried that once myself and it did not work very well as the items had to be an exact word match, and the same product is often worded differently for each country.

      I have paid a number of cheques in the UK from Clickbank (have now switched to the direct deposit option) and they only take 3-5 days or so to go through and they take a bit of money off as well (not sure the exact amount). Its not that much, but might seem a lot of it is just a small cheque you are cashing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      I'd definitely recommend the US Amazon affiliate programme over the UK one. You have a wider customer base, and a better commission structure.

      Receiving dollar cheques is not a major problem - just shop around for the best rates.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisMcDonald
    Go for the US - it's a MUCH bigger market than the UK, plus I've heard the UK scheme has a hard cap for ALL commissions.

    I know plenty of Brits going down the US route

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  • Profile picture of the author Ruth P
    Yes I think it's definitely worth it. There are pros and cons for each (i.e. the UK market may have less competition, but the US market is bigger), but I personally choose to focus on BOTH UK and US markets. So far my US commissions have been much higher and I've earned a nice income from Amazon

    It really isn't that bad cashing USD cheques, though you do lose out a bit with the exchange rate and bank fees so it's worth asking a few different banks to get the best rates.

    Also, you can take advantage of free plugins like Amazon Link Localizer to display the correct Amazon referral link depending on whether your visitors come from the UK or the US (it supports other Amazon locations too) - to help boost potential sales worldwide: WordPress › Amazon Affiliate Link Localizer « WordPress Plugins
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    If you recieve regular US checks you can usually set something up with your bank so you don't have to wait 6 weeks for them to clear. Some banks will just clear it anyway and some don't.

    It's worth bearing in mind the UK £7 cap. US Amazon doesn't cap earnings so if you're planning on promoting high-priced products you may have to go with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author cooler1
    How much usually is the fee which banks charge to cash the cheques? Also, is it a set fee which is the same regardless what the amount of the cheque is?

    The £7 cap sounds awful, is there any chance of US Amazon going down this same route?
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    • Profile picture of the author merlincat
      Hi,

      I'm having this issue myself and trying to decide the way forward.

      I suppose it would be possible to display the uk and .com amazon buttons, but then you have to consider the text links...

      The plugin is a great idea, but concerned that it may not work that well.
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      • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
        Thanks for all the great responses.

        Originally Posted by merlincat View Post

        Hi,

        I'm having this issue myself and trying to decide the way forward.

        I suppose it would be possible to display the uk and .com amazon buttons, but then you have to consider the text links...

        The plugin is a great idea, but concerned that it may not work that well.
        I actually have the Link Localizer plugin installed, it's not bad. Definately worth a go. If the product isn't available on one brach of amazon, it simply wont become an active link for that visitors location.
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        • Profile picture of the author merlincat
          Does the link localizer work on all amazon links, as I have widgets etc I presume they will be ok. However I also use a simple text link that I add the product ASIN into.

          Does anyone have experience using that?

          I suppose you would have to use a generic buy now button as well, to stop confusion over what the customer was clicking on.
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  • Profile picture of the author aspiepower
    I've never really been into Amazon... it's all too much for the stuff I do. I've got a US Amazon account for hubpages, I'm nowhere near a payout though.

    Amazon's just too hard, cookies are too short, different country affiliate programs make it too cumbersome.

    I'm sure some people make a lot of money from it, if they devote their life to some miracle niche that really eats up books/gadgets/whatever, but it's not for me.

    Cashing a US$ check at my bank cost £8 last time I did it (back in the days when Clickbank used to send checks). Glad they moved to Paypal as that's only $2.50, and so I tend to set that one at just $250 to pay out.
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  • Profile picture of the author nzmegs
    Thanks for asking this question. I was wondering myself. I am a member of both affiliate programs, but currently only have UK Amazon ads on my site. My site is a .co.uk one, but most of my readers are currently US based. I am wanting my site to be more aimed at a UK audience as obviously that is where my specialities lie, but the US audience is hard to ignore due to the size.

    I have thought about having two different ads, but it might all look too cluttered. it is just a matter to waiting to see.it would also be confusing.

    Bear in mind that the commission rate seems higher with the US version too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

    Is it worth the trouble of promoting products from the US amazon, if you are based in the UK?
    Yes.

    Almost as worthwhile as if you live in the US. Your own location is relevant only to how you have to process the payments you earn. Other than that you're not disadvantaged compared with anyone living in the US. Why would you be? The internet is international ...

    Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

    Cashing a US$ check/cheque here in the UK seems a little pricey, plus I believe it can take weeks to clear.
    Most high street banks will effectively "clear" it in a week, now. They're doing that by using the paying-in-day's rate for the transaction, charging you a few pounds for the facility, and effectively "lending" you the money until it actually clears, but you're still liable later, if it bounces.

    Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

    Should I just stick to UK amazon? Can you still make decent money from amazon.co.uk?
    Not really. There's a commission-per-item ceiling on UK Amazon which makes it not worth bothering (for me, anyway).
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    • Profile picture of the author FredJones
      Why should it matter where you are from? I work from India - but when it comes to Amazon do I promote Indian products and not US ones?

      No, not on your life.

      If you are not leveraging the globe then why are you trying to sell online?

      I mean, if diamonds sell well in Ukraine I would sell diamonds in Ukraine sitting in India and if Commussion Junction based stores do well in Argentina then I would see such items in Argentina again sitting in India.

      Why would I care where I am selling as long as I am selling well and getting paid well for it?
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      • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
        Originally Posted by FredJones View Post

        Why should it matter where you are from?

        Why should it matter where you are from? I work from India - but when it comes to Amazon do I promote Indian products and not US ones?

        No, not on your life.

        If you are not leveraging the globe then why are you trying to sell online?

        I mean, if diamonds sell well in Ukraine I would sell diamonds in Ukraine sitting in India and if Commussion Junction based stores do well in Argentina then I would see such items in Argentina again sitting in India.

        Why would I care where I am selling as long as I am selling well and getting paid well for it?
        Where I am from wasn't really my issue as such, that kind of got thrown in there halfway through the thread.

        I was more concerned about bank charges for cashing US checks, delays in clearing US checks, and whether concentrating more on amazon.co.uk (which would offer me direct payment into my bank account) could possibly be a more sensible option. Judging by the majority of comments here, it doesn't look like it is, I will carry on focusing on Amazon.com.
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        • Profile picture of the author FredJones
          Focus on both.

          You know, being from India, how does it work for me? First, the check is released after 2 months from Amazon (which is the case everywhere I believe, should not be something to do with me).

          Then, the check is posted. It arrives after a few weeks/1 month.

          Indian postal/courier services are awesome. On two occassions my check had got lost in post. A re-issue often takes 2 more months. That bring it up to 5 months from the month of payment. Surprisingly, both the times I have received my lost check when reposted. I keep praying it does not get lost on every payment cycle.

          And then finally, the encashment takes 21 working days (read, one more month).

          So, it is an epic journey from the start to the end. And yet, I don't suppose if you are selling physical items you can ignore Amazon. And also, if you are selling as an affiliate there should be no reason to mention "if you are in the US click here and if you are in UK click there", or to set up an IP address detector and auto-divert your traffic (I have never tried this though, but could be done in theory with a little bit of programming).

          Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

          Where I am from wasn't really my issue as such, that kind of got thrown in there halfway through the thread.

          I was more concerned about bank charges for cashing US checks, delays in clearing US checks, and whether concentrating more on amazon.co.uk (which would offer me direct payment into my bank account) could possibly be a more sensible option. Judging by the majority of comments here, it doesn't look like it is, I will carry on focusing on Amazon.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author lloydh
    I am uk based but much prefer the us amazon due to the difference in possible earnings from the size of the market and the commissions.

    It takes the same to rank for a product that has demand in the US as it does in the UK in my experience and the possible sales opportunity is many times that of the uk.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Johns
    For me the Amazon.com program is far better than the UK one. There is a cap of £7 on anything you sell in the UK which is frustrating. I sold several £1000 televisions and got paid £7 per sale. If that had been Amazon.com it'd have been 4%, i.e. $40. I don't really bother with Amazon.co.uk now directly - I use my plugin to show UK visitors UK ads but apart from that I'm not setting up any UK sites.

    Cashing a USD cheque in the UK is no trouble. I take mine into Lloyds every month and it clears the next day and costs me around £7 or £8 to cash. The hardest part is getting the muppet behind the counter to fill in the form right, but after a couple of visits they get used to doing it.

    I personally use the plugin in my signature to show relevant adverts to different countries. I've found it to be quite effective. I tend to show Amazon ads to UK, US, De and Jp and then everyone else gets Adsense - I figure most people outside the USA aren't going to pay Amazon shipping.

    To me it is a global market place and if I'm not showing people relevant ads I am wasting as much as 40-50% of my traffic - check your stats and see how much is non-USA traffic. Whilst the UK market isn't as lucrative as the USA market, if I can tap it without extra work I will do so.

    If you are in the UK then the US Amazon program is far more profitable and you get paid a lot more for your work. The USA market seems a lot happier to buy online than the UK market, but I guess that means there's a lot of potential for growth in the UK Amazon niche site market.

    Cheers

    Jason
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Jason Johns View Post

      The hardest part is getting the muppet behind the counter to fill in the form right, but after a couple of visits they get used to doing it.
      Exactly so ... and without having a dollar account, you can't pay them in by post, because you have to "sign a thingy while you're there". You can hand them in, go for a coffee and arrange to go back 15/20 minutes later, after they've done the paperwork, though. :rolleyes:
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Johns
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Exactly so ... and without having a dollar account, you can't pay them in by post, because you have to "sign a thingy while you're there". You can hand them in, go for a coffee and arrange to go back 15/20 minutes later, after they've done the paperwork, though. :rolleyes:
        One they get to know the process it's not too bad - it's just the initial training, some staff members haven't heard of the form as they obviously don't see too many USD cheques. It is frustrating that you have to go in to a branch, but I like the fact that with Lloyds Amazon / Clickbank cheques are cleared in to your account the next day which is nice.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ruth P
          Originally Posted by Jason Johns View Post

          I like the fact that with Lloyds Amazon / Clickbank cheques are cleared in to your account the next day which is nice.
          That is nice. When I asked Natwest about it they said it would take 28 days or longer!! So I didn't use them, they may have changed that by now.
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          • Profile picture of the author ChrisMcDonald
            Originally Posted by Ruth P View Post

            That is nice. When I asked Natwest about it they said it would take 28 days or longer!! So I didn't use them, they may have changed that by now.
            28 days? Are you serious? Wow, that's impressive! Mind you, that doesn't really surprise me at all. It seems like banks are out to make as much money as possible these days, especially seeing as Nat West have lost so much!

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      • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Exactly so ... and without having a dollar account, you can't pay them in by post, because you have to "sign a thingy while you're there". You can hand them in, go for a coffee and arrange to go back 15/20 minutes later, after they've done the paperwork, though. :rolleyes:
        It's worse when there are perceivably two "banks" on the cheque, too (Clickbank.com and Wells Fargo bank - both in Idaho - in the case of Clickbank?), and the clerk has no friggin' idea which one to specify as the drawer and the drawer's bank, doesn't bother to ask you, and gets them mixed up.

        Happened to me multiple times (not with Clickbank). My guess is that whoever they sent the cheques to (they always sealed them in a pre-addressed envelope), in whatever branch/office, was slightly more clued up, because they always cleared all right either way.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          They've been saying for centuries, in France, that banks are categorically not to be trusted and will always find a way to screw up ... (and according to most of the world economy, it looks like they were right ).

          I use Santander (formerly Abbey) for my current account, and they "clear" US$ cheques in a few days.
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          • Profile picture of the author jmwhooper
            Wow, one of my Clickbank cheques took 6 weeks to clear with Barclays, they filled in the wrong form!
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          • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            They've been saying for centuries, in France, that banks are categorically not to be trusted
            Funny ... I always thought the same about the Fre-- ... just kidding, probably shouldn't say that.

            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            I use Santander (formerly Abbey) for my current account, and they "clear" US$ cheques in a few days.
            I use Santander ("formerly Abbey" ) for my business account too (on your recommendation, actually! ) and they've been much better than Halifax (personal account) for foreign cheques, so far.

            Anyway, yes: promoting Amazon US as a UK affiliate is very worthwhile. I do that. Go for it.

            However, I'm not against Amazon UK, either. I make some decent money through them also, even with the commissions cap. Admittedly, I don't go out of my way to promote them exclusively. Most of the sites promoting Amazon UK products are also promoting the same (or a similar) product on Amazon US, and vice-versa (why restrict yourself to just one Associates program if it means missing out on commissions?? :confused, or were sites I initially rigged up for AdSense but that turned out, after testing, to earn more through Amazon and were made up largely of UK traffic.

            Nighty night.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hamida Harland
    Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

    Hi

    Is it worth the trouble of promoting products from the US amazon, if you are based in the UK?

    Cashing a US$ check/cheque here in the UK seems a little pricey, plus I believe it can take weeks to clear.

    Should I just stick to UK amazon? Can you still make decent money from amazon.co.uk?

    thanks
    It's better to promote Amazon US because there are more products, more reviews and more traffic. Plus Amazon UK commissions are capped - Amazon US commissions aren't.

    Depending on your bank, cashing a cheque shouldn't cost more than £5 and most banks will give you access to the funds straight away.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pauline60
    I have no trouble with paying US dollar cheques from Amazon or Clickank into my UK bank account, I just pay them in as I would any other cheque. It takes a bit longer to clear but not much. Charge is usually about 12 quid. The machines wont take them but the counter staff have no problem. I'm with HSBC. If you wait till your cheque is at least $600 then the charge is not really very much. Just look at it as one of your business costs.
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  • Profile picture of the author stripsyndication
    I use the US version - but I put the UK version below the main image advert as a text advert.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Oxby
    I live in Canada promote Amazon US. I place links for the same/similar products for Canada and UK markets in the sidebar using Widget Locationizer plugin (free) so they are targeted to the correct post.

    Today for example I had sales for Amazon US and UK off same niche site. UK Sales are smaller but it all adds up.
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