Everyone has seen the ads in the back of magazines: “Make Millions With Mail Order!” The truth is, only one person in twenty-five actually earns six figures with a mail order business. But, don’t let that discourage you. Americans are ordering merchandise by mail, phone and the internet more than ever. The key to your success is finding the right products to sell and marketing your products correctly. Mail order isn’t really a business. Instead, it is a way of doing business. It uses the mail and package delivery service to market and distribute products. You will sell your products by placing ads in newspaper classifieds, direct mailings or an internet web site.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
You must be able to create a strong ad campaign, direct mail piece, web site or catalogue. You will also need a clear understanding of your market. Most importantly, you must have a good and exciting product line that is easy to ship. Specializing in certain products usually proves to offer the most success. Some HomeWorkers Net members sell herbs and teas, others focus on pet products. If you stick to certain product lines you will find your marketing and advertising campaign easier to manage.
To be successful in the mail order business you need to identify your customers and market niches. One way to do this is to purchase mailing lists from other direct marketers. Publicity is also a great way to find customers, especially if you have unique or hard-to-find products. Send press releases with a full color photograph announcing your products to new products editors of targeted publications.
START UP COSTS:
Produce and distribute a catalogue of your products and design a web site that highlights the benefits of your unique merchandise. You can produce the catalogue yourself on a laser printer and there are now hundreds of software programs on the market that will help you design a web site. You will also need brochures, letterhead and business cards.
Your earnings will depend on your product line and your marketing abilities. Most mail order services earn around $30,000 to $50,000 per year after expenses. It will be important that you price your merchandise correctly in order to enjoy sufficient profits. Most business owners price the products by multiplying the base price times three. Therefore, if your product wholesales at $10.00, you would charge around $30.00 (or $29.95!) plus shipping and handling (usually about $4.95).
Once you have decided on what type of products that you would like to sell, you will need to find a wholesale company that handles that product line and set up an account with them. There are also hundreds of companies and organizations that can help you get started in the mail order business, like drop shippers that will provide you with catalogues of there products and you then distribute them to customers. It will be almost impossible to operate a mail order business without a merchant account, so you will need to set one up with your local bank. For more information regarding merchant accounts, please see our Home Business Tips.
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