Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Why some people only make negative comments on this blog

Mark Fletcher
January 20th, 2019 · 36 Comments

I was asked last week why some people make negative comments here, especially on innocuous posts that others find useful. Here are some reasons I think some come here only to mock, criticise or denigrate:

  1. They failed in their newsagency business.
  2. They failed in their newsagency supply business.
  3. They could not raise the money to buy a newsagency
  4. They own a newsagency and hate it.
  5. They are a competitor of a newsagency.
  6. They are a supplier representative I have pissed off at some point.
  7. They get off trolling.
  8. They are a competitor.

Trolls are easy to pick. They do not use real names. Most have commented here under multiple names. None has ever taken up my offer to talk through their concerns or disagreements.

The majority of comments are from people who use their real name.

I welcome criticism / debate as this is essential to success. If I didn’t, I’d moderate comments, or have no comments at all.


Category: Ethics

36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve Bloom // Jan 20, 2019 at 8:24 AM

    Because you live in my head rent free.


  • 2 Graeme // Jan 20, 2019 at 6:37 PM

    Steve, unfortunately your’e too cynical to be taken abjectively and subjectively it’s too easy to dismiss your negative replies This is my take. I speak for no one lese Mark’s adv. for Back to school etc wasn’t in my opinion anything alse but a “feel good’ ad.This tye of advertising is part of the bigger package of image building that good advertisers are doing today Some times they don’t even relate to the product or the person/product advertising They create a subliminal realationship of no challenge, one of okay and peace.
    Steve stop looking for something to “score” points against that’s very much yesterday’s person and today’s peole are giving and getting more by just being there without demand.
    Join it Steve it’s really what it’s about and it’s accros the board not just one directional.


  • 3 Graeme // Jan 21, 2019 at 6:08 AM

    Should be objectively


  • 4 Jason // Jan 21, 2019 at 7:40 AM

    9. They simply disagree with what was said in a post.


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Jan 21, 2019 at 1:58 PM

    ‘Jason’ disagreement is welcome. My post here is about the negative comments. As I noted: I welcome criticism / debate as this is essential to success. If I didn’t, I’d moderate comments, or have no comments at all.


  • 6 Gary // Jan 21, 2019 at 8:36 PM

    Come on Fletch, put Jason’s reason on your list. Looks much more credible than the paranoid gabble you’ve tendered.


  • 7 Steve // Jan 21, 2019 at 11:22 PM

    10. They follow the blog for years, but are getting a bit suspicious of all the continuous success and the claims of great growth off a good base of this or that category.

    Then someone mentions Sophie Randall, so they search the blog and find nothing but positive posts ending abruptly in April 2010.

    Then they search on google and find OzBargains was selling of all Sophie Randall stock off in a closing down sale between July and August 2010 at 50% off.

    Then they realise nothing they read on this blog can be truly believed


  • 8 Mark Fletcher // Jan 22, 2019 at 6:36 AM

    Gary, he did it himself. Even though the post was not about people who disagree, who I welcome. You have a bee in your bonnet, an axe to grind, because I had the temerity many years ago tell you in your shop that I thought you were making a mistake in business decisions you were making at the time, like discounting Christmas cards at half price weeks before Christmas, without even trying them at full price. You shoved them in a discount bin, they looked awful. You also didn’t like that I challenged your claim re scratch ticket sales in your shop and that your claim was not supported by your own sales data.


  • 9 Mark Fletcher // Jan 22, 2019 at 6:43 AM

    Steve, okay so you want to go back nine years and make decisions then for some gift shops I owned relevant to posts here about newsagency businesses. That’s a stretch.

    Retail shops come and go for a range of reasons. If you are exiting a lease and have excess stock you want to turn it to cash rather than dump it.

    The Sophie Randall businesses served their purpose well and things I do today are informed by experiences from them.

    Every claim I make here for success of others and any business I am involved with is provable in the data.

    If you want to think otherwise, go ahead. It appears to serve a narrative you have written.

    The reality is there are plenty of newsagents enjoying success, plenty who had a good Christmas. When I speak at conferences or workshops, I often share untouched data and, sometimes, business P&L direct from Xero.

    But go ahead, peddle whatever conspiracy you want.

    Back in 2015, long after the Sophie shops closed, you and I were in email discussion on other matters relating to the channel. You were happy for discussion then, happy for my thoughts on a matter of concern to you. Nothing has changed re Sophie Randall since 2015.


  • 10 Gary // Jan 22, 2019 at 7:13 AM

    Wow Fletch, an attempted bitch slap, so much unlike you to make it personal. What happened to the recently disclosed “I welcome criticism/debate” policy?
    Bee in my bonnet about a bunch of cards about 7 years ago? Forgotten about that. Get real, as I remember, we couldn’t give them away they were that bad. I think we still have one of the tea pots you sent us in the store room somewhere. Bringing back memories that makes me laugh. Thanks Fletch.


  • 11 Steve // Jan 22, 2019 at 8:38 AM

    Mark, it’s about your integrity, and the fact it was nine years ago means nothing.

    If you were full of shit then why would I believe anything you say know?


  • 12 Steve // Jan 22, 2019 at 9:08 AM

    Mark can you point me to any posts about closing Sophie Randall and your reasons for doing so?

    I can only find posts about opening new stores and positive stories, not one about closing stores and the reasons why.

    Why wouldn’t I question everything you write here?


  • 13 Mark Fletcher // Jan 22, 2019 at 9:47 AM

    Steve I don’t chronicle everything I do or have done in business here, not even a quarter of it. I sure have chronicled bad news and what I learned. But in case you has me to find that for you – no, you can feed your own obsession.

    You are welcome to question away. If you don’t like it, stop coming here. That you do come here and your comments get up unmoderated speaks volumes, to which you refuse to listen.

    I know what I am doing, have done and are doing in and with this channel. That is what matters to me.

    As for your obsession with failure, I’m still here, still happy, still growing.


  • 14 Steve // Jan 22, 2019 at 9:53 AM

    Right, so all the good news is chronicled here and all the bad news is kept secret.

    Thanks I think I fully understand now.


  • 15 Colin // Jan 22, 2019 at 10:18 AM


    When I first read this post my reaction was “here we go, let’s have some fun, light the blue touch paper and retire”.

    I can join in the criticism of this blog for many reasons (vested interests, crowd abuse, out of context facts, biased viewpoints). But to use an expression “it is what it is”. Whilst it is not perfect, the plus points outscore the negative, overall it is beneficial to the industry and others related. I am glad you maintain it, but offering titbits to trolls and then engaging in public spats serves nobody well.

    Steve and Gary. Thank you for you caustic witty comments, we all need amusement and you clearly have a talent for it. If you put half the effort into your business activities I’m sure you are doing very well. Maybe not though if you are in a public facing sector.


  • 16 Megan // Jan 22, 2019 at 11:44 AM

    Mark – I have been reading your blog regularly for many years. Given some of the comments in response to this post, I wanted to write to thank you for persevering with it, for sharing information with whoever wants to read your blog, for remaining upbeat and optimistic and for demonstrating business leadership over an extended period of time.

    Thank you.


  • 17 Greg // Jan 22, 2019 at 12:03 PM

    Quite right
    this is a post for ideas, comments and criticism. it is not a post for venom or vindictiveness.
    I don’t agree with Fletch on many things, but I respect his right to comment



  • 18 Rick // Jan 22, 2019 at 5:47 PM

    Looking more and more like a Facebook conversation with a keyboard hitman, if you got the shits, then go elsewhere


  • 19 Steve // Jan 22, 2019 at 6:19 PM

    Rick, it’s about giving people all the information not just the good bits.

    There’s probably someone looking at whether or not to buy a newsagency who comes to this blog seeking information. If all they get is a rose coloured view with all the bad bits ignored or painted over it may be the thing that causes them to make a decision that greatly affect their future.

    By the way this isn’t me, I owned my newsagency for a while before I discovered this blog.


  • 20 Steve Bloom // Jan 22, 2019 at 6:24 PM

    Mark’s comments that he doesn’t moderate comments isn’t true. It may be true in general, but I am the exception.

    My comments are moderated.

    Just to be clear, I have commented under several pseudonyms including Cuddles, Big Oil and Factory Worker.

    Each time I have ended up being either banned or placed under moderation. This usually happens after a crescendo of critical questioning of Mark where I get him to prove some claim or another.

    I have been posting under my current non de plume and have noticed a pattern where my reasonable comments are left unpublished and my more “spicy” comments are published. Interesting behaviour isn’t it?


  • 21 Rick // Jan 22, 2019 at 6:43 PM

    I won’t be supplying oxygen, nothing to see here, move on. I’ve been trolled by experts before now.


  • 22 Graeme // Jan 22, 2019 at 8:15 PM

    Steve 19,
    You make a very sensitive point however it’s not reality. I have been in this industry 50 years I bought my first newsgency in 1969 I was just 23 an ex Banker returned to the work force from 2 years National -Ballot call up Service. I was the CEO of NANA Ltd for 2 stints of 3 years over a period covering 1990-1993 2000 2003.
    I have seen many changes and instigated many services over the years owned operated 3 newsagencies two Bookshops some of which I opened from scratch in new outlets. I could go on but the reason I say all this is over the years I have seen people come and go I’ve seen them express themselves with dedication and fade,
    Mark and I over this period of time have disagreed (as one does) on many a topic sometimes in total confrontation.
    My opinion is Mark is a self driven individual that has achieved a certain success. He shares that with everybody on this, his Blog.
    Each blog attender has the ability as an individual to agree or disagree with his opinions.
    I am very please to view other opinions and their thoughts of which Mark’s provocative intelligent nature provides.
    Sometimes as a human others in their criticism of him (which can be apparent) as instead of the post causes certain reaction. Get over it.
    Look at the benefits take in the personality and if you don’t like it start your own blog
    A for the negative affect his blog comments have on newsgencies versus the positive sell situation I am a newsagency specialist Broker and have been forever and believe me the proposal that Mark influences buyers decisons is way out of the park. Once somebody is interested in a newsagency there are influences far greater than roses. bankers, Accountants, friends and the Pub know all anysayers. There are far great influences against the system including some suppliers who accept where they are at and we don’t.
    Mark does and presents an alternative. Narrowed as it is my opinion as I believe we need the services such as( Lotto newspapers and whatever is currrently bringing in traffic ) to manage the transition from yesterday’s news to today and moreso tomorrow. Gifts are the answer for many not all. More needs to be done in this area.
    Mark also presents an open view of what is going on i.e. cashless society etc. Things like these are really helpful to all comers including incumbrents.

    I believe that peoole should respect Mark’s point of view bear in mind where he is coming form and appreciate whatever it is the work he puts into informing the masses.
    It’s up to the reader to decide what’s what and who’s who in the Zoo
    Thankfully at least there is the fodder to do so.


  • 23 Steve // Jan 23, 2019 at 12:48 AM

    Graeme Day, you seem to have neglected to complete the resume you so kindly provided.

    Wouldn’t your current position as a principle of Business Performance Brokers, specialising in selling newsagancy’s, be worth mentioning? Or were you worried it might seem you had a vested interest in shining only a good light on on newsagency’s as a business to buy?

    Anyway your spelling is quite good for this time of night. Over did it a bit yesterday and decided to have a night off? Or have I got the wrong Graeme?

    If I’ve got the wrong Graeme my apologies.

    INTEGRITY! Do you and Mark even know the word?


  • 24 Graeme // Jan 23, 2019 at 7:52 AM

    I am pleased my spelling is now “quite good” as a past journalist you have no idea how much this pleases me. my alzheimers fears have now dissipated. It must be the new non- sticky keyboard.
    Your grammar however,leaves much to be desired “quite good” with regard to spelling which is either right or wrong depending on your background ( Country of origin) keyboard settings English Australian American or however, there is the issue of quick modern communication. Time short situations (a modern disease) produces plenty of spelling type of errors, letters left out plus a letter not intended etc. it happens.
    The main thrust of your assumptions are all way out of wack.
    Whatever it is that’s bothering you, attacking other people won’t cure it.
    I feel sorry for your bitterness whoever you are and hope you get better soon.
    By the way, I don’t troll for business and that’s why I don’t make it obvious as to who I am after all even you ( whoever you are ) had to ask even after such a resume.
    Thanks for the unsought not needed exposure.
    And,above all there are plenty of newsagents that are getting it right They are making good profits and growing their businesses. They are busy, smart and focused. I mix among them and share their success.


  • 25 Graeme // Jan 23, 2019 at 8:00 AM

    I forgot to mention yes I do and so does everybody else know who you really are.
    At this moment you are “Bloom-ing” aren’t you Steve.
    To use your superior overall position in my case “If I’ve got the wrong Steve I don’t apologise for I don’t know if I’ve got the wrong Steve.


  • 26 "Jason" // Jan 23, 2019 at 8:37 AM

    You say you welcome these things Mark, but there’s never any data to back it up.


  • 27 Steve // Jan 23, 2019 at 9:06 AM

    Graeme, I have no idea who the “Steve Bloom” who posts here is. I’ve only ever posted as plain “Steve” providing Mark with the same personal email address I’ve had for nearly 20 years.

    This isn’t about me lashing out because I failed in business or I’m a competitor of Mark Fletcher’s or any of the (apparently only) 8 reasons people troll here. This is about truthfulness in what Mark posts here.

    There’s all sort of ways to lie, Mark Fletcher specialises in lies of omission. And apparently you do to.


  • 28 Graeme // Jan 23, 2019 at 10:49 AM

    Bullshit! you are still anonymous. Most people on this blog including Mark are well aware of my identity and profile. I chose just to be a participant without trolling for business as I am interested in constructive thought of which you have proved to be deficient of.
    All of the rest is made up in your head.


  • 29 Paul // Jan 23, 2019 at 11:47 AM

    Got to love our “together” we all are


  • 30 Steve // Jan 23, 2019 at 5:30 PM

    Graeme, you post under Graeme Day with your business website linked to your comment when it suits your purposes, and you post under Graeme without a link when it doesn’t.


  • 31 Lance // Jan 23, 2019 at 6:10 PM

    Ohh dear…………..

    …….and such lovely weather we’re having 🙂


  • 32 Graeme // Jan 23, 2019 at 9:10 PM

    Steve what’s his name- stop being a wanker
    first of all I don’t use my website address i use to not for business reasons however it was set up that way. Please realise that blogs do not create sales. I tried to tell you that. People read blogs for information , oh hell, why bother, my mother said if you talk to fools you will educate them and if you listen to them you will become one of them, She was right I have explained it all before re read it.
    I can’t talk to fools Bye.


  • 33 Graeme // Jan 23, 2019 at 9:33 PM

    I am really at a loss as to why I have been attacked by you.
    firstly I don’t know you I have never had any dealings with you. What I do you have no idea of and more so my reasons for being on this blog can only be mime and mine alone.
    so it’s fair to say you are just being vicious for no known reason which only supports Mark’s claim that these attacks are founded by people of anything but good intentions.
    I have no joy in defending myself as it lowers oneself to the level of the attacker for that I have let myself down and unfortunately it is all you have achieved.


  • 34 Steve // Jan 24, 2019 at 9:06 AM

    Graeme, I do apologise for the spelling quip, it was uncalled for.

    As for the rest, if your going to detail your extensive history in the industry don’t neglect to mention you are now in the business of selling them. Otherwise someone may, quite rightly, assume you are hiding the fact you have a vested interest in promoting newsagencies as good businesses to get into.


  • 35 Paul // Jan 24, 2019 at 10:27 AM


    Its been a bit stormy where i live over the last few days
    and also on this blog Oh well makes for a very interesting 2019


  • 36 Graeme // Jan 24, 2019 at 9:23 PM

    Thanks Steve,
    I really didn’t want to push my business interests as my concern was the naysayers and negative comment. My history wasn’t explained very well. It was meant to emphasise the many changes over 50 years and therefore if you don’t adapt you die. Mrak does this and has a Business Model to suit change for some nat all as demographics play a very big role as does capital expenditure.
    I am currently involved in doing transition with one of the leading firms in Sydney re Licensed Clubs and the transition of yesterday’s model to today’s. I am a Director of a Club and I find their input invaluable. With these people we are looking at an extremely exceptional transition. I will share it one day if it suits however I reiterate it’s nothing to do with my comments on this blog except to say look at everything and don’t give up
    for newsagants have great traffic flow and this is the envy of all business retail or otherwise.
    Keep prodding, pushing and keep an open mind and don’t worry too much about who says what just accept wether you can make it work or not.
    Whatever you learn even from someone not related to your field of play or intellect, grab for it’s a gift.
    as for selling I really have some wonderful clients and many enquiries. Quality, transparancy and accountability will overcome a market of distrust from the buyers. The Banks and Accountants are problems but minor to the perception out there.
    Another reason for me not wanting to be a person veiwed as self intersted for business purposes.
    Unfortunately my over pushy post created a different impression.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reload Image