One of the most common questions for people new to Associate-O-Matic is ‘How can I have a store that spans more than one country?’. The short answer is you can’t. Amazon, in its various permutations around the world, does not allow you to combine shopping carts from different countries (AOM currently operates for sites in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France and Japan). Also as an Amazon Associate, you can only use an Associate ID for a single country. So an ID issued by Amazon.com is only good for the US, and so on. Meaning you cannot enter multiple IDs for different countries in AOM (altho you can have multiple IDs within a country, AOM only accepts one per site) .
Plus, each branch of Amazon only pays out in the currency of the country of origin (Dollars in the US, Pounds Sterling in the UK, Euros in Germany & France, etc.). If you want to use direct deposit, you must have an account in that country, otherwise you face having a check mailed to you, then being hit for exchange rates.
The obvious solution then, is to have multiple sites, one for each country you want to establish a store in. Many new users are confused by how this operates. Simply put, each AOM site you create is a separate entity unto itself. It has no ties, no relationship to any other site you create, unless you put up a link between it and any other stores (such as, “To visit our German store, click here“, etc.). The AOM license allows you to set up as many stores as you want, as long as they all use Associate IDs that belong to you; No setting up sites for friends or customers who did not purchase a licensed copy. Otherwise, pay once, then set up a hundred stores for yourself if you want.
When you create the site, you must set each instance of AOM in a separate subfolder of your main account. Each subfolder can have it’s own domain name pointed to it (depending on your webhost; if they don’t allow this, it’s time to change hosts), and is run as a totally independent storefront. For example, if your root domain is ‘www.larrysites.com’, you can have subdirectories and domain names like this:
- www.larrysites.com/aomus/shop.php – www.playstationgames.com (US)
- www.larrysites.com/aomuk/shop.php – www.playstationgames.co.uk (UK)
- www.larrysites.com/aomca/shop.php – www.playstationgames.ca (Canada)
- www.larrysites.com/aomjp/shop.php – www.playstationgames.jp (Japan)
In each case, the domain name points to the shop.php file in the different subdirectories, so they appear as separate sites, but in reality they’re all branches of the main (larrysites.com) directory. Each folder can use a separate .htaccess file for mod_rewrite purposes, and to an outside observer, look like completely separate sites. Of course, getting domain names, setting up stores in foreign languages and dealing with payment (as mentioned above) are other matters entirely.