Australian Newsagency Blog

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Gotch magazine returns audit crackdown

Mark Fletcher
August 5th, 2014 · 14 Comments

Newsagents have told me about a crackdown by magazine distributor Gordon and Gotch on magazine returns claims. They are cross-checking supply and sales data against returns claims and going back to newsagents where the data does not add up.

While Gotch has spot checked returns for years, they now appearĀ more attentive. Newsagents over claiming returns areĀ more likely to be caught.

While there is plenty wrong with the magazine distribution model, consistent over-claiming of returns is not justified and could result in criminal proceedings if Gotch decided to take it that far.

My advice to newsagents is to have a structured transparent process for scanning returns as well as for arriving and selling stock. Fudging figures to get a bigger credit that is not justified in supply and sales data will result in you being caught.


Category: Ethics · magazine distribution · Magazine oversupply · magazines · Newsagency management

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 shauns // Aug 5, 2014 at 6:32 AM

    Problem with these audits is who is doing the counting . How do we prove that we are correct and they are wrong , simple we cannot . I havn’t had any dramas for years but Network once would always send me emails saying I had it wrong and I could not prove any different .


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Aug 5, 2014 at 6:38 AM

    Shaun I suspect there are couple of passes. The first is a check of the data and this is where I suspect plenty get into trouble as they have not realised that Gotch has their sales data.

    On the physical check, take photos.


  • 3 Michael // Aug 5, 2014 at 6:43 AM

    We return in excess of $5,000.00 cost to EACH company every month without fail. The figure in $$ they send us rarely changes despite this. It is an interesting thought that they would have someone sit there sorting out the tops let alone the fulls of my returns as it would take them all day for mine alone.

    Note, Theres no way i could or would take photos of each of my returns, its insane to think we have such little control. I do not scam them for extra returns despite being tempted with their lack of care about my business model.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Aug 5, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    Michael – I meant take photos of the bundles, not each copy.


  • 5 Shayne // Aug 5, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    I didn’t think it was possible to overclaim credits. All sales go through edi so if we get say 10 copies, sell 5 and try to return 6. The overclaim rejection message comes up and we get no credits at all.


  • 6 BruceH // Aug 5, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    So if they monitor sales and can use that to calculate expected returns, how come they can’t calculate and recognise oversupply?


  • 7 shauns // Aug 5, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    If it is so accurate why are we sending in returns at all ?


  • 8 Jim // Aug 5, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    shauns – SPOT ON!!!


  • 9 MURRAY // Aug 5, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    I know our local Coles supermarket just scan their returns and then throw them in the bin. I assume all Coles would be the same. Why do us newsagents have to scan and then pay to send our returns back ?
    To me that is the bigger issue, plus over supply/under supply


  • 10 Dominic // Aug 5, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Maybe its time as a group we actually did something about these kinds of issues. The associations that are supposed to represent us haven’t had much luck, but as a collective if we actually said enough is enough and agreed that as a group we would for example stop sending back our physical returns, perhaps then they might actually start paying attention. At the moment all that seems to be happening is lots of complaining. Perhaps its time to take some real action together, because as a group we are bigger than the supermarkets. Maybe its time for us to become the solution to the problem.


  • 11 Mark Fletcher // Aug 5, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    Dominic I think the Gotch crackdown is fair. What is unfair is the continued oversupply of titles and title volume. It remains the single most important issue facing newsagents.


  • 12 Gary // Aug 6, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    gets messy when you run 2 stores and swap stock around when 1 sells out. I’m getting edi early warnings all the time.


  • 13 Bill W // Aug 6, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    What GG is doing is fair, pity they don’t focus on their allocations with such diligence.
    The increase in allocations in titles with average sales under 3 is through the roof.
    At he other end my partworks are down over 50% because I’ve been cut from 50-60 of part 1 to 4-5. WTF I’d swear GG has poached someone from NDC to run their allocations


  • 14 Brendan // Aug 7, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    Organise – an American magazine selling for $22.95 and featuring tips and tricks for the US education system, how is this at all relevant to my customers? An instant return. G&G this is crazy.


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