Who bears the cost?
Every time an online consumer buys a product from the affiliate a commission is cut from the affiliate and the same is recovered by the publisher of the particular advertisements. The commission may be charged at a flat rate or may have ad valorem intricacies in the same depending on the size, scope ad nature of the transaction which is carried out. For the end user consumer, the cost of the particular buy is just the same as it would have been from any other location but the affiliate is the one who is charged for the dealing. And it definitely does not need the mind of a rocket scientist to understand that affiliates would happily go in for business with the leading publishers even after the tariffs are imposed on them.
Ecosystem of the industry
This particular industry is run in the close association of 4 core players. The retailer or the brand also known as the merchant is one player. The merchant is essentially the publisher. The network contains the range of choices for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments made by the same. The affiliate is the third player in the industry who uses the expertise and wide circulation of the brand to publish his advertised products. And lastly it deals with you, the consumer and probably the most essential element of the circle.
We have as an end result a perfectly happy chain where every member depends on every other member for its existence. The nature of the brand or the retailer to become and develop into a natural monopoly is curbed by the many brands in the market.