How to Pick the Perfect Product for Mail Order Sales

So you've done some investigating into mail order and haven't found something you'd like to sell. Here are some tips that should point you in the right direction.

First, you must have a specific category of goods you'd like to sell.. You must enjoy what you're doing or it won't be worth your trouble, so you should pick some category of goods that falls within an area of interest to you.

Don't be afraid that the market might already be saturated; if a lot of people are already selling that class of goods, it's because the market calls for that much product.

If you're a hot dancer, you might be able to put together a dance course of dancercise program, or sell dancewear. If you're into tennis, the number of gadgets for tennis players,, or in fact, any sport or hobby is staggering, and marketed correctly, most of them will make money. If knowledge in a certain field is your stock-in-trade, by all means, become a writer!

Books are probably the safest and hottest commodities you can sell by mail. There are trade magazines for virtually every kind of business and private venture and every private interest group or hobby in existence. Check your library for the name of these magazines, get copies of them by hook or crook, and find out what's being offered to people in the industry.

Trade magazines are where new products are first introduced, and you can often get exclusive rights to a marvelous idea just because you were brave enough to ask.

One of the most important considerations is availability.

If you have exclusive rights to a product, you can virtually write your own ticket. Mind you, it must be an item in fairly great demand or something for which you can create a demand.

It should generally be an item you cannot buy in stores or cannot be bought in stores for the price you can ask by mail. If it can be bought in stores at a comparable price, then your offering should have some special feature about it that makes it unique. Don't try to compete with retail outlets.

The next consideration is price and quantity.

You must be able to produce or supply yourself with the item at the very least at one-third of your selling price, and in most cases the higher your markup the better. The actual selling price must still represent good value to the customer, but don't be too concerned about undercutting just yet, since the difference between retail and supplier's factory-direct price is usually substantial.

In order to get the price necessary to provide a good profit margin, you should not have to buy up a factory's entire production either. It should be possible to buy hundred or gross lots at a fair cost (if you're not dealing in that kind of volume at some point, it won't be worth you while in the first place).

If you are selling merchandise, you must have some sort of guarantee and be able to back it up.

A product that routinely breaks down before the warranty expires won't do much for your image and will cost you must more than just a refund over both the short and long term.

If you are selling books, you can get away without a guarantee and in fact one of the most successful mail order firms in existence has made it a point of pride that they offer no guarantees at any item, even on a new publication costing $1,000!

Posters have traditionally been hot mail order sellers, but they have one very serious drawback: they require expensive tubes for safe shipping, and those tubes and the postage they require often cost more than the poster itself. Which brings us to the next point: how easily and cheaply... and safely can it be shipped?

The product must also be understood by the buyer before it's actually purchased. Anything requiring a demonstration or great amounts of instruction in its use is better left to salesmen on the retail floor.

If you are selling direct from advertisements, keep the items under $25 unless they are well-known and exceptional products. When selling by direct mail, higher priced items can be sold since you're able to take much more space to explain the article.

Finally, it must be something that is either used up, purchased repeatedly, can be accessorized or leads to the sale of another item, either from a catalog or future sales campaign.

The real money in mail order is made form repeat sales where the expenditures required to sell a given number of items is vastly reduced.


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