Carolina Wholesale, the Eighties, Nineties and Today


I’m digging into the memory banks for this. From 1986-1998 I was the Founder of Atlantic Office Systems in New Jersey. In the beginning Atlantic Office Systems was not an Authorized Dealer for any manufacturer. Atlantic Office Systems rose from the ashes of Copy Machine Specialists (Authorized Minolta copier dealer in central New Jersey) after they closed their doors in early 1986. I still remember the end quite clearly. There was not enough cash to make payroll for everyone, and as we received our checks we all bolted for the bank to cash the check. Some of us were lucky and some were not. It was a bad outcome for a company that had a lot going for it.

After my check was marked NSF, I made the decision to embark on a new path. I knew I couldn't do it by my-self and talked my brother and a co-worked into starting the Real Atlantic Office Systems in NJ. 

We knew it was not going to be easy. Yet, we found a way to buy copiers from other dealers that we then re-sold to our prospects. Back in the eighties it was all about moving boxes and most dealers had no problem wholesaling us Mita or Minolta copiers. After a few years we were Authorized for Adler Royal, Towa copiers (does anyone remember these), which were OEM's by Sanyo.  Talk about BIG brand names!  

But, it just wasn’t the sales of copiers that paid the bills. We sold calculators, typewriters, typewriter ribbons, correction tapes, and some of the personal copiers that were just starting to hit the market in the late eighties. Let's not forget about fax machines with the likes of Teli Vaxafax (Sweden), Mitsubishi, and Brother!

One company that we relied on was Carolina Wholesale. Carolina Wholesale published (twice a year) this really awesome catalog that was loaded with line art (pictures black & white) for all of their office machines. Typewriters, Word Processors, Calculators, Shredders, Copiers, Printers, Dot Matrix Printers, and just about anything related to the office appeared in their catalogs. I really enjoyed flipping through the pages, eyeing the pricing and learned about addition products from other manufacturers.

To this day I still remember our reps name. Charles Smith was awesome, he knew his products well and was always there with a return phone call. I can still remember Charles voice also, it was combination of a southern twang with a deep tone. Charles and I never met but we developed and great business relationship because he was excellent at customer service and always had the answers to many of my questions. It wasn’t until last year that Brent Martin of Carolina Wholesale (Brent & I met at a BTA East event last year) told me that Charles had passed away a few years back. I do miss our chats.

I’m happy to announce that Carolina Wholesale has come on board for 2018 as a Print4Pay Hotel partner. I’m hoping that you have noticed their banner ad on this site and hope that you can click on their banner to see what they have to offer. You can also click Carolina Wholesale.

Brent and I spoke for a few minutes last week and we reminisced about Charles and the awesome support he provided. I asked Brent if the current dealer reps go through a training program for all of the products that Carolina Wholesale provides. Brent stated that yes, and that’s something Carolina Wholesale has been doing for years. For me, that’s pretty cool because anyone can give you a price, but can they tell you how the device installs, or some of the features that will benefit the client. It’s just that reason why I did business with Carolina Wholesale for all those years.

Remember those cool catalogs that I spoke about? I’ve spiked a few in between paragraphs of this blog for everyone.

-=Good Selling=-


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We were just talking about the 80's Thursday and how the first company my dad worked for would buy like 75-100 minolta's at a time and they would be gone in a matter of a few days and he was wholesaling them to anyone, anywhere, who would buy them including their own market. Then the sales reps were having to go up against their own boxes in deals being sold by other people.