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Q: Negotiating the best rates for small ads in major magazines ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Negotiating the best rates for small ads in major magazines
Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: jude1-ga
List Price: $75.00
Posted: 16 Nov 2006 19:01 PST
Expires: 16 Dec 2006 19:01 PST
Question ID: 783453
Looking for research on getting the lowest possible rates for small
magazine ads. What are the best discounted rates and how to get them?
How to negotiate the best deal. Dealing with major magazines, small
(2" x 1") ads in the back, mostly. There are companies that the
magazines use to farm out such small ads and I would like to know the
best rates and how to get them.

Clarification of Question by jude1-ga on 17 Nov 2006 10:15 PST
Specifically dealing with the company Americas Media Marketing.
Subject: Re: Negotiating the best rates for small ads in major magazines
Answered By: keystroke-ga on 16 Dec 2006 01:57 PST
Hello jude1,

Thank you for your question.

While you may want to take wbinst-ga's advice on pretending to be an
ad agency, you don't have to (I'll explain later) and you will
certainly not want to hire an advertising agency or marketing firm
yourself.  They are expensive and for your purposes, you can write a
great ad on your own.  Leave plenty of white space and have just one
simple message ready for the reader to see in the split second he or
she will be glimpsing your ad.  However, the actual designing of the
ad, you may want to leave to a professional freelancer, such as on
Guru (

Here are some other tips:

--Ask the magazine how many actual readers they have.  Ask if the
number they give you has been examined by an independent firm. 
Otherwise, they could give you a number out of thin air.
--Ask them what their demographic is BEFORE you tell them what your
product's demographic is.  If you do it the other way, the salespeople
will tell you that your desired demographic is exactly their strong
point.  Don't believe anything else the ad salespeople tell you
without strong supporting evidence.  They're there to sell the ads at
the highest price possible.
--Magazines are most read in the coldest months: January, February,
and March.  Paying the same prices for those months gives you a
greater bang for your buck.

Look at the magazine you wish to buy ad space in and see if there are
many "house ads."  These are ads promoting the magazine itself, a
related event, or something that is owned by the same company as the
magazine.  If there are many house ads, it is a sign that the magazine
has problems selling ad space.  Either they are not desirable to
marketers for advertising purposes and you should look elsewhere, or
they need you more than you need them and you can negotiate them way
down on price.

The prices you'll be quoted will be those from the magazine's rate
card, which some of them publish online.  The rate card is pretty much
the highest possible price you would pay for that product.  It's akin
to a car's sticker price at the dealership.  If the magazine has a
direct competitor, it can be easier to negotiate it down.

If you are going to be doing great amounts of ad purchasing, you may
want to look into the services of a media buyer.  A media buyer can
get discounts of not just 15% but sometimes up to 50% off.  Make sure
that you are dealing with someone who is experienced with the company
and has had fruitful negotiations with that company in the past.

You don't even have to pretend to be an ad agency to get the 15%
reduced rate-- just tell them that you know ad agencies get discounts
and you want the 15% taken off.

Steve Strauss
"Ad rates usually have wiggle room so negotiate"

"If you decide to buy media yourself, know that a great trick is that
you can still ask for the 15% reduced agency rate. They will give it
to you, maybe reluctantly, but they will. Whether you can get them to
reduce it beyond 15% is up to you, but know this too: There is usually
at least another 15% "cushion" built into the rate card. Thus, getting
30% knocked off the rate card is not out of the question."

Ask the ad rep if they have a further reduced rate or discount for
local or small businesses.  If you can't get them to give you
discounts or as much of a discount as you would like, ask for freebies
to be thrown in, such as online ads.  Like anything else, by buying in
bulk you are better placed to be able to ask for discounts.  They may
want you to pay full price if you're only placing one ad, but keep
fighting them.  You don't have to place your ad with them, and they
know that.  Ask for their "12 times" rate-- the rate that a person
would pay to place an ad in 12 issues.  Negotiate on ad position to
get a better placement.  (The right side is always better than the
left).  Ask for color, better placement, bigger ads, appearances in a
special issue-- anything that would improve your chances of a
successful ad.

Finally, remnant space-- the ad space left unsold right before an
issue goes to print-- is an opportunity to get deep discounts on
advertising.  This works especially well with newspapers, which come
out daily and have much more advertising to sell, but can work with
national magazines.  Nationals often have local sections with local
advertising and sometimes have a difficult time selling all of that
space.  These ads can come up very quickly with a tight deadline to
meet, which is why ad salespeople turn to big advertisers to fill the
spaces-- the big guns will have ready-made ads and cash to supply the
salesperson.  Get to know your ad rep and tell him or her that you are
willing to take on remnant space at the last minute.  Have your ad
designed and ready to go beforehand and a quick way to get the money
to pay for it into the hands of the ad representative.


Magazine Advertising Guide for Small ISVs

"Promoting Your Business"

Tips on Negotiating Rates

Remnant Space Advertising

Search terms:
place ads small magazines
rate card negotiate
small magazine advertisements negotiating
tips negotiating magazine ads
remnant space

If you need any additional clarification, let me know and I'll be glad
to assist you.


Request for Answer Clarification by jude1-ga on 20 Dec 2006 12:32 PST
Hi Keystroke,
I appreciate your answer, but I would really like some details as to
dealing with America's Media Marketing. Can you please look into that?
Subject: Re: Negotiating the best rates for small ads in major magazines
From: wbinst-ga on 20 Nov 2006 01:46 PST

I was involved in mail order for a while and if any one knows how to
save money placing ads in magazines, its the mail order guys. They
spend so much on it, in fact its just about the only way they make

OK, theres generally 2 ways its done.

1.. If you're going to be doing a lot of advertising, register a
business name as an ad agency and place your ads through the ad agency
with you or your business as the customer of the ad agency.

Ad agencys pay 15% less than people or businesses placing the ad. This
is their 'commision', so you can save this 15% and put it in your

Some mail order guys dont even register a business as an ad agency,
they just make up letterheads and insertion forms for an ad agency
name they think up.)
(i'm not sure of the legailities of this method)

By the way, insertion forms are what you fax the magazine with the
details of your ad and the space you want to buy etc for them to
insert your ad.

2..2nd method is called remnant space. A magazine will have remnant ad
sapce toward the end of their deadline for that month. Wha you do is
find their standard ad prices (ring them and get them to send you a
media pack and/or rate card)

Then clost to the end of the month you send them a copy of your ad as
hard copy or on a disk or text on a page - depending on your format -
with a check for half the ad rate (or 60% or whatever)of the space you
want to buy and the amount of issues etc, with a cover letter
explaining that if they have remnant space that month to place your ad
and cash the check. Otherwise keep it till they have space available
and then cash the check. Otherwise return the check or tear it

This can turn into a regular arrangement and you pay only 50% for your ad space.

This might need some additional research on your part as it doesnt
always work, but mostly does, depends on the magazine and their
remnant space, their demand for ad space..etc..every mag is different.

These are the only 2 ways i know of and they both work.

Hope this helps and let me know if you need more info. I think i have
a copy of an insertion form and the remnant cover letter i can send
you if you need it,email me.

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