Q&A Session: The Affiliate Commission

Q&A Session: The Affiliate Commission

Spreadshirt is ready to put your Shop on the global market! Doing so requires a commission solution that’s flexible enough to adjust to changing market situations while minimising your efforts at the same time. We’re putting the new components into place in the coming weeks, and here you can read up on important information concerning the most vital element: the Affiliate Commission.

Robert, why is Spreadshirt introducing changes to the commission model?

Spreadshirt offers a very complex system for partners. In the forthcoming quarters, some changes will be made in order to reform a system that is quickly becoming obsolete. The reasons for these changes are new markets new currencies, the new Partner Area and integration of the T-Shirt Designer into the Spreadshirt Shop. All of these factors could not be taken into account with the current commission system.

Suppose a partner has 10 designs and wants to offer these designs and wants to offer these designs on 10 different products in his shop. He would need to adjust 100 prices! And that’s only in his own currency! Taking into account that shops will be available in many different currencies in the near future, the burden would become unbearable. The scenario gets even worse if product prices change, which is something that is necessary from time to time. Partners would be forced to change their prices over and over again. At the end of the day, everyone would be left unhappy.

Moreover, we need to consider the changes to the new Partner Area that our Product Owner Petra announced some time ago. The changes were made to be able to publish designs on several—or even all—of our products in a matter of seconds. Seeing that this could involve 180+ products, the complexity of the aforementioned example would get completely out of hand.

That’s why we’re introducing the new Affiliate Commission model in order to facilitate swift pricing and product creation for a variety of markets.

We are aware of the fact that not all partners will immediately see the benefit and added value of the new system. Continuous adjustments and additional features are needed and will be developed until everyone’s demands are met. The introduction of the Affiliate Commission is the first of many steps in the right direction.

How will our partners be affected by the changes? Who will benefit from the new Affiliate Commission, and who will not feel the change at all?

Every Partner Shop will be affected. The changes for partners running a static shop will be more evident than for those with a designer shop. We will apply great care in looking at product type prices again, and we will increase them wherever possible in order to be able to pay out a decent Affiliate Commission. This is why product price changes will also have an effect on designer shops.

As to who will benefit here, there are no hard and fast rules about how much everyone will profit. Some partners adjust their Shop Product Mark-up in the cent range to adjust total prices to .99 cents. Some partners set prices in a way that they can receive the highest possible Shop Product Mark-up. According to our calculations, most commissions are either set to 0% (as with non-profit organisations that cannot generate any profits with their shop) or in the range of 1% – 25%. We concentrate our efforts on the latter. All other partners are bound to receive a lower commission in the future, but we are sure that they will still benefit since lower retail prices usually mean more sales.

One benefit that will eventually apply to every partner will present itself in the form of a much lower workload with regards to shop administration and maintenance. In April, our partners will be supplied with a more detailed update on the matter in a separate post.

Please describe for us exactly how the new Affiliate Commission model works.

The final customer currently pays for the product price + the print price + the design price+ the Shop Product Mark-up. The “owner” of the design receives the design price, and those creating products with it receive the Shop Product Mark-up.

In the future, we are going to increase product type prices in static shops and add the printing costs and design prices. The “owner” of the design will continue to receive the design price, but the creator of the product will receive 20% of the net price of the product + the print price. Our partners always have the option to earn 0% if they wish.

We’ve created these info graphics to explain the new commission structure:


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!

What are the advantages for partners?

As mentioned before, all partners will immediately benefit from lower administrative efforts. In the long run, they will benefit from the facilitation of new projects made possible with this change. The automatic generation of products, markedly reduced efforts with regards to price changes and internationalisation (making products available worldwide) are the biggest advantages.

Partners will feel the advantages once they begin receiving monthly commission payments (as opposed to the current quarterly payout model) and a new Volume Commission. The latter is a bonus payment that partners receive on sales of ten or more products over the course of two weeks. Partners will receive more detailed information about these changes in April.

What must a partner do to adapt to the new model?

Every partner will be informed when the changes to their shop will come into effect. On the day of the changeover, the partner should have decided whether he wants to receive 0 or 20% of the Affiliate Commission on product sales (the advantage of products set to 0% is, of course, that they can be offered at a lower price). What’s more, partners who don’t agree with the new option would be advised to adjust their design prices.

What are the next steps?

Next up, we will adjust the terms and conditions and give our partners the opportunity to ask questions. Starting in May, we will implement the changes for each country. The release process will take a while to complete as the new calculation prices will take some time. We want to be sure that we get everything right from the word ‘go’. At the same time, we will introduce monthly payouts of the commission and the Volume Commission. More info will follow in April.

We hope that the interview with Robert was helpful in shedding some light on the new commission model. Please let us know if we can further clarify any issues. We look forward to your comments below!

4 comments Write a comment

  1. I quite agree with Luis. However, I’m optimistic that this change although might seem complex, it’s loaded with benefits for the shop partners as Spreadshirt would probably have done their homework to the letter in consideration of shop partners and their ecosystem at large. I find the change interesting. What I’m doing now is not charging for design so I profit entirely from the 20% commission and hopefully bonus payments from volume sales I make.

  2. Hi Matt,

    More information on the volume bonus will follow beginning of April.
    Please be aware though that the volume commission will be calculated according to shops within one account and that we won’t be able to link multiple accounts.

    Lena from Spreadshirt

  3. 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.

  4. With the upcoming volume bonus will you please make sure that you can link accounts so those with multiple accounts won’t get left out from due bonus options. Some of us created multiple accounts for different regions and even multiple accounts within a region to ease in the management of different themed designs. Thanks

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