1. Do I need to hold stock prior to advertising?

Yes, you should have adequate stock to cover anticipated response from readers. This need not be held on your own premises, as long as control over the stock can be demonstrated. Forward trading – that is receiving readers' money prior to purchasing and fulfilling outstanding orders is not allowed. Should this occur SHOPS membership will be suspended.

2. Is there a period of time within which I must deliver orders?
Unless clearly stated in the advertisement or catalogue, all orders must be delivered within 30 days from the day after the reader sends their order to you as an advertiser. This is a statutory obligation covered by The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

3. What happens if I am unable to deliver within the statutory time period?
You should inform the customer immediately, and advise on a future delivery date which is acceptable to the reader. If this is not acceptable, a full refund must be offered and made without delay. As well as being a statutory obligation, it also makes for good customer relations.

4. Are website orders covered by SHOPS?
Yes, but only for the specific products featured at the prices specified in the advertisement, catalogue or insert and without clicking through to a 'second stage' ordering process.

5. Where can I use the SHOPS logo?
As a SHOPS member you must use the SHOPS logo in all national newspaper advertisements or inserted catalogues. The logo must not be used in any other media or the advertiser's own promotional literature.

6. Where should I position the SHOPS logo in my advertising?
The SHOPS logo is most effective if it appears next or close to the main response mechanism: coupon, telephone number or website URL.

7. What size should the SHOPS logo appear in my advertising?
There are minimum logo sizes depending on the size of advertisement which appears in the national newspaper. However, the more prominently the logo appears the more likely it is to be seen by potential consumers. We know from independent research that consumers are more likely to respond to advertising including the SHOPS logo.

8. Is there a membership fee?
Yes, this is based on the actual aggregate annual advertising across all the national newspaper titles during the membership year. SHOPS fees reflect the volume, size and circulation of national newspaper advertising. Check our current fee structure for details.  

9. How does SHOPS monitor the advertising that appears in the national newspapers?
We physically check all the national newspapers covered by the scheme. We record all payment-with-order advertisements based on each newspaper's published rate card.

10. Why do you measure advertising based on rate card?
The actual cost of advertising may differ to rate card. Published rate card provides an equitable and transparent measure of advertising. SHOPS does not have access to details of confidential negotiations between advertisers and the newspapers.