What is Mail Order Business? Definition, Feature, Advantages and Disadvantages

What is Mail Order Business?

So, what exactly is this fact about mail order business, you ask? Well, my friends learners, imagine a world where you can buy things without ever leaving your cosy couch, or even worse, having to put on pants! Yes, that’s right – it’s shopping brought right to your doorstep. 

Mail order business is like having a magical delivery genie who grants your shopping wishes through the power of letters, parcels, and a touch of imagination.

Definition and History of Mail Order Business

“A retail business that sells merchandise, by accepting and fulfilling orders by mail.” Retail Dogma

“A system of retailing in which customers order merchandise, usually from a catalogue, by mail; the goods are shipped direct to the customer’s home.” Monash Business School

“A business that sells products through the mail, typically using catalogs or direct mail.” Investopedia

“A form of direct marketing in which customers place orders for goods or services through the mail.” The Balance Small Business

Mail Order Business

Mail order business is all about selling stuff without the fuss of traditional stores. Instead of trudging down to a shop and dealing with shopkeepers who might not even remember your name (ouch!), you order what you want from catalogues, magazines, or, in modern times, the internet. It’s like a shopping spree, minus the frenzied crowds and regrettable fashion choices.

Now, let’s dial back the time machine a bit and explore the history. Back in the day, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth (well, not really), mail order business started gaining steam. 

Imagine folks in the 19th century receiving letters that basically said, “Hey there, fancy a brand new hand-crank egg beater? Order now and change your egg-beating game forever!” It was revolutionary – people could order all sorts of goodies without leaving their farms or comfy armchairs.

Features that Make Mail Order Business

Okay, settle down, class! Let’s talk about the features that make this mail order so unique:

  • Sale by Post: Yep, you guessed it. No need to hop on a horse or hitch up the carriage to get your hands on that shiny new contraption. Just write a letter, pop in your order, and voila! Wait for the magic to arrive.
  • No Need for Middlemen: Who needs those pesky middlemen who jack up prices? In mail order business, you’re dealing directly with the seller. It’s like cutting out the drama and going straight to the source.
  • No Shop, No Problem: Say goodbye to the headache of maintaining a physical store. With mail order, all you need is a well-crafted catalogue or a website that shines brighter than a disco ball.
  • Zero Personal Contact: Awkward small talk? Not here! In the world of mail order, there’s no need to shake hands or make eye contact with the seller. Just send in your order and let the mailbox do the talking.
  • Attention-Grabbing Advertising: Ever seen an ad that made you chuckle, snort, or even question reality? Mail order businesses are famous for their quirky ads that grab your attention faster than a squirrel chasing a nut.

Key Takeaway

  • Mail order business distinguishes itself through distinct features, including remote sales, absence of intermediaries, lack of physical stores, and no direct personal interactions.
  • Transactions in mail order businesses are conducted through mail/post, covering orders, product delivery, and payments.
  • Middlemen are eliminated in mail order business models, with producers directly sending ordered goods to consumers.
  • Mail order business operates without the need for physical retail spaces or stockpiling inventory.
  • Effective advertising strategies are crucial to capture customers’ attention, utilising catalogues and timely information dissemination.
  • Only durable, standard, and lightweight goods are suitable for sale or purchase through mail order businesses.
  • Personal contact between buyers and sellers is absent, as interactions are solely conducted through mail/post.

Advantages of Mail Order Business

Let’s move on to the perks, my curious minds:

  • Convenience for Customers: Picture this: you’re in your PJs, lounging on your couch, and suddenly remember you need that gadget everyone’s raving about. A few clicks or scribbles later, and it’s on its way. Convenience level: expert.
  • Wide Reach: With mail order, you’re not limited by geography. Your business can reach places even the bravest explorers haven’t heard of. Your products might even become the talk of the (mail) town!
  • Low Cost, Low Risk: No need to invest a fortune in setting up a brick-and-mortar store. Plus, since you’re not drowning in rent, utility bills, and “the roof is leaking again” expenses, the risks are lower than a limbo stick at a pyjama party.

Disadvantages of Mail Order Business

But wait, there’s more to the story. Here are the not-so-shiny sides:

  • Returns and Complaints: Oh dear, did someone receive a potato peeler instead of that super cool multi-purpose slicer? Returns and complaints can be a real buzzkill, and handling them requires a good sense of humour.
  • Lack of Personal Touch: Remember those heartwarming moments when your local store owner greeted you by name? Well, in mail order, it’s more like “Dear Customer” than “Hey, buddy!” Personal touch takes a back seat.
  • Security Risks: Ah, the cyber world – a place of wonder and… uh-oh, security risks. With online transactions, there’s always a chance of encountering those pesky hackers who want to spoil the virtual party.


And there you have it, my curious learners! We’ve journeyed through the whimsical world of mail order business, where shopping is as easy as pie and ads are wackier than a comedy show. 

From its humble beginnings to the modern era of internet shopping, this way of doing business has certainly kept us entertained. So, the next time you order a gadget or a gizmo, remember the wild ride that brought it to your doorstep – a journey that’s equal parts history and hilarity.

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