When I was young, I loved getting hand-me-downs.
My cousins were all older than me, so every once in a while they’d bring a huge bag of hardly-worn clothes that I could pick and choose from. While the clothes were a perfect fit for me, they were no longer useful to my cousins, since they’d grown out of them.
So what do hand-me-down clothes have to do with alternatives to Amazon Associates?
Well, just like my cousins decided to get rid of clothes that were no longer useful to them, many people have decided to leave the Amazon Associates program recently because they’re not finding it as useful anymore. They’ve outgrown it, and they’re ready to look for more niche affiliate programs with higher-ticket items and higher commission rates.
Of course, there are still many affiliates who think this program is the perfect fit for them, just like those hand-me-downs were the perfect fit for me. Many of these affiliates are beginners looking for an easy start, fast acceptance and a wide range of products to experiment with.
So, how do you know if it’s time for you to look for alternatives to Amazon Associates? And what kind of alternatives might you find?
That’s what we’re going to learn today! Let’s check out some of the top niche affiliate programs that can help you replace Amazon Associates, as well as why you should consider them. You can also consult our reviews of the top 5 affiliate networks here, for even more options.
Why Should Affiliates Find an Alternative to Amazon?
We all know about the changes in the Amazon Associates program that took place back in March. Amazon completely restructured its commissions, defining rates by category instead of by the amount sold.
This was an especially hard hit for big affiliates who got stuck in low-paying categories.
For example, let’s say you have an affiliate marketing website that was referring more than 3131 sales per month in the category of PCs and PC parts. Before March, you would’ve been earning an 8.5% commission for every sale. But now, you would only be earning 2.5%.
Many affiliates still find Amazon Associates to be worthwhile for them and their affiliate marketing business. Others, however, are stuck in categories such as health, automotive, sports, toys and tech, and thus getting a commission rate of 5% or less.
If this is true of your affiliate marketing business, you might decide it’s time to look for alternatives to Amazon Associates. So, where can you turn?
9 Niche Affiliate Programs That Are Alternatives to Amazon Associates
Amazon is a huge conglomerate of a company that quite literally sells everything. It’s internationally known and used, and it’s still a valuable resource for many affiliates. There’s not a single program that can fully replace Amazon.
That being said, if you’re stuck in a low-paying category in Amazon Associates—or just looking for more specific products that Amazon doesn’t have—reaching out to niche affiliate programs that fit your business is a great way to recover!
Going through the low-commission categories we mentioned above, here are some fantastic niche affiliate programs that can help you replace Amazon Associates:
1. Barnes & Noble
Currently, Amazon Kindle Devices get only a 4% commission, physical music gets 5% and DVDs get only 2.5%.
With Barnes & Noble, you can sell all of these products and get a better commission!
This well-known brand has overcome the death of brick-and-mortar bookstores and survives by keeping up with the times. Their NOOK products are a fantastic alternative to Amazon’s Kindle, if your website is dedicated to electronic reading. You can also refer sales for millions of books, toys, games, music, movies and more!
The Barnes & Noble affiliate program is run through CJ Affiliate, and users report earning up to 8% commission.
This company sells everything that a PC affiliate could ever dream of! If you’re looking to refer sales for PCs, laptops or any of their pieces, you’ll be happy with TigerDirect.
The commissions for TigerDirect are 3% compared to Amazon’s 2.5%. You’ll have to decide if this increase in percentage is worthwhile for your business.
As a well-known tech company, Microsoft has plenty to offer affiliates. You can earn up to 10% depending on the items you choose to promote.
Microsoft affiliates can promote the tech that Microsoft produces. The best commissions are found in software (such as Office), music downloads, TV shows, apps and games within the Windows Store.
Gaming affiliates can also promote the Xbox game consoles and games, but these only offer a 2% commission. However, this is still an improvement from Amazon’s 1% commission rate for video game consoles.
4. The Vitamin Shoppe
The health and personal care category in Amazon Associates was demoted to a mere 4.5% commission rate in March.
If you’re looking to improve your commissions with a well-known health brand, look no further than The Vitamin Shoppe. With more than 25,000 products to promote, affiliates will always have plenty of material!
More than that, The Vitamin Shoppe offers 9% commissions, which is a huge improvement from Amazon. This affiliate program is run through CJ Affiliates.
Another CJ Affiliate program, this automotive company offers an 8% base commission. More than that, high-volume affiliates will get bonuses for their hard work!
AutoZone is a trusted brand in the automotive world. For affiliates, joining this program means making almost double Amazon’s automotive commission rate, as well as having access to 45-day tracking cookies! You’ll also have access to a dedicated affiliate manager, in case you have any questions.
6. Advanced Auto Parts
This top US automotive brand is another great option for automotive affiliate marketers. You’ll be able to earn 8% commissions on all your referred sales.
Also run through CJ Affiliate, the Advanced Auto Parts affiliate program allows you to promote deals to customers like free shipping on orders over $75 and more!
Sports and Outdoors
While sports and outdoors both earn less than 5% commissions on Amazon, Columbia offers affiliates up to 10% commissions!
As a well-known outdoor brand, Columbia is a great option for affiliate marketers in this category. It features 21-day tracking cookies, as well as access to a dedicated affiliate manager. This program is also run through CJ Affiliates.
This program offers 11% commissions on orders that average $100. It also features 30-day tracking cookies, and plenty of creative materials to place on your website.
Another cool feature of this program: If you want to run a promotion or competition, Nike offers gifts that you can give out to your readers!
The only downside of the Nike affiliate program is that it’s only available in certain countries, and the US isn’t currently one of those countries. However, any affiliates who are based in the UK or Europe will have no problem!
9. Fat Brain Toys
This toy brand has a wide range of great items for kids who love to learn! This is mainly an educational toy resource. Affiliates can refer sales for games, science projects, puzzles and other educational toys.
Users report earning 6% commissions on all sales, which is double Amazon’s commission rate for toys. The Fat Brain Toys affiliate program is run through FlexOffers and features 30-day tracking cookies.
As we mentioned above, there’s no single program that can completely replace Amazon Associates. This incredible company is one of the largest online retailers currently running, and there simply isn’t another affiliate program that gets you the range of products and categories that Amazon does.
That being said, the niche alternatives to Amazon Associates that we’ve discussed above are fantastic options for those who a stuck in low-commission categories.
Of course, each affiliate marketer will have to decide whether switching from Amazon to another affiliate program is the right move for their business. Or, maybe you’ll find that using the aforementioned niche affiliate programs together with Amazon Associates works better for you!
Whatever you decide, these niche alternatives to Amazon Associates are a great place to start when you’re looking to expand your affiliate earnings.
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