Partner Program FAQ
Commission and Payment
Partner Program FAQ
Who's eligible to participate?
Anyone is welcome to apply. New applications are conditionally approved, pending review. Powell's reserves the right to reject an application if we determine that the site is not suitable. Sites may be rejected if they are deemed by Powell's to be illegal, defamatory, sexually explicit, harassing, violent, discriminatory, use "Powell's Books" or variations or misspellings thereof in their domain names, or are deemed otherwise objectionable.
Is there a fee to become a partner?
Partnership is, and always will be, free.
Do I need to have a website?
You do need your own website and email address to be a partner. However, your site does not need to be operational at the time of submitting your application. Once your site and links go live, you'll simply update your partner account with this information.
My website isn't complete. When can I apply?
You can sign up for the program at any stage of your site's development.
Are international websites eligible?
International websites are eligible to join the program. Note: all funds are paid in U.S. dollars; you can alternately choose to receive payment in Powell's online credit.
Do I need to have a book-related website to join the program?
No, your website doesn't need to be book related. Our partners vary from personal web pages to large, comparison search engines, regarding any number of subjects. As long as you meet our eligibility requirements, love books, and want to link to us, we are happy to have you join.
I have more than one website. Do I need a separate account for each?
No, you do not need to create a separate account. Within your account you can create one partner ID and use it for more than one website, or you can create multiple partner IDs and assign each partner ID to a unique website. Keep in mind, if you use the same partner ID for more than one website, you will not be able to identify the source of the sale in your sales history report. If you're interested in comparing the relative amount of traffic and sales between your sites, the best option is to create one partner ID for each site.
What should I do if I need to change my partner information?
You can edit your partner information through the “Update Account Information” section of the “Manage Partner Account” menu. Some partner-related information (such as email address) can only be updated through the associated customer account. We ask you to please be conscious of the timeliness of your updates — if you need to change the mailing address or other payment information, do so before the end of the quarter so your commission will reach you smoothly.
Can I link to other sites?
As the Powell's Partner Program is not exclusive, you are free to link to other websites, including book-related sites.
Can I use content or images from Powells.com?
You may use book content and cover images on your site for the purpose of promoting Powell's stock. Under the terms of partnering with us, you are welcome to link to other book sites; however, the content and images from our site should be used exclusively for links to Powells.com.
Will Powell's add a reciprocal link to my site?
Powell's will not add a reciprocal link to your website.
How are visitors tracked from links on my site?
When a visitor comes to Powells.com from a partner-coded link on your site, we deposit an electronic cookie on their browser. The cookie contains your partner ID and remains in the customer’s browser for 90 days, unless the customer blocks/clears their cookies or visits another partner’s website, in which case the most-recently-visited partner ID is preserved in the browser. Commission on customer purchases will be attributed to the partner whose ID is stored in the electronic cookie at the time of the sale.
Can I make personal purchases through links on my site?
Partners are not to make personal purchases through their links. The Partner Program is intended to be a third-party referral system, not a discount program. For more information, please view the Official Agreement.
I don't know how to write in HTML. Will Powell's help me design my site?
Powell's Partner Program staff cannot help you build your website or learn HTML. However, linking to Powell's is easy and once you have your site designed to your specifications, we'll be happy to help you set up your links.
How do I make links?
The Partner Program menu contains a variety of easy-to-use tools to help you build your links. Log in to your account, create a new (or select an existing) partner ID, and explore the link options provided in the “Links” and “More Links” sections of the Partner Program menu.
How do I know what kind of links to use?
The type and amount of links you use is your choice. It's always a good idea to keep in mind your audience, and to keep it visually interesting by mixing it up with a variety of links.
What if I don't want visitors to leave my site?
There are ways to frame a website within your own, or to cause a link to generate a new window. If you have advanced HTML knowledge, you should be able to do this simply. Otherwise, some research into a good HTML guide may prove necessary.
Do I have to link to specific books?
No, you are not required to link to specific books. While this is the most popular type of link, the Partner Program menu contains examples of links for the Powells.com homepage, a Powells.com search box, subjects/subsections, keywords, and more.
Can I use Powell's logos on my site?
Yes! The Partner Program menu contains a “Graphics” section, which is home to several Powell’s logos that you may use on your site.
I'm new to website design and I've just put up your links. How can I tell if they're working?
First, compare your HTML code against that supplied by our link generator. Then, select one of your links and check to see if it deposits a cookie on your computer (make sure to clear the cookies in your browser when you’re done!). Still not sure? No problem! Email us at [email protected] with your partner ID and directions on where to find your Powell's links. We'll be happy to test your links for you.
My partner ID disappears in the URL once the link is taken to Powell's from my site. Is the visit still tracked?
Yes, provided your partner-coded link is set up properly. We send every visitor who arrives at our site via a partner link through an internal partner script that records your partner ID. Once the visitor has passed through the script, we know they came from your site, so we strip out the partner ID and allow them to traverse the site like any normal customer. When they complete a sale, you get credit.
I've checked my links and they're functioning properly, so why am I not seeing more sales through my account?
Slower-than-expected sales may result for several reasons. If your links are new, your website visitors may simply need more time to explore the look of your site. Also bear in mind that a standard online conversion rate is around 1-2%. For every 100 people who take your links to Powells.com, one or two people may end up making a purchase.
Link placement is another essential ingredient to ecommerce success. If you place your links to Powells.com on pages deep within your site, or at the bottom of a page, it's less likely that visitors will find them. If, on the other hand, your links are highly visible and placed in a variety of contexts, visitors are more likely to use them.
Commission and Payment
How do I earn commission? How much do I earn?
You earn commission by placing Powells.com partner-coded links on your website. When visitors to your website click through to Powell's and make a purchase, you earn a commission for that sale. The flat-rate commission is 7.5% on every book or merchandise sale you bring us.
Does everything on your site qualify for partner commission?
Every item except gift cards, virtual credit, and subscription memberships are eligible for partner commission.
Can I place orders through my partner links and earn commission for myself?
No. Partners are not to make personal purchases through their links. The Partner Program is a third-party referral system, not a discount program. For more information, please view the Official Agreement.
Is commission dependent on what is purchased?
No. The commission rate is 7.5% on all eligible sales (gift cards, virtual credit, and subscription memberships are not eligible for commission). The commission rate does not change based on what the customer purchases or where they travel on our site.
When will I receive my commission payment? Is there a minimum requirement?
If you selected Powells.com credit as your payment method, you may redeem your accrued commission in credit at any time. From within your account, visit the "View Payment History" section of the Partner Program menu to redeem virtual credit.
U.S. Partners: If you selected check as your payment method, you must earn a minimum of $25 in commission for a check payment to be issued. If you don't reach $25 by the end of a quarter, your commission will carry over to the next quarter until the minimum is met and a check issued. Powell's mails commission checks on a quarterly basis, approximately 30 days after the end of each quarter.
International Partners: For partners residing outside the United States, the minimum threshold to receive payment via check is $100 USD. International partners may also receive a direct wire transfer to their bank, in their local currency. If this is of interest to you, please contact [email protected].
Can I view my sales activity?
Yes, you can view your sales through the "View Sales History" section of the Partner Program menu. All sales information is listed in real-time and can be viewed 24 hours a day.
How soon will a sale show up in my account activity?
As soon as an order is fulfilled and sold, it will appear in your account's sales history.
What if a customer wants to buy books that I don't list on my site?
As long as they navigate to Powells.com through one of your partner-coded links, you will receive commission on eligible sales.
I forgot my partner ID number and/or password. What should I do?
Go to Partner Login and select “Forgot your password?” An email with instructions for resetting your password will be sent to the email address associated with your partner account. If you do not recall what email address is on file with your partner account, please email [email protected] and we will provide you with this information. When logged in to your account, you can view your partner IDs from the Partner Program menu.
I'd like to close my partner account. How do I do that?
Send an email to [email protected]. We'll send you any unpaid commission and then close your Powell's partner account.
I'm developing a shopping comparison site. Do you have a search API or similar method of retrieving your inventory data?
Yes! Please begin by reviewing the “Simple Query Method for Comparison Shopping Engines” section within the Partner Program menu. If you have additional questions, please email us at [email protected].
You haven't answered all of my questions. What now?
Email us at [email protected], or give us a call at 800-291-9676. We're happy to help.