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Amazon Changes Affiliate Fee Structure

Amazon.com is revamping its affiliate program fee structure in a bid to encourage sales.

Through the new agreement, members of Amazon’s Associates Program will receive tiered referral fees — meaning that the more they sell, the higher their earnings.

Associates will earn referral fees of 15 percent on individually linked books, and between 5 percent and 8 percent in referral fees for non-linked books, depending on the number of items they sell. Affiliates must sell more than 175,000 units to qualify for the 8 percent tier.

Under the original program, affiliates receive 5 percent for non-linked books and other items, without an opportunity for greater payouts.

“We want to make it easier for Associates to earn even more through their affiliation with Amazon.com,” said Colin Bryar, director of the Associates Program at Seattle-based Amazon. “And with the holidays just around the corner, we feel that now is the best time to introduce this program to our Associates.”

In addition to the higher rates it will pay Associates, Amazon.com has eliminated the cap on referral fees that Associates can earn from sales in its Kitchen & Housewares, Toys & Games, Tools & Hardware, Outdoor Living and Cell Phones & Service stores.

The move is the second improvement to Associates’ earnings structure in 2002. In May, Amazon announced that it would begin paying Associates a 2.5 percent commission on all Marketplace orders.

But the new program change could be temporary. In an e-mail to affiliates, the company said that if the new sales structure doesn’t boost more sales through the Associates program, it would revert back to the old structure at the beginning of next year.

LookSmart, InfoSpace Sign Wisenut Results Deal

San Francisco-based LookSmart said it would continue syndicating its spidered search results to InfoSpace’s metasearch site under an expanded agreement.

It will be the first time that the deal covers LookSmart’s search results following its March purchase of WiseNut, which now serves as the basis for its spidered results. The deal with InfoSpace also extends earlier agreements between the firms that have LookSmart providing paid listings to its partner.

Under that arrangement, LookSmart will continue to provide paid search listings to Bellevue, Wash.-based InfoSpace’s network of sites through September 2003.

SideStep Introduces Ads

Online travel software maker SiteStep said it would begin offering in-product and e-mail advertising products.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it would sell contextual results in travel searches as well as e-mail campaigns to registered users of its software, which lists special travel deals, and which the firm said has been downloaded by more than 2.5 million consumers. The contextual results can be targeted by service area — such as hotels or trips — or by region.

SideStep also said it has charter advertising deals with Priceline , Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Orbitz, and others.

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