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Why the site uses Amazon on-line shopping links

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).


1. Why on-line shopping and why Amazon?

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.


2. Amazon affiliate (associates) program

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.

6 thoughts on “Why the site uses Amazon on-line shopping links”

  1. Hi, Relja!
    As a Spaniard, I find more convenient buying at amazon.es, but I think your links don’t work that way.
    Is there a way to buy from amazon.es (or other EU country) while allowing you to earn your share (that you totally deserve, by the way)?

    Reply
    • I couldn’t find a way to implement what you are asking in a way that doesn’t bloat the website with a ton of Amazon adverts (random).

      While having a separate link for each local Amazon version would take too much space, making most articles with product recommendations bloated.

      I’m not 100% certain (couldn’t test, since there’s no local Serbian version of Amazon), but you should be offered a local Amazon website version when using links from my site and that way I’d still get some commission.

      Will give it some more thought in the future, when I find the time (probably in the Winter).

      As for the deserved compensation, it seems to work only for US Amazon visitors and for visitors who don’t use adblocker (or whitelist my site) – from Google Ads.

    • This has finally been resolved.

      First via some custom code – with varying success.
      Now, thanks to the Amazon’s platform update that (finally) enables this to work properly, it’s been configured to work automatically using Amazon’s platform that does all the re-directions.

      I’ve tested with a UK based address (using a VPN) and it worked.
      Haven’t tested with a Spanish one. 🙂

  2. Amazon, well it always fun figuring out fake brands from the real products.

    Over-priced, hiding shipping in base price, love products with a MSRP and Amazon is over that by guess what, shipping.

    Recall needing some gaming dice, just went to a local shop just blocks away, that never discounts off MSRP, picked them up, major savings, since I need 4 sets and that free Amazon set had shipping built in each set.

    I window shop Amazon, any brand name that might ship fake, I buy from brick and mortar or vendor’s website, which is sometimes cheaper.

    Basically it pays to shop around, convenience cost money, with Amazon it would seem.

    Reply
    • Hi James,

      For what it’s worth, I prefer shopping at local (brick and mortar) stores, even when it’s more expensive than online.

      However, when my friend started living in a suburban area in the US, I realized how huge the distances there can be, and how convenient Amazon in particular can be for people in such a situation (children, job, long commute etc.).

      Likewise, in Germany for example, there are some great (even online) stores that would be my first choice there – over Amazon.

      The good thing about Amazon is the ease of creating search links (even if a particular store is out of stock), user reviews (though one should take those with a bucket of salt), and rough price comparison and display of what a mentioned product looks like.

      Then, the choice is up to the reader – I recommend supporting the local bike shop whenever possible.

  3. Hi James,personaly i just dont see the point in using in using a third party like amazon or ebay,firstly you have to become a member and give them all your details,then when you buy items they basically link you up with a store anyway,and the biggest downside is they dont tell you which courier company is going to send you the item and when you will actually recieve the item,I find it more efficient to deal directly with a well known shop front bicycle store or just a well known and trusted online bicycle store and i can get my items cheaper by dealing directly with a store and my items allways turn up very fast and i allways get exactly what i order,no amazon or ebay for me,shop front online stores are very good and they do replace faulty items or refund you but i usually get very good items with no problems,the stores also gives me a choice of which postal service i can use and they also state time of arrival cheers

    Reply

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