National Mail Order Catalog Day
Celebrated on the 18th of August, this day is marked for the old-fashioned way of shopping: choosing items from a paper-printed catalog and ordering by paying for them through mail or over the telephone.
|2022||18th August||Thursday||United States|
|2023||18th August||Friday||United States|
|2024||18th August||Sunday||United States|
Related: Other National Days Celebrated on August 18th
Why National Mail Order Catalog Day?
National Mail Order Catalog Day originated in 1872 Chicago when Aaron Montgomery Ward produced a catalog designed for direct order via mail or post.
He aimed to remove the middleman’s importance and requirement from the buying and selling process, which resulted in a decrease in the prices. Hence, National Mail Order Catalog Day is celebrated as the anniversary of the first Montgomery Wards mail ordering.
To talk about the catalogs, the very first catalog consisted of a single sheet of paper with dimensions of 8 by 12 inch. It was represented on the catalog by Montgomery Ward, with pictures of the merchandise, their price list, and instructions on how to order them. Not enough water, that single catalog page grew into an illustrated book of 540 pages with over 20,000 selling items.
After seeing such a success, other enterprising merchants started to copy his idea and created their catalogs. As more merchants kept adding and growing their catalogs, sales of chronicles increased like a wildfire. By 1971 the catalog sales exceeded more than $250 million in postal revenue, only from the United States alone.
To make you understand, the mail-order catalogs are nothing but a direct marketing strategy. Such catalogs enable companies to communicate with their customers directly and personally to be aware of the choices, preferences, and options in demand. It is a list of items with prices that lets customers choose and buy.
There is another fact or point that the National Mail Order Association says that Aaron Montgomery Ward wasn’t the first to set and publish his catalog. Still, Benjamin Franklin may have given birth to the idea or concept of the mail order. He aimed to sell scientific and academic books through the mail.
Mail orders through catalogs have replaced places with internet websites in today’s modern world, where online shopping has left no one unfamiliar with it. And that makes this day more memorable and significant to celebrate the old way of buying and selling goods.
How can we observe the National Mail Order Catalog Day?
National Mail Order Catalog Day is about remembering how our ancestors used to buy and sell goods through catalogs when there was no such thing as the internet, let alone online shopping. And so, there is no best way to celebrate this day other than by ordering something from a mail-order catalog.
- Though there is a huge decline in mail-order catalogs because of the ease of online shopping, there are still some companies that publish mail-order catalogs. Gift yourself something by choosing from the mail order catalog to remember such a memorial day.
- You can also visit any nearby thrift store or flea market and look out for some mail-order catalogs. You can find many catalogs dated long back and see how people had the styles, tastes, and preferences of those old times. It is a very artistic way to remember the past.
- You can also click pictures of yourself with the vintage catalogs and post them on social media using the hashtag #MailOrderCatalogDay and notify your friends and acquaintances about the day or you could also create some reels on instagram or facebook which is in the trend! Be a star!
Interesting facts about the National Mail Order Catalog Day:
An interesting fact about the day is that the oldest mail order catalog known as Hammacher Schlemmer, which was first printed in 1848, is still available today.
It was published to sell hardware and tools.
History of National Mail Order Catalog Day:
This day has marked a long route when it comes to its history. It is believed that one of the first shopping catalogs was developed in the 15th century by an Italian publisher, Aldus Pius Manutius, who originated from Venice.
After that, in 1667, a gardening catalog was published by William Lucas of England. And after that came Benjamin Franklin, who made the catalog to sell books related to science and academics. And since then, before the internet took over the buying and selling process with online shopping, the chronicles remained high in demand and made up a great source of revenue.