Mail Order Business without Investment

Mail order business has a simple format. You offer a catalog of products an order is made then you ship the item.
The mode of shipment is usually through the post, sea or air transportation. The mail order company needs proper inventory, logistics and accounting.
The business is practicable from home or a dedicated office. You might need a storage facility for your products. A company might decide to leverage on popular items and sell or develop their own products.
Other considerations are startup funding, type of products and tracking software.  You might be required to have a trade license including a business name.
How to Start Your Own Mail Order Business
Choose a Product
Before your start the enterprise you need to select a product. The products should be quality and solve a problem.
Focus on areas of interest or products you are familiar with. You could also take into consideration the weight, fragility and size of the product. Lighter product are easier to shipped therefore avoid bulky, degradable or fragile items.
Another criterion in product choice is rarity, uniqueness and competitive pricing. Uncommon items, novelty items including limited edition products not found in stores are scalable products.
Therefore important factors in product choice are price, weight, durability and uniqueness.
Popular Products
Mail order businesses stock different types of products from household utensils to power tools. Popular products are heath/beauty products, software, clothing and toys. Others include books, hardware, video games, magazines and food items.
  • Gifts
  • Video games
  • Tickets
  • Shoes
  • Books
  • Phones
  • Heath/beauty products
  • Software
  • Clothing
  •  Toys
  • Magazines
  • Food items.
Find a Supplier
There are two ways to start a mail order business. Create your own products or source them from manufacturers/wholesalers.
You should network with manufactures and wholesalers that stock your product. There are many companies online that offer drop shipment arrangement. However others might require outright purchase of the items.
Find a supplier that guarantees cost price per unit and regular supply. If you manufacture the product make sure the product is patented and has good price and quality. To find manufacturer use Google search, directories, e-commerce stores, directories and yellow pages.
How to Find Suppliers
  • Networking
  • Trade Fairs
  • Exhibitions
  • Directories
  • E-commerce stores
  • Directories
  • Yellow pages
There are many tools to help spread the word. Use glossy brochures, catalogs with product image, prices and description.
The catalog may be printed or delivered in digital form via mail/email. You need a website to sell your products online.
Advertise through online free classified websites. Use social media advertisement such as Facebook ads and Instagram.
You could approach suppliers to make available promotional materials. Place advertisement in local shopping publications and newspapers. Other marketing considerations include creating an order form and sales letter. 
The core of your business is shipping the item on time. You could ship the product yourself or use a drop shipping company.
Some manufacturers and e-commerce sites have drop shipping arrangement. Make sure the product gets to the customer within 30 days.
Make sure you can accept payment through the mail or phone. However there are more options such as direct debit, credit card payment and PayPal. Because direct sales marketing don’t attract sales tax you can offer your customers competitive prices.


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