View Full Version : As an affiliate, do you sell physical products or digital downloads?

01-19-2014, 08:27 AM
There are so many opportunities to build a business around affiliate marketing these days that it can be hard to choose what exactly to promote. If you're active as an affiliate, do you prefer to sell physical goods, for example through Amazon or eBay, or do you do better with digital downloads such as ebooks, online courses or software? Is there any particular reason for your choice, and what do you find to be the pros and cons of each?

01-19-2014, 09:37 AM
As an affiliate, depending on the income, both products whether physical or digital are actually good. I am currently promoting, as an affiliate, physical products which are ordered in our country. I do not have much experience with digital products as it can be quite tricky and problematic. The problem for physical products is the legitimacy of the seller, there are fake ones out there and I have already been scammed when I bought a product online. For digital products, selling as an affiliate would be rather hard and may yield very little income.

01-21-2014, 11:56 PM
I tried with physical products but I wasn't patient enough for it. I'm planning on going back to that though and putting more effort and time into it.
Digital products and downloads are quicker and easier. It's more gratifying.
I've looked into running a bit of a hybrid where I can utilize both. We'll see what works.

01-22-2014, 01:54 AM
I don't think that you have to make a choice of either or. As an affiliate you can sell both, and make a good profit. I would try both, and see how it works for you.

01-24-2014, 11:26 AM
It does not matter to me what I sell. As long as it fits into my niche and I know that it is a great product from a reputable source. I have a few websites and I sell anything from clothes, to wellness products, books electronic and physical books, electronics, children's items and even more. I love this way of selling and as long as I can find people interested in my products, then even if it's not my niche I will find buyers.

01-24-2014, 04:25 PM
As a affiliate, I think you have the choice either sell the physical portion or digital portion of the products because I think it is up to you to decide. I think it is always to have a backup method because if the physical portion doesn't work for you, then the digital portion is also a good consideration. Do whatever you think it is good for you, as long as they won't limit your choice of what products you can sell and what cannot be sold.

01-24-2014, 05:39 PM
Like most of those who commented, I've had success selling both physical and digital products as an affiliate. However, I find that the %-age of your commissions are much higher selling digital products as compared to selling physical products. Just look at the commission rate for physical products on Amazon ... not that great, unless you can sell big-ticket Amazon products. And, I find that the refund rates are much higher with digital products as compared to physical products. So, there are advantages and disadvantages for each type of affiliate product.

For me, if I like the product, tested and used it and I truly feel it will help others, then I would market the <blank> out of it.

Good luck!

01-24-2014, 07:24 PM
Personally, I like both. I haven't found that one sells more than another, and it's no extra work for me if I'm doing affiliate sales as opposed to flipping products. I don't think one over the other is more likely for people to compulsively buy, either, since both are just a click away.

01-24-2014, 08:05 PM
I have signed up with multiple affiliation programs which include Amazon Association, Commission Junction, LinkShare, and ClickBank. The only one has made me some money is Amazon Association program. I promote physical goods through inserting links manually into my articles. I simply hyperlink the product names I mentioned in my articles with affiliation links from Amazon.

However, you need to know that people don't always buy what you try to promote. Most items I have sold for Amazon were not even the products in my articles. It is a good thing with Amazon association program, once someone click on one of your affiliation links... they'd get lost on Amazon. Anything they buy will earn you commission... not just the items directly in your link. So there had been digital downloads as well amongst the items people bought through my links. The physical goods still made up the majority part of the sales so far.

01-29-2014, 02:34 AM
I am an entertainment blogger who focuses primarily on writing about movies. As an affiliate I recommend products which can be bought on other site which offers the item. If I write a review about a movies that has been released on DVD, I add to three links [my affiliate links] to different sites. If the buyer decides to buy the product be it the DVD or a digital version of the movie [from any of the sites] then that's up to him/her. So since I don't sell the products/items myself, I can't say that I sell either digital or physical products. It all comes to down to the customers choice when they decide to buy the product.

01-31-2014, 09:20 AM
I am a professional photographer for about 2 years now and I am registered in different websites where my work can be bought. Just to mention a few: 500px (biggest photographer community, people can download your images or buy them as canvas prints), Society6 (similar to 500px but your images there can be sold as iPhone, iPad, laptop covers + T-Shirts and pillows), Pixoto (same as 500px and Society6), etc. So I can mainly consider myself as someone who sells digital/downloadable products, but not only :)

Brianna Jay
02-01-2014, 11:58 PM
I like that customers can get instant gratification by purchasing a digital product, but I don't necessarily prefer digital over physical goods. I advertise whatever it is that my audience may be looking for and will find useful. I don't want to refer them to anything that I wouldn't use myself, whether it be physical or digital. I believe you can make decent money promoting either or as long as you are providing genuine content surrounding the product you are referring.

02-14-2014, 09:53 AM
You'll always have a choice of what you want to sell. As for which type of product would sell better? Well, too many variables to give a clear answer.

Personally, I prefer digital products. If you're selling physical products and your dropshipper dispatches the item later than they should, then it's your reputation on the line.

02-14-2014, 03:15 PM
What I'm selling are digital products and since I run a few tech advice blogs they are the proper choice. There would be no point in selling umbrellas on a tech blog, would it? :D Online, you chose what to market depending on the site you own. You write about movies? Mix it. Promote Netflix and sell TV's from Amazon, both physical and digital. Own a love advice blog (hey, it's Valentines), sell love advice e-books.

I see no pros or cons as long as you sell products your visitors are interested in. Of course, some pay better than others. Just sold a car? That's nice money. Sold an e-book, not so much.

02-14-2014, 03:35 PM
digital downloads are lucrative for short term gains, but could affect your reputation in the future either positively or negatively, given how the literature, services, and coaching techniques are handled.

with actual physical products, you will see a slower conversion rate, but you will also see fewer disputed charges or chargebacks.

Long story short, if youre pushing software, online courses, ebooks, or self help guru starter kits, you better make sure you believe in the product 100%

02-14-2014, 03:38 PM
I like that customers can get instant gratification by purchasing a digital product, but I don't necessarily prefer digital over physical goods. I advertise whatever it is that my audience may be looking for and will find useful. I don't want to refer them to anything that I wouldn't use myself, whether it be physical or digital. I believe you can make decent money promoting either or as long as you are providing genuine content surrounding the product you are referring.

Exactly. Genuine content that you believe in, yourself, is the only way to go when marketing a digital product. IT WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU IF YOU SELL SUB PAR GOODS OR SERVICES!

03-17-2014, 04:58 AM
amazon is better than ebay in a movie or video related niche. for other niches like in electronics Ebay is gar better than amazon. it really depends on the traffic volume and website niche.

03-18-2014, 07:31 PM
I guess you can sell both digital and physical products, as long as it relates to your niche market targets. For example, you can sell both eBooks and physical books. If both products serve the same market, then why not post both on your blog?

The more products you can put on your blog, the better (that is, if you don't seem annoying).

03-18-2014, 09:15 PM
The best part about affiliate marketing is that often times, you don't even have to deal with shipping and instead just deal with getting orders placed, so it's just as easy as selling digital downloads without the hassle of physical goods.
It just depends on what you're selling, who your target audience is, and your own preference. For example, if you're selling music, digital downloads tend to be the way to go. If your target audience are teens into the early twenties, they're more likely to opt for digital downloads. If you're selling to the older generation, they tend to prefer actual books to digital books. So if you're trying to sell...I don't know, whatever the new teen equivalent to twilight is, digital downloads may yield better results. But if you're trying to sell a newspaper, physical copies are more likely to be preferred.

03-18-2014, 11:56 PM
Personally I prefer to sell digital downloads. Physical downloads can take a while to be delivered and during that period, the funds and held in the accounts and can not be used. I think digital downloads are much easier to deal with. Simply pay for the product and then you will be redirected to download the product.

04-02-2014, 11:09 PM
when I did affiliate marketing I promoted both digital and physical products.

04-02-2014, 11:19 PM
I sell digital downloads because the expenses are lower. When you're selling physical products, you accrue additional expenses from shipping and the like. Sure, you can charge your customers shipping but then you still have to pay for the time and effort you spend shipping them. If you try to charge extra for this, customers will think they're getting ripped off on shipping charges.