Build Your Own Amazon Niche Store

amazon-logo Update: The Amazon Niche Store has been superseded by the Free WordPress Store for Amazon Associates. Redirecting you in 5 seconds…

Given that I recently had some success with my free eBay Store, I decided it would be a good idea to put together a similar WordPress plugin for Amazon.com. I’m pleased to present the Amazon Niche Store plugin. So why should you consider building a niche store with Amazon instead of eBay?

I believe that my Amazon Niche Store plugin has the potential to make more money than my free eBay Store (or BANS, phpbay, and the like) for a few reasons:

  • If you sell eBay products, those that bid through your blog need to have the winning bid for you to get paid.  With the Amazon Niche Store, you are awarded the commissions as soon as they buy the product.  You don’t have to worry about them winning a bid for you to get paid.
  • If the items you sell are more than $75 or so in value, you will receive higher commissions selling them on Amazon than you would on eBay.  Amazon pays a flat minimum of 4% on the sale price, whereas eBay pays on a minimum of 50% on the fees collected for the listing.
    Example
    Sale Price Commissions
    eBay $150 50% of $8.57
    ($2.00 listing fee + $6.57 sale fee)

    = $4.28
    Amazon $150 4% of $150 sale price = $6.00
  • You can sell digital products on Amazon (downloadable music, video games, videos, books, etc.) and receive 10% commission on those sales.

You can display an Amazon Niche Store within posts, pages, as a widget, or any combination of the three.  For example, if you have a video game blog, you may want to display a post or page with Wii products.  You could use the following short code:

[amazon trackingid="yourtrackingid" keywords="wii" rows="3" columns="2"]

And here is what the store would look like:

[amazon trackingid="gee0dd-20" keywords="wii" rows="3" columns="2"]

There are two conditions you should be aware of when using the plugin:

  • The store displays a link back to this page.  This helps to spread the word about this great plugin so that others can take advantage of it.
  • Your tracking ID is used 90% of the time, and the other 10% my tracking ID is used.  This will allow me to be compensated for my efforts, and help me spend more time making even more great plugins.

These conditions are subject to change at any time. By downloading, installing, and activating the plugin you agree to these terms. If you do not agree to these conditions then do not use this plugin.

To get started, you will first need to sign up as an Amazon affiliate (this absolutely free).  Once you’ve signed up or if you’re already signed up, create a new tracking ID to use with your Amazon Niche Store.  Then download, install, and activate the plugin.

Download the Plugin

Once installed and activated, write up a post or page where you wish to display an Amazon Niche Store.  Use the following shortcode (put it all on one line):

[amazon trackingid="YourTrackingID" keywords="Product Keywords" rows="RowCount" columns="ColumnCount" pagination="yes" logo="white" customcss="someuniqueidentifier"]

trackingid and keywords are required parameters. Use spaces between the keywords. columns and rows are optional, and the store plugin will default to 2 columns x 5 rows (10 items in total). The product display on a single page is limited to 30 products (and 50 products in total, if pagination is used).

The pagination, logo, and customcss parameters are also optional. The pagination parameter will allow the display of multiple pages of products when set to yes. You can see this demonstrated on my Amazon Niche Store demo page. You can set the logo parameter to white, black, or none to customize the display of the Amazon logo.

The customcss parameter allows you to customize the look and feel of your store.  By default, the product display mimics that of Amazon.com.  The product display uses custom css classes, and the customcss parameter you specify will be added to the custom class names.  For example, if you set customcss=”mycustomcss”, you can specify the CSS for the following classes:

  • amazon-store-mycustomcss : This is the style for div that encloses the entire store
  • amazon-store-mycustomcss-title : This is the style for the title
  • amazon-store-mycustomcss-manufacturer : This is the style for the manufacturer
  • amazon-store-mycustomcss-price : This is the style for the price
  • amazon-store-mycustomcss-view-details : This is the style for the view details link
  • amazon-store-mycustomcss-footer : This is the style for the footer displayed at the bottom of the store

The display of a store as a widget makes use of this feature, and the customcss parameter is set to sidebar.  So you will need to specify the CSS for amazon-store-sidebar, amazon-store-sidebar-title, amazon-store-sidebar-manufacturer, amazon-store-sidebar-price, amazon-store-sidebar-view-details, and amazon-store-sidebar-footer to customize the look and feel of the widget. The default css customizations for the widget are very similar to those for a regular store, but they have been tweaked a bit so that they will probably look a bit better for sidebar displays.

You can also set customcss=”none”.  This will prevent the customized CSS from being displayed inline on the web page.  If you’re displaying multiple stores on the same page, I would recommend you set customcss=”none” on all but one of the stores, to prevent repetitive CSS declarations.

If you set customcss=”none” you can specify the css for amazon-store, amazon-store-title, amazon-store-manufacturer, amazon-store-price, amazon-store-view-details, amazon-store-footer yourself.  You can also not specify them at all, in which case the store will take on the style of your blog.

Much of the plugin code for this plugin is based on the code I used for my Free eBay Store. The server-side code was a bit different since Amazon has their own API for retrieving product information. However, I did manage to find a great PHP library for Amazon called Tarzan.

Tarzan definitely helped to reduce the amount of time it took to develop the plugin. My favorite feature of Tarzan is the ability to make parallel requests to Amazon. If you are interested in developing your own Amazon applications in PHP, I highly recommend taking a look at the Tarzan library.

Good luck with your own Amazon Niche Store and happy affiliating! If you have any suggestions for the plugin or encounter any bugs, please feel free to comment on this post.

About GeekLad

Geeklad is a technology enthusiast and programming hobbyist. Occasionally he will put together useful little bits of code (be it JavaScript or PHP) and share them with the world. He also enjoys creating and sharing howtos, describing how to do the things people want to do with their computers.
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  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Is the plugin still active? I think even if it was a communication error, I
    think the plugin should at least generate an error.

  • barry

    yes its active. I deleted and re-uploaded it as well.

  • barry

    it is still working here: http://pinklaptopbag.netau.net

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Are these blogs all on the same host using the same version of WordPress?

  • barry

    same hosting company. Perhaps diff. server. same theme. I think version of WP but not 100% sure

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    The only thing I can think of is that if they are on different servers, the
    other server(s) may not be configured to allow the retrieval of remote
    content. You may want to your host's support to see if they might be able
    to help you resolve the issue.

  • http://www.she-sign.de/ SheSign

    Hi Geeklad,
    wich plugin you used for the twitter-reactions below?
    it is still fantastic.
    greetings, alex.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    I'm using Disqus for my comments, which includes the Twitter reactions for each post.

  • http://trafficwebdomains.com/ Sasha Nadya

    is it for ebay and amazon affiliate?

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Yes

  • Scott

    Is it possible for you to add the ability to filter results by category as well? I find that filtering only by 'keywords' is not producing what should be presented.

    For example, if I designate 'lighting' as my keyword, I do get lighting & lights, but I also get everything acroos the board, such as from clothing. Should I then filter more by using 'lighting fixtures' I do indeed now exclude clothing and other, however, I have also lost a great deal of 'lighting' items.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Yeah, just filter them down further by using “lighting fixtures”. I believe
    you can also use minuses for exclusion keywords (e.g. -clothing).

  • http://freemoneyblogs.com/ Linda Monica

    which is the best, amazon affiliate or ebay affiliate ? still confuse to chose for my blog…
    :(

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    I've had better luck w/ Amazon, that's what I would suggest trying first.

  • http://videoGamesConsoles.info/ Syah

    Hi there. I am having problem displaying the astore. I paste the codes that you posted exactly. I've edited the kewords, rows and columns and I've included my tracking ID. But, it does not show up at all.. I had installed and activated the plugin by the way. Any advice?

    Thank you in advance

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Are you getting any kind of errors, or just nothing showing up at all?

  • JPS

    What parameter needs to be placed in order to get the amazon links when clicked to open a new window?

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    There is not a parameter to do this, it will only open links into the same
    window.

  • JPS

    Is there not anyway to adjust this because you don't want the visitor to leave your site if they are just browsing and having a window open up is a way to prevent it. Another plug-in I was using was opening a window and also if you place any amazon astores & widgets on your site they automatically open a new window. I think this feature is necessary and would be great if you could add it.

  • Scott

    Is there any means to preload the page that will have the niche store?

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    No, the plugin works by pulling the products from my server.

  • Ted

    failman…you're a dufuss.

  • mike1144

    nice post!
    building niche store is now not a issue. it built easily and using some techniques u can earn lot of money. its a successful business now a days.u cant know more about bans and BANS software's on http://www.dynamixgate.com/wordpress-ebay-plugi
    keep goin:)

  • candystatts

    I can't see your comments, google friend connect keeps obstructing the artical and the comments

  • http://gamingworld.blogsome.com/ Arun

    Is this working for you guys.

  • http://9001sites.com/reviewazon Scott

    Somewhat. I think the idea is great, however, it lacks some customization…larger pics, etc. Additionally, I think you can ultimately confuse a visitor by presenting so many options. Overall though, it provides me an opportunity to dynamically present items in a consistent manner.

    I wish the developer would come up with something similar to reviewazon: http://9001sites.com/reviewazon

  • Vincent

    Hi GeekLad,
    I copy the code and paste in my php file but cannot work.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Are you any errors from the plugin?

  • http://landseo.ru landseo

    I think it's cool, isn't it? thank you.

  • Vincent

    GeekLad,
    If i like put in the template instead of in post, what is the code?

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Scroll up and check out a comment I made 9 months ago. There is a function
    called amazon_store_display() that you can use.

  • Vincent

    Hi GreekLad, I know and i copy the code put in my site but it appear the code instead of amazon product.
    I copy the following code:

    amazon_store_display(
    array(
    “trackingid” => “MyId”,
    “keywords” => “Product Keyword”,
    “rows” => 3,
    “columns” => 4,
    “pagination” => “yes”,
    “customcss” => “none”,
    “logo” => “none”
    )
    );

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    You need to enclose it in <?php ?> tags.

  • Vincent

    Hi, I try it but it's blank. Anyone get it work? I'm not the web programmer, anyone can help?

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    It may be that your web host doesn't allow remote access of files via PHP.
    That is required for the plugin to work properly.

  • http://www.besthdtvtvs.net Tony

    From my experience results are much better with Amazon. I often see order of product directly from Amazon, although a marketplace seller is cheaper. People trust them, they know they'll get their orders fast and they know the customer support is pretty decent.

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  • http://www.cigreds.com/ Electronic Cigarette Girl

    Yea, I had an amazon niche store selling non-nicotine, electronic cigarettes. They closed it down and dont allow the sale of e-cigs even if its a non-nicotine product. I think its due to a few bad apples but hey, its the way the ball rolls.

    -BElla

  • Janice

    Hi Geeklad, So whats the catch? is this plugin absolutely “free” or is there a certain percentage that sneaks your affiliate ID into our code? Would not mind if it did, you have a wonderful plugin. Just would like to know.

    Thanks for the hard work!

    Janice

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    That is correct. I display my affiliate ID 10% of the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/acyeagle Aaron C. Yeagle

    Ahhh … so I was about to post a question about products and keywords. I have made several pages with particular topics and a few of the pages display few if any titles. A comparable search directly on amazon displays multitudes of titles. So, if the “plugin works by pulling the products from my server” its not pulling the titles from amazon? How am I supposed to sell anything if my keywords are being filtered? Here is my example: http://www.transmutationsciences.com/library-re

    For example, a search on amazon for quickbooks yeilds 50 items; yet the same keyword in the plugin yeilds zero results.

    Or, is there some other issue involved?

  • http://www.facebook.com/acyeagle Aaron C. Yeagle

    Is it possible to make all the linking target=blank? I prefer to keep all outbound links that way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/acyeagle Aaron C. Yeagle

    Gah! Will not display as a widget. http://www.transmutationsciences.com Very interesting that it won't display. Not too worried. Mostly worried why certain keywords won't produce results. (see below.).

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    That's exactly how it works. 10% of the time my affiliate ID is displayed.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    I'm not sure why it isn't yielding results. I have seen situations where
    the Amazon API provides slightly different results than the Amazon web
    search, but usually there's not a problem with few results unless it is a
    set of very obscure keywords.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/acyeagle Aaron C. Yeagle

    Here is the code I am using on my “Business Library” page that is generating ZERO results. [amazon trackingid="transmuscienc-20" keywords="quicken, business, intuit, quick books, quickbooks, marketing, internet marketing, business advice, business plans, marketing, small business, business guide, marketing plans, growing a business" rows="6" columns="3" pagination="yes" vertical="yes" logo="none"]

    Is there something in my code that is prohibiting results? I'm going to have to take this page and the “Graphic Design Library” down if there's going to be no results.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    You have too many keywords. The search looks for all of the keywords, so it
    is unlikely any product is going to have all of the keywords you're seeking.
    You need to narrow down the search terms to those that go together. I
    would suggest setting up a different page for different types of products.

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  • http://www.kitchensinkfaucetsguide.com/ Rom of Kitchen Sink Faucets

    very helpful post, as im planning to set up an amazon store…i have a different question though, is that a plugin you use that displays related posts at the end of your post? what do you call that plugin..thanks!