Talk:Mail order

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Small Detail[edit]

Shouldn't the Eaton's catalogue be discussed under a separate category "Mail Order in Canada"?

I would recommend merging the CATALOG with the DIRECT MAIL section and not the MAIL ORDER section. Cataloging has become a part of a larger response management program at many companies.

Mail order marketing is comprised of many “message delivering” methods that can be used separately or in conjunction with each other; catalogs, direct mail, web stores, ads in magazines and newspapers, television (infomercials and home shopping channels,) and radio. The common denominator is that all orders are placed remotely and the delivery of the product is sent to the customer by common carrier.

So I would recommend all these methods be connected by a “See Other,” listings.

As a side note, industry insiders in the USA now commonly refer to Mail Order as Direct Marketing. The National Mail Order Association ( is one of the few places in the USA that has kept the phrase “Mail Order” in its name instead of changing to Direct Marketing.

In Europe, Mail Order is now commonly referred to as “Distance Selling” ( but Mail Order is still a common phrase among related business associations, but Direct Marketing named clubs are also gaining popularity.


I would be very curious to learn more about the impact of colour on the sales: when mail-order catalogues started to use colour, what was the impact on sales?

First mail order company[edit]

The earliest mail-order business, now known as Hammacher Schlemmer, was established by Alfred Hammacher in New York City in 1848, thirteen years before the Civil War began. Offering mechanic's tools and builder's hardware, its first catalog was published in 1881. Now known for offering an eclectic, premium assortment of "The Best, The Only, and The Unexpected", it is America's longest running catalog.

Since Mammacher Schlemmer stared as a brick and mortar store and their first catalog was produced after Wards, they were not the first mail order business.


I deleted the India section, because 1. It looked like an indian advert. 2. It had poor english. 3. Its pretty irelevant? 23:35, 13 June 2006 (UTC)


I didn't add it, I just found it. Discuss.--Rayc 00:40, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

China - relevence?[edit]

is this accually relivent? "Many catalogers, just as with most retailers, are increasingly buying goods from China" (this is a query not a judgement) Oxinabox1 08:33, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Eatons1884catalogue.jpg[edit]

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What about the impact of the railroad and the collapse of distribution costs?[edit]