Getting past the 4% amazon commission

by tdj
29 replies
I have a few Amazon sites that do make some money. However my problem is getting past the 4% commission and selling enough items to get the higher commission. Anyone have any ideas on how the best way would be to do this? My latest was sales: $4,411.41 commission: $191.22

A lot of these sales were unrelated items. Probably close to 70%. They get to my website and click over to Amazon and end up browsing and buying a lot of different items unrelated to my sites.

Thanks

Todd
#amazon #commission #past
  • Profile picture of the author RonnyRaygun
    Affiliate Every Link on the Web with VigLink

    There are websites out there that aggregate commissions from Amazon. You'll need to work out how your numbers work against the higher commission level minus the fee that Viglink takes from the amazon commissions. But for 90% of affiliates, they'll come out ahead anyway.
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  • More traffic > More Sales > High Commissions. You don't need much to go past the 4% commission rate. You need more traffic, or to look at your conversion rate? What is it? Why are the majority of people ending up buying unrelated items? Are you putting them off a certain product after visiting your site? Do they just click the Amazon link to leave your site asap and perhaps get sucked in by the selling machine that is Amazon, rather than any effort on your part?

    Different stats will lead to different questions and answers. Can't really answer your question much here other than to give you generic answers like: Increase the traffic you send to Amazon, or Improve your reviews so more of the visits include related purchases etc..
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    • Profile picture of the author tdj
      Originally Posted by Jason Perez O'Connor View Post

      More traffic > More Sales > High Commissions. You don't need much to go past the 4% commission rate. You need more traffic, or to look at your conversion rate? What is it? Why are the majority of people ending up buying unrelated items? Are you putting them off a certain product after visiting your site? Do they just click the Amazon link to leave your site asap and perhaps get sucked in by the selling machine that is Amazon, rather than any effort on your part?

      Different stats will lead to different questions and answers. Can't really answer your question much here other than to give you generic answers like: Increase the traffic you send to Amazon, or Improve your reviews so more of the visits include related purchases etc..
      My conversion is at 3.7%. Most people are clicking on the text link embedded in my content. I think it is common for people to buy unrelated items. My sites are similar in design but one site is actually selling and converting items from my site. I think it depends on product and pricing. I mean i can buy a dishwasher for cheaper at Amazon than I can locally. I just have to decide if I can live without the after sale service. Also one of my sites sells cheap items under $15 but can be bought locally for just a bit more without having to worry about shipping, etc. They are interested in these items but figure that its easier to buy locally and not much more expensive and end up shopping for other items on Amazon.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by tdj View Post

        My conversion is at 3.7%.
        Apologies if I sound negative, and I know it depends a little on exactly how you measure it, but this does sound terribly low?

        Originally Posted by tdj View Post

        Also one of my sites sells cheap items under $15 but can be bought locally for just a bit more without having to worry about shipping, etc. They are interested in these items but figure that its easier to buy locally
        Maybe. (How do you know this?).

        On my gifts/novelties site, it's all stuff they can't buy locally.

        On my books/CD's site it's often stuff with cheaper prices than local ones (though books and CD's are so cheap anyway that I don't think the prices are that relevant, myself).
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        • Profile picture of the author tdj
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          Apologies if I sound negative, and I know it depends a little on exactly how you measure it, but this does sound terribly low?



          Maybe. (How do you know this?).

          On my gifts/novelties site, it's all stuff they can't buy locally.

          On my books/CD's site it's often stuff with cheaper prices than local ones (though books and CD's are so cheap anyway that I don't think the prices are that relevant, myself).
          I know it is low. I am getting them to amazon which is a good deal because they can sell. Maybe its just the niches I am targeting. What is your conversion rate and is that typical? What type of conversion should I expect on the conservative side?
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        • Profile picture of the author kaposzta
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          Apologies if I sound negative, and I know it depends a little on exactly how you measure it, but this does sound terribly low?



          Maybe. (How do you know this?).

          On my gifts/novelties site, it's all stuff they can't buy locally.

          On my books/CD's site it's often stuff with cheaper prices than local ones (though books and CD's are so cheap anyway that I don't think the prices are that relevant, myself).

          A 3.7% conversion rate is not bad at all. Mine is about 3%, and I'm quite happy with it. With a 3.7% conversion rate I would have +25% earnings!
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          • Originally Posted by kaposzta View Post

            A 3.7% conversion rate is not bad at all. Mine is about 3%, and I'm quite happy with it. With a 3.7% conversion rate I would have +25% earnings!
            It's terrible! No other word for it other than for Amazon that's a terrible conversion rate. That's just a little more than what you get with clickbank via e-mail follow-ups. Usually I see your average affiliate get between 7-8%, and they could do better, heck, maybe I could still do better?

            If I sugarcoat it and say, "Yeah that's fine you should be pleased with that", you'd never improved. It's not good and it needs to improve
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            • Profile picture of the author kaposzta
              Originally Posted by Jason Perez O'Connor View Post

              It's terrible! No other word for it other than for Amazon that's a terrible conversion rate. That's just a little more than what you get with clickbank via e-mail follow-ups. Usually I see your average affiliate get between 7-8%, and they could do better, heck, maybe I could still do better?

              If I sugarcoat it and say, "Yeah that's fine you should be pleased with that", you'd never improved. It's not good and it needs to improve
              I'll try to improve my conversion, of course, but my sites have a very high CTR (>50%), so maybe these clicks are not so valuable I guess I should add a couple of low (and/or high) ticket items as well, and this way I could sell stuff for a wider range of potential customers.
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              • Originally Posted by kaposzta View Post

                I'll try to improve my conversion, of course, but my sites have a very high CTR (>50%), so maybe these clicks are not so valuable I guess I should add a couple of low (and/or high) ticket items as well, and this way I could sell stuff for a wider range of potential customers.
                The high click-through rate shouldn't be the problem. My CTR isn't far off your CTR. Do you run an Amazon Wordpress Store or a Review Site?
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      • Originally Posted by tdj View Post

        My conversion is at 3.7%. Most people are clicking on the text link embedded in my content. I think it is common for people to buy unrelated items. My sites are similar in design but one site is actually selling and converting items from my site. I think it depends on product and pricing. I mean i can buy a dishwasher for cheaper at Amazon than I can locally. I just have to decide if I can live without the after sale service. Also one of my sites sells cheap items under $15 but can be bought locally for just a bit more without having to worry about shipping, etc. They are interested in these items but figure that its easier to buy locally and not much more expensive and end up shopping for other items on Amazon.
        you said 70% of items sold are unrelated. That's quite one-side and off in comparison to my stats. Something is amiss. I mostly sell items that I review because that's what they were looking for in the search engine, but my review convinces them that the product they are looking at is the correct one, and if not I also list several others they could choose dependent on what they are after or need it for. In the end I help guide the consumer in choosing the product they were looking at, whether that be the review they landed on or reviews they looked at after. Either way, I mostly sell what I review, because consumers felt comfortable in what they were buying once they hit the Amazon site.

        You can tell this is not the case as you're only achieving 3.7% conversion rate. I hit 10% quite consistently. This might mean the traffic you get just aren't convinced when they hit the product page, but since Amazon are masters at selling, rather than sell nothing, your visitors are finding other things to buy (A small percentage of them).

        You're right it's quite common for people to buy unrelated items, but it has been a much more common occurrence that my visitors buy products related to what I review, or the actual product itself.
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        • Profile picture of the author tdj
          Originally Posted by Jason Perez O'Connor View Post

          you said 70% of items sold are unrelated. That's quite one-side and off in comparison to my stats. Something is amiss. I mostly sell items that I review because that's what they were looking for in the search engine, but my review convinces them that the product they are looking at is the correct one, and if not I also list several others they could choose dependent on what they are after or need it for. In the end I help guide the consumer in choosing the product they were looking at, whether that be the review they landed on or reviews they looked at after. Either way, I mostly sell what I review, because consumers felt comfortable in what they were buying once they hit the Amazon site.

          You can tell this is not the case as you're only achieving 3.7% conversion rate. I hit 10% quite consistently. This might mean the traffic you get just aren't convinced when they hit the product page, but since Amazon are masters at selling, rather than sell nothing, your visitors are finding other things to buy (A small percentage of them).

          You're right it's quite common for people to buy unrelated items, but it has been a much more common occurrence that my visitors buy products related to what I review, or the actual product itself.
          Perhaps I need to redesign my sites to more of a review site. Even though a lot of my links redirect them to a full product page where they can compare and review several similar items. Why do you suppose that way of doing it would not convert? I mean once they get to the amazon products page are they not a the same point they would be if they landed on a site structured like yours would be?
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          • Originally Posted by tdj View Post

            Perhaps I need to redesign my sites to more of a review site. Even though a lot of my links redirect them to a full product page where they can compare and review several similar items. Why do you suppose that way of doing it would not convert? I mean once they get to the amazon products page are they not a the same point they would be if they landed on a site structured like yours would be?
            I don't know what type of site you have, but I can show you what templates work as examples (these are templates I use to use when creating sites and still do for those few sites I still own that make money):

            http://www.standmixerreviews123.com/...-mixer-review/

            And (this one is under maintenance so I could only use the wayback machine). It still shows you the actual review and the format:

            Samsung UN46D6000 46-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LED HDTV (Black) Review | LED TV Reviews

            Unfortunately the actual reviews (the writing) don't live up to the quality I like, but that's a pretty good template to follow. If you struggle on deciding what headings to use in your templates for the features, visit the brand site and look for how-to articles, information or through the online manuals. They'll usually make it pretty obvious as to which specifications/features are the most regarded when looking to buy product "x".

            In terms of the type of site I now run, visit:

            toptenreviews.com and have a browse through their reviews, articles and comparisons. In fact mine are more in-depth and has better features

            Also, Consumerreports.org (These are hard to compete against, since they have in-house testing of actual products and they've developed methods for testing each feature of a product. It's pretty hard to compete with firsthand experience and/or usage, whereas I can only discuss facts and explain why something may be good or not, and what they might need depending on what they want to achieve. Consumerreports can however tell the consumer specifically how the product performs according to specification, how promptly it arrives from retailers, the packaging it comes in and real life photos. I want to reach this when I have the income for it, because not many do it and it's very hard to compete against, plus is more socially viable as opposed to factual reports).

            Reviewed.com, again have a browse through it.

            Consumersearch.com (not as comprehensive but they are still miles better than your usual crappy thin review site)

            Which.co.uk (another good review site with good guides to help when choosing a product)

            The majority of these have the fact that they heavily research each product and write useful reviews, comparisons and articles in common, which is why they do so well. I've got a site well on its way to achieving a similar status.

            However, I know I praise the "Review a wide array of products" business model, but you can review only one type of product and be considered an authority review site, but again there is a cap on the amount you can earn eventually. An example is:

            bestbinocularsreviews.com (Very specialists review site for binoculars, and I'd consider it much more useful for people looking to buy binoculars than the above sites for example, but that doesn't mean the above sites are useless, only that the owner of this site has dedicated his time to writing anything and everything about buying, owning and using binoculars).

            If you're doing a review format, this is the quality you should strive for, or look to beat it as I am.

            That's how you get conversion rates as high as 10-15%, because these reviews explain a lot more than any Amazon product page does, and guides the consumer in purchasing the right product for them, leaving them confident they are making the right choice.
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            • Profile picture of the author tdj
              Hey Jason, thanks for the tips. Do you follow a specific backlinking campaign and what do you do as far SEO and the like. The one drawback I see with review sites is that the products change every year. That's one of the main reasons I just give more general information on my site than get into specific models. I try and let amazon sell whatever the current models are without having to write reviews every year.
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              • Originally Posted by tdj View Post

                Hey Jason, thanks for the tips. Do you follow a specific backlinking campaign and what do you do as far SEO and the like. The one drawback I see with review sites is that the products change every year. That's one of the main reasons I just give more general information on my site than get into specific models. I try and let amazon sell whatever the current models are without having to write reviews every year.
                There's a reason all these review sites target specific models (because they still sell, and they've accrued some form of reputation, either good or bad). Consumers are still wanting to buy them, and they need guidance as to whether they should or not. Sometimes previous models will still rank as the best of that product type years after, for many reasons. For example, Henry the hoover! In my eyes it's still the most reliable and well-known hoover that gets the job done. I still have one and I wouldn't have it any other way.

                I don't backlink. I do however share content and/or leverage traffic on other sites to get visitors to my reviews. Obviously I have to leave links in these places for people to reach my reviews, so the fact they count as a backlink is just a byproduct of what I'm trying to achieve, which is direct traffic.

                I tick many of Google's boxes for what a site needs to have to rank high. Low bounce rate, quick page loading, good internal linking, long site usage (I assume my detailed and long drawn out reviews attribute to this), off-page promotion and I'm still working on social indicators
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by tdj View Post

    my problem is getting past the 4% commission and selling enough items to get the higher commission. Anyone have any ideas on how the best way would be to do this?
    The way I do it is by having a couple of extra little "Amazon-only" sites. One is short book-reviews and CD-reviews; the other is for cheap gifts/novelties. It's all terribly cheap stuff and barely worth doing at all for its own commissions, even with high sales volumes, but as a way of boosting my monthly sales volumes it's tremendous.

    I generate traffic to those sites using some posting on book/music/gift-related sites/blogs/forums, and by enclosing some links to them in the outgoing autoresponder email series in some of the "proper niches" from which I actually make a living. This is stuff that almost any "traffic demographics" will look at, and that works well enough. It's a bit of a nuisance to do it, for so little income in its own right, but it can double my Amazon commissions on the expensive stuff I promote rather more seriously. (I do absolutely no SEO, per se, at all for these two sites: my efforts are always for direct traffic-generation, not for backlink-generation at all). One day soon, when I employ a full-time VA, I'll probably outsource everything about those two silly sites (apart from writing the little book-reviews and CD-reviews) to someone else! :p

    Originally Posted by tdj View Post

    My latest was sales: $4,411.41 commission: $191.22
    Yes ... that is annoying!

    Originally Posted by tdj View Post

    They get to my website and click over to Amazon and end up browsing and buying a lot of different items unrelated to my sites.
    Same here. No way of telling what people are actually going to buy when they get there! :rolleyes: :p
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  • Profile picture of the author himanuzo
    Amazon's commission rate is low. Consider other affiliate programs or affiliate networks then you will find 10% - 15% commissions.

    e.g:
    you made sales $4,411.41, you should get commission at least $440.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by himanuzo View Post

      Amazon's commission rate is low. Consider other affiliate programs or affiliate networks then you will find 10% - 15% commissions.

      e.g:
      you made sales $4,411.41, you should get commission at least $440.
      Amazon's conversion-rates are typically far higher than those of other programs, though. This is the point you seem to be missing. Even 4% commission is better than 15% commission if the conversion-rates are five times as high. It's better to measure income than commission-rates.
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      • Profile picture of the author himanuzo
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Amazon's conversion-rates are typically far higher than those of other programs, though. This is the point you seem to be missing. Even 4% commission is better than 15% commission if the conversion-rates are five times as high. It's better to measure income than commission-rates.
        Yes, you are right. Conversion rate factor is also important. Pay attention both conversion rate and commission rate.
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinfischman
    Amazons commissions are pretty tough. You have to make a ton of sales to make real good money. I use clickbank for my affiliate commissions. You can get up to 75 percent commission and there are some really good converting products on there.

    Hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    Even though the commission percentage is relatively low the conversion rate is high. Consumers have very high confidence and comfort when shopping at Amazon. Also the very wide variety of their products is excellent so it is good that you get lots of unrelated sales. It means their site is working for you. I once had a customer go from my Kindle site to Amazon and they ended up buying a marijuana testing kit!
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Basically, you can buy traffic to get more viewers. Right now I am paying in blog ads six or seven cents per click - yes six or seven. OK so 1.7% is my conversion. That is great for high ticket items, but with 99 cent e-books you lose money. Try to increase your traffic to get more commission. Also, most of my traffic is near nov xmas season. I have little traffic now. Hope that helps you some.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    Originally Posted by tdj View Post

    I have a few Amazon sites that do make some money. However my problem is getting past the 4% commission and selling enough items to get the higher commission. Anyone have any ideas on how the best way would be to do this? My latest was sales: $4,411.41 commission: $191.22

    A lot of these sales were unrelated items. Probably close to 70%. They get to my website and click over to Amazon and end up browsing and buying a lot of different items unrelated to my sites.

    Thanks

    Todd
    Ouch! $4,411.41 of sales and only $191.22 in commission. Are these yearly figures? You would need to make sales of close to $30 to $50K to make it worthwhile. The thing is, Amazon doesn't make its own products so they can't offer commissions any higher otherwise they will be losing money on their affiliates, if they don't already. I suppose Amazon benefits by making some of the customers referred to them by affiliates into long term customers, and that's where they benefit by no longer needing to pay commissions.
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    • Profile picture of the author BudaBrit
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Apologies if I sound negative, and I know it depends a little on exactly how you measure it, but this does sound terribly low?



      Maybe. (How do you know this?).

      On my gifts/novelties site, it's all stuff they can't buy locally.

      On my books/CD's site it's often stuff with cheaper prices than local ones (though books and CD's are so cheap anyway that I don't think the prices are that relevant, myself).
      I'm quoting this post, as this is where I had the "eureka" moment, but thanks to all on here. I just came up with a killer idea!

      I'll add it onto my posts about my first affiliate attempt, which will still go ahead soon.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by Anton543 View Post

      Ouch! $4,411.41 of sales and only $191.22 in commission.
      Why ouch?

      Your payment is $191.22. Comparing, or caring, what the merchant makes is a common logical fallacy. It is irrelevant. If Amazon grossed $400k instead of $4k would you stop promoting the products?

      What - you're going to cut off your own nose and give up $191 because you think someone else makes too much money?

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
        Mix in some lower priced items.

        Also consider items that people buy more than one of such as pillows or chairs.

        For the most part avoid products that people run down to their big box retailer and buy.

        Put analytics on your site like Statcounter and look and see what links people are clicking thru. And if they don't convert - why not.

        Look at your Amazon stats...go to the section where it shows you what products were clicked on with 0 sales. You may find you have broken links or links to products with poor reviews.

        Be sure to make it easy for people to click on a link an buy. Have links throughout your content and make it clear what they are.

        Get people to your site that are at the buying stage by using the right keywords.
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        Pen Name + 8 eBooks + social media sites 4 SALE - PM me (evergreen beauty niche)

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  • Profile picture of the author warbar
    [DELETED]
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  • Profile picture of the author khooster1
    For Amazon, it is worthwhile to promote big ticket items.
    Simply the commission is too low.
    which is why most marketers are using free traffic.

    I will only promote amazon products as a
    complementary monetizing source.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gaz Cooper
    What Lil Black dress said

    I have several low priced product sites one is a toy and the price for these are $7-20 and this is one of my best sites for volume of sales and almost instantly each month I jump to 6.5% within the first 2 days of the start of a month that pushes my commision up for the higher priced products which are a little slower coming in, so the answer is add some accessorie low priced products, for example if its a tv site them HDMI cables etc or start another site targeting lower priced products and you will find over time that will quickly bump your commissions.

    Kickin it on Amazon

    Gaz Cooper
    Amz Training Academy
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    Beginners get Started with AMAZON, we will give you a FREE custom made Amazon Site when you purchase hosting through us contact us at http://authorityzonesupport.com/

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  • Profile picture of the author worldzaki
    Always mix it up with low products price to get higher commission
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamie Lin
    I agree with most of warriors here. Mix it up with low priced item, not just expensive ones. Also, mix with other category as well, don't just stick with electronics. It's the lowest commission rate you will get (fixed at 4%).
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