We used to mail catalogs and decided about 2 years ago to stop. This is for several reasons.
1.) With 1000's of products and new ones coming out all the time, the number of prices changes is incredible. For example with over 200 vendors that we sell for and each vendor having over 200 products, and each vendor having one price increase per year equates to over 765 price changes per week. Usually the only people that want mail catalogs are people with slow internet connections. With the advent of faster internet connections (T1, cable, DSL,...) , mail catalogs will ultimately become obsolete. Many of our vendors have been having prices changes every quarter.
2.) Once mail bombing became a problem in the US, the Post Office made a new rule that mail that weight more than 16 oz. could no longer be dropped in the mail box. All mail has to hand delivered to the post office so they could video tape the transaction. That means one less person answering the phone while spending money and time driving across town to go the post office. We also developed a problem of the size of the catalogue. To send a customer everything would actually fill up a large box. So we always had to be selective on the items we wanted to mail out in order to keep the weight of the envelope under 3 lbs or even fit in an envelope.
3.) The money we save not spending money on mailing catalogues has aloud us to remain the low price leader in new equipment sales. Any items seen at any other distributors are available here for less. If not loaded on the web site, you can always make a request for the web site to be updated or email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
4.) Most manufactures have had huge price increases. While inflation has gone up 4% per year, wholesale equipment prices have gone up 15% and more. We looked at allot of ways of passing savings on to our customers, and this is one that really ads up.
5.) If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Since sales have continued to go up since we quit mailing catalogs, I would have to say most customers would prefer to spend less on their purchases than have a catalog sitting in their files.
Thanks for the input! We might go back to mailing catalogs, but for this
month, things will remain the same.
We have an basic online catalogue, which is available here: http://www.steam-brite.com/literature/Steambrite_Catalogue.pdf