Far from the bustle and throng of shops with their queues, busy streets, traffic jams, recessions and closing down sales, there’s a group of traders for whom business flourishes, though many might never even come to see a customer, let alone make a personal transaction.
All dealings are carried out by post, with sometimes a telephone call to supplement the deal, or to convey some message between dealer and purchaser. This is mail order, widely accepted s one of the easiest of businesses to begin in, and certainly one of the few in which massive fortunes still lie in wait for those keen to join the ranks of dealers by mail.
Mail order is not easy, though it can for some be a quick route to riches. Fast profits go to those determined to succeed, individuals who seek never to be content with their efforts, and who strive continuously to improve those already high standards they set themselves.
Mail order proves attractive to customers for many varied reasons, primary amongst them the fact that most things offered by mail are just not available from everyday high street shopping.
For some, the sheer ease of buying by mail is sufficient to warrant repeat and continued custom. No queuing; no parking problems; no time battling your way into town; and no travelling or parking cost involved once you get there. And as we have already said, all of this assumes that the customer can find the good concerned in the shops: for as many a successful mail order dealer knows, success sometimes comes entirely from locating and offering for sale items not available from any other source. This may perhaps best be illustrated by reference to the current boom in mail order publishing, where hundreds of guides are available to those seeking business and moneymaking opportunities, of which there is very little on offer in book shops.
For many dedicated buyer by mail, the principal allegiance is one of excitement such as only mail order offers, in that once the order has been placed, sheer anticipation is the order of the day until that delivery is made.
So what do people buy by mail? The answer is ‘practically anything!’
Anything that is, which the customer can be adequately informed of by means of advertisements placed in publications, or communicated by direct mailshot. The items should also be sufficiently light to keep
down the costs of postage or whatever form of delivery.
And so amongst those thousands of items sold by mail, we find clothes, books, household items, and hobby items. Services too can be offered by mail, as is discovered by a profusion of typesetting services, stationery design facilities, writing services, insurance, printing, circular mailing, and so on.
For the dealer, the benefits are numerous. It is in fact surprisingly easy to make a good living in mail order, whilst benefiting also from the inherent advantages of working one’s chosen hours, working from home, and selling whatever one wishes.
Mail order is also a very easy business to enter, and also one in which to make massive profits for very little effort. It is also, ironically, one of the main businesses abandoned in the newcomers’ early days, simply as a result of disillusionment of promises of vast fortunes coming through their doors failing to materialise. The entire business though, is one which becomes easier with experience, and even the big names in mail order will admit to making massive and usually very costly mistakes in their early attempts at selling by mail.
Selling can take place by several methods. That which is used at any particular time depends upon the product or service involved, the price, cost of advertising in relation to product price, and the amount of
information that must be conveyed to the potential customer if a sale is to be forthcoming.
The key is to start small. Buy or make something in small quantities and test the market.
Monitor and adjust. Those that sell easily just ramp up and continue. Those that fail to appeal can be replaced with something else. Monitor and adjust again. Persistance will pay off.