If you don’t already have your own domain name and are relying solely on commissions from your Amazon affiliate links to earn a living, you were just dealt a huge blow.
Purchases of furniture and home improvement products were dropped drastically from 8% to 3%, and affiliate commission for grocery products has fell to a paltry 1% from 5%.
Without warning, this is what Amazon sent to their loyal affiliates:
We hope you are staying well during this time. We are writing to inform you of upcoming changes to the Amazon Associates Program Operating Agreement, which governs your participation in the Amazon Associates Program. All changes are effective as of April 21, 2020.
Visit the What’s Changed page to see a summary of these changes. You can also find the Operating Agreement, Program Policies, and the Fee Statement if you would like to refer to the current, pre-change versions.
The Amazon Associates Program
Here is a screenshot of the Amazon affiliate payout:
The affiliate rates for these categories remain unchanged:
Luxury Beauty, Amazon Coins
Digital Music, Physical Music, Handmade, Digital Videos
Physical Books, Kitchen, Automotive
Amazon Fire Tablet Devices, Amazon Kindle Devices, Amazon Fashion Women’s, Men’s & Kids Private Label, Apparel, Amazon Cloud Cam Devices, Fire TV Edition Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV Devices, Amazon Echo Devices, Ring Devices, Watches, Jewelry, Luggage, Shoes, and Handbags & Accessories
PC, PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray
Televisions, Digital Video Games
Physical Video Games & Video Game Consoles
This puts an exclamation mark on exactly why you should self-host whatever it is you are selling, and not rely on an affiliate program’s “policy” that is “subject to change without notice”, because it will. If you don’t have one already, invest in a good domain name today. Now, more than ever, you can see why it’s so important to own your own domain name and platform. Affiliate marketers that relied heavily on making a living with Amazon and were already hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic, well, that wound just got a lot deeper.