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The Politics of Moral Hazard

The Mail Order Business -The Key to Making A Million – The mail order business is about selling products through the mail and countless part-time and full-time entrepreneurs have been attracted by the apparent ease with which inexperienced business people could enter this profession of selling products through the mail and emerge with a fortune. What is surprising is not that many have failed. Many have. But the expected fact is that in both good times and bad, many have succeeded.

Melvin powers, a famous mail order publisher in North Hollywood, started with a single book on hypnotism. Today he has more than 400 books in print and has sold millions of books in the interim.

Of course there are a great many products besides books which are sold through the mail. In a recent year, more than $2.7 billion in general merchandise including home furnishings, house ware and gifts were sold as well as another billion dollars each in ready to wear clothing and collectibles. This is the stamping ground of mail order wizards like Joe Sugarman in Chicago who built a $50 million a year business selling electronic products in only seven years right out on his garage.

Sixty-nine-year-old A. J. Masuen went from door-to-door salesman to more than $1 million a year selling first aid kits and supplies through a mail order catalog. Two high school boys, Len and Rick Hornick, started their multi-million dollar mail order business selling hand-carved, wooden ducks to hunters and collectors. Today they employ more than 100 expert craftsmen to make their ducks, and they mail out a 32-page catalog to almost a million customers four times a year.

And so friend, what qualities does the would-be mail order entrepreneur need? Three qualities are absolutely essential: imagination, persistence, and a high degree of honesty. Imagination is needed in order to be able to visualize the special appeal which will compel a potential customer to buy your product. If you have imagination, you can sell almost anything by mail.

Mail order pro Ed McLean proved this by selling thousands of an unpopular model of a Mercedes-Benz automobile which conventional automobile dealers hadn’t been able to sell. Mail order experts Hank Burnett, Christopher Stagg, and Dick Benson proved it by selling sixty airplane tickets at $10,000 each for an around-the-world flight. But perhaps the king is Joe Cosman. With no more business experience than being an ex-serviceman, Cosman sold 2,118,000 ant farms, 1,583,000 potato spud guns, 1,600,000 imitation shrunken heads, and 1,508,000 home garden sprinklers and many other products… all by mail.

Persistence is required because success is rarely instantaneous and there are always obstacles and set-backs. Cosman spent over a year working on his kitchen table encountering false leads, problems and failures at the same time holding down a full-time job during normal working hours before he finally hit his first success. And even the first successful project required hard work and numerous obstacles that had to be overcome. Less persistent entrepreneurs would have quit long before.

Absolute honesty is required because a successful mail order business is built on trust. After all, you are asking your customers to send money, sometimes a great deal of money; to someone he does not know and cannot see. Cheat your customer even a little, and you’ve lost that customer forever. Without repeat customers, you might just as well invest your time and energy in a dried up oil well. The potential for a successful enterprise might have existed once, but now it’s gone for good.

The basic principles which you must understand to be successful in mail order have to do with product selection, structuring your offer, testing, where and when to advertise and what to put into your advertisements. It takes a detail manual and training to do justice to all of these subjects in detail, so we’ll look only at the rudiments.

While it is true that a mail order expert can sell just about anything through the mail, some products just naturally make better mail order products than others. To increase your chances of picking a winner, look for a product that is light weight, nearly unbreakable, has a broad appeal to a large segment of the population, and has a large margin for profit. This last requirement means you have to be able to buy low, and sell high.

Friend, you are going to need this high profit margin in order to pay for your advertising cost and at first to pay for your mistake during the learning process. You should try to get a product which allows you to sell it at three or four times the cost of the product to you. Now clearly you can’t do this with a high priced product. But for most products and within our setting under $15 should be your goal.

This brings us to the important subject of testing. Successful mail order dealers test almost everything. They test which offer is best. They test different types of appeals. They test different prices. And they test different media in which to advertise.

Testing is mail order’s secret weapon. It is also the secret which allow a mail order operator to fail with four products out of five and still walk away with a million dollars or more.

How is it done? You spend a little money for a test. A complete failure tells you to drop the whole project. A marginal failure or a marginal success says to experiment and rework some aspect of the project. A major success gives you the green light for a larger investment. In this way you can afford to lose a little money on several dismal failures. But when your testing indicates a clear success, you can move immediately to capitalize on what you know to be a winner. The idea is not to risk a lot of money until you are certain of success.

While there are no guarantees, the potential does exist for just about anyone to make a million dollars or more in this business if they have imagination, persistence, and honesty and if they follow the basic principles that have proven to be successful.

Should you need a complete manual for success as well as training you can reach me through the below email address or phone number.

(Chealy Brown Dennis is a marketing and business development consultant. He is also a much sought after motivational speaker and offers training in leadership and organizational development, creative sales and marketing, strategic planning, team building and management and wealth creation and offers on-location and train-the-trainer formats. He can be contacted through email at: dennisbc2011@yahoo.com or on phone at: 0886-264-611)

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