Why did tv ads in the 90s/2000s offer so many bonuses for using money orders?


I remember vividly how ads for children’s toys would say “use a money order and we’ll double your order!” I get that it is similar to cash but why did these ads go so out of their way to incentivice the use of money orders?

In: 0

You might want to track some of those ads down and maybe link to them. Having lived through the 90s, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Creative accounting. Get money orders as payment, and they’re as good as cash if needed. If you don’t need it, they technically don’t hit your income stream until they are cashed. Good for short term tax loopholes

From the vendor’s view, it’s cheaper and surer. They have to pay for credit charges. With checks, they’re taking a risk that the check will bounce. But since you have to pay for the money order before you send it, the vendor has no risk, no hassle in accepting it.

In the late 90s I worked for a short time for an phone in and mail order video game retailer called Game Cave. Most of our calls came from full page ads in Game Informer magazine. We would not take money orders, or would not ship until they cleared the bank, which took weeks, because people would report them as stolen as soon as they got their package and we’d get gyped. It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting or asking for them. They were a huge pain in the ass for retailers.