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Distribution FAQ

Magazines Canada is the country's only publisher-driven direct-to-retail newsstand distributor.

As the only distributor dedicated exclusively to Canadian magazines, Magazines Canada services a cross country network of specialty, independent and chain retailers.

We distribute our member magazines to about 150 retailers, and to wholesalers who supply a further 120 stores, including Chapters and Indigo. Magazines Canada is a small, personable distributor and we tailor a distribution plan to fit the needs of each of our titles. We are working on an ongoing basis to maximize efficiencies, improve reach and generate sales. We offer a competitive pay scale, easy-to-read online sales reports and provide the best customer service in the business—just ask the stores and magazines who are with us.

Handy Answers to Questions About Our Distribution Program and How It Works

When do I get paid for each issue?

Magazines Canada sends cheques to publishers every two months, at the end of January, March, May, July, September and November. One payment is made for all issues that become payable in that two-month period. An issue becomes payable 120 days after the off-sale date. The off-sale date is when the next issue is released.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my payment?

For general questions about payments or credits, please call Newsstand Coordinator, Anna Wellman, at 416.504.0274 x240. If the question relates to membership fees deducted from your payment or when a payment will arrive, please call Masood Abid in Accounting at 416.504.0274 x228.

Why are there deductions on my payment?

When costs are incurred by an error made on the publisher's end, they will be deducted from your next payment. They may not necessarily coincide with the issue being paid. These charges may include: promotions, membership dues (past due), barcodes, labels (for improperly barcoded issues), stickering (labour to apply labels), re-shipping (for magazines shipped somewhere at your request) and any other special charges incurred by the publisher.

Where do I ship my magazines?

Ship Magazines Canada Distribution copies to:

Magazines Canada Distribution
c/o Tilwood Inc. 
420 Deerhurst Drive, Unit 4
Attn: Mary-Anne Noseworthy
Brampton, ON L6T 5H9

Four copies for our resource centre must be separately packaged and marked Attn: Resource Centre; please ship these to Magazines Canada, 425 Adelaide Street West, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C1.

How many copies should I ship?

You should ship the same number as the last issue you sent us unless we tell you otherwise. We work the distribution to maximize your sales so you don't have to. If you have a special issue, or have to cut back or increase your circulation, please give us a call and let us know at least two weeks in advance so that we have time to adjust your distribution accordingly.

How should I ship my magazines?

Ship your magazines with a reliable courier company. This way your packages arrive together. Shipping by mail (or by bus!) is not acceptable, as packages frequently get separated and damaged this way.

How should I pack my magazines?

Bundle and/or box counts should be between 25 and 50 copies, depending on the size of your publication. All boxes should contain the same number of copies and should be marked clearly on the box. We also recommend that you avoid shipping magazines that are simply bundled as they are more easily damaged.

Where are my magazines going?

To get a complete dealer list for your title, email the distribution team. Please understand that these lists are proprietary information belonging to Magazines Canada Distribution. We provide them to you as a member service, but we ask that you do not publish these lists or share them within the industry. They are provided for your information and for the information of potential readers of your title.

How do I get a sales report?

Simply call Newsstand Coordinator Anna Wellman at 416.504.0274 x240 or email to find out how your title is doing. You can also access sales reports online; just log in to the member area using your user name and password.

What can impact a slow turnaround of the magazine?

Bad UPC. Partial shipments. No retail price on cover.

What's a UPC and how does it work?

A Universal Product Code (UPC) is the black and white series of bars and spaces on most products sold in retail outlets today. These codes allow for greater efficiency in inventory control and product tracking. It is Magazines Canada policy that all magazines distributed by Magazines Canada MUST display a UPC on their covers (preferably on the bottom, left-hand corner of the FRONT cover). Learn about a UPC here. If you wish to obtain a barcode, or have any questions, please contact Chris Chambers: or call 416.504.0274 x233.

How can I better promote my magazine?

Magazines Canada Newsstand Marketing is able to procure prime promotional real estate within major magazine retailers. We generally need two months notice to book promotional space. For more information on our promotions program and to book promotional space, please contact Chris Chambers at or 416.504.0274 x233.

What is invoicing?

When your magazine arrives and everything checks out (number of copies, barcode, cover price, etc.) it is added to our invoice batch with the rest of that week's magazines. Invoices are generated once a week and shipped out to dealers within the same week.

When does Magazines Canada send invoices?

Magazines Canada runs invoices at the beginning of most weeks. If all copies of your magazine have arrived at Tilwood, our Bramption warehouse by 4pm Friday, they will usually be invoiced and distributed the following week.

How does Magazines Canada maximize my sales?

Magazines Canada Newsstand Marketing analyzes sales of your title and titles like it across our entire retail network to establish realistic product draws. We know which niche titles sell where and how best to take advantage of direct-to-retail distribution. You can help us understand your title better by keeping us informed of your production schedule and any special issues or promotions you are planning for the year.

If you're new to our Distribution program and would like to know more about how Direct-to-Retail distribution works, please read Newsstand Distro 101 by Gavin Babstock.

Can I get my unsold copies back?

In most cases our warehouse keeps a very small inventory of back issues. Please contact Chris Chambers if there is a particular back issue you are looking for, or if you are interested in having your back issues sent back. Please note that publishers will be billed for shipping charges. Quantities of back issues are small because retailers are only required to send back the front cover of unsold magazines for credit.

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