Shipping Books versus Ordering Books by Mail

Subject: Shipping Books versus Ordering Books by Mail
From: Harold Henke <hessian -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 08:28:05 MST

Hi all, we are considering NOT shipping some books with a printer but
instead providing a card that a customer can fax or mail to us. Once
we receive the card, we will ship the customer, at no charge, the book.

The reasons for this are we want to reduce our product costs and we think
that many of the books go to waste. For instance, if we sell a company
100 printers, chances are they only need one set of books.

I should add we will still ship the operator's guide and setup guides
with the printer but we want to only ship the maintenance documentation
and programming information if a customer ask for it. (If we sell
100 printers, unlikely the customer will keep 100 maintenance and programmer
books lying around.)

My questions, now that I am off my soapbox, are:

1. If we ship a 1000 printers, how many customers will send in the card
for their "free" manuals? (I have heard response rates are 10 to 20
percent).

2. Is this an industry practice? Anyone out there doing this kind of
thing. (I know Microsoft will sell you all kinds of books from their
Microsoft press, but do not recall many "free" books.)

Thanks,

Harold Henke
Advisory Information Developer
Pennant, the IBM Printing Company
Boulder, CO


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