Introduction and Trade Resistances

THE first lot of Duofolds, consisting of a few dozen, was shipped to the Parker representative in Spokane, Washington. He had suggested the size and color adopted for the pens; hence the Company believed that he, if anyone, could sell them.. He promptly did so and telegraphed for more. Other salesmen, too, succeeded soon thereafter in selling some Duofolds, and everywhere the new pen went it was favorably received.

But this distribution was widely scattered. The majority of retailers were disinclined to handle the Duofold. They believed that the size or the color or the price or all three would not be popular. The average retail purchase in fountain pens was then and had been from $2.50 to $3.25. The Duofold was $7.00.

This resistance on the part of retailers is mentioned to illustrate how easily one can sometimes be misled by opinions of the trade alone. The Duofold had sold so well where it had gained a foothold that the manufacturer's faith remained unshaken: but he suspected that modifications might be necessary.

Accordingly, he considered the practicability of manufacturing a smaller size, call it Dufold Jr. and price it at $5 retail. Neither this nor the $7 Duofold would be profitable, however, unless large volume could be generated, because these prices barely covered the cost of producing the pens in small quantities.

With this in mind the manufacturer consulted a Chicago advertising agency, Benson, Gamble & Slaten.

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