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How Amazon T(h)reats Its Affiliates during the Corona Pandemic

My Take on Amazon’s Latest Reductions to Its Commissions

Full disclosure: I own another blog called which earned around 75$ over the last year using the Amazon Affiliate Program. Also I am not affected by the reductions since my category is not on the list.

What happened?

Amazon cut the Commission Rates for their Affiliate Program. This is what happened in detail:

Table showing the overall reduction in each category. Most affected categories affected had been reduced by more than 50%
Overview of the Commission reduction.

See? A lot of categories were hit with a 50% to 80% reduction.

To give you an example: A site earning 2000$ a month from Pet Products is now only making 750$.

What does this mean for affiliate pages?

Sites that target those categories will have their monthly income reduced by a large amount. This is not the first time Amazon did this, not sure if it will be the last time.

Seeing the reduction as a business move, I can’t exactly be mad at Amazon. I can even understand it - maybe it is even justified. Amazon is having an incredible market penetration. Traffic to Amazon is converting at an incredible rate. Amazon has almost every article on stock. Nothing that hinders you from earning good money.

This here doesn’t sound like a rant, let me change that in a second …

Why I am really pissed

See, Amazon is, in my opinion, the ‘winner’ of the whole COVID-19 Crisis. I am not all alone with this opinion, just have a look at a quick google search for the terms ‘amazon covid winner’:

Screenshot showing the result of the google search for Amazon Covid Winner
Screenshot of Google Results for 'Amazon Covid Winner'.

But the news is not the only place where you can read about how Amazon is doing during the Crisis. On The Amazon Blog you can read that Amazon has brought on over 100k new associates between March and April. Now they are hiring for another 75k jobs.

I want to let that sink in for a second: 175 000! new Jobs - probably within two months. Doesn’t sound like your average company struggling during the COVID crisis, does it?

Make things clear

I am not pissed about the reduction. From Amazon’s point of view, this makes total sense. They own the market, referrals to Amazon have an unmatched conversion rate. They definitely can get away with making that cut.

I am just really pissed about the inconvenient timing. Right now, Amazon is doing great - actually more than just great. And what is it they decide to do? In the midst of the corona pandemic making the lives of many filled with more struggle and misfortune?

Personally, I think this is not the “nicest” move for people that bring in revenue and growth and contribute not congruent to the PR image they aim for lately.

The motivation behind this post is to ensure that the reduction will be more visible. I didn’t notice it garnering attention nor noticed much about it on the news. I only learned about this because of a mail I received from Amazon directly. This was giving me a bad vibes. Therefor I felt like writing this.

I’d like to know what you think of my opinion on this? Would you also agree this is not “the nicest” thing that Amazon has done or would do you generally feel like I might be over-reacting?

I find myself wondering what your thoughts and opinions upon this subject might be. Feel free to leave a comment or just write me on Twitter.