In December 2010, we set up shopping links on this fansite in order to
- let fans know where they can find DVDs and audios of Nicola’s work and
- to promote and support Nicola’s work in a legally permissible way
When you buy a product through clicking one of these product links, we would earn a small commission from the relevant online merchant. All commission earned would be donated to a charity nominated by Nicola.
When we conducted the 2011 Q and A with Nicola, we took the opportunity to ask her what was her favourite charity, and as you can see from the image above, she nominated “the M S Society” (the Multiple Sclerosis Society). Nicola told us, “I know someone who has it, and its a horrible disease. Its the only charity that I make regular donations to.” To find out more about MS and what the MS Society does to combat this disease, go visit the UK MS Society website.
Initially, we were quite conservative in the sense that we only included links to products which had a direct connection to Nicola’s work. Since a lot of her work is only available on Region 2 DVD, we slowly began to earn commission from sales concluded through Amazon UK. However, for Amazon US, for the longest time, our commission remained at US$1.24!
Recently, we decided on a policy change, and as you can see from the Amazon search boxes on the right hand side, you can now search for and buy anything you want from either Amazon US or Amazon UK by typing the relevant product description into the search boxes. To help you understand how it all works, we have prepared a short FAQ below.
How can I help? What do I have to do?
When you want to buy something, anything, that is sold on either Amazon US or Amazon UK, come to the fansite and search for the item by using one of the search boxes. If available on Amazon, it will take you to the relevant Amazon site. In taking this step, a cookie is sent to the Amazon servers which tells them that we, the Nicola Walker fansite, has referred this business to them and for this, we earn a small commission once the sale is completed.
Do I have to select each and every item by coming back to the fansite repeatedly?
No. Once you have found one item through the fansite search box, you can continue shopping on Amazon without having to come back to the fansite. However, the rule is that you must either complete your transaction straightaway, or do that within the next 90 days. After 90 days, the cookie will expire and even if you check out your shopping cart, we won’t be credited with any commission.
If you put an item into your shopping cart, then change your mind and delete it, but at a later date decides to reselect that item, you will need to come back to the fansite and reselect that item through one of the search boxes. If you return an item to Amazon after its been shipped to you, Amazon will reverse the commission previously credited to us for that item.
Will I end up paying more for my purchase because you will earn a commission?
No. The prices which you pay to Amazon will remain the same, whether or not we earn a commission. In other words, the commission is being paid out of Amazon’s profits.
Will you know who bought which products and where they are sent to?
Again, no. Amazon will keep your private details confidential. We will only be able to see a report of the items ordered and shipped, the prices charged and the commission credited to us. We are not given any information about who bought what and where the products are shipped to.
How much is the commission which you will earn?
Well, this depends on the products and the rate at which clicks on product links are converted into actual sales. It ranges from 4% to 10%. For example, since Amazon are keen to sell their range of Kindles, we will be able to earn a much higher commission on Kindle sales than on something like a CD or DVD.
How often do you get paid by Amazon?
This depends on how quickly we earn commissions. For admin reasons, Amazon will wait until we have accumulated a reasonable amount before making any payment to us. There will always been a time lag of a couple of months before the payment is processed. However, once a sizeable amount is earned, a donation will be made to the MS Society. For details of our first donation, read this Post.
What about other online merchants? Why do you have only Amazon search boxes on the fansite?
Amazon has the simplest, most straightforward associate programmes. We tried dealing with other online merchants such as the Book Depository and Audible but for various reasons (tax issues, ease of using their software etc), we have decided not to put links to other online merchants here. Also, you will not ever see banner ads on this fansite. Our focus will remain on Nicola’s work.
It goes without saying that if you wish to support Nicola’s charity, you are always welcome to make a donation in your own name directly on the UK MS Society’s website or your local branch of a MS charity.