6 issues for $14.97 Subscribe Now
Subscribe via RSS Feed

Mail Order Delivers

[ 0 ] May. 29, 2012 | SBO Editor

500 Ways To Cash In At Home: Today’s mail order mix includes online sales and e-commerce.

The National Mail Order Association (NMOA—www.nmoa.org) was founded in 1972 by mail order expert and advertising man Paul Muchnick in order to help small to midsize businesses and entrepreneurs involved in, or wishing to be involved in mail order marketing, now commonly referred to as direct marketing.

“Mail Order Selling” and “Direct Marketing” are terms that encompass many different methods and mediums of soliciting and/or selling products or services at a distance where the potential customer is not physically present at a store or other location to see the product or to place an order. In parts of Europe this is also referred to as “Distance Selling.” The marketer is “Reaching Out” to the consumer from a distance.

The mail order business (or direct marketer) promotes their product or service through one or more types of media, either print or electronic. This includes using print catalogs, direct mail, electronic catalogs, website stores, email, television, radio, ads in magazines and/or newspapers, billing and package inserts, etc. The order (or an inquiry of interest) from a customer is then placed remotely through telephone, mail, fax, electronic shopping cart, email or other format.

Finally, the fulfillment (delivery) of physical goods ordered via mail order is done through a common carrier such as the United States Post Office (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx, and others. In the case of electronic products or services, delivery can occur via telephone, fax, the Web, email or other format.

A key element of mail order advertising, promotion or other direct marketing tactic is that it produces a measurable and traceable response and at the same time captures important customer (sales lead) information that can be used to further expand sales and marketing opportunities.

Right now there is a big focus on selling through the Internet or Web. This is simply a new medium for mail order sellers; it is still mail order. Your goods and services are still presented and sold with pictures, videos and words. The ordering is done remotely, and the delivery is done via common carrier or electronically.

The mission of the NMOA is to provide education, information and business connections to entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world for the purposes of making money through the use of direct marketing and mail order selling tactics.

Everyone that comes to the NMOA has a slightly different situation; their skills, their experience and the resources available to them are different. Some people are looking to start a business and some already have a small business that they are looking to expand. But entrepreneurs and small business owners need to wear many hats; they must constantly build their skills, resources and know-how —or they need to work/partner with others that can supplement their weaknesses.

Some people may be great marketers, but they have nothing to sell, and others may have something to sell, but they are not good at marketing and sales. So the NMOA tries to do things that bridge these weaknesses.

According to the NMOA, “So for the sake of brevity, and the fact that some things change in the business world, what we may be doing today to help you may not be the same as we are doing next month to help you.” The NMOA itemizes a list of their main key points here.

First off, if you are of the “Get Rich Quick” mentality, or believe that there is some easy “secret” road to making money in your own business, the NMOA is not for you. We will tell you right now there is no such reality as something for nothing.

The NMOA says, if we were to pick one quote that coincides with our philosophy as an organization, it would be the one by Andrew Carnegie—”There is no use whatever trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb himself.”

True opportunity comes to those that develop specialized marketing know-how and then take action to get into the game. The NMOA has a variety of tools to help entrepreneurs. One is a manual on direct sales by NMOA president John Schulte.

Once you understand how to use the tools available for marketing and promotion, and the strategic thinking and business concept development that goes with this, we continue work to put new opportunities in front of you, says the NMOA. This could be in the form of uncovering new products you can sell, or introducing new lists, marketing tactics, or other promotional opportunity, or finding a partner or business for sale through one of our social networks, or maybe helping you uncover a service you can provide in your local area. It’s hard to say what we may uncover for you once you have the skills to recognize true opportunity and move forward with it, and not waste time and money on projects that have little likelihood of success.

Traditional mail order tools include:

Catalogs are one of the oldest forms of mail order existing today. Catalogs were the main method people used to purchase household items, clothing and equipment up to the early 20th century. Today catalogs are still used by L.L. Bean, Michigan Bulb Company, J. Crew, and hundreds of other retailers.

Direct mail is the form of mail order sales that arrives in the form of fliers, brochures, postcards or letters offering a product or sample from a person or company. Usually, this is used to offer one product and excite customers to order, thereby gaining an address to send a catalog or product list to later.

Infomercials are one of the newer forms of mail order sales. Once delegated to airtime television stations couldn’t sell, they have become more noticeable on weekends and have spawned entire shopping networks such as QVC. Infomercials are usually half-hour programs created to sell a specific item or line of products. These shows have a host or pitchman who talks about the product. Infomercials have been used to sell almost any type of product from knives to cars to real estate. Some infomercials have become so sophisticated they resemble regular programming and have ads from other businesses inserted within them.

Print advertising is another form of mail order sales. These are the ads you see in newspapers and magazines. Newspaper ads were the main route for this form of mail order for generations until magazines took over that role. Today you can look in the classified sections of many magazines, and still some newspapers, to find offers of products or services sent return mail.

Radio. When radio first started as a form of mail order sales, it was used only by a limited number of stations. This is because it was an untested market and the success rate was not known. Today radio stations across the U.S. have some form of mail order sales advertising throughout the programming. Mail order ads on radio use the same 30- or 60-second time frame other ads do; these ads are often noticeable by the spokesperson repeating a phone number or address multiple times during the ad.

Today mail order mavens are moving online and developing websites as an adjunct way to market their products and expand their reach to a global audience.

Online mail order is the newest form of mail order sales. Online mail order sales became a proven method for both commercial and personal sales through sites such as Amazon and eBay. Online mail order is where you order directly from the website and submit a shipping address, usually payment is supplied via credit card or online payment processor such as Moneybookers or PayPal.

With the rise in Internet usage, fixed and mobile broadband penetration, and innovations in easy online payment systems, online shopping is now a commonly adopted practice by consumers. The Internet has evolved over the years and with it a new breed of online trading has taken shape.

A majority of online users all over the world are estimated to switch over to Internet shopping in the coming years. Online retail categories are grouped into three-growth modes, namely plateau, steep and steady.

The steep group comprising home and personal care segments such as home improvement, grocery and over-the-counter drugs is projected to register robust growth, when compared to the plateau group which includes PCs, books and software.

The majority of the total online retail sales are expected to come from the steady group. Heavy volume items such as consumer electronics and apparel are grouped under steady group. In the next few years, video commerce integration into online shopping is expected to increase. Use of interactive videos for product promotion, as well as to provide general information, would also increase, providing users with an interesting online experience.

Online retail sales continue to grow steadily. Forrester Research put out a new five-year forecast recently predicting that e-commerce sales in the U.S. will keep growing at a 10 percent compound annual growth rate through 2014. It forecasts online retail sales in the U.S. will be nearly $250 billion.

Forrester’s estimates exclude online sales of autos, travel and prescription drugs.

The Next Game Changer

Smartphones are the next game-changer for the mail order industry. Consider that 46% of U.S. adults owned a smartphone in February 2012, an increase of 11 percent over the 35% who owned a smartphone in May 2011, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

The Pew findings mirror those of research giant Nielsen, which recently released smartphone adoption data.

Nielsen says 48% of all U.S. mobile phone users own smartphones as of January 2012. That’s up from 36% in Q1 2011 and 23% in Q1 2010.

According to the Pew Research Center, 41% of U.S. adults own a mobile phone that is not a smartphone, meaning that smartphone owners are now more prevalent within the overall population than owners of more basic mobile phones.

“For several years we’ve been saying it’s ‘the year of mobile.’ It is time to put that phrase away and understand that mobile is here to stay and simply one part of an overall omnichannel strategy retailers need to embrace,”
says Tom Nawara, vice president of digital strategy and design at online and mobile marketing firm Acquity Group LLC. “With smartphone penetration hovering around the key 50% inflection point, the question for retailers can no longer be, ‘Should we include mobile in our mix?’ It has to be, ‘How do we most effectively build mobile experiences into our omnichannel plans?’”

Nearly every major demographic group—men and women, younger and middle-aged adults, urban and rural residents, the wealthy and the less well off—experienced a notable uptick in smartphone adoption during the last year, the Pew survey of 2,253 U.S. adults finds. The smartphone adoption levels for college graduates, 18-35 year olds, and those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more exceed 60%. However, seniors still lag behind. Only 13% of those age 65 and older now own a smartphone.


Increased smartphone and tablet adoption is fueling m-commerce overseas. Sales via mobile devices in the U.K. grew from 0.4% of total e-retail sales in Q4 2009 to 5.3% in Q4 2011, according to the IMRG Capgemini Quarter Benchmarking Index. IMRG, or Interactive Media in Retail Group, is a U.K. trade association. Capgemini is a global consulting firm.

Visits to U.K. online retail sites via smartphones and tablets surged to 8.2% in 2011 from 2.6% in 2010, the benchmarking index finds.

“The rise in mobile sales for this quarter is massive; this actually marks an acceleration in pace,” says Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG. “This could have been influenced by Q4 covering the Christmas period, where lots of consumers would have gotten access to a tablet for the first time or advanced phone technology such as the iPhone 4S, which was released just toward the end of Q3. Some retailers actually reported that m-commerce sales accounted for as much as 9% of their total online sales over the festive period.”

The smartphone revolution continues barreling ahead at full steam, and changing the way consumers interact with the Internet.

Among other things, smartphones are changing the way people shop. 22% of U.S. smartphone owners have purchased merchandise on mobile commerce sites or apps, Nielsen finds in its study of 300,000 consumers who own mobile phones. 15% have placed a bid through an online auction, 12% have purchased tickets to events, and 10% have purchased digital music or videos.

But m-commerce is not just about transactions on mobile devices. M-commerce sites and apps can be powerful cross-channel selling tools. For example, 38% of smartphone owners browse products through mobile sites and apps, Nielsen finds. This can be in preparation for a trip to a store, or it can be an activity on the go, say, while commuting on a train, to plan a later purchase on an e-commerce site on a desktop computer or in a physical store. In addition, 32% read customer reviews on their smartphones. Some retailers encourage shoppers through signs in stores to access reviews on smartphones, hoping the mobile customer reviews will clinch a sale.

Coupon hunting on smartphones is another factor: 24% of smartphone owners search for and use online coupons, the Nielsen survey says. Retailers can use online coupons as a cross-channel play to boost sales while customers are in their stores. 22% of smartphone owners have scanned a bar code to obtain additional product information, such as videos or more details than can fit on an in-store sign or product tag. And 18% of smartphone owners have used location-based services, such as a GPS-enabled store locator, to find a store.

“The data is clear: Mobile devices are changing the way consumers shop,” says Nielsen president of strategic initiatives John Burbank. “And while we’re still in the early days, smart retailers are investing and learning now, ahead of the curve, in order to be best positioned to follow consumers wherever they go.”

On another m-commerce front, there’s a lot of talk about mobile wallets today, but few wallet offerings and extremely low adoption. Mobile wallets store debit or credit card information in an app and enable a consumer to pay for purchases in stores. Nielsen finds that 16% of smartphone owners who have downloaded a mobile app are extremely interested in using a mobile wallet. 18% are very interested, 24% are somewhat interested, 13% are slightly interested and 30% are not interested.

Nielsen broke down smartphone owners by age. 62% of mobile phone users age 18-24 own a smartphone, Nielsen finds. The rest of the findings are as follows: 66%, 25-34; 58%, 35-44; 45%, 45-54; 33%, 55-64; and 22% age 65 and older.

Finding Products

So how do you find a great product to sell? The Internet has made shopping for goods and products an international experience.

Alibaba.com Limited is the global leader in business-to-business e-commerce and the flagship company of Alibaba Group. Alibaba.com makes it easy for millions of buyers and suppliers around the world to do business online through three marketplaces:

A global trade marketplace (www.alibaba.com) for importers and exporters, a Chinese marketplace (www.alibaba.com.ch) for domestic trade in China and, through as associated company, a Japanese marketplace (www.alibaba.co.jp) facilitating trade to and from Japan. Together its marketplaces form a community of more than 79 million registered users from more than 240 countries and regions.

Jack Ma, a former English teacher from Hangzhou, started Alibaba.com with 17 other founders as a trading platform for small and medium manufacturers to sell their wares.

In The Official Alibaba.com Success Guide: Insider Tips and Strategies for Sourcing Products from the World’s Largest B2B Marketplace (Wiley), authors Brad and Debra Schepp level the playing field for small business as they show the various sourcing opportunities offered by the world’s largest B2B e-commerce marketplace.

Founded in 1999, Alibaba.com makes it easy for millions of buyers and suppliers around the world to find exactly what they need to make their business a success. “Once viewed as the province of only the biggest and most experienced corporations, looking across the globe for your next product idea is now possible, no matter how small your business may be or how inexperienced you may feel as you embark on this journey,” say the Schepps. Using Alibaba.com, entrepreneurs can find an inexpensive product to sell, make the purchase and resell at a high profit. The duo also advocates that entrepreneurs consider other online businesses such as selling through eBay and Amazon.com.

In their Alibaba.com book they offer:

— a step-by-step guide on how to offer and discover international sourcing opportunities

— how to chart the course in finding the right trading business partners and doing it safely

— the crucial components to successful importing

— the key aspects of working with suppliers to develop long-term relationships

— the best way to make Alibaba.com’s 5-million-plus storefronts, offering manufactured products in 42 different categories, work for any business

— tactics to closing a deal and completing an overseas transaction

— how other successful entrepreneurs used global sourcing to build their business

With the Internet presenting so much possibility for small businesses today, it is important to understand this door of international opportunity that is the overseas marketplace.

Here is the checklist for getting started in international commerce:

— Select the right trading partners.

— Take time, move slowly and ask plenty of questions.

— Create criteria checklists for your partners and your products.

— Get your tax ID and other business credentials in order.

— Research market trends and products on Alibaba.com and the Internet at large.

— Account for special concerns you might encounter including language and cultural differences as you cross international borders.

— Your new trading partner should be experienced in exporting and therefore well able to help you manage the details.

—The International Chamber of Commerce has established Incoterms to define the steps that take place when goods are transferred from the exporting party to the importing party. Be sure you understand the terms as they apply to your shipment. Visit www.iccwbo.org/ to learn more.

— Before asking for pricing information, ask about minimum order requirements and whether the company you are considering has delivered goods to your part of the world.

— Be certain that the products you want to import comply with all the U.S. standards and regulations.

— The U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection are federal agencies that stand ready to assist you.

— Consider traveling to meet your partners face to face.

— Recognize that it will take time and effort to build a solid partnership, but that solid partnerships are highly possible.

— Clear and detailed photos can help both you and your supplier get the details of your products correct.

— Ask for samples of raw materials and/or finished products, as appropriate.

— Ask for an inspection sample when about 20% of your order is complete.

— Do not hesitate to clearly communicate your concerns or problems to your supplier. Do it in writing.

— Do not hesitate to negotiate the prices you pay for your goods, recognizing that your prospective partners probably do not expect you to accept the first price they cite.

— The Safety & Security Center can help ensure your transactions proceed safely and without problems.

— Alibaba.com’s Trade Dispute Procedures can help you work through disagreements with partners, should they occur.

— Learn more from trade associations such as Internet Merchants Association (IMA) and the e-Commerce Merchants Trade Association (eCTMA).

— Be prepared to change your business plan as your expertise grows and your partnerships broaden.

A simplistic, “get rich quick” approach to your mail order venture will likely leave you disappointed. You’ll need to do your research and invest some elbow grease to claim your piece of the mail order pie. The following steps will help you plan your mail order enterprise.

1. Picking a Product or Service to Sell. Isn’t this the first step in starting any business? The types of items and services sold by mail order run the gamut—from hand-crafted items to advice-giving newsletters to antiques. But how do you pick something that stands a chance of success?

Most experts agree that the items you offer for sale must be unique—and unavailable. Why? If your product is one-of-a-kind, it has appeal for buyers. And if you can purchase the product at the local supermarket, then why order it through the mail?

When you have a few items in mind, you’ll need to evaluate them. Here are a few questions to ask of each product or service to determine which one or ones you’ll sell.

Does the product benefit the buyer?

Is there a large enough market of potential buyers for the product?

Are you knowledgeable about the product or can you become knowledgeable?

Are there any similar products already on the market?

Can the item by competitively priced, yet bring enough profit to justify its sale?

Can the product by easily shipped?

Do you have a source for the product?

2. Locating Suppliers. This final question in your product query is pivotal. Where will you obtain your product? You may already have determined that you’ll manufacture the product yourself. This might include items like crafts, “how to” booklets, or your very own invention. If you intend to produce the product yourself, you’ll need to address a number of issues—such as where will you secure your supplies at wholesale prices, if possible? Are there any laws which apply to the manufacture of your product—for example, zoning restrictions if you’re working at home, health laws, etc.?

If you’ve determined that you’ll purchase your product and re-sell it by mail, then you’ll have to locate sources. Keep your eyes open for the products you’re interested in. Look at catalogs and at retail stores. Attend trade shows and read trade magazines. Then contact the manufacturers of the products you’re interested directly. You’ll find the contact information in Thomas’s Register of American Manufacturers (www.thomasregister.com) or the Catalog of Catalogs at your public library.

Two additional resources are The Wholesale by Mail Catalog (St. Martin’s Press) and the company, Specialty Merchandise Corporation (www.smchomebiz.com), which offers wholesale mail order goods.

3. Pricing Your Product. To determine your selling price, you’ll first need to calculate the actual cost to you of buying (or producing) the product. Your actual cost will include all raw material, start-up expenses, shipping, packaging, labor, overhead and advertising.

Now you’ll need to determine what your profit should or could be and what your target market is willing to pay. Many companies in the mail order industry use a markup of 200% to 300% of the actual cost of the product. But you won’t want to charge more than your target market is willing to pay.

As part of your product pricing exercise you’ll want to secure a resale tax certificate from your state, if your state exacts a sales tax. This certificate will allow you to purchase goods without paying sales tax. You, in turn as the retailer, will collect the sales tax from your buyers.

4. Basic Business “Stuff.” The following “business start-up” issues, among others, must be addressed as you put together your mail order enterprise:

Your business name. An important first step for any business, the task of creating your business’ moniker involves telling the public what you do in an unforgettable way but in as few words as possible.

Zoning/legal issues. Check with your local government on the need for a business license. If you intend to sell food products, you may need health department approval. And, if you’re operating out of your home, ensure that zoning laws allow your type of business in your area.

Credit Card Merchant Account. The ability to accept charge cards for payment is crucial to your business. Start with your local banks—if your personal credit is good, you may be able to acquire a merchant account through them. If not, try an ISO (Independent Sales Organization—essentially, a go-between that exacts a fee from you for their services) or ECHO (Electronic Clearing House, Inc.—28001 Dorothy Drive, Agoura Hills, CA 91301). Several Internet-based companies—like www.charge.com—can also offer assistance. The major credit card companies are other possibilities. Remember to shop around for your merchant account, compare prices, and always read the fine print.

Business Plan. You’ve heard it a thousand times and, yes, you do need a business plan, even if it’s a very informal one for your eyes only. (Although if you’re attempting to secure a merchant account or start-up financing, you may need to make it a formal document to be shared with bank officials.)

Over and over, studies prove that businesses that fail to plan are, essentially, planning to fail. Putting together a business plan is crucial to your business’ survival. Your plan should include at a minimum: an Objectives and Business Description—detailing your business concept and goals; a Product/Services Description—the items you’re offering, why they’re marketable, etc.; Operational Details—who your suppliers are or how you’ll produce items if you intend to manufacture them; your Financial Plan—including estimated start-up costs, pricing information, sales estimates, etc.; and your Marketing Plan (see next section). A brief one- or two-page summary of the plan’s elements should be included after the cover page and before the formal plan.

5. Your Marketing Plan. This is one of your biggest start-up steps as a mail-order entrepreneur—and the element which truly sets mail order apart from other types of business operations. Your marketing plan will determine how you connect your customers to your product.

The first query of your marketing plan is: Who are your potential customers—your “target market?” Are they business people? Teens? Stay-at-home parents? What are their needs? Why would they want to purchase your product or service?

The next section of your marketing plan will describe how you intend to reach that target audience. With mail order businesses the methods of marketing have blossomed in the past decade. Years ago, the traditional approaches for mail order were classified advertising—at the back of magazines or newspapers—display ads, and direct mail solicitation. Radio and TV ads were also possibilities.

These are methods which are still used and which you very well may want to include in your marketing plan. For any of these methods, your ads need to be well written and placement—the venues you use to advertise—should be well chosen to reach your target audience.

Once you’ve determined the magazines, newspapers and other media outlets through which you plan to place ads, you should contact their advertising departments and ask for a “media kit.” Your next task will be to write “copy”—the ads themselves—which sells. Draft some ads listing the persuasive selling points of your products—perhaps with introductory or “limited time” offers—and then test them on family and friends. Try them out in selected publications and then see what kind of results they bring. You may need to change your copy, your publication—or both—for success.

If you decide to use direct mail solicitation, you’ll need to develop a package of information to send to your potential customers. Mailing lists can be rented from Customized Mailing Lists, 1906 Field Road, Sarasota, FL 34231; 800/237-LIST and American Consumer Lists, P.O. Box 27347, Omaha, NE 68127, among other companies.

Another marketing boost which has skyrocketed in popularity is to secure a toll-free phone number. Studies have shown that prospects are seven times more likely to call a toll-free number than one they’ll be charged for. There are numerous toll-free services available. Shop around, compare rates, and read the fine print.

6. Filling Orders. Once you’ve contacted customers and secured orders, you’ll need to keep your end of the bargain. Fulfillment is the process of securing and shipping goods to the customer who’s ordered them. If you produce your own inventory or you’ve purchased goods for resale, then you’ll be responsible for packaging and shipping.

A “drop ship” arrangement is also possible, where you arrange with the manufacturer to ship directly to the customer.

7. Taking Care of Business. With fulfillment of your mail order businesses purchases, the marketing loop is complete, right?

Yes and no. Your successful business will include the ongoing issue of customer care and service. Satisfied customers will keep buying—and they’ll tell others about the experience.

Other elements of your business are also ongoing. Changing your mix of marketing methods is important as you determine which approaches work best for which products. Adding and/or eliminating products may also be good for your business. Tracking results of various advertising efforts is pivotal.

If your approach to your start-up steps—and your follow-up tasks—is professional and earnest, the sky is the limit for your mail order operation.

Mail order expert Jim Tilberry also offers strategies to help you determine “Is My Product Appropriate For Mail-Order Catalog Sales?”

Here are 14 criteria to judge whether your product has potential to be a catalog winner. Although it’s not necessary to meet all of these criteria, the more it meets, the greater the likelihood it will be successful in mail order.

1. It makes sense. Upon seeing your product for the first time, most people would understand the value or usefulness of it.

2. It’s new. Ideally, the product should be fairly new with limited or no exposure at trade shows or in stores.

3. It solves a problem. Your product solves a common everyday problem that’s never been addressed before. Or it solves a problem in a unique way or a much less expensive way.

4. It’s unique. There’s absolutely nothing like it on the market.

5. It looks good. Your product photographs well. An attractive eye-catching photo works wonders for sales.

6. It’s simple. Your product has just one main function and solves just one problem. It takes less copy to explain a simple gadget than one with lots of “bells and whistles.”

7. There’s a widespread market. Naturally, the larger the catalog market for your product, the larger the opportunity. Unfortunately, certain consumer markets, although big, are not necessarily big catalog markets.

8. There’s a year-round market. The bigger the window of opportunity for your item, the better. It’s usually more profitable to get steady sales throughout the year than to be limited to a short seasonal market.

9. It’s safe. Ideally, your product should not be dangerous in any way. There’s no risk or at least limited risk of injury to the customer. There are no small breakable parts for children to swallow.

10. It’s easy to mail. Your product is UPS-shippable. If it’s particularly long or odd-shaped, you can provide the product in a re-shipper box. Preferably the product should also be lightweight. Naturally, the higher the price/weight ratio, the better.

11. It’s easy to supply. There’s an adequate inventory with a short lead time (less than four weeks) on production. Plus, you have backup suppliers lined up, in case you need them.

12. It’s durable. Your product will ship easily without breaking.

13. It’s priced between $5 and $100. Ideally, the perceived value is over $5, unless the product can be sold in sets. Although there is no upper-limit price, generally products selling for over $100 have slower sales through catalogs.

14. It’s patented. Although it’s not absolutely necessary that your product be patented, with a patent you can ward off “knockoffs.” The catalogs will also feel better about advertising your product if they know you are the rightful owner of the idea.

Jim Tilberry is the owner of Tilberry Direct Marketing, a rep firm that helps inventors and small companies place their products into consumer catalogs. For more info, contact Tilberry Direct Marketing, 1584 Buttitta Drive, Suite 310, Streamwood, IL 60107

Phone: 630-837-1915 Fax: 630-8379715 E-mail: jtilberry@aol.com Website: www.catalogrep.com


Fred Broitman a well known mail order authority and principal at SUNMAN DIRECT, Chicago’s largest independently owned Direct Response Advertising Agency has completely revised and up-dated his book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE. This comprehensive manual to help you start, run and manage your own mail order business includes all new sections on how to supercharge your mail order business using the internet.

Topics include everything from how to find a great product to sell and how to create winning ads, to establishing your online presence and maximizing search engine optimization that will drive customers to your website. It is available through mail order and at select conventions. This book sells everywhere for $39.95 but the first 100 orders received from readers of this magazine can save $10 and buy it for only $29.95 plus $3.50 for first class postage and handling. Send a check or money order in  the amount of $33.45 to:
SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 1032, Chicago, IL 60601 •


Specialty Merchandise Corporation has Changed it’s Name to Smart Living Company

Specialty Merchandise Corporation, an industry leader in home-based businesses, recently announced that it has changed its name to Smart Living Company.

Tired of working for too little money or for someone else? Smart Living Company’s name change is part of a larger effort to empower more Americans to make extra income and achieve self-employment against the backdrop of the struggling domestic job market.

Founded in 1954 by Abe Levine, Smart Living Company has helped launch more than 2.5 million home-based businesses across the U.S. and Canada. The company is one of the few home-based businesses to offer its members a wide variety of merchandise, drop-ship fulfillment, and live one-on-one business coaching.

The company competes with Amway, Avon, Herbalife and other home-based businesses. However, Smart Living Company does not depend on multi-level marketing (MLM) or a single type of product. For example, competitors require their members to recruit a ‘down line’ network of resellers in the hopes of earning a small commission from others. By contrast, Smart Living Company encourages its members to choose products they like, price them at higher margins, and sell them face-to-face at home parties or farmer’s markets as well as online through websites like eBay and Amazon.

Kevin Biggs, CEO, explains how Smart Living Company is different, “Unless you love vitamins or cosmetics then you probably won’t be successful with one of our competitors. Real success starts with a passion for what you do. We offer our members the ability to choose products they’re passionate about.”

Smart Living Company offers over 2,000 products from categories including home and garden décor, kitchen, and lighting. They also operate a 400,000 square foot warehouse in Fontana, CA where they drop-ship customer orders for their members.

About Smart Living Company

Smart Living Company, an industry leader in home-based businesses, helps members start their own direct-sales business by offering merchandise, live support, training, and shipping logistics. The company offers them a wide variety of appealing home and garden décor, kitchen and lighting products. With over 200 employees, Smart Living Company has helped launch more than 2.5 million home-based businesses since 1955.


Tags: , ,

Category: Magazine, Small Business Opportunities, Small Business Opportunities Sept 2012