Alternative Funding, Amazon Affiliates

Alternative Funding, Amazon Affiliates

Amazon Affiliates offers a partial solution to one of the challenges of the creative and especially the independent film industry. Many filmmakers have begged and borrowed to get barely enough funding to feed their crew. Crowdfunding is a great option if you have an established track record or a good circle of friends. In looking for an alternative we are looking into an Amazon Affiliate shop. As this offers a small kickback for items sold on Amazon and it can be used to help fund short films.

We have just launched our own Amazon Affiliate shop and we hope that some of you will use the links and shop to buy from Amazon in the future. The best part is that it cost you nothing to use the custom links, and it takes away a little bit of Amazon’s profits.

So have a look through our shop and buy things from there or use our basic custom link and bookmark it as your main Amazon link. Then every time you shop on Amazon you are helping fund films at no cost to you. Feel free to recommend products you are interested in then we can add them to the store.

We also encourage other production companies to set up their own stores, then your visitors have an alternative way to help fund your films.

Do Amazon Affiliate Shops work?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is they are only as good as the people shopping it, as you need to set up special links for products or for people to bookmark for future Amazon purchases. That’s great you’re thinking I can buy all my own stuff and get a discount… Sadly they don’t allow you to get the kickback through your own purchases, or anything going to your address. If you have friends that buy a lot on Amazon it can be a great way to get that bit of extra funding. Last year I received £60 just before Christmas, which was only pushing one link for about 6 months. As most filming kit is expensive that few percent kickbacks soon adds up.

Can I set up and Amazon Affiliate Shop?

Yes anyone can you just need to go to the Amazon Affiliate page an signup. You can use an existing Amazon account to sign in and activate it and receive cash directly into your bank account or Amazon vouchers. There are threshold limits where you have to earn a certain amount to get money, these aren’t too punishing and can be met quite quickly if you have friends who use your custom Amazon links.

The things you will need are a valid UK address, a bank account, and of course an Amazon account. Once you have a few links set up and out in the wilds of the internet you can track performance and see what works best for you. You can even have Amazon ad banners for products related to your site.

We have opted for links rather than banners as we don’t want you to suffer having a lot of Ads all over when you visit our site. We made create custom Ads for individual products at a later date, but this will be Ads we control.

Amazon Affiliates Info

Getting it Out and About

Once you have set up the shop start creating custom links and spreading them around. There is one caveat, and you do have to say that you re part of the Affiliate program and make it clear that customers will be using your affiliate link.

We are using Affiliate shop options for our website, as this gives you a web store you can custom build and populate with products you like and use. And it keeps all but the final transactions contained within your own eco-system. The great thing about this is that you don’t have any data protection headaches as all the personal info and financial transactions are contained within Amazons eco-system. You just get to see what products are popular so you can provide a better selection for your visitors. We use two plugins to create the website and manage the basket on our site.


WooCommerce offers the basic web shop experience with product catalogue, you can use this on its own, however, when a customer clicks buy they will be directed to Amazon for each product. This can be useful if you’re offering your own products and digital downloads as you can have a mix of Amazon Affiliate items and your own. WooCommerce can be a bit hinky with the way it renders pages, so be prepared to write some custom CSS if you’re particular about the way things look.

Is this Method Affective?

We don’t know yet, we have only just launched the Amazon Affiliate shop, so if you see me about in Cardiff ask me how it is going.  We don’t expect to make millions from this. If we can make enough to cover the expenses of the cast and crew we work with then that would be great. And the best thing is it doesn’t cost the customer anything, and it free and easy for you to set up.