Bill Gossman

The near-ubiquity of credit cards in the United States has lightened the burden of collection for non-financial-service direct marketers. The exception: Those who make bill-me offers are still at risk. This means that any marketer that ships merchandise before receiving payment—book clubs, music clubs, magazine publishers, collectible marketers and continuity clubs, including a burgeoning field of coffee, tea and wine clubs—runs the risk of not getting paid. Says Douglas Harpham, vice president of sales and marketing for North Shore Agency, a Great Neck, NY, collection agency, "Bill-mes are just as common as they ever were." Adding a bill-me payment option to a mailing

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