Top brokers describe today’s challenging catalog list market
Bogner: List prices haven’t risen in the past few years, but I think list owners are even less likely to raise rates now. With base rates at around $105/M, owners are more likely to negotiate now.
Maylander: That hasn’t changed much; catalog lists still are expensive, and owners haven’t been willing to negotiate unless they want your list in return. We have seen catalogers negotiate more in the secondary market, where income is incremental.
Mickolajczyk: List prices have just about reached what the market will bear, and I don’t anticipate that we’ll be seeing the kind of price increases that we’ve seen in the last few years. I believe list owners are becoming more open to negotiation, since they’re aware of the cost pressures that they face when they’ve got their “mailer hats” on. They’ve also become more open to optimizations and modeling of the files, as they’ve learned the value those methodologies have for their own mailings.
List owners seem to take a pragmatic approach to making deals. If you present a well-reasoned, rational argument and find something in the deal for both sides to gain from, it’s usually no problem.
Papalia: Consumer lists have not experienced dramatic price increases. Most list owners are willing to negotiate somewhat, as they are mailers, too. ... As in any sales situation, a fair price is one on which both the buyer and seller agree.
Catalog Success: What impact has the Internet had on the catalog list category?
Belardi: The Internet is a positive force for the list industry. For catalog mailers, Internet lists bring a new breed of direct shoppers. They bridge the gap between retail buyers and traditional catalog shoppers. More list companies are using the Internet to promote their lists. This can be a dangerous tool, if the cataloger relies too heavily on the Internet for research, therefore limiting contact with his or her broker.