Single Copy - Rack Theft Allowance

Counting copies removed from vending machines or honor boxes.


AAM recognizes that newspaper publishers can’t always accurately determine net sales from an employee-operated vending machine or honor box for paid single issues because of underpayment or theft.

All copies actually removed from employee-operated racks are eligible as paid single copy if at least 75 percent of the net potential revenue is collected.  See AAM Policy for Newspapers Sold through Racks or Honor Boxes.


  • 1,103 daily copies were placed in paid racks on Joe Employee’s route.
  • A total of 103 copies were physically removed and deemed unsold.
  • This leaves net potential sales of 1,000 copies.
  • If the single copy price of the newspaper is $1.00, the net potential revenue was $1,000.
  • If Joe collects $750 or more, all 1,000 copies are eligible for inclusion as paid single copy for AAM reporting purposes.
  • If Joe only collects $700, then only 950 copies are eligible for inclusion as paid single copy. (The $50 deficiency equals 50 copies subtracted from the 1,000 potential sales.)

For the audit, the publication must retain the following records and make them available to AAM upon request.

  • List of all rack locations. Locations should be identified by street address or description (i.e., southwest corner of First Street and Western Avenue intersection, inside the vestibule of Lou’s Deli).
  • Draw and unsold copies by rack location.
  • Collection sheets identifying all racks within a collection route and total money collected.

Note: This policy only applies to employee-operated racks or honor boxes. No allowance is available for single issues sold via third-party operated racks, newsstands or retailers.

Previous Article
Digital Single Issues
Digital Single Issues

Replica and nonreplica digital single issues are eligible as AAM circulation units if they are restricted-a...

Next Article
Single Copy - Scan Based Trading
Single Copy - Scan Based Trading

Accounting for net sales obtained through SBT technology.

Do you have questions or want to learn more?

Contact AAM