Frequently Asked Questions and the Answers that Will Help You Start to Make Money in Your Own Profitable Mail Order Business
Question: Can the average person make money in mail order?
Answer: Yes. There is nothing unique about the thousands of individuals who are successfully making extra money in mail order. They are following sound mail-order techniquestechniques you can learn from my book How to Get Rich in Mail Order or audio cassette program Melvin Powers Mail Order Millionaire Course, which includes a copy of my book. If you are willing to invest the time necessary to attain your financial goals, I'm willing to help you.
Question: Do I need an office?
Answer: No. Conduct business from your home until your volume necessitates moving into business quarters. Keep overhead to a minimum.
Question: How can I find products to sell?
Answer: My book contains numerous sources for suitable mail order products. Simply zero in on something you would like to sell.
Question: How do I know how much inventory to order?
Answer: Initially, whenever possible, make arrangements to have merchandise drop-shipped until you can estimate how much inventory to carry. Drop-shipping means that orders are shipped to your customer by your supplier upon receipt of your instructions and payment. This is done only after you receive payment from your customer. Thus, you avoid spending money on inventory and can concentrate on sales.
Question: Can you recommend a supplier of gift items who will drop-ship merchandise?
Answer: I enthusiastically recommend Specialty Merchandise Corporation. This company was founded in 1946 and has supplied mail order dealers with a reliable source of products from all over the world. You can select from over 3,000 items. Write to: Specialty Merchandise Corporation, Media Dept. 7500, 996 Flower Glen Street, Simi Valley, CA 93065. If you are in the Los Angeles area, you can visit the showroom and see merchandise on display. The showroom is open Monday through Saturday.
Question: In which magazines should I advertise?
Answer: The same ones that other mail order companies use to sell products similar to yours. These magazines, which consistently run the same ads, are the survivors of the trial-and-error method of choosing media employed by successful advertisers. That doesn't mean you can't experiment. Hunches sometimes pay off. But customers, by habit, have become programmed to look in particular publications for specific types of merchandise. I advise you to take advantage of the publication's ability to attract a large audience that is interested in the type of merchandise you have to sell. Then your challenge will be to attract the attention of potential customers and sell them your product or service from the ad, or motivate them to send for further information.
Question: I have heard that some magazines will run a free advertisement on a product. Is this true?
Answer: Yes. In my book, I devote a chapter on how you can get free ads to put you on the road to riches. You should also try to get free publicity in your local newspapers.
Question: Should I run a classified, or display ad?
Answer: My advice is to begin with a classified ad.
Question: Should I sell directly from the ad, or offer free literature?
Answer: I suggest you offer free literature. It takes too many expensive words to write a classified ad that will convince people to send money. Once you draw the inquiries, send advertising literature to do the selling.
Question: What should I include in the advertising literature?
Answer: As much concise information as possible about your product or service. Stress the benefits to be derived and support them with testimonials from authorities in the field or from satisfied customers. Include illustrations and specifications, if the items call for it. State price, postage, and guarantee. Don't forget to ask for the order!
Question: I'm using the two-step approach to sell my product. What is the optimum sales literature package?
Answer: The literature that comprises the classic response to an inquiry is a sales letter, advertising literature that includes photographs or art work of the product, testimonials, guarantee, credit card option, toll-free 800 telephone number, postage paid reply envelope, and an incentive (such as a gift) for prompt response.
However, it may not be necessary to use the optimum literature. This is something you need to find out because of the expense involved in printing, envelopes, and postage. Your objective is to develop a mailing package that will generate maximum response at the lowest cost. Keep testing until you are satisfied that you have achieved this. For example, you might not need four-color circulars to sell your product or expensive coated stock for your mailing pieces.
Question: Can you recommend a source that has non-fiction books and will drop-ship single orders?
Answer: Wilshire Book Company drop-ships all of our books on a wide range of subjects, such as astrology, chess, cooking, gambling, health, hobbies, humor, hypnotism, marriage, sex, parenthood, metaphysics and occult, self-help and inspirational, sports, and horses.
In my book, I tell in detail how I created a bestseller that took exactly one day to write and 50 cents to produce. Following my instructions, you could do the same.
Question: What is the best way to get started selling books?
Answer: Choose a category and contact publishers selling that particular type of book. You'll find them in Subject Guide to Books in Print, a reference guide found at all public libraries. Inquire whether the publishers will drop-ship books for you. If not, order the books as you receive the orders. When you determine which books are selling well, order small quantities and gradually build your inventory. Advertise the same way you would for a product.
Question: I think I have a good mail order idea and want to run a display ad. How many ads should I run to begin with?
Answer: Run one advertisement in the best of the publications that you think would logically produce orders for your type of product. Although you would get a better advertising rate by committing to running three times in succession, I advise against it. If your first ad doesn't pay off, you'll be wasting money by running the next two. Generally, ads do not pull better with repetition. Running one time gives you the opportunity to revise and strengthen your ad as soon as you have determined that it needs to be improved. The rule in mail order is to keep testing to minimize your losses and maximize your earnings. If you have written an ad that pulls well, your potential customers will still be there when you run your ad again.
Question: What are the best months to advertise?
Answer: The best mail order months are September, October, November, January, February and March. The first three months of the year are great because people are home much more during the winter than at other times of the year. That means more time for reading and activating New Year's resolutions for self-improvement. Many companies do the greatest percentage of their business during the months of September, October, and November. These months produce a great volume of orders, as people buy gifts for the holidays. Some products have a well-established seasonal period. If yours is one that does, accept it, and advertise accordingly.
Question: I have found a product and have written an ad. How do I know I've written a good one that will pull?
Answer: Do market research on it by asking friends and family what they think of the ad. In time, you'll develop a sixth sense about what works. Keep in mind that your success depends not only upon finding a product, but in developing and recognizing copy that will sell it. Advertising copy is the catalyst that makes your operation go. Spending small amounts of money on good ads will lead to success. Spending a fortune on ads that don't have a chance will spell disaster. Don't fall in love with your advertising copy. Be willing to change it to make it better. My favorite book on advertising is How to Write a Good Advertisement by Victor O. Schwab. If your local library or bookstore doesn't have it, you can obtain a copy from my office for $22.00 postpaid.
Question: How can I further develop a sense of what might be a good mail order product?
Answer: By studying the repeat advertisements in publications, analyzing the direct mail that you receive, reading success stories in publications, and reading books dealing with all phases of mail order. Eventually, you'll develop that indefinable sixth sense for knowing what is right.
Question: What are some of the reasons people are not successful in mail order?
Answer: I have found the common denominators to be a lack of information and conviction as to what makes a good mail order product. People often have perfectly good products, but lack persuasive advertising copy. Poor returns cause them to doubt their products and give up before they find out they have winners.
Question: I have an uneasy feeling that I will not be successful even though I understand the principles and procedures to follow. Do you have any comments about this?
Answer: Fear of failure is a common apprehension among beginners in any field of endeavor. Success seems so far down the road. It may be difficult to imagine yourself as being successful, but your potential for success is as great as anyone else's. Don't worry about it. Proceed one step at a time, initially setting only small goals. You'll be exhilarated when the first order puts you into the mail order business. Belief will come with experience.
Question: What's the first step to start making money in mail order?
Answer: Read my book How to Get Rich in Mail Order published by Wilshire Book Company available at all bookstores. It's 8" x 11" and contains 352 pages and 200 illustrations. The book is jam-packed with details and examples of my own successful and not so successful media advertising and direct mail campaignsall used as teaching aids that give you the benefit of my 40 years of mail order experience.
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