Amazon lobbies the United States federal government and state governments on issues such as the enforcement of sales taxes on online sales, transportation safety, privacy and data protection and intellectual property. According to regulatory filings, Amazon.com focuses its lobbying on the United States Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Reserve. Amazon.com spent roughly $3.5 million, $5 million and $9.5 million on lobbying, in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.
This is like a free graduate level college course every month available just for the reading. And unlike most college professors, these guys and gals are actually earning in the real world. Michelle made well over a million USD last year from mainly affiliate programs,AFTER she paid her running expenses and US taxes. She sure didn't do it by reviewing bicycle pedals 😉
In May 2018, Amazon threatened the Seattle City Council over an employee head tax proposal that would have funded houselessness services and low-income housing. The tax would have cost Amazon about $800 per employee, or 0.7% of their average salary. In retaliation, Amazon paused construction on a new building, threatened to limit further investment in the city, and funded a repeal campaign. Although originally passed, the measure was soon repealed after an expensive repeal campaign spearheaded by Amazon.
While Amazon has publicly opposed secret government surveillance, as revealed by Freedom of Information Act requests it has supplied facial recognition support to law enforcement in the form of the "Rekognition" technology and consulting services. Initial testing included the city of Orlando, Florida, and Washington County, Oregon. Amazon offered to connect Washington County with other Amazon government customers interested in Rekognition and a body camera manufacturer. These ventures are opposed by a coalition of civil rights groups with concern that they could lead to expansion of surveillance and be prone to abuse. Specifically, it could automate the identification and tracking of anyone, particularly in the context of potential police body camera integration. Due to the backlash, the city of Orlando has publicly stated it will no longer use the technology.
The best part is if you have five or more items on subscribe and save, then you get 15% off. You also get free shipping on your items (doesn’t matter how many you have). This is the perfect way to keep your house stocked up without having to drive to the store every month the replenish your supplies. They will be waiting for you at your door at the time you specify. It’s not much easier than that!
Small-scale bloggers like Robey won’t be the only ones hit by the rate changes. Publications like The Wirecutter have built thriving businesses entirely on affiliate payments, which are made by vendors like Amazon whenever a referred customer buys a product. Though a number of companies offer similar programs, Amazon’s affiliate system is the most lucrative, and auto-tagged product links have become a significant part of many online businesses’ revenue. (That includes The Verge, which auto-generates affiliate links in some cases.) Though the relationship can be lucrative, it’s also entirely subject to Amazon’s discretion — and as Robey and others are learning, it can often change with little to no warning.
Robey is particularly rankled by the distinction between “beauty” and “luxury beauty” — a difference between a 6 and 10 percent commission under the new system. Almost none of the products she covers are grouped in Amazon’s luxury beauty category, although she considers many of them luxury goods. The result is a major incentive to write about brands in the favored category, although Robey says she won’t change the products she writes about.
Classify, manage, and report on your data using features, such as: S3 Storage Class Analysis to analyze access patterns; S3 Lifecycle policies to transfer objects to lower-cost storage classes; S3 Cross-Region Replication to replicate data into other regions; S3 Object Lock to apply retention dates to objects and protect them from deletion; and S3 Inventory to get visbility into your stored objects, their metadata, and encryption status. You can also use S3 Batch Operations to change object properties and perform storage management tasks for billions of objects. Since Amazon S3 works with AWS Lambda, you can log activities, define alerts, and automate workflows without managing additional infrastructure.
In July, when workers in Spain, Poland, Germany, Italy, and France used Prime Day to strike and rally, a former Amazon warehouse worker named Seth King from Chesterfield, Virginia, told me that the warehouses were the type of place where “they work people to death, or until they get too tired to keep working.” He left after two months because the job had brought him to “the lowest point in my life” and that he felt “I couldn’t work there and maintain a healthy state of mind.”
As another example, I’m planning on writing a blog post comparing the Blue Yeti USB Microphone to the Blue Snowball iCE Condensor Microphone. I have both and use them for client video calls, livestreams, and creating courses. However, the Blue Yeti is twice as expensive. I’m sure a lot of people wonder whether they investment is worth it (the answer is “yes,” by the way). I can help people make their decision and earn a bit of affiliate income in the process.
Thanks for this post on Amazon. For Mturk, if you’re unable to link your worker account to your bank account, you can also cash out through an Amazon gift card. I believe you got to have at least one dollar for this to happen. I’m almost at the $10.00 threshold on Mturk, but lately there haven’t been much hits. They might pick up after the holidays.
Choose products carefully. Don't promote something you wouldn't buy or don't like just to make money. It will backfire and cause you to lose credibility with your website visitors. People are more likely to buy products you personally recommend. If you don't have experience with the product, be sure to check out reviews to see what other people's experience with it is.
I have about 4 authority style sites and the rest are all mini ones. I like the money the mini’s can make but there isn’t any attractive exit strategy with those so that’s why I like to do a little of both, but I believe authority style sites have the biggest upside. As for income split I’d have to go back through all the tracking data but I’d peg it somewhat in favor of authority sites (before I sold one of my largest ones)
You wouldn’t install the same Google Analytics code on every single website you own right? Of course not, because you wouldn’t be able to tell how much traffic each of your websites were receiving individually. So the same thing can be said for tracking the money you make on your websites (and yet people still tell me they use only one Amazon tracking ID for all of their websites /facepalm). In the ,past I’ve gone so far as to create 15 different tracking ID’s for use on a single website.
Hey Chris – great post. Just a question – We have got about 80 stores affiliated to Amazon Associates. As I understand from your article, it appears that the blog site is a foundation for making a successful Amazon Income. In this regard, we don’t have a blog site but we just have those stores (websites) which have a show case of products. What do you think the strategy would be to drive sales? Of course, we have got Social Media Marketing currently in place.
Thank you so much for this helpful information! I’m working on a blog that will be read by people in various countries. Will the links and credit work if someone, say, gets sent to the Amazon Japan store, but then transfers to the UK store and buys something there? Or would I have to guess which country stores the readers would use first, and have several links in my blog to all the various Amazon stores? How might I set this up most effectively?
Anyone who owns a blog or website can join the Amazon Associates program. Basically, you include links on your page that will direct customers to Amazon product pages. If customers use a link on your page and buy something in a qualifying sale, you can earn from 4-10 percent. You can do your part to earn more money by giving people an incentive to click on the links. For example, if you have a blog about pet care, you can link it to pet care supplies on Amazon.
Once you’ve done all the heavy lifting of niche selection, keyword research, and competition analysis, then you can finally start building your site. It’s important not to skip all the steps above. You’d hate to spend months on a site, only to learn that it won’t be profitable at all. All that hard work for nothing. You can read more about why I use WordPress for my Amazon sites.
Update: I used to recommend carousel style Amazon ads, but they don’t exist anymore. When I used them they converted about 3 times better than static style Amazon banner ads. I suggest using Native Shopping Ads instead which is essentially a replacement to the carousel style ads but allows for greater flexibility. You can display products by recommendation from the content, by search or with other options. Here is what the a Native Shopping Ad looks like for the keyword search “Chris Guthrie” Amazon displays the Kindle books I’ve written:
I’ve heard of people getting an extra month, sometimes three, and in the extreme cases up to six months. This is all for just calling them out on missing their guaranteed delivery date. Amazon prides themselves on excellent customer service, so just asking them about missing the shipping deadline could result in more months added onto your Prime membership. Just call and see what happens.
You’ve got my curiosity piqued on EasyAzon. I saw the instructional video where you get to send people through the localised links, but provided you fill in the associate or tracking number for every country, example XX1 for Canada, XX2 for UK, so on and so forth. Does that mean, I’ll need to register myself manually for all the Amazon affiliate programmes across different countries, or can I generate these numbers all on EasyAzon?
While the 8%–15% referral fee may seem steep compared to other online selling programs, the large customer reach you'll have by listing your items on Amazon can easily make up for the higher fees. If you really want to step up your game, you can have Amazon fulfill all of your orders by having them store, pick, pack, and ship on your behalf. This is a fantastic way to let potential customers utilize Amazon's customer service department as well as have your items become eligible for Prime two-day shipping.
Ibrahin, who works a 12-hour night shift from 5:30 pm to 6 am, says she’s worked about 20 different jobs since moving to the US as a 16-year-old in 2004. These jobs include working a fishing boat in the middle of the ocean off the coast of Alaska, cleaning Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and packing at a Target warehouse. Her current job at Amazon, she says, has been her hardest.
Amazon.com is primarily a retail site with a sales revenue model; Amazon takes a small percentage of the sale price of each item that is sold through its website while also allowing companies to advertise their products by paying to be listed as featured products. As of 2018, Amazon.com is ranked 8th on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
And yet, the Amazon’s Choice badge tries to impose a sense of editorial order—it guides you from a sprawling list of search results to something that was picked, cutting out the decision fatigue of shopping, making sure you purchase something instead of getting overwhelmed and wandering away without spending money. It seems more authoritative than a Best-seller or Amazon Charts badge—both of which are earned based on more straightforward numbers. But it is ultimately less useful than either of those—it’s just a loose label that alerts you to items that are popular for a vague mash-up of reasons. You’re probably better off spending a few minutes reading the reviews.
In addition to Amazon’s clear commitment to conversion rates (read: probable sh*tloads of testing), the extreme growth of Amazon Prime. Estimates from top firms calculated Amazon has between 65 and 80 million prime subscribers in early 2017, which is up from about 54 million just a year earlier. The huge boost in Prime subscriptions has apparently had a massive impact on conversions.
If you have created DVD’s, CD’s, MP3’s, books, etc., and they are all original, Amazon is a great place to sell. You can sell downloads directly from the Amazon website through CreateSpace. Royalties are paid whenever a product is sold on the platform. Your products will receive free universal product codes, so you can sell them directly on Amazon. Just like with third-party selling, your products will be eligible for two-day shipping.
As with any affiliate program, your mileage will vary depending on how "ready to buy" the people you send to Amazon actually are. The key is to provide value on your site or blog and a reason to make a purchase. For example, if you run a blog dedicated to photography, start by doing a weekly in-depth product review of new digital cameras and accessories and include Amazon referral links in your review. The review should always be an honest assessment and provide content that is better than anything else on the subject. If you oversell, or come off as fake and commercialized, your readers will see right through the facade and click elsewhere.
It’s hard to predict exactly what Amazon’s new rates will mean for those participating in the program, but there’s plenty of reason to be nervous. The most immediate change will be the end of Amazon’s “variable standard program fee” rates, which gave sites a higher cut as they drove more business to Amazon. The scale ranged from 4 to 8.5 percent, depending on how many products visitors bought in a given month. Robey says she never had trouble selling enough products to earn an 8 percent rate.
Amazon's state sales tax collection policy has changed over the years since it did not collect any sales taxes in its early years. In the U.S., state and local sales taxes are levied by state and local governments, not at the federal level. In most countries where Amazon operates, a sales tax or value added tax is uniform throughout the country, and Amazon is obliged to collect it from all customers. Proponents of forcing Amazon.com to collect sales tax—at least in states where it maintains a physical presence—argue the corporation wields an anti-competitive advantage over storefront businesses forced to collect sales tax.
If you own a website, blog, or even moderate a discussion group, you have the opportunity to join the Amazon Associates program and earn revenue by directing visitors to Amazon products. Depending on the product, you'll earn anywhere from 4%–10% if the click results in a qualifying sale. It works by Amazon giving you a unique referral url that you post on your site or blog. Then when someone clicks on the embedded url, the referral is tracked, and results in you getting paid if it ends in a purchase.
Since its founding, the company has attracted criticism and controversy from multiple sources over its actions. These include: supplying law enforcement with facial recognition surveillance tools; forming cloud computing partnerships with the CIA; luring customers away from the site's brick and mortar competitors; placing a low priority on warehouse conditions for workers; participating in anti-unionization efforts; remotely deleting content purchased by Amazon Kindle users; taking public subsidies; claiming that its 1-Click technology can be patented; engaging in anti-competitive actions and price discrimination; and reclassifying LGBT books as adult content. Criticism has also concerned various decisions over whether to censor or publish content such as the WikiLeaks website, works containing libel and material facilitating dogfight, cockfight, or pedophile activities. In December 2011, Amazon faced a backlash from small businesses for running a one-day deal to promote its new Price Check app. Shoppers who used the app to check prices in a brick-and-mortar store were offered a 5% discount to purchase the same item from Amazon. Companies like Groupon, eBay and Taap.it countered Amazon's promotion by offering $10 off from their products. The company has also faced accusations of putting undue pressure on suppliers to maintain and extend its profitability. One effort to squeeze the most vulnerable book publishers was known within the company as the Gazelle Project, after Bezos suggested, according to Brad Stone, "that Amazon should approach these small publishers the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle." In July 2014, the Federal Trade Commission launched a lawsuit against the company alleging it was promoting in-app purchases to children, which were being transacted without parental consent.
Hey Chris! I stumbled upon your site from a few people. I’m now interested in starting a niche business and grow from there. I’ve tried to target another niche, with keywords as a first timer, and still having difficulties targeting certain keywords. I would like to get a boost of motivation on starting a small and simple amazon style niche site. I don’t know if you covered this, but I’d like to know what sort of criteria that you go through when choosing a site. So far, I have found a keyword with the following criteria:
While the East African workers face unique challenges stemming from language barriers and religious practices, the issues they cite about Amazon’s workload pressures are widespread. Several Amazon employees have spoken up over the past few months about what life is like inside the warehouses that ship nearly half of all e-commerce purchases in the US.
I net $100/day working for a corporation 40 hrs/week. I live paycheck to paycheck and would like to add to my income. I often see people claim that they make tons (to me anyway) of money on Amazon/Ebay. I will put your system to the test. I have at least 40 hrs/week that I can dedicate to this process (I’m 55 and need my rest). Thank you, however for posting such a detailed system.
I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress support company to help business owners and bloggers who use WordPress get around tech challenges.
It's especially true now that the big media players are finally waking up to affiliate marketing (NYTime buying WireCutter and SweetHome) and BestReviews (which was already an epic product review site in it's self due to the fact they built their own 10,000 sq ft testing lab) being acquired by Tronc (owns the LA Times and half a dozen more publications).
This one sounds simple enough and it really is. The more you sell with Amazon the more you make AND the higher percentage you earn. During holiday months I will typically hit around the 8% mark which is double the 4% rate you start with for shipping only 1 – 6 items per month. Even if you sold 7 items you get bumped up to 6% and the best part is that this increase in commission percentage is retroactive (meaning once you reach the next level you get to apply the higher percentage referral fee to every product you’ve sold during the entire month).
Hey Sue, I can’t disclose the amount of money that the website was earning when I sold it, but as I admitted at the onset of the article my income from Amazon would have surpassed $100,000 had I not sold the site. I already have several other authority style websites I’m building up as well as my network of smaller niche sites that earn good money as well.
As a practicing Muslim, Ibrahin tries to pray five times a day. But because Amazon has the warehouse associates working on a strict hourly packing quota, she says she cannot take a prayer break. Associates are pressured to “make rate,” with the rate number increasing and decreasing depending on the season’s demand. The warehouse’s current packing rate is 240 boxes an hour, Ibrahin says, but it’s gone as high as 400. Associates are penalized if they fall behind this rate; they can get a write-up from a manager if they are too slow, which can lead to them being terminated.
Get advice on how to open your Seller account, how to select the best high-profit products, and where to find them. The instructor teaches critical evaluation skills so you know which books will do well and which won't. You'll learn how to make your product the first that shows up when customers are searching through the website, and how to collect your money (profits) from Amazon. All you need is a smartphone and about $30 bucks to buy your first products. This class will tell you what to do from there.
I know 30% of my earnings came from products people bought because I happened to be the one that sent them onto Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more. For example, I sold a watch a while ago for $5,000 and got a $400 commission but I don’t even own a website that even remotely discusses watches. This is one of the other reasons why I love using Amazon’s affiliate program.
Great article. Thanks for writing it. I am right now picking my theme and building my wordpress. I have my hosting and domain name. What I don’t get though from the article is whether you have to apply to Amazon to be an affiliate or if they accept everyone. How does that all work? Like if I build my site and post links to amazon’s products, they wouldn’t have my details to pay me my commission. Do the templates do all that for you automatically? I am finding it hard to choose one because I want one that automatically integrates the amazon products without making my blog look like a shop per se. I’m going to have a look on the amazon site to see if there’s any clues there. But I thought that was the finishing and crucial touch, which forgive me, seems missing from your well explained and detailed article.
“The managers are constantly telling us that we are the number one warehouse in the country, that we are the fastest, and they are always pressuring us to do more,” says Ibrahin. “They think we are robots, not humans.” She says that Amazon’s packing quota has workers spending their days in fear of “wasting time” on things like buying a bottle of water from a vending machine on a different floor, or driving to a restaurant to pick up a meal. “All we think about is, this 5 or 10 minutes will eat into my break time, and then that will make my rate slow down, and then I will get punished,” she says.
Simple, instead of buying an item on Amazon, you just head over to smile.amazon.com and buy the item there. It’s still Amazon’s site, but now they will give 0.50% of your purchase to the charity of your choice. While it’s not going to be a huge donation, it’s still a donation none the less. It’s basically a donation to your favorite charity just for shopping on Amazon. You don’t get to write it off, since Amazon is the one doing the donation, but still. It doesn’t take any extra time or effort on your part and you can help your favorite charity in the process.
Throughout the summer of 2018, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders criticized Amazon's wages and working conditions in a series of YouTube videos and media appearances. He also pointed to the fact that Amazon had paid no federal income tax in the previous year. Sanders solicited stories from Amazon warehouse workers who felt exploited by the company. One such story, by James Bloodworth, described the environment as akin to "a low-security prison" and stated that the company's culture used an Orwellian newspeak. These reports cited a finding by New Food Economy that one third of fulfilment center workers in Arizona were on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Responses by Amazon included incentives for employees to tweet positive stories and a statement which called the salary figures used by Sanders "inaccurate and misleading". The statement also charged that it was inappropriate for him to refer to SNAP as "food stamps". On September 5, 2018, Sanders along with Ro Khanna introduced the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (Stop BEZOS) Act aimed at Amazon and other alleged beneficiaries of corporate welfare such as Wal-mart, McDonald's and Uber. Among the bill's supporters were Tucker Carlson of Fox News and Matt Taibbi who criticized himself and other journalists for not covering Amazon's contribution to wealth inequality earlier.
This little trick involves adding the items you want in your cart. Once you do that, you can go add something that is in pre-order status. While it can be a little challenge sometimes to find pre-order items, I suggest looking at DVDs or video games. That is the best way to do it. You can easily just type in “pre-order” or “preorder” in the Amazon search box and add that to the cart.
Professionals pay a $39.99 monthly subscription, a per-item referral fee — which varies by product — and variable closing fees on media items. For these sellers, the site’s shipping rates apply only to media items. They also have access to more product categories than individuals, can offer special promotions, and are eligible for top placement on product detail pages. Amazon recommends the subscription program for those planning to sell more than 40 items a month.
To use the site, just put in the URL of the product you want to buy off Amazon, so something like http://www.amazon.com/Mohu-Leaf-Amplified-Indoor-Antenna/dp/B00APPDX86/. This will then give you a run down of the pricing history of the product. It gives you valuable insight into how the product has been priced over time and if the current price is in line with those changes. Her is a graph for the product example above.
Over the summer, a group of East African Amazon workers in the Minneapolis area began negotiating with Amazon to make compromises around Ramadan holiday hours, better responding to worker complaints, and building a dedicated prayer space in the Shakopee fulfillment center. Unsatisfied with the pace of progress toward improving working conditions, the group rallied a few hundred people, including local teamster chapters, to the Shakopee facility parking lot Friday afternoon to demand that Amazon reduce productivity rates to safe levels, respect the cultural differences of Muslim East Africans, and invest in a community fund to aid in affordable housing for workers.
In November 2013, Amazon announced a partnership with the United States Postal Service to begin delivering orders on Sundays. The service, included in Amazon's standard shipping rates, initiated in metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and New York due to the high-volume and inability to deliver timely, with plans to expand into Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix by 2014.