Should we switch to Amazon affiliates?

So we’re currently Powell’s affiliates, and have been since we started the blog.

The amount of $ we’ve seen from this affiliation has, to this point, been… let me count it up… $0.

One person has bought something through one of our links, and not enough to trip the payout amount.  So we’re still at $0.

Every year or so #1 IMs #2 and says, “Should we switch to Amazon?” or “I think we should switch to Amazon.”  And every year or so, #2 reminds #1 why we started with Powell’s to begin with.

#2:  the catch I found before was: “If you have not earned any advertising fees in the 3 years prior to any given calendar month, then on the first day of that calendar month we may charge you an account maintenance fee that will be deducted from your unpaid accrued advertising fees. That account maintenance fee will be the lesser of $10 or the amount of unpaid accrued advertising fees in your account.”

in our chatlog of 7/18/10, you said, “That is a big catch”

#1 is that still true?

#2 “In addition, you hereby consent to us:
sending you emails relating to the Program from time to time; monitoring, recording, using, and disclosing information about your site and visitors to your site that we obtain in connection with your display of Special Links (e.g., that a particular Amazon customer clicked through a Special Link from your site before buying a Product on the Amazon Site) in accordance with the Privacy Notice; and monitoring, crawling, and otherwise investigating your site to verify compliance with this Operating Agreement and the Operational Documentation. ” Yes the $10 charge is still true.

#1hm tricksy.  Well, I’ll write a blog post on the topic and ask the readers one of these Mondays and see what they think.

#2 ok, you do that

UPDATE:  We made an affiliates link, but could not get their links to work with pictures, only text.  I searched their forum but didn’t find anything useful– the people talking about images are doing something really complicated.  I emailed customer service and 20-odd hours later they emailed back saying we should look at the forum and the link has to be copied exactly, as if we weren’t doing that.  So not helpful at all.  I guess the answer is:  We can’t be Amazon affiliates even if we wanted to be.  Powell’s it is.

So, dearest readers, should we switch to Amazon affiliates, or stick with Powell’s?


43 Responses to “Should we switch to Amazon affiliates?”

  1. investfourmore Says:

    I am in Colorado and cannot use Amazon, because Amazon is boycotting our sales tax laws. I may have to look into Powells. For your site, I would say make the switch.

  2. GMP Says:

    FWIW, I can tell you that I saw a few books at your place and then went to Amazon and bought them.

  3. Holly@ClubThrifty Says:

    Have you tried something like Flex Offers or Link Share?

      • Holly@ClubThrifty Says:

        Flex Offers ( allows you to sign up for a variety of affiliate programs and insert links where it seems appropriate. There are certain things that I talk about all the time (Republic Wireless, Allstate Insurance, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) that I just insert my affiliate link for whenever I use them naturally. You basically just sign up for Flex Offers than choose the affiliate links for things that you already talk about. It’s easy and doesn’t take much effort!

  4. plantingourpennies Says:

    Amazon can be amusing for the purchases that are made at the same time. Oh look! Someone bought spark plugs and a giant bag of baby wipes at the same time. They’re in for a rocking good time!
    But we’ve never actually had enough purchases made to generate a payout =)

  5. Cloud Says:

    I generate enough purchases through Amazon to get a pay out most months, but not enough for it to really matter. The amount went up after I announced I’d be donating the proceeds to charity (in the form of boxes of diapers), so the amount I make is no longer a fair judge. But I suspect that if you put up Amazon links instead of Powell’s links you’d make enough to get a payout- but only if you opt for the Amazon credit payout. If you want a check, the bar is higher!

  6. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    How about neither? I can’t imagine that you are talking about any real amount of money either way.

    • Bardiac Says:

      ^^What he said!

      I don’t object to either, but I’ve never used a link from a blog to buy stuff, and can’t really imagine doing so.

      At any rate, have you noticed people clicking through when you did your recent post about books? I’d guess that’s the one time when people might click through and buy what you’re suggesting. If people did click through, and you really want that, then lots of posts about this or that book might work. It wouldn’t work for those who aren’t reading for book suggestions, though.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yes, a lot of people click through every time we mention books. They click through when we mention other products as well, though we don’t have any idea if they amazon purchase those products or not (since we’re not affiliates).

        Btw, we have a bunch of book posts coming up in the next few weeks–that’s mainly coincidence because they’d been building up in the queue and #2 went through and finished them in one swell foop.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      How would we get the pretty pictures for book covers without one or the other?

      PLUS, a real amount of money for YOU is very different than a real amount of money for US. Especially since one of us is down to a single income household. (Really we want a way to donate to planned parenthood, but we haven’t figured out how to do that like Cloud has figured out how to do diapers.)

  7. First Gen American Says:

    I’m an amazon affiliate and it’s super easy. I don’t think there’s a maintenance fee. I have never checked my balance, so I don’t even know if I’ve made any money. Actually, just looked and I made $0. I don’t really blog for money, so I can’t say I’ve optimized anything to have people find my reviews. I just set it up once upon a time as kind of a curiosity to see if it would generate anything.

    I buy my books off Amazon because I have a prime account and don’t have to bother typing in all my shipping/payment info every time I make a purchase. The extra energy it takes to do that usually allows me to take the easy way out on most smaller purchases and their prices are competitive or better on most things. I have found exceptions, like everything else, but it’s still a reliable place to find deals.

  8. rented life Says:

    I wouldn’t do either. The book info and cover are enough. Husband and I go to book stores and sales and I almost always check those places before buying online. I’ve clicked through but never bought off anyone’s blog.

  9. chacha1 Says:

    If the idea is actually to make a little money, Amazon is probably the way to go, but you’ll probably have to be a little more aggressive about pushing your affiliate status.

    But I am a bad advisor, because with all the 100s of books I buy, I choose them … idiosyncratically. I don’t believe I have ever bought a book via an affiliate link on a blog, even on a blog written by people I respect.

  10. Debt and the Girl Says:

    I am not really familiar with the affiliate income side of blogging so I couldn’t say for sure. I hope it does work out, though.

  11. Spanish Prof Says:

    I don’t blog for money, but I don’t mind a little extra for vices (books, lots of them), so I am an Amazon affiliate. I don’t write posts just to have links, but I will put the link if there is any particular book or movie I mention. I probably make around $50/year. You probably have way more readers than I do, so I am sure you could make a little more. I don’t see a moral problem either.

  12. Spanish Prof Says:

    After you become an affiliate, go to Amazon and make sure you are signed in. Choose a random book and go to that page. At the top, you’ll see a tab that says “Link to this page”. Click on it, and it should give you the code. You have three options: text and image, image only , or text only.

  13. Spanish Prof Says:

    Feel free to delete it

  14. Spanish Prof Says:

    And no, the images did not show up

  15. Spanish Prof Says:

    Feel free to delete it. I just copy and paste the URL link. Maybe that’s how you do it for the comments?

  16. Spanish Prof Says:

    Write a test post, and see if it works

  17. Spanish Prof Says:


  18. Mutant Supermodel Says:

    Hi! Ok I actually KNOW this.
    I use Amazon Affiliates AND I have made $38 in Amazon gift cards.
    Ok so why can’t you do the fancy picture thing? Because free WordPress blogs don’t support the code. You need to have a self-hosted blog that runs WordPress and uses the Amazon widget. I really don’t think it’s hard to make money through them. The majority of the money I have made is pretty recent, since I went self-hosted and used the Widget. And that’s pretty good considering I don’t even blog much anymore. I actually think you’d do a good job with just links. People will probably purchase at Amazon instead of Powell’s for various reasons. With the amount of content you write that links to things at Amazon, I don’t think you’ll have any problem at all making that $10 threshold in three years. And you will definitely get there before Powell’s gets you anything. Ok those are my two cents.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: