By: Xeidler Trayling
March 26th, 2023
Have you ever had to re-order items due to what you ordered being “out of stock?” have you had to deal with not being able to purchase the things you earned from completing some objectives in a video game because the online store was having a malfunction? If so, then it seems like a method from the past might be helpful in your situation: Mail Ordering.
Simply put, mail ordering is a process where you fill out an order and then proceed to send that order through the mail. But there are a variety of ways to mail order.
One way to mail order is through a catalog. You can request a catalog from many large or online retailers. To place an order, you fill out an order form that is inside said magazine and mail it once they put it into an envelope along with either a check or cash, and finally, send it by dropping it off at the nearest post office or through your home mailbox. Once those steps are done, all you have to do is wait until the item you ordered arrives. Which is great, due to the fact that “[people] who order products via mail in an order form, can enjoy the convenience of shopping in their own home or business at a time that works for them,” according to Nancy Wagner, a writer for CHRON.
While mail ordering might seem like an obsolete system in 2023, Glenna Goldman at Artisan Colour brings up two things. According to Goldman, “45 percent of people say catalogs stimulate their interest in a company’s products, and almost 90 percent have bought an item after first seeing it in a catalog”. Based on this, and how she also states that “the key is to custom tailor to your audience” , then one can gather that some people would probably be more likely to invest in an item after reading a magazine, rather than scrolling through a website, since the magazine has more room not only to market the item but also display the information about it.
Another avenue for mail ordering are reward systems similar to the Boyer Candy’s “Play Money Program,” where fans are given a coin printed on a decorative cardboard package in every pack of candy. The coins can be exchanged for more candy, or other prizes in the company’s rewards catalog. Interestingly enough, Boyer Candy responded to the sentiment that fans would have to invest in a lot of candy products to get their desired rewards by allowing consumers to send in money for certain prizes.
Additional benefits to mail ordering nowadays include not having to worry about a strong and secure Wi-Fi connection, or about your credit card information being stolen. Also, due to older folks not being able to access the internet, mail ordering is more advantageous for them. Mail orders also benefit industries like the United States Postal Service, which offers cheap and accessible mail options to many disadvantaged or rural communities in the U.S. All of this is to say that we should continue to invest in mail ordering, even if it seems old-fashioned.
Xeidler Trayling is a senior majoring in technical writing. He aspires to be an independent creative writer, but will take a job in the editing portion of technical writing just so to pay the bills. In his free time, Xeidler enjoys playing video games like Destiny 2, reading, doodling/sketching, and watching films and tv shows.