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ON YOUR LIST?
Anyone who knows agricultural people well, knows that a circulation among the leading dairy men of the country is exceptionally choice circulation.
Why be indifferent about quality in anything you buy? Isn't that where good judgment in buying comes in?
ON YOUR LIST?
truth faithfully fulfilled. The mechanics with increased wages bought more and better goods and are doing the same today. The farmer with improved prices and larger crops, has the money to indulge his tastes for good quality and plenty of it. The farmer of our day is an educated and refined gentleman with family which demands modern conveniences. His luxuries have become necessities and if he has in times past been content with low grade and price, he has placed them behind him and henceforth takes rank as the buyer of only that which is good regardless of price. Each advance in wages of the laborer and mechanic means
increased purchasing power, and these facts must rule in mail order work as in any other.
Shrewd mail order men have their ear to the ground as well as their nose to the wheel. Concentration on business does not dull
tice. Paint partakes of the covering properties of charity, while few laymen know the difference in cost between good and poor leather, rubber, hair, cloth, etc. It is plainly evident, or certainly ought to be, that if a lot of extras can be included in the price there must be a loss somewhere and certainly the seller is not in business to give away money.
Gold dollars cannot be sold at a profit at 99 cents, nor even at 100 cents, if a nickel and couple of pennies are thrown in as bait, or the postage paid on them to any part of the country.
After a careful investigation extending over some months, I am forced to the conclusion that, except in the very lowest grade of goods, and with buyers of equally low tastes and intelligence, the price of mail order goods has little control in securing orders. If, during hard times, it had sufficient force to dominate the situation, circumstances have operated to render it well nigh important in many directions. As industrial conditions improved people began to demand better quality. About this time also the wholesaler and dealer made it so uncomfortable for the manufacturers as to force them into mail order work in every
direction. The manufacturer found he could get better prices and hence could give better quality. Thus we see a race quality inaugurated which is still on and which is destined eventually to raise the mail order business to the highest standard of legitimate merchandising.
It is a curious fact, also, that the two great classes of recognized mail order buyers are those chiefly benefited by improved industrial conditions—the farmer and the mechanic. As labor agitation forced wages higher, prices had to advance accordingly. To offset the advance, claims of better quality were made, and with
Under the Same Management
No large sample copy editions. No clap-trap premium schemes. A circulation obtained and maintained on merits of the paper. Clean advertising columns. Covers Illinois thor. oughly
are among the many reasons
why you should use the
their prophetic sense. Hence, we see on every hand stoves, carriages, furniture, clothing, jewelry, tools, implements, all advertised and sold at far higher prices than similar articles by local merchants, and being sold, too, because of higher price and better quality.
In the course of my investigation of conditions above referred to, I directed special effort to ascertaining the results of mail order business secured by some houses of both large and small calibre. I found, almost without exception, that those handling low grade lines and making their noise on low price report a falling off and a generally unsatisfactory busi
Without single exception those handling high grade goods and making no effort to compete in the matter of price report a satisfactory increase over any previous year. As the year now drawing to a close has been rather a trying one to mail order men, the showing is all the more remarkable, and furnishes evidence of the most positive character.
I think enough has been submitted to show that in the final analysis the price element in mail order work is but a small factor, and other things being equal, it will continue of diminishing importance. The watchword of the future is "quality" and this will have
ever-increasing weight with mail order buyers. They have already been educated to the use of better things. By their own experience, or that of others, they have been taught that a cheap article is really a costly one and that true economy lies eventually in the best that can be produced. A satisfied customer is a mighty good ad. and he who would build for the future must build upon that foundation. If, as has been said, a sucker is born every minute, the birth rate among brains and intelligence is even higher.
If one is in business for a day or a season, let him fish for the suckers. But the mail order business, like any other, must, if to be perpetuated, settle itself upon the basis of quality first and price second. Manufacturers are everywhere striving to increase the merit of their wares, and although there are always with us those who play to the rabble, the greater satisfaction and larger profit will surely be enjoyed by those who work on the principle of not how cheap, but how good.
To have been first proves but antiquity; to have become first is proof of merit.
Finally: The great lever in mail order business is the fact of dealing directly with the manufacturer, or at first hands. The opportunity for more latitude in the matter of selection afforded by larger stock
and better display is after all the attraction which must control in mail order selling; coupled with this is the dynamic element of proper and profitable advertising, to create demand for the goods advertised. The food products before mentioned form ‘a good illustration of what can be done on the subject of quality. Certainly the mere mention of Grapenuts and the price would never have made their manufacturer a millionaire.
And no amount of cheap soap will ever loosen the grip of Pear's.
The “plausible reason" seems destined to be worked out along two lines: Cutting out useless expense of middlemen and salesmen; and buying direct of the manufacturer at
the wholesale price. But not the claim that by reason of these economies a lower price can be made; rather that a better quality can be and is given. The mail order
who proceeds along these lines will find an everincreasing demand for his goods, and an equally increasing satisfaction in doing business. Every business man
realizes that the day of the small dealer is rapidly passing, and henceforth business will be done direct from large centers, or with no middieman between the manufacturer and the consumer. Concentration, consolidation, specialization, are the order of the day. We might just as well consider giving up the locomotive and return to the ox team and stage coach; give up the electric light for the tallow dip, as to any longer combat modern methods of merchan
dising. Mail order work comprehends the essence consolidation with a concentration that has made it a special branch of modern business method and the day is rapidly approaching when, if not all, then all but an insignificant part of the business of the country will be done by that plan. Against that day let us build a secure foundation of quality that will support the fabric when the house on the sands of low price has been swept into the sea of oblivion.
Voltaire as an Ad Critic.
From a letter written by Voltaire to the Abbe' d' Olivet, dated, Ferney, Jan. 5, 1767.
"There has fallen into my hands the printed announcement of a merchant, telling what can be sent from Paris to the provinces, to supply our tables. He begins with a magnificent eulogy of agriculture and commerce, he weighs in his grocer's scales the comparative merits of the Duke de Sully and the great minister Colbert-and it is all a matter of selling sausages and fresh herring!"
"COMFORTABLY FIXED." When Farmers are comfortably fixed” they are good people to get next to. That's true of Southern Farmers, at any rate, and, as a rule, they are comfortably fixed” just now. Liberal buyers of necessities and luxuries.
will give you a hearty Southern introduction to over 40,000 prosperous Southern homes, and cordial business relations will be the result if you have honest goods at right prices.
We have nothing to conceal from our advertisers.
It is at your command.
THE SOUTHERN CULTIVATOR, Atlanta, Ga.
A. D. TRAILER, OUT FOR A SUNDAY STROLL:
A. D. TRAILER-"Wonder why none of the crowd come into my new store?"