One of the complexities of Amazon’s international Associates Programs is that Amazon JP will only pay commissions internationally with Amazon.co.jp gift cards. This means you can only use them in the Japanese Amazon storefront, which is obviously a challenge when you aren’t based in Japan and don’t regularly shop from Amazon.co.jp.
Here are is a guide to cashing in those Amazon JP gift cards and getting some awesome stuff shipped internationally. Yes, the gift cards cover the international shipping too!
Gather your Gift Cards
These have been mailed to the email address on file with your Amazon JP Associates program account and will arrive approximately six weeks after the month you earned the commissions (Eg. A gift card for all of September’s commissions will be mailed in mid-November).
I have found that these often get lost in my SPAM folder. You can easily search for them using this subject line, which has been the same for well over a year now:
Amazon Associates Program様からAmazonギフト券をお贈りします。
If you can’t find any of these gift card emails, log in to your Amazon JP Associates Program account to confirm it’s still active and that you’ve been earning commissions. The Amazon JP affiliate dashboard is laid out the exact same as all of the other programs but is (obviously) in Japanese. To get around this use the Chrome browser as it has built-in on page text translation.
Cash In Your Cards
Once you’ve found your gift cards, it’s time to cash them in. Head over to Amazon.co.jp and log in (remember your Amazon JP Associates account also works for the store so no need to create a new account).
Once you are logged in you’ll want to go to the Amazon Gift Certificates / Account Services > Apply a Gift Certificate to your Account page. From here you can copy and paste the code into the box and apply the code to your account.
Please note that these Amazon JP gift cards expire approximately one year after they are issued!
You can keep adding more cards until you’ve run out and you should see them start to add up when you visit the Account Services > check the balance and usage history page. Now it’s time to go shopping!
Google’s currency conversion tool is my favorite way to quickly figure out how the totals compare. Check it out.
I was very excited the first time I did this, and immediately went and found some of the coolest things I could buy. Unfortunately, when I tried checking out I received the following error and couldn’t complete the purchase:
The “trick” is that only products sold on Amazon are eligible for international shipping. This used to be limited to books, CDs, and DVDs, but now you can find lots of products and have them shipped internationally.
Click the Amazon.co.jp logo on the upper left-hand side of the browser and begin shopping. Search for items to purchase, but before you start getting excited about the results, look at the filtering options on the left side of the window. Look for the “Overseas delivery AmazonGlobal” checkbox near the bottom of the options and click that. This only shows you the items that can be shipped internationally.
Once you’ve found those perfect gifts, the process is basically the same as before. Go check out.
When adding your address, you may need to toggle the option to add an international address instead of a domestic one. This is the blue link above the form.
While you may have been careful to select the “AmazonGlobal” checkbox during your browsing when you added something to the cart you may have inadvertently grabbed the product from a reseller. To get around this, delete that product from your cart and go back to the product page of the item. Then click on the link that takes you to the “Offer Listing page” (this link is usually found right under the line that says how many are left in stock). From here find the product that has Amazon.co.jp as the seller and try again.
Thankfully the Amazon JP gift card can also be used to cover shipping costs. From the orders we’ve done so far it appears that international shipping (to the US) is about 15% of the total cart cost (ranging from 11-19%). When the product is in stock, delivery takes about seven to ten days.
Jesse and team Geniuslink