Technology Business & Finance

Amazon Affiliate Commission cuts – How will this affect Affiliate marketers and Website Owners?

Amazon Affiliate Commission cuts have come as a huge shocker for the blogging community and website owners across the world have been finding options to address the serious issue. Let us analyse the situation.

April 14, 2020 – that was the date that Amazon made its affiliate marketers go into a shock mode. The E-Commerce giant announced massive cuts in the commission it pays to the affiliate marketers – the cut in sales that it pays to the websites for promoting their products on their sites. The current Amazon Affiliate Commission cuts have been quite drastic and have irked most of the associates who are now looking for the alternatives.

Amazon Affiliate has been one of the best earning options for the website owners. Of course, it has been on the lower end due to a set of reasons – they had a cache period of just 24 hours, and now with the lowered commission rates – what future awaits the affiliate marketers?

Not that the marketers do not have any other option, but it remains a fact that Amazon is seen as a reliable option for most of its users. It has a whopping 39 per cent market share among all the E-Commerce players.

Amazon Associates

Well, Amazon Associates program was one of the best options for the website owners to earn a decent income after Google AdSense. If you had a blog, it was considered to be one of the great options for making some money by referring the products on Amazon that you have used and want to recommend to your readers. These commissions ranged from 4 per cent to 10 per cent.

However, all hell broke loose on April 14 when Amazon sent an email to all its affiliates an email with the information that they would be reducing the commission rates quite drastically. For instance, products such as furniture and Home improvement products will now fetch a commission as low as just 3 per cent from 8 per cent where it stood before. 

The largest E-Com service provider globally, Amazon sent out an email to its Amazon Associates with its intention of changing the commission rates with effect from April 21, 2020. There was no reason indicated for the Amazon Affiliate Commission cuts.


The drastic rate cut has not gone down well with the Affiliate partners. Most of them vented their frustration through several online forums. Reddit had one of the users commenting that  “These slashes are ridiculous. Together with a high chance of upcoming recession, SEO/affiliate outlook is pretty gloomy, to be honest.”

Why did Amazon decide to opt for Amazon Affiliate Commission cuts?

Well, the most possible explanation could be the havoc being created by Coronavirus Pandemic. However, we are given to understand that it could well be a regular business decision. Of course, the effect of Coronavirus pandemic cannot be ruled out. Amazon did not specify any reason as such.

It is quite evident that the rate cuts were announced for the products that were much in demand during the COVID-19 buying trends. Some of the products are witnessing an unprecedented demand, and this could be one of the reasons that Amazon has opted for the severe rate cuts.

However, many of the affiliate associates have been treating this decision as a selfish behaviour on the part of Amazon. Amazon seemingly does not find any reason to pay for commission for getting traffic when they have been getting enough traffic and demand that they perhaps are unable to handle.

The following categories appear to remain unaffected from the planned Amazon Affiliate Commission cuts, though we are not sure –

Category of Products Commision Rate
Luxury Beauty, Amazon Coins 10%
Digital Music, Physical Music, Handmade, Digital Videos 5%
Physical Books, Kitchen, Automotive 4.5%
Amazon Fire Tablet Devices, Amazon Kindle Devices 4%
Amazon Fashion Women’s, Men’s & Kids Private Label, Apparel 4%
Amazon Cloud Cam Devices, Fire TV Edition Smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV Devices, Amazon Echo Devices, Ring Devices 4%
Watches, Jewelry, Luggage, Shoes, and Handbags & Accessories 4%
Toys 3%
PC, PC Components, DVD & Blu-Ray 2.5%
Televisions, Digital Video Games 2%
Physical Video Games & Video Game Consoles 1%
Check out these commission rates that remain unchanged!

The Takeaway

Well, some categories can fetch you the same money that remains unchanged. But, what about the blogs that tend to sell the products that have a lowered commission rate? For instance, the blogs that sell skincare products or pet products will face a massive cut in their earning. The blogs and websites that were making around $ 100 a month will now find their earnings plummet to just approximately $30!

We just hope the Amazon Affiliate Commission cuts will be reverted soon. However, as things stand as of now, the decision appears to be permanent in nature. There are a few users on the forums such as Reddit who claimed that the customer service execs that they contacted stated that the changes are permanent.

We would just hope that either something works out between Amazon and its affiliates, or the bloggers find some better alternatives. Until then, perhaps, we may just need to focus on AdSense or any other similar means for earning decent revenue.

About the author

Donna Powell

Donna is a veteran journalist who has immense experience in online journalism and creating stories. On News Bulletins, she manages to write news articles from the Business and Entertainment industry. She does a lot of social services, and help the needy. She loves doing that. She has a masters degree in English literature, and that gives her an edge while writing. Along with writing news articles, she does check every news content before putting them live. She checks each news content, and edit them to make them even more correct, and readable.

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