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Amazon Travel Gear Online Store

Trusted Travel Gear Store Redesigned — A month and a half ago I put up a Trusted Travel Gear online store on Vagabond Journey.com to recommend and, hopefully, sell many of the items that I travel with. So far, sales have trudging down the road, albeit a bit more slowly than I could have hoped [...]

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Trusted Travel Gear Store Redesigned —

A month and a half ago I put up a Trusted Travel Gear online store on Vagabond Journey.com to recommend and, hopefully, sell many of the items that I travel with.

So far, sales have trudging down the road, albeit a bit more slowly than I could have hoped for. People are buying their travel gear through this Amazon affiliated online store, but not so often that the proceeds are making much of a dent in my income/ expense ratio.

Visit the New Trusted Travel Gear

I figure that one of the main reasons for this could be presentation on the page. If I am selling something — if I want people to trust me enough to spend money on my recommendation — then the page for the store needs to look professional, clean, and good. The first Travel Gear Store had all of the content that I wanted it to have, but its presentation may have looked a little shaky. I think this may have lead to a slight lack of consumer confidence.

Original design of Trusted Travel Gear store

Original travel gear shop

Original travel gear shop

I am taking my first tentative steps into the territory of consumer confidence, and I still need to work out some kinks. Perhaps the lower than expected sales of the original Trusted Travel Gear store resulted from a lack of good presentation . . . or maybe the readers of VagabondJourney.com really are as prudent as I am.

Or perhaps readers simply find  it overtly ironic that someone who stresses so often the importance of thrift and the conservation of money is now trying to sell them things?

Yes, it is ironic. But even the vagabond with the tightest pockets needs travel gear. I rarely spend any money, I am like a black hole in this regard, but instead of terminally sucking in hydrogen, helium, carbon and the lot, I suck in money — this is because so little of it happens to find its way into my gravitational pull.

But even though I hold money with an iron clad grasp, I still have travel gear. What I sell in the Trusted Travel Gear store is the gear that I, myself, have purchased and used. It is the gear that I have deemed acceptable to spend money on in the name of  travel.

New Design for Trusted Travel Gear

A couple of months ago when I was first sifting through the dust of the Amazon affiliate program, I realized that I was presented with three options for publishing an online store:

  1. I could use Amazon’s aStore platform and have my travel gear shop on their server. This way looks nice, clean, and professional. But it does not allow for much adaption of the code. I really wanted to put up links to pages on Vagabond Journey.com  where I had previously reviewed the gear that I am selling. I think it is important to fully provide readers with all the background information I can on why I recommend a particular piece of gear over others. I could not do this with the Amazon aStore platform.
  2. I could use the aStore platform on my own server. This would provide the same professional look and a little more content for Vagabond Journey.com though I still would not really be able to manipulate the code to put in the review links.
  3. I could assemble a bunch of individual product links together into my own store. All transactions would still be handled through Amazon, as the product links would just go to the particular item’s page on Amazon.com. This is the way that I opted to put together the travel gear store. It allows me to write as much about the item as I want and I can also link to my product reviews elsewhere on Vagabond Journey.com. I also derive a penchant satisfaction from doing things my own way.

New design of Trusted Travel Gear Store

Trusted Travel Gear Online Store

Trusted Travel Gear Online Store

Hopefully, I will be able to make up a decent portion of my travel funds through the Amazon affiliate program. It is a good system, as even if a person does not buy the products that I recommend, if they click through a link in my travel gear store and buy something — anything — on Amazon.com I still get a referral percentage.

So if someone clicks over to Amazon.com through the Hennessy Hammock Tent product link in the travel gear store and they end up buying Dr.Phil’s 10 Ways to be a Pecker I still get my referral cut.

. . .  And perhaps other travelers may also find some of this gear useful.

Trusted Travel Gear


Filed under: Travel Gear, Vagabond Journey Updates

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3689 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: Papa Bay, Hawaii

9 comments… add one

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  • Emery August 30, 2009, 7:40 pm

    It’s looking good, Wade. Here are some other suggestions that might help:

    1) Upgrade the travel books section so it looks like the others (That may be on your to-do list already).
    2) Add some tabs across the top of the blue section on all pages to help users navigate from one section to another. Reading through the text to find the other “stores” means you expect people to read every word, rather than following a more inviting navigation bar. This will not only guide people to other areas of the store but will also provide a sense of continuity to add to the professionalism you seek.
    3) Don’t forget to add Rosetta Stone. You might rename the travel books section to call it “Travel Learning” or some such so it’s more inclusive of this type of material.
    4) You missed another opportunity on the Rosetta Stone article to link to the product on Amazon. The image at top right simply links to itself, which doesn’t do you any good. I had to scroll all the way down to the bottom before I found a link to this product. Web usability standards say you should link wherever you show or talk about a product or topic.

    Anyway, next time I shop on Amazon, I’ll be sure to travel through. I hope the ideas help.

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 1, 2009, 4:26 pm

      Thanks Emery,

      These suggestions are really good, especially the second one. I will definitely add a tabbed navigation. I also plan on making the “How to Travel” books section look like all the rest. It is just a matter of time . . . and so much else on the site has been calling to me haha. I will get to it soon though.

      Also, thanks so much for the support.

      Walk Slow,


      Link Reply
  • Pearl August 31, 2009, 3:23 am

    Hey Wade

    Again, I have a question totally unrelated to this post…

    I was wondering whether or not you’ve blogged about buskers? I just wrote a post about them here in Melbourne and in Toronto (http://mindplayground09.blogspot.com/2009/08/buskers-under-cn-tower.html) so I was wondering if you had any views on them. It’d be cool to read what you think about them and all that 🙂


    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 1, 2009, 9:39 am

      Hello Pearl,

      Yeah, a little bit, but not as much as I would like. I remember writing a little mention of a French banjo player in Mongolia, and a few other such mentions. But I do not think that I have yet done a full on piece about buskers.

      I always wanted to be a busker. In fact, I even learned to juggle really well. But, when it comes down to it, I suppose I would rather write words about buskers than be one myself.

      Writing is an odd profession haha.

      Thinking more and more about doing a year of work in Australia. I have to do this within the nest year or else I will be too old. Maybe we will see you soon.

      Walk Slow,


      Link Reply
  • Pearl October 3, 2009, 11:56 am

    Hah! You must come down! Excuse the late reply. I don’t know how I landed here but its good I did, or else I wouldn’t of read your reply!


    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com October 4, 2009, 12:29 pm

      We would love to and are really planning on it! We may see you soon!


      Link Reply
  • Cole Powell May 18, 2010, 3:16 am

    i have just signed up with the amazon affiliate program and i am still not earning a good deal of cash from them.,:”

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com May 18, 2010, 9:29 am

      Unless the focus of your website is to sell particular products to a well defined niche then it is difficult to make decent money with any affiliate program. We make some money with the Travel Gear store, but are struggling trying to make ANY money from our other affiliate programs.

      Link Reply

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