Become an AliExpress
Affiliate in 2023
AliExpress is a global marketplace based in China owned by Alibaba. It created a platform for Chinese wholesalers and manufacturers that allowed them to receive orders worldwide.
In this review of the AliExpress affiliate program, you will learn how to become an AliExpress affiliate.
It covers everything you need to know about the AliExpress affiliate program and tips on how to make money as an Aliexpress affiliate.
AliExpress Affiliate Program
The AliExpress affiliate program is not as popular as Amazon Associates. Not many people know that AliExpress even has an affiliate program.
AliExpress has mainly become known among bloggers and online entrepreneurs in connection with dropshipping.
You start a Shopify store, add products to your store from AliExpress, and every time you receive an order, you buy cheaply from AliExpress and have the product sent to the customer's address. You sell the products for more than what you buy them on AliExpress, and that´s how you make money without not having any goods.
If you don’t fancy dropshipping but want to make money with AliExpress, you can become an AliExpress affiliate.
You can join the AliExpress in-house affiliate program from AliExpress Portals or join it on the following affiliate network sites: CJ Affiliate, FlexOffers, and Awin.
It used to be a painful experience to join the in-house affiliate program, and everyone would recommend joining the AliExpress affiliate program through one of the affiliate network sites.
However, AliExpress listened to the criticism and updated its in-house program.
For this review, I tried creating a new profile on AliExpress Portals and did not experience any difficulties.
Upon joining the AliExpress affiliate program, you will be greeted with a "Get Started Guide" that shows you how to navigate around AliExpress Portals.
AliExpess added a promotion calendar which I think is a great feature.
You can quickly see all the promotions for the current month, which is something all AliExpress affiliates will appreciate.
In the AliExpress Portals, you can easily create affiliate links, find banners, and check analytics to see how many clicks your AliExpress affiliate gets.
What is also cool is that you can filter just AliExpress products with higher commissions.
I am impressed with how the in-house AliExpress affiliate program has changed.
AliExpress Cookie Duration
Now let’s talk about what is not so good about the AliExpress Portals.
Strangely, the cookie duration differs based on what AliExpress affiliate program you join.
If you join the in-house program or the one listed on FlexOffers, you will have a session-based cookie.
This means that if a reader closes the window and buys the product in a few hours, you will not be credited to that sale.
Session-based cookies are the worst. Compared with a similar affiliate program, Amazon Associates cookie lasts 24 hours. Not long, but better than session-based cookies.
Nevertheless, if you become an AliExpress affiliate through CJ or Awin, you will get a 3-day cookie.
This is a significant difference that impacts how much money you can make with the AliExpress affiliate program.
Because of this, I would recommend joining the program through CJ or Awin.
AliExpress Portals are much better now, but the session-based cookie is a big con.
Why have a session-based cookie if you can have a 3-day one?
AliExpress Affiliate Program Commission
AliExpress affiliate program commission ranges from 3% to 9%.
You can see the commission rates in the table below.
You can now also earn a commission for promoting hot products, but you have to check the tab "Hot Deals" inside of AliExpress Portals. The commission for hot products ranges from 3% to 11%. I could find a few products with commissions as high as 15%, but those were exceptions.
A drawback of affiliate marketing with AliExpress is that the commission is capped at $50. If someone buys, through your affiliate link, products worth thousands of dollars, you will never receive more than $50. Nevertheless, AliExpress mostly sells very cheap products, so this will not affect your earning much.
Another program drawback is that affiliates can withdraw their commission only through international bank transfers; Pay Pal is not supported. Each bank transfer withdrawal has a processing fee of $15.
Because of the withdrawal processing fee, affiliates can withdraw only once they accumulate at least $16.
The commission is added to your AliExpress Portals account for each completed order. If a customer doesn't ask for a refund, an order gets completed after 60 days from the original purchase date.
When your commission finally shows up in your account, you still can’t withdraw it whenever you like. AliExpress allows withdrawing money only on or before the 20th of every month.
Therefore, hypothetically, you could wait for your commission for up to 70 days if the purchase was made on the 21st.
Like the cookie duration, the AliExpress affiliate program commission also differs based on where you join the program.
CJ Affiliates - 4% (regardless of a product category)
FlexOffers - 4.5% (regardless of a product category)
Awin - 2.4% - 7% (depends on the product category)
As you can see, the commission differs quite a lot.
AliExpress Portals have the worst cookie duration but the best commission.
I think the winner is Awin as they have a 3-day cookie and, at the same time, higher commission for some products.
How to Make Money with the AliExpress Affiliate Program
Not many people know it, but even though AliExpress is a Chinese company, Chinese cannot shop at AliExpress.
AliExpress focuses solely on international buyers.
The AliExpress website receives around 500 million visits each month from all around the world. Most of the traffic comes from Brazil and USA.
Even though many Americans shop on AlieExpress, the number is insignificant compared to Amazon.
Therefore, if you want to do affiliate marketing with AliexPress products, you have to be strategic with your content.
Ask yourself a question: ‘’Why would anyone buy from AliExpress rather than from Amazon?’’
The main reason is the lower price, and the second is the uniqueness of the products.
Amazon products are, in general, of higher quality but some people prefer a lower price over quality.
And some products are possible to buy only at AliExpress.
If you want to be a successful AliExpress affiliate, keep these things in mind and build your content strategy around it.
For example, you could review products that are listed both on AliExpress and Amazon. You could educate your readers that many merchants buy cheaply on AliExpress and list the same products on Amazon for higher prices.
Even if you are an AliExpress affiliate, I recommend becoming an Amazon affiliate as well.
Every time you compare products, you never want to have an affiliate link just the "winner" but for all the alternatives as well.
I recommend focusing on AliExpress categories that have more pricey products.
If you promote an iPhone case that costs $1-2 on AliExpress, you will only make a few cents from each referral.
AliExpress Affiliate Program vs. Amazon Associates
The commission for both programs is very similar. AliExpress commission ranges from 3% to 9%, and Amazon from 1% to 10%. For some categories, you will have a better commission with AliExpress and for some with Amazon.
Where AliExpress has a little edge is the referral period. AliExpress has a 3-day referral period if you join through CJ or Awin while Amazon Associates has only 24 hours cookie.
Despite of that, I would still recommend becoming an Amazon than an AliExpress affiliate.
It is just so much easier to make money as an Amazon affiliate. Especially, if you have US-based traffic.
Amazon is a more trusted company with better products and also more expensive ones.
Even though the commission is similar, there are less expensive products on AliExpress so you will mostly promote cheaper products for which you earn a small commission.
If you don´t have US-based traffic but have a lot of traffic from places like Brazil or Russia, then trying the AliExpress affiliate program is worth the shot.
Should You Join the AliExpress Affiliate Program?
AliExpress is popular not just among dropshippers, but also among affiliate marketers.
Even though the program has a better cookie duration than Amazon Associates and comparable commission, it is harder to make money as an AliExpress affiliate.
AliExpress is not as big as Amazon and since it offers mostly cheap and low-quality products, it does not have the best reputation.
Amazon also cares a lot more about its affiliates. Even though AliExpress has recently improved the AliExpress Portals, Amazon has overall better support.
If your website receives the majority of its traffic from the USA, I recommend focusing solely on promoting Amazon products.
If you don’t have US-based traffic, you can experiment with the AliExpress affiliate program but still, don’t focus on it too much.
Frequently Asked Questions
AliExpress in-house program: 3%-9% (depends on the product category)
CJ Affiliates: 4% (regardless of a product category)
FlexOffers: 4.5% (regardless of a product category)
Awin: 2.4%-7% (depends on the product category)
AliExpress in-house program: Session-based
CJ Affiliates: 3 days
Awin: 3 days