Amazon Reduces Affiliate Payout on Many Popular Categories Starting April 21

Amazon Fulfillment Center

Amazon notified its affiliates that it will cut the commissions it pays out on completed sales in select categories effective April 21, 2020.

The Amazon Associates program – the official name of its affiliated program is popular with many bloggers and digital markets as an effective way to monetize their content.

Some digital marketers run Facebook groups highlighting deals on Amazon and other inject links into the content on their blogs.

Either way, this will negatively impact these marketers that rely on the Amazon program for a significant portion of their revenue.

Here is the list of category commissions changes that will go into effect on April 21, 2020

Product CategoryCurrentlyAfter April 21
Furniture, Home, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Pets Products, Pantry8.00%3.00%
Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments, Business & Industrial Supplies6.00%3.00%
Outdoors, Tools5.50%3.00%
Grocery5.00%1.00%
Sports4.50%3.00%
Baby Products4.50%3.00%
Health & Personal Care4.50%1.00%
Amazon Fresh3.00%1.00%

Amazon Affiliate Program Changes Timing is Curious

Curiously, Amazon chose to make these changes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency as some of the impacted categories are high-demand product segments, which Amazon has a difficult time keeping in stock.

It’s not known if these changes were planned or if they are a reaction to the current sales in some of these categories.

Just last month, it angered many of its third-party marketplace sellers by suspending inbound shipments to its fulfillment centers, causing many small businesses to lose out on sales. That one stung a lot as the company provided no warning of that change.

While Amazon will loosen up those restrictions this week, it still leaves a lot of doubt with small business sellers moving forward.

Some merchants switched to fulfilling orders from inventory on hand and using Amazon FBM (Fulfilled By Merchant) to keep sales going on the platform.

Others decided this was a good time to diversify their income stream and place inventory on eBay and other competing marketplaces.

Amazon will come out of this public health emergency in good shape, but some small businesses that rely on it for revenue may not fare so well.

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