Mail order catalogs have long been one of the top ways for new product entrepreneurs and inventors to sell their products. Why is this? Catalogs don’t mind taking products from one product companies, which is something avoided by many retail stores and distributors. But beyond that, catalogs can help you very effectively meet your sales goals and are often used as a launch pad for a new product. Catalogs can:
Let you sell to a small market that can’t be reached in any other way.
Help you overcome retailers’ reluctance to handle a product from a one-product company by proving that your product can really sell.
Be your primary sales channel.
Help you gain enough momentum for sales representatives to take your product on either for full- or part-time promotion.
Virtually any type of product can be sold through catalogs. Since most catalogs are aimed at specific niches, catalogs work best for new product entrepreneurs and inventors with specialty products. Products suited for catalogs usually have four characteristics:
They meet a need buyers already know they have. People skim catalogs and only notice products that catch their interest. That happens when the product meets a specific customer need.
They have a new or unique positioning statement. Most people think of products in categories. A consumer might see a new sleeping pillow and think it’s just like the neck-bracing pillows sold in the past. Your product has to stand out in the market.
They are easily understood. You’re lucky if readers even give your product a glance. Your invention needs to be understood in one to two seconds, or the prospect will move on.
They are priced appropriately for the catalog. Products priced from $12.95 to $29.95 do best in general-merchandise catalogs. Specialty and premium catalogs favor products priced from $40 to $500. Catalogers look carefully at how many dollars a product generates relative to the space it occupies on the page.
One of the biggest advantages of catalog sales is that you have few expenses other than manufacturing costs. There are minimal sales and marketing expenses, which in most other marketing channels consume 20 to 40 percent of your sales dollars. You will probably make money as long as you can sell your product for 50 percent more than your manufacturing cost.
The only major expense is that catalogers often ask you to pay part of the printing cost. This should be no more than 15 percent of your projected sales volume. If the printing costs are too high, you can frequently negotiate a better deal. Tell the catalog you’ll pay with free goods; for example, you’ll include 15 percent extra merchandise with each shipment to pay for printing.
If you think catalogs would work well for you, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. We can represent your product to catalogs for you for only a 7% commission and $495 upfront to cover our expenses. This is a small investment for potentially huge returns. Find out more on our home page.
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