Do you want to start a business from home with NO money / inventory (drop shipping)? If YES, here are 50 best lucrative mail order business ideas for 2017.
The mail order business is an easy business to run and it’s suitable for those that either stay at home or are looking to boost their income. The mail order business involves allowing customers place orders for products and services through website, phones, catalogues or e-mail. In using a catalogue, the entrepreneur usually mails a printed product collection and sends to the mail of prospective customers either physically through mail boxes or electronically via emails.
This business is perfect for those who do not want to rent a facility to carry out their business activities, as all businesses are conducted via phone, email or website. The difference between an online store business and a mail order business is the fact that while an online store might be obliged to have a physical address, a mail address business does not have such compulsion.
General Overview of the Retail Industry
The retail industry is a major sector of the economy of the United States which generates a whooping sum of well over $4 trillion annually from more than a million retail outlets scattered all around the United States of America. The industry is responsible for the employment of well over 15 million people which is about 12% of the workforce of the U.S. eMarketer.com published that in 2014 alone, the retailing industry on a global scale generated a revenue of well over $22 trillion; it goes to show that the industry is indeed a very large industry.
- Interesting Statistics About the Retail Industry
It is a fact that an estimated two-thirds of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) comes from retail consumption. This is why the United States of America’s economy is measured with the yardstick of how well the retailing business is fairing in the U.S. In essence, when there is an unstable economy, purchasing power drops and it impacts the retailing industry negatively which may result in the closure of some retail stores.
In recent time, the retail landscape has seen tremendous changes in the last 20 years; it has grown from the usual mom and pop outlets to a more organized and far reaching venture. The introduction of franchise and online store makes it easier for a retailer to reach out to a larger market far beyond the areas where his physical store is located.
Retailing business has been in existence for as long as human started trading goods, but one thing is certain, the retailing industry is still evolving. The introduction of technology and subsequently online retail store has indeed helped in reshaping the industry.
The mail order business is usually conducted on trust especially as there is no physical address to go and see the goods and the business is usually not conducted face to face; so steps must be taken to ensure that the customer trusts you to deliver the goods to him after he has paid.
If you are looking to start the mail order business and need a lucrative business idea, then you might do well to consider some of the carefully picked ones that are listed below.
50 Best Lucrative Mail Order Business ideas for 2017
- Natural Toys and Crafts
There are families that look into getting natural toys such as wooden toys that is environmentally friendly. For this kind of customers you would need to source for different natural toy makers that fulfill the criteria you are looking for before advertising your natural toys catalogues to prospective clients.
In getting customers, you would need to deploy different mail order modes so as to ensure you make maximum sales. Phone calls might not be so effective as customers will need to see what the products look like and they pick out what they want.
There are people who are stumped at what gifts to give their friends or loved ones and as such are usually on the lookout for those who are talented in picking out unique gifts. If you have the talent at picking gifts, then you should go into this mail order business.
You would need to search online and offline for unique gifts and then use that in your catalogue when sending to clients. If your gifts are for all ages, you will definitely get more customers and might need to make less follow-up calls than you would if you just pick a niche.
Not all art enthusiasts go out to galleries to procure arts for themselves probably due to work or other personal circumstances and so these are the ones who often procure arts from catalogues or websites.
For you to go into this mail order kind of business, you would need to be an art enthusiast as well and know what might appeal to people and what they would likely buy. Carry out a thorough research before starting this business so that you select only what is deemed best before placing them in your catalogue.
- Natural Living
There are those who love living naturally and so are often on the lookout for products that will enhance their lifestyle. Some of these products are often hard to find and therefore is likely to generate more interest from natural living enthusiasts. Ensure that the products on your catalogue are the carefully selected ones that are pure and have no harmful ingredients in it that might affect your customers.
- Musical DVDs
Music is timeless but there are certain kinds of music that almost seem extinct especially those that were listened to by the baby boomers. Such kind of music cannot be easily found and those of that generation are always on the lookout for such kind of music.
If you intend going into the music DVD mail order business, this is a niche you might consider. Research well into what kind of music might be liked by the segment you are targeting and then compile them into a catalogue for onward mail, since most seniors might not likely check their mails.
- Sex Toys
Not everyone has the guts to go out and get sex toys that are sold in physical or even online stores, and so getting to choose the kind of sex toys they want via catalogue might be a better and preferable option for them. If you have a deep knowledge of sex toys then you can go into this kind of mail order business. You would need to check up on a variety of sex toys so that you could get a large base of customers.
The lingerie market is a booming one in the sense that lingerie manufacturers are constantly churning out different lingerie so as to capture the market and not a particular segment as before. If you are into the lingerie mail catalogue business, you would need to be intuitive as you should know what women are willing to snap up once they see it.
You might have to go round lingerie stores and design houses to get unique lingerie that your customer will be pleased with. Always remember, that the main thing about a mail order business is that the products or services must market themselves.
- Video DVDs
Just like the musical DVDs, there are movies that are classical in nature that most people want for keeps. These videos could be ones that are recent or old classics. Getting to know people’s favorite is not a hard task as there are now movie sites where reviews are carried out for all movies that are being shown.
Just ensure that you carry out a thorough research first. You might need to segregate the genre of movies on your catalogue or you might merge certain genres together, so as to get more customers that way.
- Video Games
The video games is a hot selling business, almost every one of all ages plays video games. However, the young adult generation and teenagers are the highest customers for video game companies and are always on the look-out for new games to play with their friends. Most of the games that are addictive are usually one of adventures and so if you want to get into this kind of business, you should find out what games developers have in stock.
- Study or Reference Bibles
The bible always sells no matter where it is being sold. It is touted as one of the fastest selling books on earth. The peculiar thing about the bible is that most Christians own more than one. While this might be a fact, it doesn’t therefore mean that if you decide to go into the business, you should sell just regular bibles.
The reason why most people own one or more bibles is that in addition to their regular bibles, they love to own study or reference bibles so that they could study more on the word. You would also need to use sell only what has been authenticated as not all sorts of bibles can be used for further study.
- Movie Tickets
Not everyone wants to go out to get a movie ticket themselves. Also, movie producers are often looking for ways their movie tickets can be sold, hence the use of mail orders to sell tickets. The movie tickets can be for a variety of movies, either ones that are on demand or for old classics. This kind of business would mean having to work smartly because you must have the tickets at hand or either get some allotted slots from the movie producers so that you do not disappoint your clients.
- Recycled Denim Jeans
Denim jeans is a must have for the fashion crazy crowd as almost everyone has more than one denim jean in their collection. Denim jean is a must have for any fashion conscious person. If you are thinking of a mail order business to go into and you want to pick a niche in fashion, then you can go into the recycled denim jeans business.
Because denim jeans rarely fade, the recycled one is still a hot product and so people that cannot afford the new one are always on the lookout for genuine recycled ones, which you should ensure you get onto your catalogue.
Not everyone has the means to get themselves a brand new car and yet these people know the importance of having a car to move around in. Used car sales are one of the fastest moving businesses as people are always in need of one. Before you start this business, ensure that the cars you put up on your catalogues are ones that have been checked for all kinds of defects. Also, be honest with your customer on what they might need to fix if they eventually purchase a car from you so that they are aware upfront what they are getting.
- Music Tickets
Concerts and tours are a huge thing in the music industry, especially when they are done for popular music stars. Such concerts for these stars are often a must-attend show as people go not only to see their favorite stars live but also to see if they can get the opportunity to bump into them.
Before going into his kind of business, you would need to know various concerts and gig promoters. You might even get to secure tickets that will allow the customers go backstage and meet with stars. Just ensure that your customers are not disappointed in getting their tickets.
- Vintage Car Parts
Certain vintage cars always develop fault at one time or the other and the car parts are often scarce to find. Going into this business might require you to be patient in getting the customers. You can also send the catalogues to the auto workshops so that they could help those that enquire purchase or point them to you. You would need to carry out a research before starting this business and know the areas or regions you intend to target.
- Baby Shoes
Babies are born every minute and are always in need of one thing or the other. Their clothing and shoes are a necessity and the good thing about baby shoes for an entrepreneur who is into that kind of business is that they always need changing.
In going into this business, you would need to be certain of the varying shoe sizes that most babies usually have, you would also need to decide on the kind of shoes and for which baby ages you want to sell them. The business is a vast one but is one that will guarantee you making your money especially as there will always be babies born that need shoes.
- Religious Books
Even though most people claim not to be interested in religion, there are however still a lot of people on earth who are curious about the different religions and so are always on the lookout for books they could study to further their knowledge on. Many types of religious books exist and so if you intend to go into this type of business, you would also need to have a vast knowledge of religious books that would be of interest to religious enthusiasts.
Not everyone wants to get out of the house to get the necessary vitamins they need. You can help these kind of people by selling popular and also hard to get vitamins to them. You would need to ensure that you find out if there are regulations guiding this business so that you don’t run afoul of the law.
Selling medicines isn’t the same as selling other kinds of items and it is vital you find out. Another important thing is to ensure that the pharmaceuticals from where you get the drugs are ones of high repute.
- Greeting Cards
The greeting card business is one that is hot selling as cards are used in every occasion – birthdays, wedding anniversaries, weddings, and so on. If you are good in designs or with writing words that are either romantic, inspirational or emotional, then you can go into this kind of business. You don’t have to be good in designs as these can be gotten for cheap online, also since people are always moved by words, then you might need to concentrate on this.
Everyone wears and owns at least a tee shirt with many people owning more than one. Now, most people love having imprinted tee shirts as they see these shirts as one that brings up the expressive part of them. In getting into this business, ensure that you have an eye for the imprinted tee shirts that are likely to catch the eye of your customers. You would need to have a creative eye as well.
Everyone wears a piece of jewelry these days, could be on the hand, face, neck, head, waist, leg and even on clothes. Jewelries have become more of a necessity for everyone as both sexes of male and females now use jewelries especially costume jewelries which have become the in-thing.
Jewelries are easy to make and if you can create several pieces of jewelries then you can start your own mail order business. Ensure that your jewelries are fantastic enough to grab the attention of your prospective customers. You can also sell jewelries from those who create different jewelry pieces from you so as to present a variety to your customers.
- Bumper Stickers
Nowadays, almost every car has a bumper sticker that expresses how they feel. Stickers usually range from religious, inspirational, to other expressive thoughts. Also, people usually have more than one sticker on their cars depending on if the sticker appeals to them.
If you are innovative enough, you can start your own bumper sticker mail order business. You would need to give your customers a variety so they can choose the bumper sticker they prefer. Also, bumper stickers can be used on doorposts as well and in other places the person feels like.
- Mosquito Repellent
Even though mosquitoes have largely been eliminated from cities and major towns, those who live in areas around the creeks and jungles still have mosquitoes to combat with, which is why mosquito repellent is such a good idea for a business.
Apart from those who live near creeks, there are times that those in the city want to travel out to countries they are not so certain of, and so they often go armed with mosquito repellents. Mosquito repellents are easy to make especially as one or two major ingredients need to be present to make it effective. You can give yours a twist by adding different fragrances so that customers can pick based on the fragrances they like.
- Powdered Hand Soap
Hand soap is a must have in every home as everyone knows the importance of washing and keeping their hands clean. Also, most people like carrying their own soaps with them so as to avoid using those in public toilets.
Starting a powdered hand soap business will easily help those who are in this category as they would be able to carry their soaps without being afraid of a spill. Ensure that you use ingredients that are safe for use. You might need to check if this business would require you to have a special permit or license before it can be operated.
Motorcycles might not seem like such a hot selling business but once you get the right customers it could blossom into a huge lucrative business for you. You could pair the business with selling motorcycle parts so as to get not only motorcycle lovers but for those looking for motorcycle parts as well.
- Real Estate Agency Business
The real estate business is one that is a service based kind of business where you only get paid once you have successfully sold a client a house.
Not everyone wants to go round looking at houses they have no idea of how it looks, and so sending mails or a catalogue to people about what houses they should be looking at as well as its features and price range will save you and your clients a whole lot of headache, as clients will make a decision on which houses to see through the catalogue. You would need to partner with a good photographer so as to make the pictures that will be sent via catalogues or mails attractive enough.
- Accountancy Service
If you are good in balancing accounts, then you can offer such a service through the mail order business. You would need to sell your services via mail or through cold calling. Every small business or start-up are always looking to outsource certain parts of their business to others like the accounting section and so if you can pitch your services impressively, you might be looking at getting new clients.
Bicycles have become a necessity for certain age brackets but this doesn’t mean that those who ride around in bicycles don’t look at getting something unique or better than what they have to ride in. if you want to go into the bicycle business, you would need to ensure that your bicycles have unique features that are going to be attractive to those that use bicycles.
This is a service based kind of business and is a very lucrative one too, as only very few people love to do their taxes. If you are certified in taxation, then you might need to start offering your services out to businesses and individuals.
The other reason why people always prefer to outsource this service is due to the fact that they do not want to make a mistake in filing their taxes so as not to run afoul of the law. In this kind of business, you would need to place phone calls to your prospective clients and pitch your services to them. If you pitch impressively, then you might start getting more clients that will bring in more revenue.
Sometimes those who seek to travel are not aware of the places they can visit. If you are well researched and knowledgeable about places and cruises that exist, then you could start this kind of business. Most times, you might need to place calls to clients and try to stimulate their interest in paying for tours. Another option is the mail or catalogue mode with attractive picture so that the interest of clients can be stimulated.
Magazines are still selling because people loving reading and flipping through them. There are a whole lot of magazines available and so some usually require special means to get people to notice them. You can start this business and either sticks to one niche or put up different niches.
Software can be used for a variety of purposes such as learning, instruction, assessment, calculation, entertainment or the performance of a multitude of other tasks. Without software, the hardware would not work and so software is very important as it is what makes a hardware function and can be used. There are various kinds of software and if you intend going into this kind of business, you would need to ensure that you pick the software that most people are looking to get for their devices.
- Beauty Products
Every woman uses beauty products either as part of her daily activity or occasionally, either way beauty products are a must have for women and those interested in enhancing their beauty. Beauty products range from regular toiletries to more unique ones.
The beauty products business is a hot one that will always sell as long as fashionable people exist on earth. Ensure you stick with genuine brands so that any complaints from your clients can be quickly answered once you forward the complaints to them.
Mobile phones in this age are a must have. Everyone these days own a mobile phone and some change theirs as regularly as possible. Mobile phones perform a variety of functions depending on the kind such as placing and receiving calls, short messaging, taking photographs, and accessing the internet.
People get mobile phones for a variety of reasons and so while the functions of one phone might impress one customer, it might not impress another. If you intend going into this kind of business, you would need to ensure that you offer your customers a variety of choices as regards functions and prices as well.
- Solar Chargers
Solar chargers are the new deal now, and the reason why that is due to the fact that everyone is looking for ways they can help the environment become better or are simply going green. However, there are a lot of fake solar chargers out there that have left people wary.
So if you intend to go into this kind of business, ensure that you get only genuine products and assure your customers by giving them a guarantee as regards the products you sell, that would make it easier for them to trust you and buy from you.
- Mobile Phone Accessories
Almost everyone on earth now owns a mobile phone but overtime people begin to get accessories for their phones to ensure that they are able to enjoy their phones better. A phone accessory could be hardware or software, either way almost everyone always decides to make their phones better than the way they bought it.
There are customized pouches, earpieces, phone stands and other accessories that you could go into, if you decide to go into this kind of business. You need to be aware that you aren’t the only one that is going to be selling accessories and so you would need to get unique accessories that would be attractive to your customers especially the young and trendy.
- Fictional Novels
Everyday people read novels as a way to educate themselves, to escape from reality or to become better novelists as well. There are a variety of reasons why people seek out fiction novels. However, the world of fiction offers a vast array that is impossible for all to be contained in a catalogue.
However, to go into this kind of business, you would need to either sell by pushing forth famous authors or famous genres. You would need to decide on which way is going to enable people buy faster from you. You would also need to include bestsellers in your list.
Most people are looking for furniture for their offices or homes and sometimes might not want to go into a store to get one, and so they would rather prefer getting the furniture they want via a mail order. Before sending out a catalogue, ensure that the furniture you want to include are available. Yu could also put in unique furniture s well for those that love something that is not of the usual stock and innovative in nature.
- Inspirational Books
Nowadays, people are depressed and often looking for inspiration in any form which is why inspirational books either fiction or non-fiction sells a lot. Getting this kind of books isn’t difficult and you would need to make sure that you deliver the book once a person pays for it without delay of any sorts.
- Educational Books
There are lots of educational books around and lots of people interested in getting their hands on some without having to go to the bookstore or library. If you want to go into this business, you would need to find out what kind of books people are looking to get and then make put them send them mails so that they could pick up what they want.
- Female Shoes
Almost every female has more than one more shoe and some are always on the look-out for more shoes to purchase especially the fashion conscious ones. Shoes are like clothes in the sense that while there are casual shoes, there are also corporate and high-end shoes.
As an entrepreneur, you would need to decide if you want to go into a niche or try all the niches. Another thing to also decide on would be the class segment you intend to target so that would determine where you want to send the catalogues to.
- Evening Gowns
Every now and then, there are occasions that people are either compelled to go to or out of their volition such as award shows, pageantries, charity events, art presentations etc; most of these shows and occasions are usually a night time affair that require that people wear evening dresses.
This has made evening dresses to become a must have for every female that has reached a certain age, and while most of these dresses don’t come cheap, it is always a lady’s dream to own at least one.
Nowadays, everyone fancies themselves a photographer and so most people are now purchasing cameras especially for use when they travel to places during vacations. However, apart from a few, most people usually go for small cameras that are not bulky and can fit into their pockets. You can go into the sale of these kind of cameras and ensure that there you have a leverage for those that are intending to go buy from you.
Computers are the in-thing now as almost everyone owns a computer. However, there are still a lot of people who do not own computers especially due to the fact that most are often expensive. If you intend to go into this kind of business, you would have to have an idea of tech so as you would know what will please customers and what wouldn’t.
Ensure that you send catalogue of branded and unbranded computers, you might need to follow up with sending emails too.
- Cooling Units
The heat waves keeps getting intense everyday due to climate change and even places that were deemed moderate in temperature are getting to feel more heat than they usually do. This is why there is more demand for cooling units than ever before.
If you know different manufacturers of cooling units, then you can go into this kind of business. You can also follow up sending catalogues by placing calls to potential customers telling them of the benefits they would likely get once they purchase a cooling unit from you rather than going to the store to get one.
Bags are also a necessity that everyone needs to have and people usually have more than one. Bags are used as a means of storage and some are small enough to be carried from place to place. Everyone uses a bag of some kind from the young to the old and so if you want to go into this kind of lucrative business, then you are going to be rolling in cash. Place the bags in different categories and ensure that you not only send catalogues but an email as well to your intending customers of the bags that you have.
Most foreigners that are looking to have a taste of their local dishes are always disappointed that the dishes are a far cry from what they are used to especially as it might be missing one or two important spices that is vital to the dish.
There are also others as well, who might like these spices and they are food enthusiasts and restaurants; so if you can get a hold of certain hard to find but high in demand spices then you are in business. Send your catalogues to areas that have more foreigners that are looking to purchase such spices without having to search different stores in vain for it.
The fragrance industry is another hot selling one as almost everyone possesses one or more fragrances depending on how fashion conscious they are. Some even own fragrances by celebrities and other big brands, while others prefer inexpensive and yet good fragrances.
In getting into this business, you would need to know about fragrances and decide what market segment you feel will give you revenue. This does not mean that you cannot target other niches as well.
- Security Devices
Everyone is now security conscious and is always on the look-out for devices that would make their person or residence safe. The devices can be small or large depending on the need of the customer and what the device is intended for.
Going into this business would mean you have a vast knowledge of security devices and also be on the lookout for new devices that are effective but also new on the market. Ensure you visit many gadget manufacturers as possible and only get what will not disappoint your customers in the long run. These means you might have to test out the devices to ensure that they do exactly what they say it does.
The clothing business is one that can never go out of vogue because it is regarded as an essential. People always need clothes – corporate, casual, high end – depending on the kind of occasion they are going to.
This goes to show that the clothing business is a highly lucrative one and any right thinking entrepreneur ought to tap into the industry. However, the rates for clothes are dependent on the budget of those purchasing it. If you intend going into this kind of business, then you must decide on the kind of customers you will be sending catalogues to.
The mail order business is one that is steeped in excellent customer service, which means you would need to be prompt in replying to customers’ enquiries and complaints. You would need a dedicated phone line and email so as to show your customers how dedicated you are to the business.
The fact that it is a mail order business does not mean you start from the scratch; there are existing franchise businesses that you could buy into if you are scared of starting off on your own. Ensure that you carry out a thorough research on any business you intend to go into.