Major retailers and large corporations use catalogues to generate interest in products and garner sales from both new and repeat customers. Anyone can make money with catalogue sales, but it does take some work. To get started, think about what kinds of products you want to sell and how much money you want to make.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Product inventory
- Federal tax ID number
- Retail or selling permits/licenses
- Domain name
- Web hosting service
Find suppliers and manufacturers of products that you could include in a catalogue. Get the manufacturer's or wholesaler's permission to sell the products they make. Suppliers can be found on websites like Alibaba, which contain a large resource directory of worldwide product manufacturers.
Decide on the products that you want to sell. Figure out price points for each product for your catalogue; estimate shipping and all other costs to be sure this is figured into your price markup so that you'll have a profit after the good is sold and delivered.
Create a catalogue with your product listings. This can be done by using a catalogue publishing company or other independent book publishing company that creates catalogues; one example is G2 Catalog Design Company. These types of companies take the product listings and other information you have and create a catalogue. For bulk ordering, catalogue creation prices range anywhere from 10p to £1.30 or more per catalogue ordered depending on number of pages, size of catalogue and colours used.
Creating a Catalog
Take your catalogue throughout the neighbourhood for direct, door-to-door selling. In order to do this, a license or permit may be needed from your local city or town council.
Buy fresh leads from a lead generation company that compiles consumers' names and addresses; send your catalogue to these consumers to stimulate sales. If you have business products, mail your catalogue to businesses around your local area. Create a joint venture partnership with local companies; have the companies mail out your catalogue to their own customers in return for a percentage of profits that you make.
Enlist the help of family and friends with your catalogue sales. Ask your family members or friends to take the catalogue to work to obtain orders from co-workers. In return, you could reward the people that help you with cash or a cut of the sales.
Create an online e-commerce store that contains the same products as are in your catalogue. Creating an online store gives potential buyers flexible ordering options and allows them to check out new inventory when it is added.
Tips and warnings
- Consider registering a DBA ("doing business as") name for your business with your state and obtaining a federal tax ID number; this may be required for some selling licenses if you plan to use door-to-door selling and may also be required when registering with some product manufacturers.
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