Is Affiliate Marketing A Scam? Debunking The Myth.

A common misconception about affiliate marketing is that it is some new business model.

That it’s nothing other than a pyramid scheme, or another thing that’ll make you get rich quick.

These beliefs have caused an influx of people asking the same question.

Is Affiliate Marketing a Scam?

But this couldn’t be farther from reality..

As more and more people are gravitating towards earning an income online..

They’re discovering this method as if it’s something new.

But affiliate marketing is probably the most common way that people are making money online.

And have been for years…

It is merely a modern interpretation of a very old business model.

You promote someone else’s product and upon making a sale you receive a commission.

Very similar to the way a car salesman would make a living or a real estate agent.

As they don’t own the products that they promote but upon getting a prospect to complete a purchase they’ll receive a percentage of the overall sale paid to them in a commission.

The short answer the question, No affiliate marketing is not a scam.

Huge brand name companies have been implementing this throughout their business for years.

Such As: 

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • Disney

As it acts as a form of free advertising for them.

Their affiliates will promote their products or services which the customer can purchase at no additional cost.

To add some context I’m going to list companies that you’ve definitely heard of that offer affiliate programs.

As well as some real-world companies that base their entire business model around affiliate marketing.

Related Post: How To Start Email Marketing As An Affiliate | Building An Email List Without Having Your Own Product.

Affiliate Marketing A Scam? Programs That’ll Prove That It Isn’t!

Instead of me just giving you the definitive answer, No affiliate marketing isn’t a scam, I’ll just let huge brand name companies I know you’ve heard of answer the question for me.

The list below is either huge companies that have affiliate programs, or whose entire business model is built around the concept of affiliate marketing.


If you haven’t heard of Amazon, then let’s face it, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the last 10 years.

Most people don’t know that anything sold on Amazon you can create an affiliate link for and promote.

So that means everything that your friends and family are already purchasing, you could be making a profit from at no additional cost to them.

is affiliate marketing a scam

You aren’t restricted to only promoting their products to your friends and family members.

Becoming an Amazon Associate is probably one of the most common affiliate platforms.

As it is the leader in E-commerce and being an affiliate of a trusted brand helps when you sending traffic to buy something.

As you can see their commission level caps out at 10%.

This varies depending on the type of product or industry it is in, but a great feature is Amazon will give you a commission based on the total value of the cart.

It is still somewhat of a numbers game though, the more product that you’re able to sell the more money you’ll make.

This is a very common way to make money online, Recipe blogs, or websites that are doing any type of product review are usually utilizing Amazons Affiliate Program!

Want to learn how to create a passive income stream? Check out my Ultimate Recurring Affiliate List!


The next huge brand name store that offers an affiliate program is none other than Walmart.

One of the biggest things I try to highlight when I get asked “Is Affiliate Marketing A Scam?”

Is showcasing these first 2 world brands that are worldwide.

is affiliate marketing a scam

They offer a very similar commission level compared to Amazon and they’ve been working on integrating buy now buttons that you’re able to place throughout your website.

Similar to how having an affiliate link would be, but a button can come across more professional and less off-putting.

Especially for people who’re skeptical of purchasing things online.

Related Post: Why Start An Affiliate Marketing Business? 25 Best Affiliate Programs.


Target is a corporate company based out of the united states.

However, they do offer international shopping for e-commerce or online sales.

Their international sales have been available for just over 5 years now, which makes this another great example that Affiliate marketing isn’t a scam.

is affiliate marketing a scam

Their commission level is a bit lower than the 2 previous examples.

Targets Affiliate Program Caps Out At 8%.

Looking To Read Another Post About Affiliate Marketing? Check Out: The 3 Best Ways To Make Money Online For Beginners!

Best Buy

Best Buy has been an international electronics retailer for many years, up until around 2011 when they stopped offering services or having locations anywhere other than the United States. (Not including Mexico or Canada) Where they still have stores.

is affiliate marketing a scam

I wouldn’t really recommend promoting products for Best Buy, as their commission levels are very low.

Ranging from 0-0.5% commission per purchase. 

However, this is only offered if the customer you referred has never purchased anything from Best Buy.

You could find similar products or even the same ones on other platforms that offer a more aggressive commission level and aren’t limited to “new” customers.

I still wanted to mention this program, as this is another international company that offers an affiliate program.

Want to learn even more about affiliate marketing? Check Out This Post!


Disney has an affiliate program.

Same as other companies this is only available to online purchases.

But Disney is a massive brand that everyone who was once a child has either heard of or seen something made by Disney.

is affiliate marketing a scam

Companies That Built Their Business Around “Affiliate Marketing”

Most travel companies are actually business models built on the concept of affiliate marketing.

As they don’t actually own the hotels or car rental services that they offer on their platform.

But they do receive a commission upon you booking a service through them.


is affiliate marketing a scam

Trivago, or almost any other travel based company that compares prices of hotel stays and flights are all businesses who’re built around the concept of affiliate marketing.

They don’t own the flights, hotels, or anything like that but upon the customer booking a room, flight or service through them they receive a commission.

Very similar to how a travel agent makes their money.


Airbnb isn’t directly an affiliate but in a sense they are.

They are basically acting as a platform to list temporary rentals and charging the owners of the property a percentage of the profits to list and book the stay.

is affiliate marketing a scam

The reason that I wanted to highlight this company is to show another example of real-world businesses that are turning a profit off of products that are owned by other people.

Which is exactly what being an affiliate for a product is.


Turo is a peer to peer car rental service.

Very similar to the way that Airbnb operates but it is for vehicles instead of properties.

They list and provide cars for rent that are privately owned but they receive a commission based on someone renting through their platform.

is affiliate marketing a scam

As they’re charging the renter and the person who owns the car a percentage to list on their platform.

Dedicated Affiliate Networks

There are entire networks dedicated to listing products that have affiliate programs.

These are great places to find products throughout every industry you could imagine.

When people first ask me about starting an affiliate marketing business, they try to create a business model around the product.

But what works the best for creating a long term business is building your business around something you love and are passionate about.

Then finding affiliate products that go along with your already established business/brand.


is affiliate marketing a scam


is affiliate marketing a scam

Warrior Plus

is affiliate marketing a scam

Is Affiliate Marketing A Scam? Conclusion:

No, affiliate marketing is not a scam.

It is actually a very common method implemented throughout businesses online and offline.

As the technological world continues to advance and more people are trying to make income online it is becoming more of a commonly known method even though it isn’t a new business model or something that has just been established over the last few years.

The term affiliate marketing is just a modern interpretation of a very old business model: You promote someone else’s product and upon completing a sale, you receive a commission.

It happens to be one of my favorite methods of creating income online.

As it can become a true form of passive income if you chose to promote products that offer recurring commissions.

Which is usually found in software companies.

If you’re looking for ways to create a monthly income online promoting other people’s products check out my ultimate recurring list.

Ultimate Recurring Affiliate Program List 

Want to learn even more about affiliate marketing? 

Check out this amazing masterclass, which is where I learned everything I know about affiliate marketing!

Affiliate Secrets 2.0

Related Post: What Is ClickFunnels Affiliate Program? 7 Best Ways You Can Make Money Online

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