PSU Insight

Marketing and Promotion

Do You Pay Commission on Product Sales?

Bureaus who charge you a percentage of your standard fee also may expect you to pay them a percentage on any material fees or product sales at (or as a direct result of) the engagement. Product sales at (or as a result of) “spin off” engagements may also be subject to the bureau’s percentage.

Back-of-the-room sales at the engagement itself are easy to track, but it can be difficult to determine the source of online product sales. One way of handling Internet sales is to accept "coupons". At your speaking engagement, you tell your audience that they can get a discount if they use a particular code when they order; and then, any sales that come in through your website using that code are easily identified as resulting from that particular speaking engagement.

The details of commissionable product sales vary widely, but many bureaus expect to be paid at least some percentage of your product sales. As with "spin-off" speaking engagements, it is your responsibility to determine if you owe a commission to a bureau because of a product sale.

Since they (and you) may make more money from your product sales than from your fee for the speaking engagement, this can be a serious consideration.