Should IPVM Run Affiliate Links / Offer?

I spend a decent amount of money on Amazon (and the like), buying cameras and related gear; How about you?

Even those preferring traditional distribution channels, I would imagine, need to buy sundry items on the 'spot' market from time to time, no?

Affiliate programs pay around ~5% on electronic items. Unless you are buying thru your own affiliate link (technically not allowed), this money either goes to a random affiliate or to the e-tailer themselves. Why are we giving it away?

Could IPVM become an Amazon* affiliate to capture this revenue and use it to defray the cost of membership by the commission earned? Quite possibly.

Seamlessly, the affiliate link could be made available from the camera finder. $1000 a year in purchases could pay for your membership.

Any overage would be credited to the member and could be used for:

  1. additional seats on corporate accounts
  2. courses at IPVMU
  3. gifting potential new members

Objection #1: IPVM could be accused of being biased.

What would the bias be exactly? Biased to give more favorable reviews towards products that can be purchased thru e-trailers? Though it's possible, remember that all commissions would remain on account of the member, not in some general profit center. All commissions earned would pass-back to the member who created them.

If this is a concern, it could be setup where the affiliate link would NOT be used once a member had fully defrayed the cost of their membership.

Objection #2: Affiliate program terms may not allow this setup

The updating of the Camera Finder app overcomes the main affiliate requipment, that you cannot ad-hoc create links for products not listed on your site. But there may be other ones I missed. And though looking at them briefly did not raise any red flags, it is possible that this might violate some of the fine print. Maybe a member who is familiar with the program can advise on this point or on any other aspect of this proposal...

Objection #3: Members who are distributors won't like it.

???

Apologies if this idea has been raised and rejected already... :)

Merry Christmas!

*Amazon is used here, but all mega-e-tailers have similar program.


The short answer is absolutely no.

Commentary:

This is an increasing trend in consumer electronics, e.g., that's the whole business model of The Wirecutter.

It is a lot easier when everything being reviewed / considered is sold on Amazon (or other mega etailer), which is absolutely not the case in the (professional) surveillance industry. Plus, most people interested in IPVM have their own established sources of buying things at lower prices than an e-tailer, so there is little use for them to buy through an IPVM affiliate link.

I do think there is a win-win of IPVM paying / compensating members for their contributions, e.g., our recent discussion on member credits for commenting.

In addition, I think we could do more in-depth surveys (we did at least 3 this year at $20 a piece). Finally, we could pay (integrator or end user) members for submitting reviews on products they use.

I just want to buy an IPVM hat.

Not trying to foolishly push something that you have already obviously considered and rejected, but only in way of clarification:

While it's true that only two integrators in the survey chose 'online' as the best place to buy, are you of the opinion that most don't buy online at all? I was acting under the misguided assumption that even if most integrators prefer other channels, there would be times during the year that they would want or have to source online. Even relatively small purchases could defray most or all the cost of the membership, if that were the case.

Also true that many security items are not available online, many now are, a trend that could be on the rise:

Amazon offers a huge selection of household items, and has recently consolidated a new category called 'Home Automation' that includes door locks, security cameras, alarm systems, and smart thermostats. Traditionally, this mix of offerings has been the domain of security installers and dealers, but Amazon now lists over 4,000 'home automation' products it sells direct to end users.

But it's not all or even most products, yet. Maybe in 5 years...

"Even relatively small purchases could defray most or all the cost of the membership, if that were the case."

Help me with the math here.

Amazon says 4% referral fee for electronics. Using that, to pay for an annual personal plan, that requires $4,975 purchases per member, yes/no?

relatively small purchases.

Rhetorically overshot my case a bit there, sorry.

As for the math, it's not always just 4% . First, although cameras are classified as fixed 4%, all purchases, regardless of classification made within a day or so (cookie expiration) of following the link, are commissioned and could have percentages up to 10%, depending.

Second, I was going to mention Amazonsupply.com if there was any interest, have you heard of them?

Although smaller by far than the general Amazon store, they seem to have quite a few of the classic Trunkslammer lines missing from Amazon proper, and hopefully could help fill out the product mix. They offer LOC services as well. Not sure though really what worth they have. Tell me your opinion of their content/intent.... They pay 8%.

They also have personalized hard hats (for Ari), still one shopping day left. :)