Amazon referral rates... HUH??

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  1. DzyMsLizzy profile image96
    DzyMsLizzyposted 7 years ago

    I have yet to earn any money from Amazon. I have only  3 clicks; no purchases recorded.

    However, on my Amazon affiliate landing page, the following message appears:

    "Referral Rate4.00%

    Increase your referral rate to 6.00% by referring 7 more items."

    I do not understand what this means.  Since first seeing that, I've "referred" well over a dozen more items, yet still see the same message.

    Amazon apparently does not want to be contacted directly with questions, as all the "help" menu does is refer you to the FAQ's, which did not answer my question.

    So, I am still in the dark.  Does this message mean for me to post more items, or recieve more click-throughs, or does it refer to actual purchases made?  It is ambiguous in the extreme, given that the same message is still showing despite all the "well more than 7" items I've added since first seeing this.

    Can anyone please explain?
    Thank you.

  2. profile image0
    ryankettposted 7 years ago

    Commission starts at 4%, so if you do get a sale, which you haven't yet, you will get 4% commission.

    On your 7th sale your commissions will rise to 6%, for all 7 sales, and the tiers continue all the way up through 6.5%, 7%, 7.5%, 8% and 8.5%.

    It is just saying that you are on the bottom tier, which is where we all start each new month smile

    1. lrohner profile image80
      lrohnerposted 7 years ago

      Referrals = sales, not clicks

      1. DzyMsLizzy profile image96
        DzyMsLizzyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Well, that is very poor semantics on their part.  A referral is just that.  "I was referred to this store; site; repair shop etc. by so-and-so."  It does NOT necessarily mean that the person who was referred bought anything or hired someone.

        1. profile image0
          ryankettposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Unfortunately such a model would be far too easy for people to scam, unless they introduced quality click pricing like eBay.

          Personally I much prefer the Amazon module, particularly as it doesn't involve throwing people out for low quality traffic!

          1. DzyMsLizzy profile image96
            DzyMsLizzyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            That's how Google Ad Sense works---pay per click, not by sales.. It would seem if that model were so subject to being scammed, that they would change their system....  Just saying...

            1. profile image0
              ryankettposted 7 years agoin reply to this

              There is a major difference there though, in that Google is opening up the market for bidding on keywords with the advertisers, with the advertisers being fully aware that an Adwords campaign may not necessarily be profitable.

              With Amazon they are only advertising themselves, without a middle man, the model that they follow with their associate scheme is very much the traditional affiliate model - if you can sell you get a cut.

              Amazon will no doubt use Adwords too, but its a different kind of marketing. If we were to be paid per visit it would all to easy for me to direct tonnes of poor quality traffic to low value items.

              Ultimately, it would be near impossible for them to implement a pricing structure, there are too many things to consider. What do you get more money for, sending something to a listing for a biro or a listing for an Apple Mac? Etc.

              Once you learn to master the art of copyright it can be really rewarding to know that you have influenced the decision of buyers, think of it as effectively being an online salesperson. It takes time to become a good salesperson, a lot of trial and error, but once you master it you become natural at it.

              There are people who achieve a 10% conversion rate which is astonishing, personally I achieve 4%-5% which is probably below average. Who do you pay more per click? Certainly not me. But then, those with a 10% conversion rate could just be selling $0.99 MP3 files. That's where it becomes complicated to have anything other than a comission structure.

              Ultimately I only sold 33 items in my first 2364 traffic referrals, but that has improved constantly since, and this month (for example) I have shipped 249 items from 5855 traffic referrals, in December I shipped around 600.

              That is still a fair way from the likes of Mark Knowles I suspect, but it is an art which you have to master, effectively copywriting, entirely different ball game to AdSense.

          2. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image97
            Wesman Todd Shawposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            Hey Ryan, are you saying that Google "short sales," or "short prices" us???

            I'm told, or I was told that that hasn't been proven to happen.  I just wonder if you think that it does, or if you know that it does.

            1. profile image0
              ryankettposted 7 years agoin reply to this

              Nope, not saying anything about Google... I'm talking about eBay and Amazon.

              Google pays us 68% of the revenues recieved from advertisers for a click, so if the advertiser pays $1 then we recieve $0.68 cents. In the case of AdSense for search we get $0.51 for each dollar, or 51%.

              Under no circumstances would I state that Google defrauds us, even if I had good reason to suspect to (which I don't), as that would be a surefire way of getting crossed off of their list and losing my biggest income stream.

              I was making reference to eBay and their account closures, which they claim is as the result of too much non-buying traffic.

              1. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image97
                Wesman Todd Shawposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                Well, I wasn't even thinking of it as us being defrauded.  I was thinking of it more as. . . . .us not getting the good adverts on our pages if we had super low click per page view rates.

                It was something that Sunforged and Susana S brought to my attention a while back, as I'd posted something about getting huge traffic from

                The point was made that if I'm getting huge amounts of traffic that doesn't click anything, then wouldn't Google be wise to no longer give me the better advertising links on my page?

                1. profile image0
                  ryankettposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                  That is known as smartpricing, that probably does exist, although by most accounts that is a temporary enforcement (much like a site getting a little Google slap) in order to encourage you to change your ways. That can also be on a site-by-site basis, so if you have 10 websites they can enforce smartpricing on a specific one I believe. There is no doubt that smartpricing exists and anybody with consistant and substantial traffic would soon know if it has happened to them, as their eCPM would probably be something like $0.90 every day for a few weeks. I am not against that policy, they are doing it to protect the interests of advertisers, if the advertisers don't get a fair deal then they look elsewhere and that is our bread and butter at the end of the day.

                  1. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image97
                    Wesman Todd Shawposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                    Ah, I see; and thanks; I was worried that it might be a permanent thing.  I hope you didn't actually think I was trying to trick you into saying something to get you into trouble with my less than educated terminology in that question.  I don't think I would know how to trick someone into trouble if I wanted to.

                    1. profile image0
                      ryankettposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                      No I didn't, I just thought that you got eBay and Google muddled up smile

        2. darkside profile image80
          darksideposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Despite that, Amazon have always stated a referral is a sale. It is based on monthly sales.

          So the start of every month you are on 4%.

        3. sunforged profile image71
          sunforgedposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          sure - but no one cares about who referred you unless you are a buyer.

          "Gee, Josh thanks for referring the soccer team over to my carpet supply shop, I hope they enjoyed the free water, next time maybe they can take their cleats off first? or perhaps you could refer your contractor friends instead?"

    2. lrohner profile image80
      lrohnerposted 7 years ago

      "The point was made that if I'm getting huge amounts of traffic that doesn't click anything, then wouldn't Google be wise to no longer give me the better advertising links on my page?"

      Ryan - I thought Smartpricing happened when conversions were too low for the CTR -- not when you had a lot of traffic that didn't click. I would assume that if that were the case, it would only be on CPM advertising, not CPC. Am I confused?

      1. profile image0
        ryankettposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Yes you are right, I didn't read that bit, I don't believe that there is a punishment which exists for having a low CTR, only when it is shown that you or your site sends low quality clicks through to advertisers; I could certainly see no risk to advertisers who pay only for impressions as they are buying in the bargain basement anyway and frankly should be buying banners instead!

        Google themselves say it best: … wer=134761

    3. sunforged profile image71
      sunforgedposted 7 years ago

      conjecture and theory

      everyone is "smartpriced" - it seems to only gets talked about when people see their eCpm drop drastically and often the complainer will point out they had been experimenting with ways of getting massive general traffic the month before.

      i.e. My site got Dugg - I got 10k views an hour for 2 days ,, but somehow Im making less this month per click?

      Supposedly "smart-pricing" occurs every month .. Im not sure how much of my info is vetted from adsense forums and how much is from other sources I respect, its all a big muddle in my head.

      I dont know of any way for google to measure "conversions" and I have spent close to 20k on adwords campaigns (mostly client money) including those who have analytics, webmaster tools and adsense all tied together. I have never gave google any information that would suggest that this is good traffic/that is bad traffic.

      They most likely use quality indicators such as time on page after clickthrough, bounce rate and such.

      Otherwise, adsense could effectively be punishing publishers for an adwords users poor ad technique - I think they are better than that.

      Smart Pricing is not site specific - one bad/low quality traffic source would drop the whole account - thats well accepted within those who are open about their experiences with adsense and are good with tracking/stats - but it could very well be channel specific . So one hub with large amounts of poor traffic could bring down the whole hub channel - but if you have separate channels for your sites - you may enjoy some isolation.

      again, mostly conjecture - but its conjecture derived from individuals seeing hundred+ daily in adsense revenue

      I stick to the formula of avoiding low quality/non converting traffic as it needless noise  in my stats management, is a possible account killer for my ePn and I just happen to enjoy 3-5x the average ecPm of an average hubpages user so Im not looking to change


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