How to become an Amazon affiliate and what qualifications you need.
As a supplement to their primary revenue streams, many businesses are adding affiliate programs to their marketing mix. In response to this demand, there has been a flood of new companies offering training and certification in becoming an Amazon affiliate. The demand for these programs is likely the result of the fact that becoming an Amazon affiliate is not particularly easy.
To become an Amazon affiliate, you must register as an Amazon vendor and meet their requirements regarding products sold, quality control and inventory tracking systems, etc.
For some businesses—especially those with unique products or services targeting an audience interested in e-commerce—becoming an Amazon affiliate may be a helpful addition to your marketing arsenal. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in pursuing, here’s what you need to know about becoming an Amazon affiliate:
How to become an Amazon affiliate
If you’re not already an Amazon seller, you first have to register as a seller with Amazon. You can do so by visiting Amazon’s marketplace and clicking “Become a seller.”
Amazon requires that you’re selling a product with a fixed price, and that you aren’t selling a service or digital product. Amazon also has product restrictions, so make sure your product isn’t prohibited.
You must also have a U.S. bank account, be willing to sign a contract with Amazon, and meet the following criteria:
- Your product must be in stock and ready to ship.
- You must sign a contract with Amazon that lasts at least one year.
- You must meet Amazon’s product quality standards and pass a product inspection.
Amazon’s requirements to become an affiliate
Becoming an Amazon affiliate is a two-step process: first, you must become a registered Amazon affiliate, and then you must apply to become an Amazon affiliate for a specific product.
To become a registered Amazon affiliate, you’ll need to sign on as a vendor using Amazon’s Vendor Central platform. You must also submit product information to Amazon and hope it meets their approval. If it doesn’t, you can expect to receive a rejection notice, although Amazon doesn’t make clear what factors they’re considering.
Amazon requires that you have at least $5,000 in net sales from a product before you can apply to become an affiliate for that product. As part of your application, you must provide a website URL for Amazon to review.
The benefits of becoming an Amazon affiliate
When your application to become an Amazon affiliate for a specific product is accepted, you can add a special Amazon affiliate link to your site, which will generate a commission for you each time a customer uses that link to make a purchase from Amazon.
Amazon pays affiliates quarterly, so there’s no need to wait for your payment. You can track your commissions and see the amount of money you’ve earned via the “Associates” section of your Amazon Seller Central account.
The amount you earn as an affiliate varies widely. It’s likely to be less than what you’d earn with a conventional affiliate marketing program, given that Amazon’s commissions are capped at $100 per sale.
The cost of becoming an Amazon affiliate
Amazon doesn’t charge a fee to become an affiliate. But you will have to pay a fee if you want to become an Amazon Seller. Each Amazon Marketplace has a different fee structure. For example, Amazon’s fee for U.S. sellers is $39.99 per month.
Keep in mind that Amazon charges fees to sellers, including a monthly fee and a fee for the sales you make. Amazon also takes a cut of your profits. There are other charges and fees associated with being an Amazon seller, so make sure you understand the total cost of being an Amazon seller before you get started.
The downsides of becoming an Amazon affiliate
Amazon’s marketplace is a crowded space dominated by a few very large players. If you’re trying to promote a product that offers a degree of competition, using an Amazon affiliate link might not be the best strategy.
Another potential downside of using Amazon’s affiliate program is that you’re tying your marketing efforts to Amazon’s product offerings. If the traffic Amazon drives to your website or social media pages results in sales, but those customers are then making purchases on Amazon, you’re not earning a commission.
If you’re looking to diversify your marketing channels, becoming an Amazon affiliate might be a great choice. The marketplace offers plenty of potential customers who are probably already familiar with the platform, which could translate into low marketing costs for you.
Before you get started, though, make sure you understand Amazon’s product restrictions and criteria for becoming an affiliate. And remember that the amount you earn from Amazon affiliates will vary due to competition, product demand, and other factors.