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Re: news of the day: t-shirts


Hmmm... Bonnie, what you say is true, but "part of doing business" is
also part of the bottom line.  Advertising costs need to be justified
like any business expenses.  The only tax break that business costs
get is that you can deduct a good many business expenses from your
taxes from the standpoint of arriving at a net profit or loss, which
is then what your tax is based upon.  So, in that regard, it's a
"break" of sorts, but it still has to be paid for. The cost of doing
business goes into the cost of whatever you're selling as a
business...and is passed on to the consumer in some form or other. 
So, those companies who produce tons of full color glossy catalogs
are passing that cost on in some form; they aren't going to simply
absorb it as a loss in most cases.

At one point in my checkered career, I was going to open a mail order
business and did a fair amount of research into advertising.  If I
recall correctly, direct mail advertising needs a 2% or more positive
response (meaning sale) to break even.  And, it's figured that people
need to see an ad 7 or 9 times (can't remember which) before the
company name sticks in the mind.

I'm sure that mail order catalogs are calculated along those lines -
that's why they have those customer numbers and other numbers on the
label that the company always asks you to give them when you place an
order - that's how they track how any ad campaign is doing...and
sending out catalogs is part of an ad campaign.  At the end of the
year, somebody tabulates which campaign resulted in the highest
number of sales and which didn't and the next year they either repeat
or change tactics depending.

The reason some firms seem to inundate us with catalogs is partly (as
was noted) people getting on lists with slightly different names or
both husband and wife getting on the same list, so getting 2 of any
catalog.  It's also due to the sale of lists of names and addresses,
but if you order from a company, you're on their list (as well as the
list of everyone who buys their list).  

Some companies (those who keep a good watch on the bottom line) will
remove your name if you don't order after x period of time, as you
noted; others just keep sending.  Either they have found sending
massive quantities of catalogs results in more sales or they aren't
watching their bottom line.  I'm supposing the former as big
companies have bean counters whose job is watching bottom line. 
Getting a new catalog every month (and I get them more often than
that from some companies) must work from their end, but it sure does
waste paper in amounts that are hard to fathom.

I get tons of catalogs (both business and personal).  Mailman can
hardly get the stuff in the mailbox.  I'd guess that 85% of them
arrive and go straight into the recycle bin, along with 99.99% of all
the other direct mail stuff we get.  Others get stacked and gone
through when the pile threatens to topple and crush me - and 90% of
those hit recycle.  I keep saving them; thinking I will get a chance
to go through them, but seldom do.  Garden catalogs are different. 
The ones from nurseries that I like get read and marked and dreamed
over and saved forever:-)  The ones I wouldn't order from if they
paid me go straight to recycle.

What's sort of getting on my nerves lately is the magazines sending
out monthly copies of their wares - these are coming to the business
- in hopes, I guess that we'll subscribe.  If we wanted the durn
things, we would have subscribed to them on our own hook; they are
well known publications - it's straight into recycle for them and it
takes my time to do that - not only that, but we get 2 and 3 copies
of some of them!  For over a year, we received 3 copies of TV Guide -
which nobody here uses - and which seemed to come out every week. 
They have FINALLY quit sending that one, thank heavens!

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
mtalt@hort.net
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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----------
> From: Bonnie Holmes <holmesbm@usit.net>
> Yes, but the printing is "part of doing business" and business
costs get
> tax breaks.   If the mailings get a certain return, I don't know
what the
> average is, then it is worth it to the business...like advertising
dollars.
> Not everyone who sees the ad will buy but if enough do, it is worth
it.  I
> have noticed that some mail order companies will drop you if you
don't
> order after a certain period of time.  The ones that really get me
are the
> ones that send a new catalog every other month. 

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