Since Amazon burst onto the scene with its affiliate program, many other businesses have followed suit.
And it makes sense why: the business gets sales, and the affiliate (you) makes a tidy profit. It's a win-win.
But Amazon isn't the only business offering affiliate opportunities for you to capitalize on.
What about Best Buy?
As a retailer of computers, mobile phones, video game systems, home appliances, and more, there is a lot of opportunity for Best Buy shoppers to make high-cost purchases, which can then be attributed to your affiliate account.
But not all affiliate programs are created equal.
While some offer spectacular commission percentages, others lowball you to such an extreme extent that it’s nearly impossible to make any money.
So, where does Best Buy rank against other affiliate programs? Is it a gold mine for the budding entrepreneur? Does it have the potential to offer a little financial help and maybe tackle a few bills? Or is it a colossal waste of your time?
In this article, we’re going to explore every aspect of the Best Buy affiliate program, detailing what they offer, how it works, how much you can stand to make, as well as proven strategies for running a successful Best Buy affiliate campaign.
Introduction to the Best Buy Affiliate Program
The Best Buy affiliate program is available to anyone with a web presence. Anyone looking to join the program can sign up on Best Buy’s official website.
In this section, we’re going to give an overview of the program and go over some of its strengths and weaknesses.
First, we’re going to detail the various products that are included in this plan. Specifically, we’re going to touch on both what’s included and not included.
Then, we’re going to discuss policy, going into detail on some of the fine print for this program.
After that, it will be time to talk about money. Specifically, we’re going to dish on the payouts offered by Best Buy. How much can you make? When are payments made? How are they made?
Finally, we’re going to discuss the level of experience that you need to have to become a Best Buy partner. Some programs require a minimum audience and some do not. We’re also going to give our recommendations on how experienced you should be before embarking on a campaign using this program.
Best Buy Affiliate Program Products
We’re starting with products.
Best Buy has a wide array of high-quality products which range from mobile phones to computers, household appliances like refrigerators, and televisions. They also have some smaller items like DVDs, Blu-Rays, music albums, and more.
The good news here is that a variety of Best Buy products are available for you to sell through the affiliate program. The bad news is that a large number of big money high trafficked items are not included.
Let’s first touch on what Best Buy is leaving out of its affiliate program.
According to the Best Buy website, affiliate partners can not earn commissions from some products, including laptops, tablets, desktop computers, video game hardware, Apple products, and Point of Sale activation cards.
Unfortunately, a lot of these items are worth a lot of money and are some of the most popular items sold by Best Buy. Computers alone are a huge item taking up a lot of space both in physical Best Buy locations and the web store.
Not including Apple products is another huge blow. That means no iPhones, no iPods, no iPads, and no Apple Watches.
So, what is included?
Geek Squad services are included, and this includes Total Tech Support services as well. You’re also going to be able to make money selling fitness equipment and accessories.
However, it should be noted that “fitness equipment and accessories” do not include wearables such as FitBits or smartwatches.
Baby gear and furniture are included in the affiliate program, but this also has a caveat. Electronics and toys are not included in this category and are ineligible for commission.
You can also earn on luggage and travel items, as well as televisions, home appliances, and any other product on the Best Buy website other than the exceptions listed above.
Best Buy Affiliate Program Policy
Best Buy has some policies in place which dictate how the affiliate program works.
For starters, let’s talk cookies.
No, not actual cookies, we’re talking about internet cookies here. Best Buy’s cookie window is 24 hours. This is fairly common among affiliate programs, but what does it mean?
It means that if a shopper clicks on your affiliate link, they have 24 hours to purchase via Best Buy’s website. If they wait any longer than that to return to the site and make their purchase, you won’t be given credit for the sale.
While this cookie window is fairly common among affiliate programs, it is also one of the shortest possible.
Best Buy’s affiliate program is only available for North America. That’s because Best Buy only sells products in the US, Mexico, and Canada. International audiences outside of Mexico and Canada will not be able to make purchases.
That’s why it’s important to take a long hard look at your audience before entering into the Best Buy program. If the bulk of your audience is in North America, then you’re ok. But if you have a large foreign market, this program is all but useless for them.
Another huge caveat in this program is that commissions are only available for purchases made by new Best Buy customers.
Yes, you read that right.
You can only earn commissions from customers who have never shopped at one of the largest electronics retailers in the world.
If someone has purchased through Best Buy before, you do not receive credit for the sale. As a policy, this is meant to encourage new customers shopping at Best Buy. However, it can be extremely limiting for you as a partner.
Best Buy can track who has made prior purchases with the company through email addresses.
The other major factor to keep in mind is something that we touched on in the last section.
Not all Best Buy merchandise is included.
Computers and video game hardware are most notably not included as part of the affiliate program. These are popular Best Buy items and their exclusion is going to hurt your chances of making serious money.
Best Buy Affiliate Program Payouts
Now let’s talk about money. Specifically, we’re going to touch on how much you’re making, when you’re making it, and what kind of money you could see from purchases both large and small.
For starters, Best Buy partner payouts are made monthly. That means every month you’ll receive money for the commissions you’ve made.
The commission percentage is 0.5%. That’s across the board. Some programs, such as Amazon or Target, apply different percentages to different product categories. However, at Best Buy, whether you’re selling a cheap item or a massive television, you’re still only earning 0.5% commission.
This payout percentage is extremely low. But it wasn’t always the case.
When the program first started, the commission payout was at 1%. That’s still not great but it’s way better than what it currently sits at. However, Best Buy slashed those commissions by 50% leaving the commission rate at where it is today.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the items you’re able to sell to see how this commission scale works for or against you.
In the above image, you’ll see a massive 75-inch television, priced at a whopping $999. It’s one of the most expensive options available on Best Buy’s website.
At a 0.5% commission rate, the company would pay out only $4.99 for this sale.
That’s just shy of $5 on a scale that is just shy of $1,000. That’s really not a lot and will severely impact your ability to make any substantial money using this program.
Here’s something far less expensive. Pictured above, you’ll find a small beach tent. This item is priced at just $29.99. Using the same 0.5% commission rate, Best Buy would pay out just $0.14 for this sale.
Of course, it’s important to remember here that if any of the customers who purchased these items using your link had ever purchased from Best Buy before, the payout instantly becomes 0%.
Level of Experience
Best Buy does not have a recommended level of experience or audience size for their affiliate program. However, based on the restrictions and payout percentage, we have a few recommendations as to who should (and shouldn’t) become a Best Buy partner.
If you’re going to get anything out of this program you should be an experienced salesperson with a massive following in North America. Not only that, but you should have a lot of experience in running successful affiliate marketing campaigns if you’re going to have any hope of making Best Buy’s system work for you.
The minuscule commission rate makes it practically impossible to make any kind of substantial money. To put this in perspective, let’s say that you sell 10 75-inch televisions to new customers at $999 each. That would come out to $9,999 in sales for Best Buy.
You’re only making $49.90 in commission.
Obviously, this program is not recommended for first-time affiliate marketers.
It should also not be the only affiliate program you use. No one is going to strike it big or even make a living on this affiliate program, but it might be useful to supplement existing affiliate partnerships.
If you’re already running affiliate programs through companies like Amazon, Target, or Home Depot (to name a few), then an extra $30-$50 a month might be helpful coming from Best Buy (if you work really hard at it). If your audience is large enough, it could even be a way to provide them with more options in their shopping experience.
The bottom line is, this can’t be your only option. You’re not going to get rich on this program. You likely won’t even be able to pay your phone bill.
Best Buy Affiliate Program’s Orientation in the Market
If we’re going to talk about the effectiveness of Best Buy’s affiliate program, it’s also important to examine its market orientation.
In other words, we have to draw a comparison between Best Buy’s program and its similar counterparts throughout the affiliate marketing world.
The first and easiest comparison to draw is Amazon. It was one of the first major affiliate programs to sprout up and it remains one of the largest programs in the world. Affiliate marketers have made a lot of money utilizing Amazon’s program.
Of course, it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses for the world’s largest online retailer. Amazon recently came under a ton of scrutiny for slashing affiliate commission percentages. In some cases, rates went from an 8% commission all the way down to 3% or even 1%.
However, this is still double or five times higher than Best Buy’s commission rate, which should tell you all that you need to know about how the two stack up to one another.
Amazon also has a larger pool of products to pull from. Best Buy focuses on electronics, while Amazon has everything under the sun that you can imagine. You can get everything from children’s toys to gardening supplies to even all of the same products offered by Best Buy through Amazon.
What’s more, you can sell all of these duplicate items as an Amazon affiliate marketer for a larger commission.
We can also shift our attention over to Target, another massive retailer with both physical locations and an online store, much the same as Best Buy.
However, Target runs on a performance-based commission rate and features a larger variety of products than Best Buy.
For example, Home and Outdoor Living products for Target start at a 5% commission rate when you refer between 0 and 10 sales per month. If you refer 10,000 sales in a month, that commission is bumped up to 8%.
In short, there is an incentive to sell more.
Meanwhile, with Best Buy, you’re going to remain at a static 0.5% regardless of the volume of products you move or sales you refer.
To compare one last time, Target’s highest commission rate is a massive 10%. Its lowest is 1%.
At its absolute lowest, Target’s commission rate is still 50% more than Best Buy at its highest.
Best Buy Advantages and Disadvantages
Every affiliate program in existence has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Best Buy is no different.
Here are some advantages of the Best Buy affiliate program.
- Best Buy is a trusted name in North American retail.
- The company and its logo are instantly recognizable to shoppers.
- Best Buy has a large pool of electronics products to pull from when trying to market to potential shoppers.
- The company will provide you with custom banners highlighting promotions and deals every week, which you can then use on your website.
Now, here are some of the unique disadvantages of working with Best Buy.
- Extremely low commission percentage, making it virtually impossible to make substantial money.
- Computers are not included.
- Video game systems are not included
- Apple products are not included.
Items like computers, video game systems, and Apple products are big sellers for Best Buy and are some of the easiest (and most lucrative) items to sell.
It almost feels like Best Buy is using the Affiliate program to get rid of stock that isn’t moving as much while reserving all of the profits on easily sold items for itself.
Best Buy Affiliate Program Engagement Strategies
If you’re going to try your hand at the Best Buy affiliate program, you’re going to need to enter with a strategy.
We’ve outlined two effective strategies below that you can implement in an attempt to improve your chances of success with Best Buy’s program.
01 – SEO
One way to get more customers purchasing Best Buy products through your website is to rank for those products on popular search engines like Google.
You can do this through Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. However, it should be noted that this is a tactic that takes time and dedication.
First, identify specific keywords associated with products that are included in the affiliate program.
That means do not target keywords related to laptops, tablets, desktop computers, video game hardware, or anything related to Apple.
Something like Verizon Wireless, Samsung Galaxy, or big screen television are all keywords that you should go after for the Best Buy program.
Push these products hard on your website, directing people to your affiliate link.
It’s also a good idea to blog about many of these products and review them. Then include affiliate links and images in your articles.
You can also guest blog on popular tech-based websites — providing product reviews for big money items such as televisions or other products that you’re looking to rank for. This will also help you generate the necessary backlinks for your SEO program to succeed.
- Ensure that every page on your website has an optimized title tag and meta description, featuring the keywords you’re trying to rank for.
- Make sure you feature alt description/tags in your images and optimized titles that incorporate these terms.
- Make sure you’re linking as well. Create an interlinked web of content.
Include links on your pages to other reviews that you’ve conducted. Crosslinking is an important part of the SEO process and is one of the keys to success that many people ignore.
Understand that SEO takes time and patience. It takes usually up to six months before you will start to see any movement that generates a return.
Also, keep in mind that these are going to be high-value keywords with a lot of competition, so you’re going to have to spend a lot of time-fighting against competitors (and Best Buy itself) to rank for them.
If you’re truly serious and hell-bent on making the Best Buy affiliate program work for you, consider working with an SEO firm that will add their expertise to your website. Of course, the added expense of working with such a firm should be weighed against the potential profits you could stand to receive from the program itself.
02 – Special Events
Another idea is to heavily promote Best Buy products on your site around sales and special events that would be attractive to shoppers.
Best Buy will let you know what sales are going on. They have daily and weekly sales, not to mention holiday promotions.
Days like Labor Day, Memorial Day, and Fourth of July always include slashed prices at major retailers like Best Buy.
But it is particularly important to focus on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
This represents a perfect opportunity to monetize every year.
Push these deals on your website, but remember that computers and video game systems (two popular Black Friday options) do not count toward your commissions.
Focus also on televisions and household appliances like washers/dryers and refrigerators. Also home gym equipment like treadmills, ellipticals, and weight machines could be helpful.
These are big money items that are included in your commission plan, so go after them.
Our Best Buy Affiliate Program Review
Best Buy’s Affiliate program is far from the best that we’ve seen.
You’re going to be hard-pressed to make a substantial amount of money pushing less popular product categories to people who have never shopped at one of the largest electronics retailers in North America.
However, there is money that can be made, and this affiliate program could be a small part of your larger multi-program strategy.
As an affiliate marketer, I would consider taking on the Best Buy affiliate program if I had ample experience, a lot of time to dedicate to it, and I was already seeing a measure of success with other, more lucrative programs.
But honestly, I likely would not take this program on as it seems like far too much work for far too little profit. Their super-low commission rate, limited product catalog, and extremely strict first-time customers rule make this a no go for me.
So, there you have it. The Best Buy affiliate program is a bit of a mess, with no clear path to making serious money. If you’re looking to get started as an affiliate marketer, we highly recommend programs like Amazon or Target, as they are far more lucrative and less restrictive.
Do you have any questions about the Best Buy Affiliate program that weren’t answered here? Do you have experiences that you want to share?
Sound off in the comment section and let us know.