Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Amazon Associates vs Borders vs Fishpond - Website Affiliate Programs and Commission Comparison

A few years back I began an experiment with commission based affiliate programs and began with Amazon.

I started with Amazon Associates and went to great lengths to target specific pages with specific products.  But eventually gave up having made just $3 in commissions for a product that I hadn't even advertised and never qualifying for a cheque.  The problem it seemed was that my websites had a primarily Australian focus and Australian buyers it seemed had bad experiences with Amazon's delivery prices and timeframes.  My Adsense ads were earning far more each day than Amazon Affiliates was worth for a whole six months.

I continued to experiment with other website affiliate programs including Payloadz and Commission Monster, but digital products just don't have the same effect as books and DVDs. 

Anyhow, in the last two months I have joined the affiliate program of  While I was a little skeptical given that I found the interface for creating ads to, it was not long before I made my first sale.  Within three weeks I qualified for my first payment.  I think they have done a lot in their marketing to make Australian consumers feel comfortable buying them and as a result my websites were a very good fit.  It is great to now see some quality affiliate programs emerging for content publishers.

I have been tempted to give Borders more of a go given its strong brand in Australia, however its commissions are relatively low and Fishpond has the advantage of being 100% Australia.  I also wish that Readings, one of my favourite booksellers would start an affiliate program.

You'll find below a brief commission comparison of the various website affiliate programs for online DVD and booksellers.

Commission Comparison
  • Amazon - 4% to 15% (typically 10% for books)
  • Borders - 5% to 8% (typically 5% for books)
  • Fishpond - 10% 

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