[thelist] question about ad sales

Bill Haenel mail at webmarketingworx.com
Thu Dec 18 12:31:48 CST 2003

> I've been approached by someone whom I don't know 
> that is offering to sell ad space, where he takes 50% 
> commission.

> any tips at all about how to start doing this?

Considering this rep is acting as an agency (unless you're planning on
hiring him under your employ), and that's more or less what you may need
(assuming you have the ability to do the technical stuff required to
actually place and track the ads), his proposed commission seems high.

The markup for an ad to be resold by an agency is (normally) 17.65%.
That is, you sell him the space and he marks it up 17.65% above the
agreed-upon rates and that way, he in turn gets 15% commission on the
sale of the space. This has been an advertising industry standard (or
starting point, anyway) for quite some time.

So if he is proposing a 50% commission, he better be providing something
way more than most agencies do. Sure, a specific agency may negotiate
something better with a specific client, but I can't say I've heard of
50% before. And considering he came to you unsolicited, it seems like
he's probably in the business of finding and taking easy money.

Advice: Don't be his easy money. Suggest a rate that is fair and
competitive for selling that space. But do so ONLY after you've decided
that you actually need someone to sell the space. You may find that if
you go with Brian's "advertise here" suggestion you won't need an
agency/rep. Then the only thing you really have to worry about is
getting the tech ironed out.

Best of luck!


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