mail order

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Related to mail-order: Mail-Order Business, Mail-order catalog

mail order

a DIRECT MARKETING means of retailing products to consumers through the post. Mail order firms supply catalogues to prospective customers who either themselves or through agents make purchases for delivery to their homes. Mail order concerns typically combine wholesaling (stocking large quantities of products and breaking bulk) and retailing functions, supplying customers from a central warehouse. Such firms compete mainly by offering customers convenience (i.e. home shopping) and by the provision of INSTALMENT CREDIT facilities on purchases. Mail order methods may also be used to sell industrial products. See RETAILER, WHOLESALER, DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL.

mail order

a form of WHOLESALER/ RETAILER operation that is involved in the sale of products to consumers through the post. The mail order firm appoints agents whose task it is to canvas potential customers. Customers are supplied with a catalogue from which they make purchases directly through the post, by telephone or through their agent. See DIRECT SELLING/MARKETING.