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 your 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 « 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
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 reports. In fact, the
easiest way is to buy a set of these reports–read them each
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 don’t have the time to write and market one of these
reports, or just cannot produce one for whatever reason, the next
thing is 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 that 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 them 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 the other products that tie in with the product of your sales
letter. This is known as the « Featured Selection Plus Alternates »
When you receive an order for the product you’ve been advertising
or featuring in your direct 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 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 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 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
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 word of
caution here, though: do not buy a quantity supply of anything
until you’ve seen a sample of the product and thoroughly tested
the saleability 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 for you
orders, generally derive most of their income from the sale of
these initial « required » inventories. Always investigate and
check out the saleability 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 type ads.
Look at how the established mail order report sellers are doing
it, and copy their methods. Do not copy their ads–instead, use
them as idea stimulators for your own original copy. Place an ad
in one of the largest circulation publications you can find, then
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 from 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 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