Home' The Channel Magazine : National Newsagent July 2012 Contents National Newsagent July 2012
OPEN TO HIGHER
COMMISSION FOR IMPROVED
At Universal Magazines we have offered
increased terms on occasions on an
opt-in basis and received about a 40 per
cent take up. The offer was for an extra
five per cent commission provided the
agent promoted the publication and kept
the supply for the whole on sale period
with no early returns. Other offers of
increased commission are on our diary
products (33 per cent) that in the main are
line extensions of existing magazines so
the market is already established. While
commissions are one part of the terms the
other is delayed billing where the supply
is effectively provided on consignment for
a period of time (one to three months+)
providing a cash flow benefit to the
retailer. Universal Magazines currently
delay bill over 25 issues a year and we
plan to do more of this in the future. We
are working with Network Services to
promote this to newsagents so they are
aware of the benefit and can identify our
publications when they are making range
decisions in store.
We are very open to any retailer or
group that would
like to work with us
to increase sales of
our magazines and
they should expect
to be rewarded for
their efforts with
or a firm sale
so long as it is
Magazines Pty Ltd
THIS IS A TRICKY SUBJECT
Lovatts set up a scheme about 14 years
ago, where we offered 30 per cent on
all sales; our conditions were, carry our
range, use POS and don’t early return.
The aim was to make sure the titles
actually made it into the shops. We class
an early return as something returned in
the first two weeks; it’s invariably the first
week for many agents.
We signed up about 600 agents and
this whittled down to about 300 because
agents still early-returned.
At the moment we pay around 200
agents the extra five per cent and the
vast majority of them don’t early return.
However, I’m not sure if that’s because
we pay them the extra money because,
in spite of us telling them and doing a
mail out at Christmas I’m sure most of
them don’t know. I think the lack of early
returns from them is because we work
hard at getting the allocations right and
they are generally well run shops.
The problem is that the extra five per
cent doesn’t show up as a separate item.
It’s included in their rebate from Network
and isn’t highlighted as extra Lovatts
commission hence a lot of
them forget about the five
It needs to be stressed
that going from 25 per cent
to 30 per cent is actually
an increase of 20 per cent
which is better than a poke
in the eye with a burnt stick
as my old father-in-law was
often heard to say.
Do I think it works? For
some yes, for many, no.
I remember one case of a
rural agent I went into a few
years ago. We were paying them 30 per
cent which on a BIG meant $1.78 return
to the agent. Another crossword company
had launched a new title with a reduced
price of $2.00 for the first issue.
They paid the agent 50 per cent on the
first issue. The agent had a massive sign
and dump bin at the front of store flogging
the new crosswords. When I asked why
he said, “Because you only pay me 30 per
cent, they pay me 50 per cent”. When I
pointed out 50 per cent of $2.00 is only
$1.00 he seemed a little sheepish.
It wasn’t the dollar so much as the fact
that we’d been paying him 30 per cent for
years and he didn’t care, so it didn’t buy
loyalty in his case.
Over the years we’ve paid out in
the vicinity of a million EXTRA dollars
in rebate—that’s a lot of money for a
company of our size.
However, strangely enough we like to
reward agents who make the extra effort
on our behalf and I’m sure it’s appreciated
In summary, if I was launching a new
title especially in a crowded category I’d
definitely consider increased commissions.
Terry Thelwell, retail-circulation
director, Lovatts Publications
are supposed to
be experts send
Newsagents frequently ask for better terms from magazine publishers.
Publishers sometimes offer better terms to little uptake from newsagents.
With better terms comes a commitment to work that bit harder for
them... is that fair?
One newsagent says he will be happy to take 50 per cent commission on
firm sale. Is this an option publishers would consider?
What do the publishers say?
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