No other business venture seems so inviting, or attracts so many people than that of selling via mail order. On the surface, it appears to be an easier and faster way to become rich than almost any other method of doing business. All the people in the world are your potential customers; you work from the privacy and comfort of your own home; you set you own working hours; and you answer to no one but yourself.
Ideally, you should have a product of your own - something you can produce at very low cost, and sell at top price. If you are buying something, advertising and reselling it, in order to realize a profit, you have to mark it up at least 500%. This is not an unreasonable mark-up for mail order sales.
Your product has to have mass appeal, and it has to be something not readily available to your prospective customers except through you. The product should be such that you can carry an inventory without worry of spoilage, aging or other damage. It should be something you can send through the mail - deliver to your customer - for next to nothing in relation to your selling price.
The best money-making product of all is a "How-To" report such as this one. You don't have to be a literary genius, or even an experienced writer to write one of these re ports. In fact, the easiest way is to buy a set of these reports - read each one over, set it aside and write a similar one with more elaboration or from a different point of view. Give your report a commercially appealing title, set a price for it, advertise it widely in a number of nationally circulated mail order publications, and you could have something that will continue to bring in money for you for many years to come.
The absolute best money-maker of them all is a report you've found a great need for, researched thoroughly, and written from scratch. Discovering these needs is not that difficult a task.
If you just don't have the time to write and market one of these reports, or just cannot produce one for whatever reason, the next best thing to purchase a set of these reports with reproduction rights. Here, you can have a number reprinted for as little as one or two cents each, and sell them for one to five dollars each. The only problem with this approach is that after a year, nearly everyone in mail order will have a copy of these reports, and will be trying just as hard as you are to sell them.
Now, if you have bought the reproduction rights to the reports, you simply rewrite them, put new titles on them, make up a new advertising circular, and send them out as new reports each year. There are a number of mail order self-help reports that have been making the rounds for the past 25 years in just this manner.
Just because you haven't got the time or the tools to write one of these reports is no reason for not producing one. If you have an idea or the background material, and the confidence that such a report will sell - get in touch with someone who specializes in this kind of writing, and have then put the finished product together for you. Generally, the fees will run to $100 per page. But this is an "incidental fee" indeed, if you come up with something that has the potential of bringing in several thousand dollars per year for the next ten years or so. Remember, once you have it together and written, you just continue
making copies of your original and filling prepaid cash orders for as long as you wish to stay in business.
You should also have advertising circulars, a catalog or a "follow-up" offer for every order you get. Many people make the mistake of "sending their whole store" in response to every inquiry. When you receive an inquiry to your advertising, you should have a prepared sales letter describing the item you're advertising, and perhaps a circular listing in catalog style some of your other products that tie in with the product of your sales letter. This is known as the "featured Selection Plus Alternates" approach.
When you receive an order for the product you've been advertising or featuring in your mail efforts, include one of your product catalogs in the package with the customer's order. The most effective practice is to include an advertising circular or brochure of a leader item or special-of-the-month, and your catalog. The main thing NOT to do is to include more than a couple of separate "featured selection" circulars. Keep your eyes on how the big mail order houses do it, and duplicate their operating plan within your own means.
The important point to remember here is to be sure to include something different - something new - something your customer has not seen or been offered a chance to buy - with each successive contact you make with him. Once you've broken the ice and got him spending money with you, continue showing him products of a related nature that should stimulate his appetite for greater success. For sure, he'll never be more in the mood to buy from you than when he receives something he has ordered. So every time you fill and send out an order to a buyer, include an opportunity for him to buy even more from you.
You can make a very comfortable income, but you'll never get rich so long as you're having your orders dropshipped for you. Having a connection with a prime source that will dropship orders for you is one of the surest and best ways to "learn" the business of selling by mail - but if you really want to make it big, you'll use dropshipping sources for learning, and to back up your primary product with follow-up offers.
If you don't have a primary product of your own, the next best thing is to buy in quantity lots at wholesale prices. A work of caution here, though: do not buy a quantity supply of anything until you've seen a sample of the product and have thoroughly tested the salability of that product.
Too often, the beginner is sold a quantity of a certain product at so-called wholesale prices, only to find that after he had spent his capital he either doesn't want to put forth the effort and time to sell that particular product, or that he can't "give it away," let alone sell it. Suppliers who operate this way, almost forcing you to buy an inventory to have available for your orders, generally derive most of their income from the sale of the initial "required" inventories. Always investigate and check out the salability before you buy anything more than just a single sample.
Selling your reports depends on your advertising. You have to get the word out that you have "money-making information" available for sale. Start out small by using short classified typed ads. Look at how some of the established mail order reports sellers are doing it, and copy their methods. Do not copy their ads -instead, use them as idea stimulaters for your own original copy. Place an ad in one of the largest circulation publications you can find, then use the income from that ad to buy and place more advertising. In other words, use the money that comes in from the first ad to place similar ads in three or four other publications.
One of the insider secrets of the mail order business is in multiplying your advertising exposure. This means simply that you start with an ad in one publication, and from there, expand your exposure by advertising in more publications. Be patient, and wait for the returns form your current ads, then use that money to increase the number of people who will have a chance to see your ad. It's as simple as that, and it works every time. Try it and see for yourself.
All of this means that as you are getting started with a new mail order business, you have to reinvest all your business income back into the business. To do otherwise is a straight line to business failure.