During the past few years, a number of very enterprising housewives (and a few men!) have established very successful businesses selling recipes by mail.
The idea is very simple. You create a new recipe and then you advertise it in the classified section of a magazine or newspaper, which is read primarily by housewives. You advertise your favorite recipe for a dollar, and some dealers also request a self-addressed, stamped envelope. When you receive orders in the mail, you mail them a typewritten copy of your recipe. Or a Xerox copy. Even handwritten copies are permissible, if the handwriting is very legible. Along with your recipe, you include a list of additional recipes which you have for sale. The list should tie in with your original offer.
Let us imagine that you have advertised a secret recipe for Danish Butter Cookies. Your list should include other cookie recipes, as well as Danish recipes. If your customer bakes your Danish Butter Cookies and likes them, she will be in a good frame of mind to purchase more recipes from YOU!
In researching this article, I combed through the classified sections of dozens of magazines studying recipe ads. Here is a partial list of recipes that were being sold by mail:
You will notice a lot of REGIONAL and NATIONAL recipes. If you collect recipes from a specific country, say Finland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, etc., they would probably sell very well. Also, recipes from New England, the Deep South, or some other special area would do well. Also notice the number of recipes that contain words like DELICIOUS, TEMPTING, and EASY! Further, recipes which are sugarless, or which feature vegetarian specialties would seem to do very well.
Many housewives pay a great deal of attention to HOLIDAY recipes. If you can time your ad so that it appears about thirty days before Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, the Fourth of July, Father's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas . . . you will do very well selling Holiday recipes.
Start by selling your own recipes. Ask your friends if they have recipes that you can use. Often they will be delighted to help you! Or you can go to the library and search through OLD newspapers and magazines. When you find recipes that look promising, go home and experiment with them. WRITE THEM IN YOUR OWN WORDS . . . otherwise you would be violating copyright laws.
To get an idea of what kind of recipes are currently being sold, it would be advisable to study the recipe section on the classified pages of the National Enquirer for several weeks. (Their advertising rates are sky-high, but they sell about four million copies of the magazine every week. I notice some ads in every week, and they couldn't continue unless they were getting stacks of orders!).
Below is a list of other publications which carry recipe sections in their classified pages. The list is by no means exhaustive. If you will write to these publications and tell them you are interested in selling recipes by mail, they will send you sample copies and their rate charts.
Capper's, 616 Jefferson, Topeka, KS 66607 (Small town farm paper)
National Enquirer, P.O. Box 10178, Clearwater, FL 34617 (Sold mostly to lower and middle income housewives)
Texas Farmer Stockman, 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887 (A good way to reach rural housewives)
The Workbasket, 4251 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111-9990 (Many housewives ready this one!)
Progressive Farmer, 2100 Lakeshore Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209 (Large farm circulation)
Grit, 208 W. 3rd St., Williamsport, PA 17701
Give your customer their money's worth and you will be in business for many years to come! Good luck to you!
There are many business possibilities that can be built on products from your kitchen: candies, jams, pies, egg rolls, and special recipes of all descriptions, and the same general business approach will work with most of them.
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