Conducting a mail order business (1921) by Albert E. Bull

Conducting a mail-order business 

Conducting a mail-order business


This book is intended to be of use to those already engaged in Mail Order business, and to those who contemplate taking up this method of trade.


 It is the author's desire to deal simply and frankly with his subject, especially keeping the beginner in view. In consequence, he asks for a sympathetic hearing by those who are masters of the craft, men, and women to whom some of the chapters must read like their ABC. The writer must be pardoned for anything in the work that may appear discouraging, or as an undue presentation of difficulties. This is not intended, for a far more useful purpose is in view.

 But it would be unfair to any reader who contemplates adopting as a career, salesmanship by post or advertisement, to paint the case in its optimistic colors only. Mail Order business has for years attracted the attention of a large number of skillful and brilliant businessmen and women and may be regarded as having passed from experimental regions into the status of an exact science. Every experienced firm has its own particular characteristics and methods, and (what is far more important) many have their own men of genius working the machine.

The beginner is out to meet the competition of traders who are both sane and courageous, and such competition is severe. But there is no monopoly in brains; there is no standing still in trade; and " ideas " are yet at a premium price. The most successful Mail Order trade of ten years hence may be controlled by some young man or woman who, at the moment this book is being read, is just cautiously " turning his mind around the possibilities of business by post." 


The writer apologizes for the title. " Mail Order " is an Americanism that has crept into the language, but is now so fully understood that it would be affectation to attempt to use a synonymous term. We do not " mail " letters in this country, we " post " them, and it is to be regretted that the good English word " post " cannot be used. But " Post Order Business " would be a confusing title, suggesting a form in which money is sent; hence the author is driven to use a now familiar, but to his mind, unfortunate foreign term. All the names throughout the book are fictitious and are only used to illustrate the subject dealt with. Where real incidents are told the names of people and towns have been changed.

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