Hello Direct, Good Bye Mail Order?

The idea of selling merchandise over computer networks had always intrigued mail-order industry veteran Chuck Volwiler. As co-founder and vice-president for marketing at Hello Direct, a supplier of high-end telephone gear in San Jose, Calif., he had investigated the possibility of selling over CompuServe and Prodigy in the early 1990s. But he decided against it. "I was disappointed with the graphics quality and the cost," he says. "I knew nobody who'd been able to make it pay for itself."

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