Make money for someone special as you surf

As an Amazon Prime member, I buy a fair amount of stuff on Amazon, especially Kindle books and MP3’s. With free 2 day shipping and $3.99 next day shipping, it’s too easy to buy things on impulse.

One cool program Amazon created is their affiliate program called Amazon Associates , where people can create links with their associate ID that when clicked will pay a percentage (around 6%) if the click results in a sale. The associate program is very popular among bloggers as it gives you one more way to make money off something you do anyway, like recommend books.

I see a lot of popular bloggers like VC blogger, Paul Kedrosky, who use this and it occurred to me that while I appreciate the book or product recommendations, wouldn’t it be better to award this benefit to someone in my immediate circle? In other words, shouldn’t a nice Amazon commission on MY purchases go to someone I actually know and care about? Someone who might really benefit from it rather than some Venture Capitalist out West who I’ve never met? It’s really just a matter of substituting the Amazon associate ID’s at the end of the URL. After a quick search, I found a Greasemonkey Script that does this.

Now, whenever I load any Amazon link anywhere in my browser the Greasemonkey script rewrites the link and inserts my friend’s associate ID. If I click the link and buy something my friend gets a 6-10% commission.

I would not recommend using your own associate ID as you cannot make commissions on your own purchases. Of course, if you got your friend to use your Amazon ID and you used his ID, then you might both be able to make reciprocal purchases.

It’s very easy. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Make your friend get an Amazon Associate ID.
  2. Install and use Firefox as your web browser, if you haven’t already.
  3. Install the Greasemonkey Firefox Extension
  4. Install the Amazon URL rewriting Greasemonkey script
  5. Edit the script and add your friend’s associate ID.

That’s all there is to it. Now any time you buy anything from Amazon, your friend or loved one will get a nice percentage, which can add up over time.

In the future, it might be nice to add a feature to the script to rotate through a group of Amazon associate ID’s from friends and assign one to each link at random to make it more interesting. Or, you could see about finding Amazon associate ID’s for any charities that participate in the program.

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