Please vote only if you're a merchant, not an affiliate. (Click here to see the results.)

I know most merchants pay a percent of sales, but that percent of sales is often initially determined so that a set percent of gross profit gets shared with affiliates. I've always assumed that most of the best merchants set their commissions so that they share about half of their profits, but some recent posts got me to wondering how much that varies.

What percent of your gross profit do you share with your affiliates?

Some definitions and an example so that everyone is answering on an even playing field...

To determine your gross margin, subtract your cost of goods from your revenues and divide that by your revenues. For instance, if you do $100 million in sales and your cost of goods is $70 million, you have a 30% gross margin (100-70 = 30, 30/100 = 30%).

To determine the percent of sales you pay on your affiliate program, take your average affiliate commission and add in network fees and any other bonuses or fees that are directly related to affiliate sales. For instance, if you pay an average commission of 10% and the network charges a network fee of 30% of commissions and your AM gets 1% of affiliate sales, that's 14% (10% + 3% + 1%).

Divide the two numbers to see what percent of profits you share. In this example, it's 47% (14%/30%).