My uncle has been selling cloth by mail order catalogue now for over thirty years. the operation is a might slimmer now that it was all that time ago, as is he.
He’s retiring soon. For those thirty plus years though he’s managed to sell cloth by text alone. Text. No images. I tell a lie, they produced a glossy brochure back in the halcyon days on the mid 80s. It bombed. There is something in his rather ‘lateral’ descriptions that people like. He gives you the gist of what it is but doesn’t quite tell you. It’s a bit of a game and people like playing, not loads, but enough to pay a wage. I’m sad to think it won’t be around for much longer. There aren’t even that many archive copies to well, archive and keep for posterity and perhaps even repackage as a nod to a more fun yet innocent and certainly quirkier bygone business age [remember The Gaffer?].
He has a lot of fans does Uncle Alan, most of his customers buy because of him or rather their perception of him; they send him ‘fan mail’ disguised as orders. He also pisses a lot of people off. He can be pretty direct in his humour [I dare not show you the front cover of the recent catalogue]. No political correctness here which is quite refreshing in an age when everything seems so anodyne, watered down to offend no-one but please no-one either. A friend of mine who works in advertising said it was the best bit of copy-writing she’d ever seen. I think I agree. Just thought I’d share that with you.