Harmonica Catalogs

TO: internet:harp-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

So Kevin's graphics don't please everyone. It reminds me of the
old joke about the diner who complained,

"Not only was the food lousy, the portions were too small!"

Anyone who knew their desktop publishing and was committed to
making a catalog look really good could do it, but when you
consider that Kevin's first business is selling mens' clothing,
and his second selling harmonicas and related gear and
software, and when you consider the astonishing variety of stuff
in his catalog and the large amount of valuable information (I
thumbed through his new catalog when it arrived the mail
yesterday and actually felt a twinge of jealousy!), then I think
his graphical lapses can easily be forgiven. (Consider the amount
of high-quality picture originals that would have to be tracked
down for reproduction purposes, just for starters.)

By the way, Tim says Farrell sent him a two-pager. I don't know
how long ago that was, but I got one of his catalogs recently,
and it came to 74 pages, including covers, compared to Kevin's
126. So Dick is no slouch either. Once again, his first business
is horticultural supplies, not harmonicas, and his catalog looks
a lot like Kevin's -  badly photocopied pictures, brochure text
and borrowed reviews pasted up from whatever was readily
available, for the most part.

But hey, the information (food) is good, the selection (portions)
plentiful, and the prices verrry cheap. These resources didn't
exist AT ALL a few short years ago.

I've also heard people complaining that that Kevin doesn't send
out catalogs RIGHT AWAY. What they don't stop to think about is
the cost involved. Kevin does bulk mailing, as do I and Tim and
Al Eichler with our magazines, because first class mail is very
expensive. For example, I just mailed HIP No. 4 on Friday, and it
cost me about 33 cents per book going bulk. First class on the
other hand, costs $1.44 - over four times as much. If you
subscribe right now, I won't wait; I'll send existing issues
first class, but I'm charging money. Kevin's catalog is FREE - he
can't afford to pop $1.44 plus envelope to send out individual
catalogs, so he waits until he does his next bulk mailing.

Perhaps when these guys make some real money selling harps
they'll turn their attention to producing eye-pleasing catalogs,
but at these prices I don't know when that'll be. (I don't know
*HOW* they do it!)

By the way, as everybody has been too busy with questions of
aesthetics to answer Eric Francouer's original question, Kevin
can be reached at 1-800-274-2776 or 609-298-2202 (fax
609-298-3100), 210 Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown NJ 08505-1808.
Farrell is at 614-877-3678, fax 614-877-1714, PO Box 133,
Harrisburg OH 43126-0133.

Winslow Yerxa

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