Commission Junction Merchant Fees


For one of our newly launched services we were exploring a global affiliate networks with international reach to increase sales and Commission Junction (popularly known as CJ) was an obvious option being one of the most popular affiliate marketing network. I sent a query to them asking how much they charge merchants for using their platform. Their response came as a shock :-/

Any guesses how much CJ charges merchants for enrolling into their affiliate program? Well, they charge a whopping $6500 USD plus 3% transaction fees. And that’s not all, if your accumulated transaction fees for a month are less than $500 USD then you need to pay minimum monthly amount, which is $500 USD. Below are complete fee details.

Fee Structure  One-Time Network Integration Fee of $3,000: Includes access to our network, an online management dashboard,  technical resources, and launch assistance.  One-Time Escrow Account Deposit of $3,000: This deposit is a pre-fund of your account in anticipation of paying publisher  commissions and Commission Junction transaction fees after your account is live in our network. ($500 required minimum  account balance.)  Monthly Transaction Fees: A transaction fee is deducted from your escrow account whenever a transaction occurs. The  transaction fee is equal to 3% of sale amount per transaction. If this amount is not greater than 30 cents, a minimum  transaction fee of 30 cents will be assessed in lieu of the standard 3% of sale transaction fee. If your accumulated  transaction fees for the month do not exceed a minimum monthly amount (US $500), you will pay the minimum amount  instead.  12 Month Term, Annual $500 Renewal Fee: Initial contract term is 12 months.

Well, now I know why e-commerce sites are fleeing from Commission Junction and other affiliate networks :). Earlier I used to be a CJ publisher and noticed a few Indian e-commerce using CJ but I didn’t find any now. I also checked some other sites and found that cheapest option available is probably Shareasale which charges $550 USD one time setup fee and 20% per transaction (20% of affiliate commission) and minimum 1 cent per transaction. CJ charges minimum 30 cents per transaction.

Wondering what we finally decided. Well, for now we decided to stay away from these networks and now planning to run our own in-site affiliate program using any COTS tool.