Friday, September 14, 2012

Shelly Looks Back... Cash Sales in the 1950s!

My business partner, Victor, and I opened our first retail pharmacy in Rosedale, N.Y. in the early 1950s. It was a rather small location, long and narrow, but it was ours. We were both veterans of WWII and this humble beginning led to many exciting years.

Our pharmacy was one of the very first to offer DME/HME products. We had just two wheelchairs displayed in a corner of the showroom. We had a pegboard where we showed many basic items such as bedpans and urinals. One evening, an elderly woman asked me, "why are there two different chairs"? I spent about 15 minutes explaining and demonstrating both. She thanked me and I returned to filling prescriptions.

About an hour later she came with her husband and I repeated the entire sales pitch for them again. Yes, they bought a wheelchair that evening for about $125.00.

In the early 1950’s, the average price of a prescription was well under one dollar and more than half of them required compounding.  On this wheelchair sale we earned a 40% PROFIT ($50.00)! How many prescriptions did we have to fill to make the same profit?

That happened more than 60 years ago and I still have the same belief in what I learned that evening. Over the counter (OTC) cash sales are the key to success, whether you are a DME/HME provider or a pharmacist.

At Medtrade next month you will see many products suitable for OTC cash sales. Take advantage of them!

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