Amazon Affiliate Program Review 2019: Is It A Scam or Does It Work?

Are you new in affiliate marketing and are also wondering which of the thousands of affiliate marketing networks and programs can really help you make big money online?

For sure you’ve heard of networks like Clickbank, CJ Affiliate, and Amazon Associates. Well, that’s because they are three of the biggest programs out there. And among these three, most experienced affiliates probably prefer Amazon Associates.

Want to know the reason why?

We will find that out in this Amazon Affiliate Program Review!

Oientation to Amazon Affiliate Program

Hi! I am Weliton and as an affiliate marketer of 14 years, I want to help you figure out whether Amazon is the right place to start your affiliate marketing venture.

We will discuss in this blog all of the fundamental details you should know to determine if it will be worth it to sign up with Amazon Associates. It is free but you might be some precious time you could’ve invested on other affiliate marketing activities. We will also look at how it’s better or worse than Clickbank.

So is it a good place to start making money online?


Summary: Amazon Affiliate Program or Amazon Associates is a very popular affiliate program in the present time. Many affiliates are joining Amazon because of its established reputation and its high quality products that it sells online. They give low commissions for sales but they have high conversions, hence, overall, you get a high chance to make massive money with Amazon.

Product Name: Amazon Associates
Founder: Amazon
Product Type: affiliate marketing program
Price: Free sign up
Rating: 85/100
Best For: Newbie affiliate marketers who want to promote quality products to gain the trust of their readers.

Amazon Associates - what to expect

Recommendation: I recommend using Amazon Associates to newbies who are looking for a legit program to join to and where they can be sure to make money by promoting high quality products. But if you want to earn high commissions on your first shot, this is not for you.


Amazon is currently the most popular e-commerce site in the entire world. It has a strict set of rules on who they accept to sell in their platform which is their biggest advantage over Clickbank.

Having these strict rules as well as its meticulous process of approving seller accounts can ensure that they sell only extremely high quality products. And for an affiliate marketer this is a good thing.


You will win the trust of your audience when you guide them to a good buy. They will then build the habit of checking your site and content or tips on what to buy for their certain needs. And this means bigger commission for you.

The associate (affiliate) program of Amazon is now widely used by a lot of affiliate marketers and can convert quite well if you know how to market properly. As long as you live within an approved state or country, you can start making money online using the program right away! And for FREE!

I’ve used many affiliate programs in the past and in my experience, Amazon, indeed, has a relatively high conversion rate compared to other affiliate programs. Sure, their commission can be low but think about the millions of people coming to Amazon to shop online.

Compared to other programs which can offer up to 20% or 75% (yes this is a legit value) commission, Amazon only offers 4-8% range. But when you add up all the commissions from the millions of buyers, worldwide, you’d make a pretty good income too!

Clickbank does have tons of items they sell too, but like I said in my Clickbank Review, it doesn’t filter what it sells. Many complaints were raised about low class products delivered to them. With Amazon, this is a very rare case.

Many get frustrated and shift to other sites with tempting offers. And let’s be honest. If I were asked to choose between 4% commission and 75%, I will, without event thinking or asking if it’s legit or not, accept the higher rate – because I want to make big money and I want it fast!

But keep in mind your conversion rate is an extremely important aspect to your affiliate campaigns. And yes, your personal campaign will have a high impact on your conversion rate. But did you know the actual program you’re promoting also has a huge impact as well?

If you’re promoting through a little known sales outlet, people are going to be less likely to actually  buy, and not many companies have a conversion funnel as powerful as Amazon’s.

Besides, the average commission rate largely depends upon your niche and the products that you’re promoting. It really comes down to what you’re selling.

Remember, for many people in the world, online shopping is a big risk. They need to be sure that the site they are buying from is legit before they really click on those buy buttons. With Amazon’s reputation, there’s no thinking twice. They buy immediately what they want or what they need. And as an affiliate, this means sure commission.


Like any other affiliate programs, you have to sign up as an affiliate at Amazon Associates for you to start making money. Choose a niche you want to work on, set up a website, write contents to promote products with your link, and wait for sales conversion. As simple as that.

But here are important things to keep in mind:

The first thing you need to make sure you do before you try joining Amazon’s program is to have a relevant website. Amazon requires a website for their application process. My recommended affiliate marketing training will help you set up with a website if you don’t already have one.

On your website, you have to include  page with a privacy policy or disclosure about being Amazon’s affiliate. If you have this, you shouldn’t have an issue with getting in the program.

Make sure you are adhering to their terms and conditions to avoid being denied. Most of those who were not accepted by Amazon in their program are those who violated their agreement (websites with sexually explicit material, violence, discrimination, or ones that promote illegal activities) or because your website isn’t developed enough yet.

But the good news is you can always reapply after you’ve tweaked or added more content to your site. They welcome applicants to reapply at any time, so not getting in on the first attempt isn’t the end of the world.


You can definitely make money using Amazon’s program, but the amount of income you make is going to be highly variable. There are right and wrong ways to market online; posting Amazon’s affiliate links around your website and social media isn’t going to be enough to make money. Sure, you may get lucky and get the odd sale here and there  – but if you’re not providing value to your readers, there’s no reason for people to buy from your link.

Another huge chunk of the equation is the types of products you are selling from Amazon. Their commission rates are generally lower than average, so if you’re promoting a $5.00 product at 4% base commission, that’s only 20 cents per sale! You’d have to make a lot of sales to even earn anything worth while, and it probably isn’t worth it.

The key is to promote higher priced items – ones that earn you at least $4 or $5 a sale, but preferrably above $15. Keep in mind the more you can make per sale, the less sales you have to make to earn money; which ultimately comes down to less work for you.

Amazon isn’t a “way” to make money online, but it’s a tool you can leverage to help you out with the battle.  The program only will “work” for you if you put in the effort to make it work. It takes proper training and guidance to get started no matter what affiliate program you’re using.

Amazon Commission Structure

Amazon has two different commission structures for their affiliate program – volume based rates and fixed rates. For certain product categories, the commission rate you receive will remain constant, whereas for their general products your commission rate can increase up to 8.5%, depending on how much you sell.

It’s important to note the rate for volume based product commission resets at the beginning of each month.

For example, you’re promoting something expensive like a phone or tablet. which costs around $400-$500. Amazon has a fixed commission rate of 4% for electronics.

500 x 4% = 20

Even at just 4%, you’re still earning $20 per sale. What if you were able to make many sales per day? It’s easy to see that $20 would add up pretty quickly! And for your information, 4% is quite high commission for electronics. Most affiliate programs within the niche like Apple are much lower, starting at only 1  – 3 %!

Obviously, if you’re promoting things that aren’t so expensive you’d have to sell many more to add up, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.


It’s a very reputable and trusted brand

Let’s face it, who hasn’t heard of Amazon? They’re the #1 E-commerce site in the world – millions of people buy from them every single day. This is good news because it means there’s already an existing trust factor between your customer and the brand. Most likely your audience has purchased something from in the past, so they would be less hesitant to buy from them again and you’re more likely to make a sale.

You can promote virtually anything

What can’t you buy on Amazon?

Amazon has an amazing sales funnel that’s proven to convert well

For example, let’s say you’re interested in buying this camera…

They’ll provide you with everything you need to know – lots of pictures, product information, customer reviews. They even show you related products and accessories that you may not have thought about, but would be more likely to consider buying now that it’s displayed in front of you!

Oh yes, thank you Amazon. I would like that lovely pink case to go with my cute pink camera…

People find product reviews very helpful and they definitely increase sales (assuming they’re positive).

You get commissions for ANYTHING the customer buys if they land on Amazon via your affiliate link


Even a marketing giant has a few drawbacks while dealing with its affiliate program, including:

Low affiliate commission

Starting from 4%, Amazon’s affiliate commission rates go up to 10% and that’s it.

Comparing with other affiliate networks, Amazon pays the modest rate. Other companies pay higher commission rates where marketers could earn more money,

For a particular niche, people often prefer the affiliates that come with bigger commission rates. Amazon doesn’t seem to follow the industry standard while they’re paying the affiliate commission.

Despite that, it’s also true that none of the other programs have the equal power with Amazon. And, talking about reach – Amazon is a monster!

Cookies last for a shorter period

People come visit your blog. After reading out the post, they follow through your affiliate links and buy immediately. Well, in real life, it might not happen always.

Sometimes people will visit but won’t buy instantly. For those folks, Amazon will remember the cookie for 24 hours long. Well, that’s not long enough if we make a comparison with other affiliate companies.

You already knew from the pros segment that you have 90 days to get a commission if your customers visit your links and add anything to the cart. The opposite scenario is you get only 24 hours if they miss out to add the item to the cart.

Most of the other affiliate networks allow 30-day-minimum cookie settings while Amazon doesn’t seem to follow the rules.

No Payment Option for PayPal

While PayPal figuratively controls the online payment system, Amazon still doesn’t allow this popular option. To pay their affiliate they exclude the PayPal although many of their affiliate partners could really get benefit from it.

Whatever the reason, marketers suffer from this especially the ones who live outside the U.S.


No. While there are some people who complain and have had issues with Amazon Associates, by far most feedback I hear and from my personal experiences have been fantastic.

There are many perks for using Amazon as an affiliate marketer.  Many of which I have mentioned above in this blog post.  If you are new to affiliate marketing I would strongly suggest you start with Amazon.  They are easy to sign up for and don’t have many website requirements that other online retailers have.

BUT beware of SCAMS from people claiming to work with Amazon!

If you found this page because you’ve been contacted by a sales rep to become an Amazon Associate for a fee, do not register. Those people are scam artists and do NOT work for Amazon.

The program do not have sales representatives!


And finally, we go down to this face-off

The majority of blogs that are considering monetization usually look towards these two programs, or running ads through Adsense. But joining an affiliate program is the usually the simplest route because ads slow down your site, reduce user experience and you need a ton of traffic to  make it worth while.

So most of the times, it comes down to Amazon vs Clickbank.

So how are they different?

Fee Structures

Amazon itself is the affiliate program so they have a defined fee structure. This means that your commission is determined by the category for which the product purchased is within.

Clickbank, on the other hand, is an affiliate network which takes care of vendors’ affiliate programs. This means that all of the products on Clickbank have various commission structures. Vendors can choose to give between 1-75%.

Clickbank vendors are also allowed to choose commission tiers, which means that affiliates can actually raise their own affiliate commissions by hitting certain milestones or having a special relationship with the vendor.

Affiliates could say you have the best advantage for this. This doesn’t mean much when you’re starting out, but it’s food for thought in the future.

Payout Schedules

Clickbank comes out swinging with payment schedules. Their weekly or bi-weekly payment options are hard for anyone to match.

Even though, you’re only able to take advantage of weekly payments through direct deposit and although there’s a sale minimum of at least 5 sales initially – this is pretty good.

Another factor with payment thresholds is that you need a minimum is $10 before getting paid. But it’s almost not relevant because if you hit 5 sales then your commissions would likely be over $10 minimum since the commission rates are bigger per sale on Clickbank.

Each Clickbank payment also has an “allowance” deducted, which means that they hold a certain amount of your commissions in order to combat refunds. This is usually 10% because all Clickbank products have a 60 day money back guarantee.

Amazon, on the other hand, pays monthly through various ways but the most common are direct deposit or check. The downfall with their payout schedule is that they don’t pay you until 60 days after the product has been shipped.

But this also means that they don’t normally hold any allowances for refunds since the refund dates are well in the past. If you choose to be paid by direct deposit, there’s a payment threshold of $10 before Amazon will pay you. For checks, the threshold is $100.

Who Converts More Customers

The answer is obvious.  Amazon’s conversion rates are significantly higher than the majority of Clickbank products.

Amazon is a household name and this brings an invariable trust from customers. It is the king of online shops.

Absolutely no one hesitates to buy from Amazon, but they certainly do when presented with Clickbank’s checkout process.

So these are the major differences of these two big affiliate marketing programs. Both are legit and they work well. They have their own pros and cons, it is just up to you to choose what will best suit your needs.

If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing to help you decide on which affiliate program to enrol to, then register to my recommended affiliate training program – Wealthy Affiliate – and we’ll show you around the world of affiliate marketing.

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