To avoid any confusion right from the start: this website uses Amazon affiliate program. Or, to put it in a legally correct way: as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. So if you click on a shopping link from this site and buy at Amazon.com, a percentage of the sale goes to bikegremlin.com (while the price is the same for you, as if you went directly to Amazon). Now that’s out of the way, to explain why Amazon on-line shopping links are used on Bike Gremlin.
I wrote a separate article explaining the pros and cons of buying a bicycle on-line (on Amazon, and other on-line shops).
Long before making the website, I often got questions: “what should I buy for this and this use?” Either related to bicycles, or computers, or general “handy-man stuff”. For local market, especially for people from my city, this was relatively simple to answer – I know the shops, prices, taxes etc. For the website, the challenge was how to make it universal? How to make a recommendation that works well for people in say Toronto and Berlin, for example?
The first thing I did was to explain in my articles what to look (out) for when buying and how to distinguish good products from the bad ones. In a way so that even a beginner/amateur can, using my instructions, make a good, educated choice for their needs and preferences. Still, based on my opinion and experience, this is not enough. Why?
Some people don’t want to spend too much time looking at products, either on-line, or going around different shops etc. On the other hand, it would be technically complicated (and it would look too crowded on pages) to make separate shopping links for every country, then regularly check whether all the listed products are still in stock and so on. What would be a better solution?
- An on-line shop that is available and ships world-wide.
- With good, reliable, reputation and customer protection (money back guarantee).
- Range of offered products must be good – with lots of good quality products, from various manufacturers.
- Product and shipping prices and deadlines must be reasonable.
- Ability to see seller and product rates and user experiences of other buyers.
- Stable product availability.
I have looked over numerous on-line shops and the only one that “ticked all the boxes” (at least for cycling-related products) is Amazon.
I’m not saying that Amazon is the best, there are a lot of very good online shops. Just that for the noted criteria, I couldn’t find anything better. In articles I encourage people to go to their local (bicycle?) shop – that should be supported and has many benefits. Yet, there are situations when on-line shopping is a good option (tight with time, or a product is not locally available for example). Even then, it is worth looking at other on-line shops. I personally like German Bike-Components, among others. But that is not a good choice for someone across the ocean – shipping costs, time, customs, taxes… it all varies.
Amazon has a global presence, with local-market versions for most regions and languages. Plus it is among the first places I go to see product reviews when I consider shopping. So it is my choice of a shop to “cover” visitors from around the globe.
Another good option is the Amazon search. Clicking a shopping link on BikeGremlin opens the local Amazon website with the set (key)words entered in the search box and shown search results, showing products that are shipped to your region.
So my recommendations are what they are – the best I could find to be globally available. If nothing else, they are useful to see what the products look like, compare prices and read other buyers experiences.
You notice that I never mentioned Amazon affiliate in the first chapter? There’s a reason. When choosing on-line shop I used the criteria explained in the 1st chapter: to find one that is best for most visitors, most of the time. If I find a better one, I’d be sure to use it, regardless of whether it offers an affiliate program, or not.
Of course, affiliate commissions are useful and fair policy. They certainly help keep this site up and running – hosting, protection and tools cost. But they were not the main reason for choosing Amazon and I don’t recommend, nor imply that you don’t look at other options as well, especially the local brick and mortar ones.