The Do's & Don'ts of Buying the Hit - Authorised Version!
Hi everyone - John has asked me to post the following information regarding when/where/how etc to purchase 'The Hit'.
It's all getting very exciting now, and also can't wait to see what new tracks John has for us on the singles :-) Please read more.....
THE DO's & DON'Ts OF ORDERING THE HIT
Hi - I've had literally dozens and dozens of mails and queries on how to order and buy singles so it counts towards a place in the charts.
If you want to help, but are confused - or if like me you haven't bought a single since Really Free - here's an Otway guide to ordering the Hit. I want to get this right do please help me to spread the word!
Set out below is a list of the frequently asked questions with the best answers I could get.
Can I Order the Single Now?
YES, YES, YES! Please do - the sooner the better! Most large stores, like HMV and Virgin, have a main account buyer. Around 6th Sept. Three weeks before the Hit release, the buyers order for the entire chain. The amount of stock they will send to the shops will be based on the number of 'pre-orders' there are for the single too few and we're sunk!
What Is the price of the single?
The intended price for the three the Bunsen Burner CD's is £2.99, but this may vary. We can't fix the price - some stores get more discount from distributors.
Which shops count towards the Charts?
Nearly all of them. As a rule, any shop that reads the bar codes on their sales will count. HMV, Virgin, WH Smiths, Asda, Woollies and most good independents do. The Chart people say they now pick up over 90% of all sales. If your local shop is a small independent, you can always ask if the sale will count. For on-line shops, the rules are more confusing so they are possibly best avoided.
Can I buy more than one copy?
Yes you can. BUT: the position on this is not black and white. The Chart company have the power to discount sales and even ban a record from the charts if the record company or artist are seen to be artificially affecting the chart position. Fans buying copies is not a problem even if they buy multiple copies but they must be convinced it is not rigged.
Bunsen Burner is going out in three different CD versions with different mixed a-sides, and different songs on the b-sides. This is the norm these days, and a sale of one copy of each different CD does count as three sales. Obviously a true fan of an artist will normally want to have all three formats, so the Chart organisers do not see a sale of one, or two orders of all the three formats (i.e. six sales), as an attempt to rig the charts.
However, an order of six copies of just the main mix format, bought at the same time by the same person, could be seen up as an 'irregular' sale. Collecting up orders for your mates in your local and then going in to buy 30 copies, may mean that those sales don't count.
Buying several copies as presents for your family and friends is totally OK, but try not to buy loads from the same shop at the same time. A thing that gets noticed is customers walking into HMV to get copies of a single carrying a Virgin bag - obviously having bought the same record from another shop too. This has been done in the past by record companies to 'hype' acts. Quite understandably it is watched out for.
So there really is no rule that says fans cannot buy multiple copies. It happens all the time. Lots of people bought multiple copies of Will Young's single to help it do well. It's just that we aren't allowed to encourage it for commercial reasons. If I said: "Please buy multiple copies of my single to fix the charts" - that would be against the rules. So I am not going to.
Where can I pre-order copies of Bunsen Burner?
HMV, Virgin, Sanity (the old Our Price) - Have kindly agreed to put the single on their in-store computer systems. So there should not be any problems at these superb high-street retailers.
Most good independent shops will take pre-orders too. These shops survive on providing a service that the larger shops do not so they tend to be very helpful.
What about the big supermarkets?
Woollies, Asda and other big super-market chains have central buyers. Shortly before the single is out, the buyer for these stores will check the amount of orders other chains are taking, as well as the publicity, radio play and interest the single has generated. Then they decide whether or not to stock a record. They will only pick a handful of single titles from that week's releases. If pre-sales elsewhere indicate a song looks like being a big Hit, they will order extra stocks.
In the past when the chart was compiled from a smaller sample of shops, the Chart would only count a percentage of these sales towards the charts. At the moment, as long as you properly inform the Charts that you are doing in-store events, they will count each sale as valid. So in this particular case it won't matter if there are an unusually large amount of sales from just one shop.
Do I need to use the order Forms?
No, but it might help. If the shop you are using is taking pre-orders, they should be able to find the Hit on their computer. The order form will help them locate it quicker and avoid confusion. You can get as many order forms as you want by downloading them from http://www.hithithit.com/preorder.asp - or contact us with your address by e-mailing me or simply send an SAE to Otway Hit Forms, address above with the number of forms you want written on the back.
Are we doing something dodgy?
Not at all! The Chart company themselves are aware of the Hit project. Their job is to simply provide a fair un-distorted chart that shows what people really bought. They have been very helpful with giving us the information we needed. There is nothing wrong in me asking my fan-base if they will buy my single for my birthday, so I can have a Hit. They even wished me luck.
And finally, for this to work - so we get a Hit - we need to get lots of pre-orders, well in advance. The buyers will keep an eye on pre-orders and use this as a guide to send stocks out (it's called a 'scale out') to the shops. If they do this, there will be stocks available for any new Otway fans who have heard the song on radio and want to buy it too which will help us climb the charts. For a big Hit, it is the amount of stocks in the shops that will make all the difference. If you order enough in advance from stores that are taking orders now, then we could really make the top!
Put simply, if there are good advance, it will end up available everywhere, and we are in with a chance of a big Hit. If there are not enough, we have a flop. The sooner the word gets around that there are large numbers of orders for the single the bigger the campaign is going to be.
If you want see a big Hit then the best thing to do is order now. Most importantly, remember to PICK UP YOUR ORDER in the week of the release BETWEEN 30th SEPT AND Saturday 5th OCTOBER because, it is when you pick up your order that the sale is actually counted for the chart on Sunday the 6th.
I hope this has been useful. Use the mailing address above if you have any further questions. Wish me luck?
P.S. Please do order your Palladium tickets now it will sell out and there are still tickets for a tenner available.