Amazon India is a tricky one!
Amazon.in is a huge storefront, serving a massive population, and with significant growth expected in the coming years, but the Amazon India Associates program requires a local bank account for paying out commissions (unlike the programs in N. America and Europe) due to government regulation. And, from our research, to open up a local bank account you need to create a local business entity and that gets complicated and expensive fast. This challenge keeps most creators and affiliates from taking advantage of monetizing their India based audience and thus leaving money on the table. Uggg!
This has frustrated us for quite some time as well and after years of research and looking at various processes, I’m happy to announce we’ve found a way for non-India based clients to not only earn commissions for sales on Amazon.in but to also get those commissions paid out directly to their local banks!
We’ve partnered up with a service called Cuelinks* to achieve these goals!
Cuelinks* is a “super affiliate” aggregator, similar to Skimlinks or Sovrn/Commerce (formerly Viglink), where you can use their tools to leverage many different affiliate programs without actually having to sign up for and manage the links for each. Think of them as having great “breadth” (supporting lots of different retailer’s affiliate programs) where Geniuslink is focused on “depth” (focused on only a few retailers but supporting all of the regional affiliate programs). Cuelinks is based in India and is focused on the Indian market. They can also make payments to their clients even if they are international!
At a high level, you would continue to use Genius Link as you always have - swap out Amazon links for a geni.us link that will localize and affiliate, when possible, with each click for a shopper’s local Amazon storefront. But now, by introducing Cuelinks, we have an easy process to first, get set up with an Amazon.in affiliate tracking ID and second, get paid out for the commissions you earn.
Before you ask, the answer is “Yes!”, we’ve been in very close contact with the Associates team at Amazon.in to ensure this process doesn’t violate any of their terms of service. We will also continue to send them monthly updates to provide complete transparency and ensure a good working relationship.
Okay, ready to start monetizing those clicks to Amazon.in? Follow the step by step directions below to get set up. Additional notes and a short FAQ can be found at the bottom. Please don’t hesitate to reach out any time with questions / comments / feedback!
Step 1: Signup & Verification
Click to go to Cuelinks and start the super quick signup process (additional details like address, etc. come later).
Once you have signed up you are done for the day! Cuelinks typically takes about 24-48 hours to review /approve the account. Maybe the whole weekend if you signed up late on a Friday. Ping us if it’s been more than three days though and we’ll try to figure out what’s wrong!
Please note that you’ll get one email (subject: “Confirmation instructions”) right after signing up and a second email (subject: “Cuelinks - Your account verification was successful.”) a few minutes after clicking the link in the earlier email. You’ll get a third email (subject: “Cuelinks - Your account has been approved.”) once you’ve been approved. Besides confirming your email address via the first email you can ignore the content of the second two emails.
Step 2: Apply for access to the Amazon India Campaign.
Once your account has been approved on Cuelinks, you will need to apply for access to the Amazon India campaign. To do this, locate the Amazon.in campaign in the Campaign Explorer, or click this link. Select your channel URL and briefly describe where you'll be posting your links, as seen below:
Once you're finished, the request will be reviewed by the Cuelinks team, who should approve your request within 1-2 business days.
Step 3: Getting Your Amazon.in Tracking ID (One time Activity)
Once you’ve been approved for the Amazon.in campaign, then you are ready for this next step.
Go back to Cuelinks*, click Login in the upper right hand corner, and enter your credentials. Once you are logged into the Cuelinks dashboard you’ll want to click or copy / paste this URL into your browser: https://www.cuelinks.com/campaigns/amazon-india-affiliate-program#CPS
This will pull up the offer page for the Amazon.in program. From here click the bring green button to “GENERATE LINK” in the middle of the page.
Take that “linksredirect.com/…” link and drop it into a browser and fire it off. After a couple quick redirects you’ll land on the Amazon.in webpage. From there click back on the address bar and you should see something like this:
Copy the Amazon Associate tracking ID from this URL (everything between ?tag= and &. In this example: cuelinkss6278-21), you are going to need it in the next step!
Step 4: Add to Geniuslink
Now that you have that full Amazon Associates ID on your clipboard you need to jump over to the Affiliate page inside your Genius Link account.
Under the 'Your affiliate programs' header, click on the blue “Add a program" button, then select 'Amazon IN' from the drop down menu. Next, paste the Cuelinks Associate ID copied from the previous step and click 'Connect this program'.
The link will be verified then you should see the India flag added in your list of affiliate tracking IDs and the same tracking ID that was in your previous link.
And now you are good to go!
All of the links in your Genius Link account will start using that affiliate tracking ID anytime they redirect to Amazon.in and you’ll start earning commissions from those referrals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whose reporting do I use?
Because the Amazon.in Tracking ID you've added to your account actually belongs to Cuelinks (so they track your earnings and payout) you won't be able to see any click or earnings data within your Amazon.in Reports. Instead, you’ll want to use your Genius Link account to continue to monitor your click based reports, and you can view the commissions earned via the Cuelinks dashboard.
Please note that some of the reporting in Cuelinks will look funky, like clicks and conversion rate, as they aren’t recording any of the clicks, just the commissions (via the Transactions and Earnings reports).
What are the fees / taxes?
Unfortunately, it’s expensive getting money out of India. While it’s better than nothing, there are management fees and multiple taxes that must be deducted from your commissions before they can be transferred directly into your account. In general you will be able to pocket just over 50% of the commissions earned. The basic math is as follows:
Payout to publisher (-20% tax)
Payout on existing commissions?
Unfortunately, this solution can not help you recover commissions already owned in your existing Amazon.in Associates account. This process will help you earn commissions into an account that is able to pay out internationally, unlike Amazon.in's Associates program.
*- It’s important to note that Cuelinks offers an affiliate program and we are participating in it. The links above are affiliate links and by no way impact the taxes or fees associated with earning commissions from Amazon India or Cuelinks. To the best of our knowledge this is the only scalable way to get affiliate commissions out of India. Please ping us if you find a better solution!