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mail-order business

method of merchandising in which the seller's offer is made through mass mailing of a circular or catalog or through an advertisement placed in a newspaper or magazine and in which the buyer places his order by mail. Delivery of the goods may be made by freight, express, or parcel post on a cash-on-delivery basis. Retail mail-order selling was developed primarily for rural customers, but it now includes millions of customers in urban areas

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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