Below are six simple, practical plans that will enable you to start and build your own money-making mail order business. These plans have made money for others, and they can make money for you — If you will work at them!


The easiest way to start selling by mail is to advertise and sell “Big Mails””. Co-publish at least three mail-order tabloids and several ad sheets to get started. Use an ad like this:

BIG MAIL $1. Commission Circulars Mailed Free! (your name and address).

When someone sends you $1, send him one copy of each magazine, one copy of each ad sheet, and one copy of every commission circular in stock. If you advertise regularly and promptly fill each order by return mail, you will soon be selling ads and subscriptions. You’ll also profit from the sale of merchandise offered on the commission circulars.

You can expand this operation by regularly adding to your magazines and ad sheets list. Some dealers advertise in more than 100 mail order tabloids every issue. If you are willing to work diligently, you can do the same thing!


If you are selling merchandise which is used by mail dealers and opportunity seekers — such as rubber stamps, information directories, envelopes, labels, mail order manuals, sample copies of opportunity magazines, etc. — you can make money selling them directly from ads in the various mail-order tabloids and ad sheets. If you buy the merchandise in quantity, you can ship filled orders directly to the customers yourself. Otherwise, you can use the drop-ship method.  

To be successful, you must schedule regular follow-up mailings to your customers offering more of the same merchandise or items closely related to it. Do this consistently, month after month, and you will be amazed at the number of checks you will have to deposit in your bank account!


If you have a reasonable offer that appeals to opportunity seekers, create an attractive mini-circular (3″ x 6″) and then pay circular mailers to mail them to you. Your circular will only pull if it offers something that mail dealers and opportunity seekers want and need.

You will pay the circular mailers to mail out your circulars for you. These usually ride along with other pamphlets or big mail packets. Ideally, mini-circulars distributed by circular mailers should offer inexpensive “leader items”. These are items which are appealing, functional, and priced right — never more than a few dollars…even less if possible. The purpose of the circular is to attract new, steady customers to your mailing list.

It would be best if you planned to make regular mailings to each person who purchases your leader item. Remember, it is the repeat business which makes mail orders profitable.

If you send a minimum of 200 circulars to mailers every day for thirty days, you will soon have 6,000 flyers in the mail at the end of the month. If you mail 500 a day, you will have 15,000 circulars in the mail at the end of the month! There are mail dealers who rely entirely on circular mailers to find new customers. Some of them distribute as many as 100,000 circulars every month!


This plan is similar to Plan #3, except you do not pay mailers to mail your circulars. Instead, you print an excellent commission ad on the backs of your flyers, leaving a blank space for the commission mailer to rubber-stamp his name and address.

The mailer stamps his name on them and includes them in his mailings. When he receives an order for them, he keeps half of the money as his commission and sends you the other half along with the shipping and handling fee and a shipping label to dropship his order. You will probably make a small profit from his sales, but your real gains come from the circulars on the reverse sides, which he is mailing at no cost.

This method is a little more complicated than Plan #3 since you have to stock merchandise and fill dropship orders. However, it is cheaper than paying mailers to mail your circulars in the long run.

How do you recruit commission mailers? You can either give your circulars away free, you can ask mailers to pay the postage for them, or you can run ads like the one below in the mail order publications:

COMMISSION CIRCULARS! 100 – $2; 500 – $4.00 We drop ship for 50%. (your name and address).

There are thousands of people looking for good commission circulars. This can be an effective way of building up a prosperous mail order business if you have the stamina to work at it!


Start by studying the mailing rates of other circular mailers who advertise in the various mail order magazines. You can then create a similar ad for yourself. Start small. Advertise that you will mail circulars for dealers in lots of 100 and 250. Later, as you gain experience, advertise for handouts in 500 and 1000 lots.

Besides your mailing ad, you should also run an ad like this:


FREE! Postage appreciated.

Soon after your mailing ads appear, you will start receiving small packages of circulars to mail, each with money in them! You will also receive replies to your second ad from folks requesting that you send your big mail to them. Get busy!

Be sure to send a sample of the big mail to the mailing customer who paid you to send out his circulars. It is the only way you will get repeat business from these dealers. You will also get some letters with stamps on them. Use the stamps to mail the circulars you have been paid to mail.

As soon as you get more requests for big mails than you have circulars, increase the number of flyers you propose to mail in your circular mailing ads. If you get more circulars to mail than requests for big mails, increase the number of your big mail ads.

As an added profit-maker, include commission circulars in your big mails. Your sales from these will be pure profit. Circular mailers soon learn that there are dozens of ways to make money in this business if they keep their eyes and ears open for new ideas!



First, to begin as a commission mailer, sit down and order small quantities of commission circulars from about twenty or thirty different dealers. Some will charge you per hundred copies of the circular. A few will supply them for just the postage costs. Others, however, will charge a flat fee and provide you with a master copy of the circular from which you can make unlimited copies. As you mail the flyers and receive orders, you will keep a percentage — usually 50% to 75% — and send the balance on to the dealer along with the shipping and handling charges you have collected and a shipping label with the buyer’s name and address.

Once you have a supply of various commission circulars, keep ordering at least one new batch of commission circulars every couple of days! In this way, you will be able to constantly test new offers, finding the best ones available.

You will also need to secure a good list of opportunity seekers from a reputable mail list provider. These will be the primary targets of your mailings.

It will take two or three weeks for your circulars to start arriving in the mail. As soon as you have about fifteen different circulars, start mailing them. Set a daily quota and stick to it. Begin by sending five letters every day by first class mail. Or, if you can ship multiple sets of identical weight, secure a third-class bulk mail permit from the postal service and mail a minimum of 200 at a time. 

When orders come in, forward the order to the drop shipper immediately. Then acknowledge the order and let your customer know that his order is being shipped to him directly from the supplier. With your acknowledgement, make sure you include some additional circulars! This is vitally important. Your customer likes you and your offers. Allow him to buy something else from you. He will be your best source of future business!

Orders will begin slowly…very slowly…in the beginning. Don’t get discouraged. Initially, mail order is a slow business. But, the dealers who succeed in it have the patience to persevere. When you find a customer, please continue to send him a new mailing every month for at last three months (this is why you should be ordering new circulars every day!)

When you mail out a circular, make sure it looks clean and crisp. Nothing will discourage a potential customer more than receiving a poorly printed or photocopied advertisement. Make sure your circular is as sharp and straightforward as possible. This will give your offer an air of professionalism and encourage the recipient to buy from you.

Once you find a circular that pulls orders well, make sure you get more of them. Order them with your name and address imprinted on the coupon if possible. Imprinted circulars will almost always produce more orders than rubber-stamped circulars. Eliminate flyers that do not produce orders but keep mailing the ones that do. Eventually, you will develop a mail-order “package” that will be irresistible to your prospective customers.

As your customer list grows, you will soon discover that your mailings will become more productive, regularly providing your mail to your customers. An in-house “customer list” will always produce better results than a cold list of prospects you have rented from another source. Making the first sale is undoubtedly the hardest, but these proven customers will be your best buyers in the future.

Commission mailing is complex in the beginning. Many beginners fail to succeed because they do not stick with it long enough to give it a fair chance. If you stick with it, you can make money mailing commission circulars. It takes determination and a willingness to work at it!

Remember, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Your success is waiting down the road. You can succeed if you are dedicated and follow a proven plan. Good Luck!

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