Your Own Mail Order Busines (Oct, 1958)

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Your Own Mail Order Business

By John Winkler

When Arthur Johnson decided to earn some extra cash during his spare time he chose the mail order business because it could be run right from his own home. He reasoned that it was one of the few fields still open in which you could start your own business with a minimum of capital. In fact, his total investment was less than $100.00.

What began as a spare time job mushroomed into a profitable full-time business.

How successful was Johnson? Well, he drives a Cadillac convertible, owns a home in Nevada and a summer place in Florida, with a Cris-Craft cruiser to boot!

No, Johnson didn’t find Uranium or answer the $64,000 question. He simply cashed in on the fabulous mail order business—with the help of one of the new mail order organizations which back enterprising new comers to the mail order business.

Like so many other beginners in this field, Johnson was plagued with the problem of finding the ‘ideal’ mail order product. One that would have a large market, offer a good profit margin, bring repeat sales, and one which could be easily shipped by mail. After reading several books and courses on the subject, it seemed impossible. In order to obtain wholesale prices from manufacturers he had to purchase large quantities, which meant all his capital would be spent in inventory. The additional cost of sales letters and advertising and the risk of picking a poor mail order product and being stuck with all that merchandise made it even more obvious he’d have little chance of success.

Then he heard about Mail Order Associates of Maywood, New Jersey—an organization set up to aid the small mail order operator.

He wrote to M.O.A. for full information, sent in his application for a franchise and within three months the profits started pouring in.

Johnson attributes his success to the large selection of novel and unusual mail order products carried by M.O.A.

Mail Order Associates is one of the few new pioneers in the fabulous mail order business. One of the first organizations formed to put the small mail order operator in business—big business, they fill a definite need for the beginner with little capital. Here’s what they offer you: (1) Complete, ready-to-mail catalogs printed with your name and address … in any quantity you wish. Catalogs, sales letters or self mailers may be based on any of the following typical categories: BABY GIFTS AND NOVELTIES VITAMINS INSTRUCTION BOOKLETS AND COURSES COSMETICS You select your own market.

(2) Profits range from 50% to 150% on most items. For example, you may sell a $20.00 mail order course and make $10.00 on each sale. Or you sell two appliances at a discount, give one away free and still make a 50% overall profit!

(3) Everything is drop-shipped for you. You have no merchandise to carry—no capital tied up in inventory. All merchandise is stocked and shipped for you by Mail Order Associates or the manufacturer. You forward orders and your own shipping labels to M.O.A. and all merchandise is sent direct to your customer—using YOUR OWN LABEL (4) Up to date mailing lists are made available to you. Lists of proven mail order buyers are compiled for the market you select. Records are kept so that no two distributors use the same names. All names are supplied on gummed labels—all you do is apply them to your catalogs.

(5) A consultation service is provided to answer any questions you may have. In addition, you’re supplied with a list of leading national magazines that provide free editorial write-ups. You’re even given form letters to use to obtain free advertising of your products from these magazines.

(6) Your choice of at least four new mail order programs during the year. One may be a catalog of baby items, another on household gadgets, etc. You may select one or as many as you can handle.

Here’s how they operate: Unlike the individual mail order dealer who looks for the ideal product, M.O.A. searches the market first! After making surveys and tests to determine a profitable mail order market, they select the products to suit the market. For example, the market of selling baby items to new mothers is a big one. Over four million babies are born in the U. S. each year. This is the first step in selecting a mass market for their franchised dealers. Then comes the selection of products to suit this market. They contact every manufacturer of products sold to new mothers. From thousands of items offered by various companies, only those suit- able for mail order are selected for preliminary tests. The final survey is made for new novelties and products not yet manufactured! If they feel certain ideas for new products have merit, they’ll manufacture the items on a royalty basis and produce them for their dealers exclusively!

From this preliminary selection of new mail order products suited to this particular market, they make actual tests to see which items will sell and produce the greatest profit for their franchised dealers. Having finally selected the best products they begin layout and artwork on a new mail order catalog for their dealers. The final catalog may consist of a small 6×9 brochure, a large 8V2 x 11 illustrated booklet or even a small one page self-mailer, depending upon the market and selection of products. Sales letters are prepared by experienced copy writers, and the complete job—layout, copy and printing is done by experts to produce professional results.

By purchasing merchandise in large quantities and running catalogs on large presses, they are able to offer their dealers complete backing at a fraction of the cost the individual would have to pay for the same job.

The final step is to supply the franchised dealers with names of prospective customers! In this particular example, they would make available the names and addresses of over 7000 new mothers every day!

Although many mail order firms use magazines and newspapers to advertise single items, the larger established firms have proven that direct mailings to prospective customers and previous mail order buyers is far more profitable.

A notice is then sent to all franchise holders explaining in detail the complete sales program for the particular market covered. The dealers then have the option to accept the offer or wait for a complete new sales program set up for a new market. At least four complete new sales programs are prepared by Mail Order Associates each year.

If the dealer decides to go ahead he may begin ordering catalogs (his personal name or business name is printed on all sales literature), and mailing them to his lists of prospective customers. As he receives orders for merchandise he simply forwards the orders together with addressed shipping labels to M.O.A. and they fill the orders and mail direct to his customers with the dealer’s shipping label attached to each parcel. In some cases M.O.A. prepares a catalog of merchandise which manufacturers have agreed to drop-ship for the dealer. Mail Order Associates simply turns over this list of firms to the dealer and he works directly with the manufacturer. The customer pays the dealer the retail price of each item in the catalog. The dealer in turn pays M.O.A. or the manufacturer only the wholesale price of each item and pockets the difference—which really adds up when you mail a few hundred catalogs a week.

The operation of Mail Order Associates is based on a small margin or profit, but tremendous volume, which spells BIG PROFITS FOR ITS FRANCHISED DEALERS.

According to the U. S. Dept. of Commerce, ‘There is hardly another occupation that requires so little capital as does a small specialized Mail Order business. A number of Mail Order successes which piled up fortunes for the owners were started with very little capital. In each case, the proprietor began on a small scale and grew with the business.” This same Government Report also states, “There are a large number of one-man mail order enterprises in this country which are paying their owners far more than a comfortable living. A number of the most successful obtain an income as high as $40,000 to $50,000.” That’s what the U. S. Government says about the mail order business!

  1. Eamonn says: July 7, 20095:50 pm

    Is this even an article? It reads like one of those sleazy “make money on the internet” infomercials.

  2. Firebrand38 says: July 7, 20096:59 pm

    See the little word “(Advertisement)” at the bottom of each page? I think that means it’s not an article….

  3. Eamonn says: July 7, 20098:26 pm

    Ha, totally missed that. I still think it’s interesting that the language and tone of this “article” are the same as modern schemes. I guess their matter-of-fact statements and promises of wealth will appeal to certain people no matter what era.

  4. mike says: December 3, 20091:58 pm

    would like more about mailorder unusual products. send info to [email protected]

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