How to Retail Radio, F. W. Christian, 1922, pages 58-66:


Radio Supplies ad
    Announcement of a "Radio Information Bureau" helped to give this advertisement an unusually strong "pull" on radio enthusiasts. Care was taken to answer all questions carefully and accurately. This service built good will--and sales.
    PERHAPS the most important thing in maintaining a radio department is the correct purchasing of apparatus. The merchandise should be bought of responsible radio manufacturers. The dealer will find that the well-established manufacturer will not cut prices or sell direct to the consumer, as many of the smaller ones do. The established concern's aim is always to protect the dealer and to keep his good will, just as the large well-known electrical manufacturer does. Then, too, it will be found that the reliable firms will stand behind their dealers in the absorbing and remodeling of such apparatus as may go obsolete on the latter's hands and will give prompt attention to any instruments which may prove defective.
    The dealer should be careful not to overload his shelves with many expensive cabinet sets for he will find that this sort of equipment does not move as fast as less expensive sets and parts will. The average amateur still derives a great pleasure out of building his own set in his spare time. This is all the better for the dealer, for the fellows who "build their own" are forever changing and improving their sets. There is a larger margin on parts than on the assembled sets.
    One must not take from this, however, that there should be no cabinet sets stocked at all. That would be as grave a mistake as if too much of this material were to be carried. There is a certain class of trade interested in radio that will not take the time or trouble to build a set but which is willing to spend twice as much for the sake of having a good-looking, up-to-date, commercial type set. These are the fellows who look upon their instruments as a piece of furniture.
    It is also a good plan not to carry too much transmitting equipment. In order to be allowed to use a sending station, the amateur must pass an examination and as this is not possible until he can copy eight or ten words a minute he must necessarily have a receiving set first to get his practice on. There are also a lot of men who will spend hundreds of dollars developing their receiving stations but who care nothing about transmitting and will not be bothered with a sending set.

What Makes a Well-Balanced Stock

    The writer would suggest the following instruments for live dealers to carry in stock at all times. They will make a good, representative line and are all quick and profitable sellers.
Loose couplers--A few medium priced ones.
Tuning coils--A few medium priced ones.
Variometers--Molded, several.
Variocouplers--Molded, several.
Head 'phones--Two kinds, some cheap and some high priced.
Twenty-one plate variable condensers--Several.
Forty-three plate variable condensers--Several.
Fixed condensers--Several.
Short-wave regenerative sets--One or two.
Long-wave regenerative sets--One only.
Binding posts--A good assortment.
Aerial wire--Hard-drawn copper and some stranded.
Aerial insulators--A few electros and several two-wire cleats.
Grid condensers--Just a few.
Grid leaks--Just a few.
Audion detector bulbs--Several.
Audion amplifier bulbs--Several.
Audion transmitter bulbs--A few.
Panel rheostats--Several.
Audion sockets-Several.
Audion control panels--A few low priced ones.
Switch points--A good quantity.
Small level switches--A few each, assorted sizes.
Amplifying transformers--A few only.
Crystal detectors--A few only.
Galena crystals--A few only.
High-voltage batteries--22½ and 45-volt.
    With this background, the radio dealer or prospective dealer probably wants to know what kind of stock and how much can be purchased for various amounts, such as $500, $1,000, and $1,500. In the specimen stock lists that follow, no specific make of apparatus is mentioned, that is, manufacturers names are not inserted. The dealer (we stress the point again), should constantly keep in mind the wisdom of buying as largely as possible from established and responsible manufacturers and jobbers. Dealers should keep in close touch with their jobbers, as they will often be able to give better deliveries than the factories, and may even be able to offer a better discount.

Stock List for $500 Investment


Regenerative receivers with VT control, list $37.50, cost $28.13

  $ 84.39
2  2-step amplifiers, list $58.00, cost $43.5087.00
2  Loud-speaking devices, list $45.00, cost $32.7565.50
1  Regenerative receiver with VT control, list $80.00, cost60.00
10  Detector tubes, list $5.00, cost $3.7537.50
10  Amplifier tubes, list $6.50, cost $4.93 49.30
5  43-volt "B" batteries, list $5.00, cost $3.0015.00
5  22½ volt "B" batteries, list $2.00, cost $1.206.00
3  Receivers, list $15.00, cost $12.0036.00
20  lbs. No. 14 hard-drawn antenna wire, list 40¢ lb., cost 25¢5.00
20  Insulators, egg-type porcelain, list 20¢, cost 10¢2.00
8  80 amp. hour storage battery, list $20.50, cost $13.3313.33
1  60 amp. hour storage battery, list $17.50, cost $11.3811.38
3  VT sockets, list $1.00, cost 75¢2.25
3  Rheostats, list $1.50, cost $1.133.39
2  Amplifying transformers, list $5.00, cost $3.757.50
1  23 plate condenser, list $3.50, cost $2.632.63
1  Crystal set, list $25.00, cost $18.7518.75

    For a small dealer, with limited capital, the stock opposite, costing about $500, is suggested.
    This, of course, is a very limited stock, and will need careful attention in ordering so that it may be kept up properly. The "B" batteries, antenna wire storage batteries, and insulators can be had at any time on short notice but a delivery period of from four to six weeks is required on practically all of the other material.
    Tubes, batteries, antenna wire and insulators, as well as head 'phones will be sold with each complete set, so it would be advisable to carry a back order with the jobber at all times for this equipment.
    The crystal set although satisfactory to a beginner, or a child, will not keep the owner satisfied very long, so that in selling this a double sale is made, for the purchaser will soon be back for a vacuum tube set. Most people will desire a set that may be heard by a large gathering or several people at least, without the bother of head phones. These people should be sold a two-step amplifier and loud speaker, which will make the radio concerts as loud or louder than a phonograph.
    Every person buying a vacuum tube receiver is a live prospect for an amplifier and loud-speaking device. Try to sell him on the spot, when he gives the order for the receiving set. If this is impossible put him on your mailing list and keep in close contact with him in the future. Vacuum tubes will always be in big demand. All these sets being sold now will eventually require new tubes. Customers are sometimes careless and will burn out their tube by lighting it to too great a brilliancy or by connecting the 43-volt battery where the six should go. When this happens, of course, there is nothing to do except to go back to the dealer and purchase another tube.

Stock List for $1,000-$1,200 Investment

    "B" batteries are quick sellers also as they must be replaced every eight or ten months. For the dealer with small capital the following stock costing about $1,000 is suggested. This can be increased to about $1,200 by enlarging the quantities of certain items such as tubes, head phones, etc.
6  Sets, list $37.50, cost $26.25  $ 157.50
3  2-step amplifiers, list $58.00, cost $43.50130.50
3  Loud speakers, list $45.00, cost $32.7598.25
1  Receiver, list $80.00, cost $60.0060.00
1  2-step amplifier, list $55.00, cost $41.2541.25
20  Detector tubes, list $5.00, cost $3.5070.00
20  Amplifier tubes, list $6.50, cost $4.5090.00
10  43-volt "B" batteries, list $5.00, cost $3.0030.00
5  22½ volt "B" batteries, list $2.00, cost $1.206.00
6  Pair head 'phones, list $15.00, cost $12.0072.00
12  2000 ohms head 'phones, list $6.00, cost $4.2050.40
20  lbs. No. 14 wire, list 40¢ per lb., cost 25¢5.00
20  Antenna insulators, list 20¢, cost 10¢2.00
3  80 A H Batteries, list $20.50, cost $13.3339.99
1  60 A H Batteries, list $17.50, cost $11.3811.38
6  VT sockets, list $1.00, cost 75¢4.50
6  Rheostats, list $1.50, cost $1.136.78
3  Amplifying transformers, list $5.00, cost $3.7511.25
2  23 plate condensers, list $3.50, cost $2.635.26
1  Variocoupler, list $6.00, cost $4.504.50
2  Crystal sets, list $25.00, cost $18.7537.50
1  Set, list $125.00, cost $93.7593.75
1  Amplifier, list $85.00, cost $63.7563.75

And a $1,500 Stock List

    To this list may be added the following material making a $1,500 stock:
1  Receiver, list $250.00, cost $177.00$ 177.00
6  Variometers, list $6.00, cost $4.7028.20
1  Loud-speaking amplifier, list $80.00, cost $60.0060.00
2  5-watt tubes, list $8.00, cost $6.4012.80
3  100 A. H. Batteries, list $25.50, cost $16.5849.74
3  43 plate condensers, list $4.00, cost $2.808.40
3  86 volt batteries, list $9.00, cost $5.4016.20
6  Pair head 'phones, list $8.00, cost $6.0036.00
6  Crystal detectors, list $1.50, cost $1.056.30
200  Binding posts15.00
500  Contact points15.00
100  Tested crystals15.00

    The loud-speaking amplifier may be sold to someone desiring a set for a club room or for use where it must be heard in a large auditorium. It can be used with any of the vacuum tube sets included in the stock list.
    The 5-watt tubes and the 86-volt batteries are needed to operate the set and will probably be sold with same.
    This last stock list would be very suitable for the department store, music store or sporting-goods establishment. These lists will give the dealer a very good start and by careful attention to what is called for he will soon learn of other articles to add to his stock to meet the particular needs peculiar to his locality.
    It will be noted that no sending apparatus appears on these lists. That is because the demand is mostly for receiving apparatus and because it requires radio experience to sell transmitting equipment.

How Should the Jobber Buy?

    But there is another stock-buying problem to consider. What about the larger electrical jobber whose trade is clamoring for radio and who finds that he must stock this greatest of all electrical material? He's the fellow who is "up a tree" worse than anyone else, for he must be able to select a stock of material that will move fast. Though he may find many men who thoroughly understand radio, there are few men indeed who both understand radio and merchandising at the same time. They must learn through experience. Here is the stock purchased by a real live jobbing house:
         200  Receiving sets
Radio Store Crowd
    Despite the fact that dealers now quite generally recognize the value of a display window, too few of them have developed the ability to plan a display that will win and hold a crowd. With the passing of the radio "craze" more intelligent effort will be necessary to win sales through window displays.
 200  Crystal sets
 500  Radio loud-speaking devices
 25  Receiving sets
 20  Amplifiers
 20  2-step amplifiers
 20  Receiving sets
 20  Receiving sets
 50  Amplifiers
 10  Loud-speaking amplifiers
 1000  Detector tubes
 2000  Amplifier tubes
 100  43-volt "B" batteries
 100  22½-volt "B" batteries
 10  86-volt "B" batteries
 50  60-amp. storage batteries
 50  80-amp. storage batteries
 50  100-amp. storage batteries
 1000  2000-ohm head 'phones
 1000  Head 'phones
 500  lbs. No. 14 bare wire
 500  Antenna insulators, egg type
 1000  VT sockets
 1000  Rheostats
 1000  Amplifying transformers
 100  23-plate condensers
 100  43-plate condensers
 100  5-watt tubes
 50  Variocouplers
 100  Variometers
 1000  Binding posts
 5000  Contact points
 1000  Tested crystals

Radio Department
    When a certain high grade and famous department store on Fifth Avenue, New York, undertakes to open a special department for any line of goods, it usually succeeds. The smaller store will do well to give careful attention to the layout of a radio department--and make sure that it does what it is expected to do.
    Of course there are many items that may be added to this list, which would cost the jobber about $65,000, subject to discount. By studying the catalogs of responsible manufacturers the jobber should be able to select what he desires. The stock will have to be watched very closely and new orders for apparatus placed every day practically, for dealers will depend on the jobber, once they learn that he has a good stock. It is even advisable to place blanket orders with the manufacturers and have a certain amount shipped each day or week.
    For the toy department of a department store the $500 stock list previously enumerated, would be best. It will be found that the crystal receivers and the lower priced sets will be the best sellers here. The majority of sales will be to youngsters who desire it as a toy. The electrical contractor dealer should carry a more assorted stock, as in the $1,500 list. He should be able to make a good profit on his wiremen, by letting them install and put up the aerials for his customers. The average man with enough money to buy a high-priced set does not wish to be bothered with this matter, but will pay a good sum to have the aerial put up for him. The shops foreman should study aerial construction so that he may properly instruct his men.
    The house that goes after this business and advertises a little will have all the work it can handle for the sets sold by department and music stores, as well as by sporting-goods houses, will all require aerials, and these houses since they have no facilities, naturally will not be able to do the work but will be glad to refer their customers to the nearest electrical contractor.

Who Should Stock Only Assembled Sets

    Music and sporting-goods stores and auto-supply houses should stock only assembled sets. Their trade will want sets to take to their mountain camps or on auto trips where they may be a hundred miles or more from the nearest broadcasting station. Of course the vacuum tube sets are the only thing for this sort of reception and crystal sets should not be sold, as they will not do the work. Accessories for these sets, such as vacuum tubes, storage and "B" batteries, headsets, loud-speaking and amplifiers may be stocked. The music and phonograph stores should only stock sets to operate with a loud speaker.
    When a dealer is placing his first order and it is possible for him to put confidence in the manufacturer or distributer, and the latter has already supplied the district in which the dealer's activities are to be centered, it will be found very much to the dealer's advantage to let the manufacturer suggest just what should be bought. This practice is followed by the Eastman Kodak Company, when a dealer wishes to handle its line of cameras and it has proved satisfactory. Several large and several small dealers in kodaks when questioned on this matter, have been found unanimous in their approval, even though at the time the order was placed some of them thought some of the items would be absolutely useless and that the aggregate was above what they had figured on, but in every case there was found only ultimate satisfaction. The reason for the practice is, of course, that the manufacturer has done the same thing many times before and knows that there will be a call for items which the dealer would have failed to list.