Advice for anyone considering buying a newsagency

Plenty of newsagency businesses are changing hands. We think that is in part because the channel had a good Covid. Retail businesses in our industry are looking sweet, and there’s some cracking opportunities out there.

A common question we get asked is, “What should I ask for when I’m looking to buy a newsagency?”

The question itself shows how green a prospective buyer is when it comes to buying a business. My first piece of advice is to get your head around the newsagency business of today, so you know what you’re getting into. And, I do mean today. The newsagency of today and into the future is not the agency focussed business of the past.

Here’s a list of data we suggest prospective newsagency buyers request from the vendor or their representative:

  • The accountant’s P&L for the last two years. Not a spreadsheet that’s been created for the purpose. You need the real P&L.
  • A list of add-backs used to calculate the profit figure on which the asking price is based.
  • Tax returns for the same two years. While not always appropriate given business structures, they can be used to cross-check the accountant’s P&L.
  • Sales data reports from the POS software for the last two years. This is the key data to verify the income claim.
  • Sales data reports from the lottery terminal to verify the income claim.
  • BAS forms to confirm the data in the P&L.
  • A list of all inventory in the business, including the purchase price and date last sold for each item. And copies of invoices that you can randomly select to verify.
  • A copy of the shop lease.
  • A copy of any leases that the vendor expects you to take on board.
  • A list of all forward orders placed on behalf of the business.
  • A list of all employees, including their name, hourly rate, nature of employment, start date, accrued leave, and accrued long service leave.

This is all basic information that any buyer should have access to in order to assess a business. A business for sale for which this information is not readily available is not, itself, ready for sale.

Once you have the information, analyse it yourself. You should not outsource your decision as to whether a business is a good business to buy or not.

Management advice for new newsagents, for anyone who has bought a newsagency

Before you get to the list, consider  consider the type of newsagency do you want to run: retail or agency. In my opinion, retail has growth opportunities and relies on you whereas agency is flat or declining with others in control of much of your business. I am more interested in retail.

You drive business value by playing at the boundaries of the business, broadening what you sell, the price points you can achieve and the new faces you can attract. Attracting new shoppers has to be a key focus as this feeds into other metrics.

Plenty of people offering newsagents advice on how to run their businesses and what to stock are not newsagents, not even retailers. Often, they are not business owners with a vested interest in your success. Be cautious about advice offered, especially from supplier reps. Their needs are likely not your needs.

I own the newsagency software company supplying more newsagents with software than all others, I also own the newsXpress marketing group and I own 4 newsagencies. Best of all, every day I get to work with retail experts, retail practitioners. They have the best advice, from lived experience, successes and failures. In offering advice here I’m not trying to make money off of you. The advice is offered free to anyone to read and use or not.

Here’s my updated list for new newsagents:

    1. Arrive invoices through XchangeIT – no other way.
    2. Only sell magazines by scanning. Never use department keys.
    3. Do not label all magazines. Do not label weeklies or high volume monthlies.
    4. When returning magazines, scan out returns. Do this at least weekly.
    5. Do not early return magazines the day they arrive unless you have been sent too many. Often newsagent who early return deny the opportunity of sales.
    6. Early return at least twice a month – based on what is NOT selling.
    7. If you have sub agents – only supply them through the sub agent facilities in your newsagency software.
    8. Check your magazine account as soon as it comes in to ensure you have received all credits.
    9. Pay your magazine bills on time without fail – avoid being cut off for weeks without magazines.
    10. You control where magazines are placed, it is your shop.
    11. You do not have to put posters in the window. I recommend against this.
    12. You do not have to do big magazine displays – it is your choice. I see no evidence of it increasing sales.
    13. I recommend against letting magazine companies set up display unless you think they will help drive sales.
    1. You control where newspapers are placed, it is your shop.
    2. If you are regularly undersupplied, complain to the publisher as well as the supplying newsagent (if you do not have a direct account).
    3. Scan all newspapers you sell.
    4. Scan all newspaper returns – accurate data will be your friend in the event of a dispute
    5. You do not have to put out newspaper posters or place newspapers in a certain position unless you have signed a contract with a publisher agreeing to this.
    6. Manage your exposure to promotions where you sell stock for a tiny margin.
  1. CARDS.
    1. Cards have the largest %GP of all physical products you will sell (except coffee if you offer that). Treat cards with the respect that value demands.
    2. Think carefully before signing a contract.
    3. Pay for your own fixtures.
    4. Put out your own cards. Learn what you stock. Take ownership of this most important product category.
    5. Ideally, do your own card order. It’s your money being spent. Don’t leave this to someone else to do.
    6. Agree on an ordering process with your card co. account manager, for example what number of cards remaining in a pocket to order on.
    7. Immediately report any over or under supply.
    8. Trust your data ahead of your gut and ahead of sell-in reports from suppliers.
    9. Pay on time or risk being cut off.
    10. Discount seasonal stock at the end of the season for a couple of days to pick up stragglers and make an extra few $$$.
    11. At least every two years (preferably annually) undertake a range review of sales by pocket based on your sales data, not card company provided data.
  1. STAFF.
    1. Decide on your pay rates. The award is best used as a base guide. It’s likely that to attract and retail good staff you will need to pay above award.
    2. Ensure everyone has a list of things to do each day.
    3. Have a documented position description against which your employees are measured.
    4. Have a written roster every week.
    5. Have a structured process for handling annual and sick leave.
    6. Use payroll software for record keeping.
    7. Pay always on time and preferably by electronic transfer.
    8. Pay super on time. Do not start someone working for you unless they have provided a super account number with their tax file number.
    9. Change your roster regularly for casuals.
    1. Every day, look for opportunities to attract new people through what you choose to range and how you display it.
    2. Do not buy for yourself, what you like.
    3. Only see supplier reps who have made an appointment.
    4. If a supplier rep tells you something will be a success, ask for the evidence.
    5. Use your computer system to guide ordering of stock – order based on sales.
    6. Order to a budget.
    7. Scan everything you sell.
    8. Scan out personal use stock.
    9. Set your own mark-up policy for items that are not pre priced.
    10. It is easier to discount than increase prices.
    11. Do not pay for an external stock taker – do it yourself through the year.
    12. Check high theft risk items like weekly or fortnightly.
    13. Arrive and price stock on the shop floor, and not the back room. You’ll sell more this way.
    1. Negotiate your own lease. Paying someone who is not financially invested in the outcome is likely to not get a better deal for you, despite their pitch.
    2. Read your lease.
    3. Make sure the permitted use clause serves the future needs of your business.
    4. Pay on time otherwise you could be locked out.
    5. Do not agree to a new lease unless you have read the entire document and are prepared to agree to it in its entirety.
    6. Conduct discussions with your landlord in writing to maintain a paper trail.
  1. GST.
    1. Complete your BAS on time and make any necessary payment – to reduce the opportunity for you being audited.
    1. If you borrowed to get into your business, start paying this off from the first week, make progress everyweek. This avoids you having a challenge when you come to sell the business.
    2. Pay yourself a wage or at least accrue this in the accounts.
    3. Integrate with accounting software like Xero – keep bookkeeper costs down.
    4. Ensure workcover (workers comp.) cover is up to date and maintained.
    5. Ensure you have appropriate council permits for what you sell – i.e. food.
    6. Have a structured banking process that ensures that cash is tracked at all steps and at all time.
    7. Take a data backup every day. The best approach is an automated cloud backup – ask your software company.
    8. Bank every day and bank the takings for each day separately to make reconciliation easier.
    9. Use your software to manage the end of shift process to drive consistency and accuracy.

As I said at the start, this list is evolving with time. I hope it is useful to new newsagents and would be newsagents, to understand some of the day to day tasks you cannot afford to get wrong.

Footnote: I first published a version of this advice 7 years ago.

Mark Fletcher
0418 321 338

Interested in buying a newsagency?

newsXpress has an opportunity for anyone interested in buying a newsagency.  Located in a high traffic A-Class situation.  This is an ideal opportunity for a first time or mature newsagency operator.  If you are interested in buying a newsagency or opening a newsagency, please make contact with Mark Fletcher today on 0418 321 338.


Buying a newsagency? Choose the right marketing group.

newsXpress today is having a lot more engagement from prospectives, people who are looking at buying a Newsagency. This is mainly due to the suite of services provided by newsXpress as in, in store support through our Business development Managers, innovative and successful, low membership fees and group buying power. No other group comes close to these combined benefits.

Compared to a full franchise model like Supanews, newsXpress provides the support with the added benefits of having control of your business which means as sales grow you are not penalized by extra franchise fees.

Understandingly, a lot of people feel out of their depth when entering a new industry and look for the support a full franchise model provides, the big difference newsXpress provides is that you get the support without having to pay the ongoing costs associated with any franchise.

newsXpress, unlike other Marketing groups like Nextra and The Lucky Charm, retains members by performance not by long term can’t get out of contracts.

We get a lot of enquiries from people who have just purchased a Newsagency and decide after they are familiar with the industry and see what is available they would like to join newsXpress and tap into the benefits provided. Unfortunately, some realise they have signed a contract that won’t allow them to swap marketing groups this is where newsXpress stands out as it only requires one months notice so if you join and don’t receive the benefits you are free to leave.

When buying a newsagency, before you sign any agreement or contract, research all options available before signing a marketing group contract.  Different groups provide different outcomes for your business and offer different terms.

This is not about promoting one group over another, our advice is when looking at any Newsagency for sale is to do your research before signing any Marketing group contract as in some cases this will be your only chance to get out of existing contracts.

If you are new to the Newsagency industry and are unsure hold of signing on with ant Marketing group until you understand the full benefits provided, an article that will help you in this process is: How to choose a marketing group for your newsagency.

Help With Buying a Newsagency in Queensland

If you are in the process of looking through Newsagencies for sale in Queensland, the Queensland Newsagents Federation is conducting one of their regular free monthly seminars this coming Wednesday March the 16th, starting at 6pm.  QNF Sales hold these regular evening seminars to provide prospective buyers with an overview of the newsagency industry. These seminars are free of charge and provide essential information to prospective newsagents. We would strongly urge anyone considering entering the industry to attend one of these seminars. Information covered on the night includes:

  • Industry Overview & Sales Margins
  • Industry Contracts Buyer considerations
  • Financing your purchase
  • Purchase due diligence
  • Training/Takeover process
  • Sales Consultants will also be available at each seminar to discuss personal requirements.

Places for the seminars are limited, therefore bookings are essential.  To secure your booking, go to or email the QNF at

Helping those buying a newsagency find their feet and grow their businesses

newsXpress is successful attracting people new to the newsagency businesses.  Whether it is people buying a newsagency or those who have purchased a newsagency and already running it.

Our training, our networking sessions, our preferred suppliers, our in-store support and our personal assistance on a broad range of issues is proving to be a boon for new newsagents.  We help them fast-track to make decisions as if they had been in the business of many years.

newsXpress membership can substitute for experience.

Tapping into the deep well of newsXpress experience in our staff team as well as in our broader membership base, we leverage the group on behalf of these new newsagents and help them more effectively compete than if they were not in newsXpress.

The support for new newsagents has been evident during our recent round of newsXpress member meetings where new newsagents have been able to access a d leverage opportunities which one usually only sees far more experienced newsagents accessing.

This is the newsXpress difference in action, helping newsXpress members create more profitable and successful businesses.

This is another reason newsXpress locations are much sought after by other newsagency marketing groups.

Helping those buying a newsagency

Buying a newsagency can be a challenge for the first time buyer.  There is much to evaluate and understand.  Plenty to investigate to ensure that you get the right price.  And, once you have purchased, much to learn to leverage the best possible return from your newsagency.

Running a newsagency is a challenge in any situation. The goal of newsXpress is to provide access to supplier terms, product deals, management strategies and marketing initiatives which, when engaged, can help you achieve the full potential of your business.

Yes, newsagents…

  • Attract more customers.
  • Leverage customer traffic to increase average spend.
  • Improve the quality and timeliness of business decisions.
  • Bank more dollars from each sale.
  • Enjoy your business more through fun retail engagement.

newsXpress is a newsagency marketing group which helps newsagents and those buying a newsagency to achieve these valuable goals. The ultimate goal is to make your business more valuable on a day to day basis and through this to help you maximise your opportunities when you decide to sell.

newsXpress helps newsagents improve business

newsXpress is hosting one-day Mini Conferences this month in four states.  These conferences provide an excellent opportunity for learning,making deals with suppliers and networking.

  • Brisbane Tuesday 15h February 2011– Brisbane Technology Park, Cnr Logan & Miles Plating Rds Eight Mile Plains, QLD, 4113
  • Melbourne Thursday 17th February 2011 –Sanbrook Brands Pty Ltd Head Office, 991 Mountain Highway, Boronia Victoria 3155.
  • Sydney Tuesday 22nd February 2011 – Bonnie Doon Golf Club, Banks Ave, Pagewood, NSW, 2035 – Coincides with the Sydney Gift Fair.
  • Perth Tuesday 1st March 2011 – Metro Hotel on Canning Hwy, Perth, WA, 6000.

Bookings for all four are available now from the newsXpress website.

Newsagents and people buying a newsagency are welcome to attend – please contact newsXpress to make arrangements.

One Day Newsagent Conferences Next Month

newsXpress is hosting one-day Mini Conferences next month in four states.  These conferences provide an excellent opportunity for learning,making deals with suppliers and networking.

  • Brisbane Tuesday 15h February 2011– Brisbane Technology Park, Cnr Logan & Miles Plating Rds Eight Mile Plains, QLD, 4113
  • Melbourne Thursday 17th February 2011 –Sanbrook Brands Pty Ltd Head Office, 991 Mountain Highway, Boronia Victoria 3155.
  • Sydney Tuesday 22nd February 2011 – Bonnie Doon Golf Club, Banks Ave, Pagewood, NSW, 2035 – Coincides with the Sydney Gift Fair.
  • Perth Tuesday 1st March 2011 – Metro Hotel on Canning Hwy, Perth, WA, 6000.

Bookings for all four are available now from the newsXpress website.

Newsagents and people buying a newsagency are welcome to attend – please contact newsXpress to make arrangements.

Advice on buying a newsagency in Queensland

Buying a newsagency can be a challenge, especially for those who have not owned a newsagency before.  newsXpress has a track record of helping people in their first newsagency businesses.  We support the work of the Queensland Newsagents Federation and their workshop for those interested in buying a newsagency.

Here are some details of the QNF seminar.  The next of these is on February 2, 2011.

QNF Sales hold regular evening seminars to provide prospective buyers with an overview of the newsagency industry. These seminars are free of charge and provide essential information to prospective newsagents. We would strongly urge anyone considering entering the industry to attend one of these seminars. Information covered includes:

  • Industry Overview & Sales Margins
  • Industry Contracts Buyer considerations
  • Financing your purchase
  • Purchase due diligence
  • Training/Takeover process

To secure your booking, email the QNF at

The best newsagent conference in 2010

If you are buying a newsagency or have an existing newsagency you want to run better then the newsXpress one day conference is an excellent opportunity to connect with proactive newsagents and helpful suppliers.

In an outcome-focused agenda  you will find many practical ideas you can implement without additional cost you can use to extract more revenue from each customer contact.  Here is the agenda:

09.15am – Suppliers on site with great Back to School and exclusive deals – we recommend all stores arrive early and use this time to engage with the suppliers and take advantage of the HOT OFFERS
10:00am – Open and Introduction by Graham Randall
10:05am – Mark Fletcher – How to avoid calling the police to your store
10:10am – Mark Fletcher – An OCD Diagnosis is not all bad news
10:45am – Ron Thorpe – Taking Ownership of the Greeting Card Category & making more money
11:30am – Graham Randall – Buying and Selling a newsagency – The facts, the myths and the figures
12:00pm – My Stories – selected newsXpress members share their stories on what makes their store profitable
12:30pm – Ben Kay – Stalking Goliath – techniques for competing with the big end of town
14:00pm – Jason Skodt – How to make money from the phone card category – Tips and practical advice on making this category more profitable
14:30pm – Open Forum
15:00pm – newsXpress Members only meeting – 60 minutes
16:00pm – Close of day

This is the newsagent conference that comes to you with dates in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth starting later this week.

Click here for a one page brochure and registration form.  Click here to book online.  Participation costs just $50 and includes lunch and breaks.

Buying a newsagency? newsXpress has a greenfield opportunity in Melbourne

newsXpress has been approached by a major landlord with a greenfield location in a busy shopping centre west of Melbourne.  If you are looking at buying a newsagency, this opportunity could be right for you.  For more details please contact newsXpress General Manager Ben Kay on 0419 678 754.

Greenfield newsagency opportunity in Brisbane

newsXpress has been offered a greenfield newsagency opportunity in a Woolworths centre for someone wanting to buy a newsagency.  With the backing of newsXpress strategies and expertise, this opportunity would be ideal for someone entering the newsagency channel for the first time.

For more information on this opportunity please call Mark Fletcher on 0418 321 338.  We expect that this opportunity will be taken quickly.

newsXpress can help in Buying a Newsagency

Buying a Newsagency can be an opportunity to increase your capital wealth over time. Newsagencies, run well, are good businesses to own and operate. They respond well to hard work and good management.

It is important to remember that when buying a Newsagency it is not always a license to print money. Your chances of success will be better if you do some research into the industry first to get a feel for the problems you might encounter as a business owner.

The business has more chance of success the more it matches your interests and business strengths.

To be a successful Newsagent, you must be 100% committed. Anything less and you will significantly reduce your chances of success. You have to ask yourself is a Newsagency the best solution and will be suitable for me and my lifestyle.

Consider your own level of knowledge and interest along with having the skills, experience, time, resources, vision and commitment to make the Newsagency a success.
This is where newsXpress can help.  Our team of Business development Managers work with newsXpress members, in store, to build stronger, more efficient and more profitable newsagencies.  This is the newsXpress difference.
Newsagencies can be very demanding with long hours. While it may provide independence and the opportunity to earn more money, you must also consider that it can place a lot of pressure on you personally, family, friends. It can affect your relationships and lifestyle. You will also have to be in good physical condition especially if you are purchasing one with a paper run and you plan to do the deliveries yourself.
newsXpress can help with back office processes, front of store processes and marketing to help attract new customers.

Before you start looking at a newsagency to buy, consider whether you are ready for this decision yourself. Are you up for the hard work? Are you physically able? Do you have the financial and emotional capacity? Do you enjoy retail? Are you motivated to make a real difference in a business? Do you know the type of Newsagency you are looking for?

To find out more about how newsXpress can help you in buying a newsagency, please contact Ben Kay, newsXpress General Manager, on 0419 678 754.

Help with buying a newagency

newsXpress is helping more people in buying a newsagency whether it is an existing newsagency of a greenfield location.  Our extensive resources from lease advice through to shop fit services and in-store management guidance combine to help anyone buying a newsagency to make a better decision and position themselves to achieve the return they hope for.

It’s the newsXpress difference at work.

Buying a newsagency advice

With so many people looking to buy a newsagency, newsXpress has developed help to structure consistent best-practice advice on the processes of buying a newsagency, selling a newsagency and opening a new newsagency.  We are able to assist people new to the newsagency channel to get into the business easily thanks to the years of experience available within our management and operational teams.

Our newsagency experience ranges from in-store department management to newsagency ownership.  We draw on this for the buying a newsagency and selling your newsagency advisory services we offer.

Four regional newsXpress meetings next month

newsXpress is pleased to announce dates for four regional meetings next month to provide newsXpress members an opportunity to talk about business and to also let others see the newsXpress difference. Art these meetings we will share an newsXpress developed strategy which shows how to grow traffic, efficiency and margin. Running from 10am to 1pm, the sessions are open to newsXpress members and newsagent colleagues. The dates are:

MACKAY, QLD – Tuesday April 20.
TORONTO, NSW Central Coast – Tuesday April 27.
SUNSHINE COAST, QLD – Thursday April 29
GOLD COAST – Friday April 30

Click here to book.

Buying a newsagency opportunity in QLD

newsXpress has an excellent greedfild site opportunity in Birsbane for anyone looking at buying a newsagency.  In a new Woolworths-anchored centre, this location is all set for occupation.  There is a good rental deal, plans drawn up and ready to go and suppliers keen to assist.  This package opportunity is available now throgh newsXpress.  So if you are in looking for a newsagency for sale, consider taking a greenfield opportunity like this with newsXpress.

Looking to buy a newsagency?

newsXpress has been approached to open newsagencies in three more shopping centres, two in Victoria (suburban) and one in New South Wales (suburban).  These greenfield locations are ideal for people looking to buy a newsagency.  We can facilitate the lease, shop design, shopfit and a starter range of stock.

Staring a newsagency from scratch can work more effectively than buying a newsagency with goodwill.

To find out more, please make contact with us through our website.

Buying a newsagency help from newsXpress

newsXpress is presenting a helpful workshop tomorrow at the Queensland Newsagents’ Federation training school for people buying a newsagency.

Drawing on years of help given to new newsagents, the newsXpress presentation will share marketting and management tips to help make the new venture more successful.

newsXpress is grateful yo the QNF for the opportunity to help new newsagents.