Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Minimum Monthly Budget you will take?
This is not a used car buying game where whatever budget number we give you, you haggle 75% lower. We don’t set or control the “baseline” entry cost into any DMA in the U.S., anymore than a home realtor controls why a house in NYC costs 15X more than a house in Bozeman, MT. Our auction can almost always help you save down from the baseline or help you acquire 2-3X more stations for the baseline, but its impossible for us to make Los Angeles media cost the same as Amarillo, TX
I want to be able to pick the exact stations my business will air on. How do I do that with your system?
Answer: we operate a race-horse auction platform. And our media buying auction gives people the ability to air on 2-3X the stations for the same budget. We accomplish this by letting our advertisers say “I will stay in any 4 star hotel in ABC geographical area, as long as they meet my price.” This style of auction bidding gives you leverage by commoditizing the stations’ excess inventory. And the first stations that accept your CPM bids get your budget (up to your total max budget amount). However, you can’t say “I want to stay in the Hilton on ABC street.” If you absolutely have to be on a specific station, then you should not use our auction.
Am I receiving a guaranteed clearance % ?
Answer: normal media booked directly at a station does not even get guaranteed clearance. Guaranteed clearance only occurs if you pay additional money to the station for them to insert a “non-preemptable rate code” on each commercial.
#1 Political commercials
#2 Non-preemptable rate codes.
#3 All other commercials starting with the highest rate, and then working its way down (until all their slots are hard-sold out).
Due to our unique cash auction contract with stations, we are able to require a minimum of 60% clearance “in flight.” However, our clearance average the last five years has been over 85%. If you would like to see a graph showing how clearance fluctuates from month-to-month, please request it from one of our Team Members.
I used to buy advertising by walking into my local radio station. They took me out to play golf, each lunch, etc. Do you have a local office or local rep in my city I can sit down with?
Answer: we understand what you want, but this is no longer our business model. And like many, many successful businesses in the U.S. we had to go to a “semi-virtual business” model (think Amazon, Hotels, Priceline, Ebay, etc.) in 2010. Why? We tried the local brick-and-mortar operation, using only U.S. labor; and it nearly put us out of business (same as Google TV, Google Radio, and Bid4Spots already went under). Our model can only be profitable replacing the majority of the labor with custom software (which was designed by our parent corp.) along with a blend of overseas and U.S. labor.
That being said: we now have contracts for local satellite offices all over the U.S, while we also attend Chamber Events in many of those markets. And it is the job of our Senior Account Executive to travel all over the U.S. and visit clients. She can meet you at one of our satellite office locations, at a restaurant, or she can come directly to your office.
Do you have foreign employees? I don’t like to do business with foreigners.
Answer: Wow. 🙁 This is a global economy. And most products sold in the U.S. were either manufactured by someone in a foreign country, or are being sold/serviced/cooked/picked in the U.S. by a “foreigner.” But if you are somehow oblivious to this, then we can direct you to a statement that has been on our About Us page for 6 years: we have full-time Team Members working for us from home, in the U.S., and at a couple of our overseas staffing centers. Update 2015: even if you have $5MM a month to spend, but you are racist/biased against foreigners, we don’t want your business
I have bought TV and radio advertising for years. And the stations all give me Net 30 payment terms. I won’t do business with your company unless you give me the same terms.
Answer: we understand that this is how it has worked in the TV/radio advertising sphere for 50 years. And if we were an advertising agency or a station, we would offer the same thing. But the fact is: we are an auction service, that offers TV and radio airtime. And no auction service in the world (at least that we know if) can give payment terms.
In life and business you usually can’t “have your cake and eat it too.” The majority of businesses that work with us get tremendous savings by working in our auction. But in order to get the savings and in order for stations to accept the bids at such low auction rates, they demand CIA (cash in advance). It is not different than naming our own price on Price**line (which is great company). You can’t “pay at the hotel” when you use their super discount service.
I understand why you need immediate payment for auction services. But I am concerned that you guys will scam me and just take my money.
Answer: if you are somebody who is old-school, and you never buy anything online or work with any type of virtual/national businesses, then you probably should not take your first dive into this world with us. I could not convince my grandma buy something on Ebay and there is no way she would understand an online, wholesale airtime auction 🙂
But if you are someone who has already worked with virtual companies in the past, then here is what we can tell you:
#1 All stations are legally required to provide postlog affidavits. We can show you examples of postlog affidavits provided to current customers:
#2 We have numerous good Reviews on Google, and our ratio of good reviews to poor reviews is 92% (counting letters of reference).
#3 We have letters of reference from some existing clients. They gave us permission to post them on our website. You can see them here: http://www.wholesaleairtimeauction.com/advertiser-reviews/
#4 If at any point you are unhappy with our service, and you feel like you have exhausted all avenues trying to solve the problem directly with us, you are welcome to request a neutral 3rd party Mediator. And since it is our goal to resolve as many client issues as possible, we agree to pay for 60% of the mediation expense.
Important Note: should we have a grievance against a client, we also agree to request Mediation with said client before filing any District/Federal lawsuit against them.
#5 We have been in business since 2007. And when Google TV, Google Radio, and Bid4Spots went out of business, we persevered. Clever fly-by-night type contractors or businesses can get away with their scams for a few months or maybe even a couple of years, but not 10+years.
Do I get guarantee of the amount of lead/sales/revenue I will receive when I purchase an advertising campaign through your auction?
Answer: TV and radio media buying is considered a moderately advanced skill in the overall advertising paradigm. And if you are asking this question, you must have never purchased any kind of advertising before. Therefore, it would probably be best if you went out and purchased some basic Internet advertising and got comfortable with advertising in general, before jumping into our radio and TV media buying auction.
Do you accept company checks or credit cards?
Answer: our clients spend anywhere from $10,000-$500,000. And like many businesses who have very large average ticket purchases we can’t accept credit cards. We do accept company checks (with normal banking verification criteria) and bank wires. We also provide free Fedex labels for overnighting your company checks to us.
How do you get paid? What % of agency commission do you charge us.
Answer: we are not an advertising agency, we are an auction and a wholesaler. Therefore, we are not paid an agency commission by the stations and we do not charge you one. The CPM prices you bid in the auction is the price you pay, up to your max budget amount.
Is this just crap remnant inventory, which will all air at 3AM?
Answer: our auction inventory is not classified as remnant, D/R, etc. It is simply normal inventory for timeframes our clients choose to bid on. And the only way your inventory will air at 3AM is if you bid on the 12M-6AM graveyard timeframe.
I really don’t know if my product is going to work via TV/radio advertising. If it is not working after the first few days/weeks can I just call/email you and cancel it?
Answer: we understand why a newbie to broadcast advertising might think this; but the thought = the Casino Entrepreneur mindset which = failure. Watch this video:
Our new Order Packs all have reasonable cancellation provisions. However, you cannot just stomp your foot and cancel them when you demand. If your business is in such financial turmoil that you might need to cancel a campaign in a few days/weeks, then we recommend you do not purchase broadcast media from anyone.
My lawyer wants to change some of the language and clauses in your Order Pack contracts. Is this possible?
Answer: we are truly looking for long-term client relationships. Therefore, we understand that compromise is necessary in any two-way business relationship. So for businesses that are placing multi-month orders this is definitely possible.
Our company policy is that any requested contract changes must be sent to one of our outside law firms. Our law firm can work directly with your law firm to see if both parties can come up with a compromise which makes both parties comfortable. Note: if you decide you need to explore this, please start the process AT LEAST four weeks before you need your commercials to be on the air. Lawyers work slow, and ours are no exception.
How come I’m going to pay for all the incorrect and pre-empted spots in advance, but then I have to wait 45+ days until I can use the small amount of pre-empted inventory again? Why can’t you just refund this money?
Answer: we are an auction company first, and a media company second. And like with any auction company in the U.S., refunds and cancellations don’t exist.
In addition to this, part of the reason the stations agree to accept these bulk cash offers for 2-50 cents on the dollar is because it is guaranteed cash for them. If we did not wire them immediate Cash in Advance when they accepted your auction bids, or if we told them we wanted immediate refunds for pre-empted commercials (with no chance for them to makegood the inventory), we would be out of business. The only way it works for their business model or our business model is if they can guarantee they have sold this block at XYZ discount, and forget about it.
Like with most things in life: you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want normal refund/cancellation flexibility for your media purchases then you have to go pay normal media rates. Our clearance rates are awesome compared to what normal D/R or remnant companies provide, but it is not possible to give 100% clearance “in flight” (as explained in another question above).