New Commission Model Part I: The Affiliate Commission

New Commission Model Part I: The Affiliate Commission

Commission models are due to change in the beginning of May. Spreadshirt Shop Partners will experience much greater Shop flexibility and a significant decrease in administrative work while opening new ways to sell on the global market. The commission model heralds the start of the change: the Affiliate Commission.

The most important information at a glance:

  • With every sale, the Affiliate Commission pays you 20% of the sum of product and print price.
  • The new Affiliate Commission will replace the previously-used Shop Product Mark-up.
  • Design price will not be affected by this change.
  • This change only applies to the Shop Product Mark-up of our Shop partners.
  • You have the option to choose between an Affiliate Commission of either 20% or 0%. You can change this option at any time.

The implementation of the new commission model will take place at the beginning of May. You will be notified before your Shop is switched to the new model.

The following info graphic illustrates the changes by means of an example:


Important: The change in commission model will come with a new pricing structure. What used to be a mark-up on Shop products will become a commission percentage payment based on the combined product and design price. Consequently, adjusting our prices will increase your commission payments.

Together with the Affiliate Commission, we will be introducing a sales performance-based Volume Commission where you can earn up to an extra 40% of the product type price + print price (excluding VAT and discounts). We will inform you in the next few weeks about the details of the Volume Commission and of upcoming improvements in payout frequency.

What you should consider with the transition

  • You do not need to do anything leading up to or during the commission changeover, but you are welcome to adjust your design price, thereby changing the final purchase price for your customers.
  • If you haven’t set a design price up to this point and have earned entirely from Shop Product Mark-up, you may experience a slight loss in earnings at first. Should this be the case, we recommend adjusting the design price.
  • All final sales prices will end in .99 or .49 in future, regardless of the settings you make. Customers find this pricing structure more attractive, and you won’t need to make any further adjustments.

These are the most important aspects of the Affiliate Commission. To get even more detailed background information as to what it means for you, please read the interview we conducted with Product Owner Robert Schulz.

An Affiliate Commission calculation tool has been developed to give you a hands-on way to see how the new structure will affect your product prices and income. Try the commission calculator now!

We hope this post has given you a good overview of the upcoming changes to the Shop Product Mark-up. Have any questions? Leave a comment below!

43 comments Write a comment

  1. How do you opt out of the commission? I don’t see anything that says that anywhere. I don’t even see the commission mentioned? Help. Nobody is gonna buy a $30 tank top!

  2. Hello Jan-Olof Eriksson,

    we are aware that our new commission model is not simple, but below you can see the biggest changes in a nutshell:

    – the new Affiliate Commission replaces the old Shop Product Mark-Up
    – regarding this new Affiliate Commission you can choose between 20% or 0%
    – you can still set the Design Price on your own
    – furthermore you can get an additional Volume Commission if you sell more than 11 items in 2 weeks (up to 40%)

    Regarding the new product prices for your customers: It depends on your previous Shop Product Mark-Ups and on the product types how the prices changes now. Here you can see our new product type prices.

    I hope this helps you a bit better for the understanding!

    Best regards,

  3. This is very confusing. I have been partner since 2007 and i dont get this. Prises looks rediculos Was 24,99, now 27,49

  4. you should be able to choose from 0% – 5% – 10% – 15% & 20% so the pricing can be lower for customers and also it will make it easier to adjust / calculate for the pricing to end on 0.49 or 0.99

  5. Hi bri,

    What is not worth it exactly? The only change is that from now on the shop product mark-up will be included in the product price. On top of that you receive a volume commission if you sell more than 10 products within two weeks. Let me know your concerns.


  6. Just an example for you Spreaders..

    My shop is setup to be a hobby. A cool one, selling shirts at 1 euro commission. The shirts cost 14,90 or 15,90 or 16,90 now.

    The commission calculator showed me that the 16.90 will now cost 19.49. That is quite a bit of pennies to pay extra..

    Good news for me is that IF i sell some, i’ll earn more. But the prices do rise pretty high..

  7. Not really what I signed up for, but it looks like there is no other choice. I might be able to set a design price and then choose 0% commission. As we did it the other way around at first, I do have a lot of work to do.

    When will the SpreadShirt API be communicating the new pricing? I really like to make a script and sync the prices between my shop-frontend and Spreadshirt.

    Regards, Jeroen from QuoteShirts

  8. Hi Veronica,

    The commission calculator is working. If you want to earn 6€ commission and sell your shirt for 19,90€ then you can add a 6,50€ design price and on top of that you will also receive the 20% affiliate provision (but nothing will change regarding the final price).

    Lena from Spreadshirt

  9. I agree with the general discontent about this change.

    In the end we will have to spend a lot of time to adjust figures in order not to loose our customers, which already find our prices high for the Italian market. This complicated mixture of design price, product price and 20% affiliation price is quite complex, especially considering that the COMMISSION CALCULATOR is not functioning properly: it shows “false” figures about printing prices, it adds up numbers in a way that is totally incomprehensible to me and makes even more difficult to calculate what I have to do to keep the final price the same (and get the same amount) as of today. I’m striving to do this by adding a design price (which was 0 up to now) but still I have no idea of the final outcome when the new system will start.
    I’m hereby asking Spreashirt to let me know what to do in a case like the following: I have a Tshirt that cost 10.40€ + 3€printing cost. What to I have to do in order to offer a final price of 19.90€ and get an income of 6 €, as of today? How do I have to “play” with design and affiliation percentage? Is there a way that is more convenient than another?

    Thanks on advance

    PS: This joke of “un to 40%volume percentage” sound really funny to me. I would really know how many shops that are capable to sell 1000 tshirt in 15 days would keep selling on Spreadshirt.
    By the way, I wish you all a great day.

  10. Hi Barraguesh,

    The product type prices will increase by approximately 20% in order to give you the 20% affiliate commission. The shop product mark-up will dissapear from May 2nd onwards.

    Lena from Spreadshirt

  11. Ok now I undestand everything but why the product Price increases in the example given? Because we set up the mark-up so if the mark-up is deleted, the product type Price will be the same so in the example the total Price have to be 2,5€ less……

  12. So the extra Price that you put when you upload a product to your shop will be deleted and instead of that we will have 20% of the Price of the product and printing? So the products will be less expensive because the delete of the extra Price, won’t they? 😀

  13. Hi Antonio,

    If you chose to set a design price and you do not opt out of the affiliate commission (which we highly recommend since you won’t be receiving the volume commission otherwise) then you receive the 20% affiliate commission and the 4€ design price.

    Lena from Spreadshirt

  14. Please tell me if I got it right. At the moment I’m selling only shirts from my shop (no designs, which I set to 0€) at 18.90€ (14.90 + 4€ mark up), so my profit at the moment is 4€ per piece.

    What happens with this change, with no mark up and say a 4€ design price? Do I get 20% of 14.90 + 4€ or just the 20%?

    thank you

  15. Thank you Lena 🙂 Then I will choose the 20% and lower my design price to keep the price for the costumer about the same.

    Best wishes, Maria

  16. Hi Maria,

    No, the volume commission only works in combination with the 20% affiliate commission.
    You can change the design price at any time. However you can only chose between 0% or 20% affiliate commission (and receive the volume commission only if you chose the latter)

    Lena from Spreadshirt

  17. In Italia questi costi sono decisamente alti. Non è facile trovare clienti con questa crisi, non è facile proporre. Tutti… e ripeto tutti quelli a cui ho mostrato il negozio mi hanno detto che i prezzi sono eccessivi… I disegni piacciono i costi no. Ora questa modifica. A quanto ho letto sino ad ora non ho visto una singola persona contenta di questa modifica. Si stanno lamentando tutti. Possibile che questo non venga preso in considerazione?
    Vi prego agevolate le vendite con prezzi piu ragionevoli, ci sarà da lavorare di piu per tutti con guadagno per tutti e piu possibilità per tutti.
    Oppure continuate cosi, ma dubito che molti continueranno con voi.
    Io ho aperto da poco un negozio. Ma sono ancora in tempo per chiuderlo.
    Ci dite che la situazione è migliorativa… in cosa per noi?
    Ce lo spiegate in maniera piu chiara, punto per punto, con degli esempi.

  18. It looks like it’s a good change for me, since I only use the design commission 🙂

    If I put the affiliate commission on 0%, will I still get the 40% sales performance-based Volume Commission if I sell 10 or more shirts in 2 weeks?

    And can I change both the affiliate commission and the design commission at any time?

    Best wishes and thanks for your service, Maria

  19. Hi Jamie Bidiki,

    We are implementing this change. What are the issues you are encountering and is there any way we can help?

    Lena from Spreadshirt

  20. Hi Sam,

    I got your point man! and sometin I serious agree with is that we do not have contact with our costumers witch ibelieve is a hell of a serious damange to real designers and owners of copyright labels, like me!

    So maybe spreadshirt likes to keep the page for designers with alow bughet i do not know!

    But there are so many changed in a short period, witch aint cool! I feel what you mean to tell here.

    I will see and wait!

  21. @Spreadshirt, read all the comments 10 times and listen to your customers. I will close my shop after this change.

  22. Hi Sam,

    Thanks for your feedback. I’m sorry you feel this way. We are not deactivating the shop product mark-up to take away your flexibility but to facilitate new markets, new currencies, the new Partner Area and integration of the T-Shirt Designer into the Spreadshirt Shop. I know it might be hard to see the bigger picture in this change and I understand your frustration but please be assured that we are trying our best to make swift pricing and product creation for a variety of markets easier.

    Lena from Spreadshirt

  23. We know prices will increase over time, it’s called inflation.

    What I’m personally not happy about is Spreadshirts hypocritical advice and total disregard to the reason most independent brands chose them in the first place.

    Spreadshirt says things like, if you sell your products for cheaper, you can earn a bigger commission over time. Well, I say, why don’t you practice what you preach!

    Taking away the Mark Up price is a big mistake, and I’ve realized that I simply can’t trust this company. Since joining, they have gone from the old shop (after I spent so much time learning the css etc) to the new shop (which meant more css, more website changes) and believe it or not, I did not complain once, although I was frustrated I stayed loyal to the company, but now that I won’t even be able to decide how much I want to sell a product for due to the new restrictions, I’ve had enough.

    The same way Spreadshirt deactivates a product, is the same way they could announce t-shirts are going up in price when needed, but no, they decide they are going to get rid of the mark up price and make us change the design price instead.

    When I listen to Spreadshirt, this is what I hear:

    Hey guys! we have a great idea, you work hard on your designs, produce your own logo and create a personal brand to be proud of, we keep all of your customer’s personal information; you know, things like their emails, home addresses, phone numbers, etc, that way you can’t contact your own customer’s when they buy something from you, that sounds great right? cool, what we encourage you to do next is work night and day on a website and promote, promote, promote! don’t worry if you have created marketing flyers/business cards etc, if your marketing materials show products for a set price, you can simply spend hours recreating your flyers/business cards, and buy new marketing materials, yay! so much fun keeping up with our new system with no mark up price; if we kept the mark up price you might have been able to match most of your current prices when they rise, but that would be too easy!, so we took it away, instead we’ll make you believe you will be able to match the mark up price by changing the design price, it won’t necessarily be true, but we’ll say it because it sounds good! and if that’s not a great reason to stay, please don’t forget about our wonderful customer service team, you will only really need to talk to them if the Spreadshirt site is not working correctly, but at least we will say, “Hi, there seems to be a bug in the system, thank you for reporting the issue, we are currently dealing with it.

    Overall, I’m so disappointed with Spreadshirt, I’m going to wait until the change, then slowly deactivate my products until I no longer need this site. This site is only going to be good for shop owners with basic designs and lame slogans.

    When looking into your so-called analytics, I hope you took into consideration that most start up businesses don’t see any major profit until 2 years, from what I was told, that’s the average time it takes for UK businesses.

    I really want to stay but I know I will leave, there’s only so much messing around I can endure.

  24. I think in the end the customer pays whitch means for an free payment active site we have to be happy they are doing this! or there is no way to get your head up above others. and i think your one of the better ones! Only people who already make money now would disagree of this market stragedie but sorry your house rental payment will rise each year by at least 6% so your products should rise as well. the fun is we benevid of it ones the customers has payed if they do not pay your product probably is not good enough for the market!

    VAJITO DESIGN© – Music is life – It’s a personality©

    Your services are way to good for a free membership!

    Thank you, Spreadshirt,

    Another side note is that with affiliation in genre the “partners” friendship/ relationship we have looks to become less, but the fun is whitout traffic there no partnership and analyses already showed that affiliates by any partner makes traffic bigger! 😉 so makes our sales rise at least for those who have a good product!

  25. Many thanks again, for sharing your thoughts in an open discussion.

    These changes are the base for many features and will ease a lot of processes so that we will have a much more flexible system in the end.

    There’s been a lot of positive feedback which encouraged us in our idea of the future payment and product creation process, and proves that we are able to offer a meaningful option to a lot of our shop owners.

    Communicating changes of a running system is never an easy job, but changes are important to a healthy business.

    Please keep in mind that there is no assurance against fix cost changes.
    We are offering a great customer service, product engineering and a complete cost free fulfillment chain, within a very competitive surrounding. That’s what you get.

    Our price model for shop owners was stable for a long time but we also have to review these prices from time to time to ensure a steady proftability.
    This profitability is needed to make important product improvements as well as developing innovations. Without these, we could not offer you a future ready product.

    So if you wish us to be standing still, your shop business will follow and slowly fall behind. Beeing the cheapest provider around was never solution for us. It is an option but none of our choice.

    We take your arguments serious, but only focusing on a very few details of a complex issue does not take all the positive effects into account.

    Believe me when I say, we have made this decission up on a lot of analytics and experience, so that we are confident about the benefits for all shop owners.

    from Spreadshirt.

  26. This is terrible bad news!
    I am struggling to see how is this good news for partners. Bottom line here is: you guys are making products more expensive.
    The commision calculator shows that my hood/zip-hoods will get at least 10 euros more expensive with this change.
    Who will buy them now?
    Time to close the shop and move on.

  27. This is very bad news for partners. Bottom line here is: you guys are making products more expensive!!
    This change will make my t-shirts at least 4-5 Euros more expensive and Hood/Zip-hoods 10-11 Euros more expensive.
    This is the end to small independent business. Products will get far to expensive.
    I am very disapointed!!!

  28. Lena,

    Even after the bugfixes in the calculator, the deal is still very negative for partners. Yes, by default partners get more commission for every sale, but this is only because the final retail price increases. This will make it harder to sell to customers, there is no other way to look at it. Please reconsider.


  29. Sorry, but this isn’t what I signed-up for – a markup is controllable by me, a commission isn’t. I’ll be closing the CycleChat shop. Sorry, but this is a terrible idea.

  30. Hi all,

    If you want to earn more than the 20% affiliate commission you can also set a design price (up to 15€).
    Moreover we will also be introducing a sales performance-based volume bonus as well as a monthly payout of the commissions. I suggest you wait until beginning of April until you receive futher details on the changes before jumping to quick conclusions.

    Let me know if you have any further questions regarding the affiliate commission!

    Lena from Spreadshirt

  31. I agree with the comments above, this doesn’t look like a good deal for partners at all. We are a small independent business who wanted to offer people merchandise at reasonable prices as a way of supporting our garage and spreading the word. We need to make a decent commission otherwise there is no point in being a “partner”, we don’t want to make products too expensive or our customers won’t buy them. This change to commission based sales is a big mistake, we’ll be strongly considering shutting up our Spreadshirt shop because this change will not work for us. Why change something that was working just fine??

  32. From Partners to Affiliates!

    Wow, look how quickly things are changing.

    These new changes will mean less profit margins, less control, and more work for existing “partners”. We’re not just dealing with Spreadshirt; we’re dealing with websites, flyers, social media etc, it’s a whole lot of work.

    Not being able to use the product mark up is very bad news. That was one of your unique selling points, when I went to other sites and saw they only gave 20% for sales, I moved on, and guess what I found…I found Spreadshirt.


    The maximum price you can currently sell your design for is €10/15.
    If you set your design price to €10/15, this will affect ALL of your products using that design! It might be fine for T-Shirts or Sweatshirts, but not for mugs, hats etc.

    For example: your €7 mug with your €10 design would become €17.


    I really love spreadshirt, you are reliable, and offer a great customer service, but model wise, it don’t seem to be changing for the better, it seems to be blending in with the rest, aka getting worse.

    I hope you have good news coming soon, like this is an early April fools joke, or you have created a new Spd logo, one which is barely noticeable but passes regulations, to sell more of your own brand products; don’t get me wrong, your products are good, but your green label and the heart is a problem for shops wanting a more professional and discrete look.

    Let’s listen to each other and become “Partners” again!

  33. Set the commission to 0% and adjust the design price to your usual total markup and everything is hunky dory and back as it was, or am I missing something?

  34. Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    You can only chose between 0% or 20% affiliate commission. Allowing to chose different percentages in between these 0% and 20% affiliate commission would mean that we would need to calculate different product type prices for each and every step in order for the prices to end on 0.49/0.99.
    Our analysis showed that the 20% affiliate commission lead to the best sales opportunities.
    Please also be aware that the commission calculator had a bug (which led to wrong prices) which was fixed this morning.

    Lena from Spreadshirt

  35. Hi.
    I just opened my store, but i don’t think this is the right road to go. There should be an option to choose a % between 0-20. The prices will be to high if I put 20% but I will earn 0 if I don’t…

  36. Dear Spreadshirt team,

    I am struggling to see how is this good news for partners. Bottom line here is: you guys are making products more expensive, so for those of us that produce the designs and also sell them in our shop, this means that either the final price increases (so customers need to pay more and selling our items gets more difficult since the price is less attractive), or we have to reduce our commission significantly in order to keep the same final price we’ve been using.

    I don’t see a single scenario in which this new model is actually good news. Sure you can try to sell this scheme as “more commission for partners” but this is at the expense of increasing the final retail price, which is something that we could have done with the old model if we wanted to. Reason why we didn’t do it was to keep pricing to something reasonable. Pricing was already really expensive. Charging more than 10€ for the most basic blank t-shirt and then 8€ more for a three color flex print was already really really high. Increasing the product price even more just invites partners to find other alternatives or customers to find other online shops. We really can’t sustain our business selling at such high prices.

    I hope you guys reconsider this decision. It’s a really selfish one that makes life hard for all partners.

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