How to Start an Online Mail Order Business

by Pamela Pender ; Updated September 26, 2017

An online mail order business is one of the easiest businesses to start because of the low cost involved. You can start this type of business from your home. You can also start part time while keeping your day job until sales improve. Online mail order is a means by which to introduce a product/service to your customers. According to Entrepreneur.com, “The Internet ranks as the most exciting mail order vehicle since the invention of the catalog.”

In an online article Mail Order Basics, written for the National Mail Order Association, by John D. Schulte Direct Mail Marketing Consultant, and Mail Order Expert states, “Web or Internet Marketing is Mail Order Marketing!” (Reference 2)

Decide on the product you want to sell. If you already have a product, then determine your passion for the product. Writing on the National Mail Order Association website, John D. Schulte stresses the importance of selling a product that has meaning for you instead of promoting a product with the hopes of getting rich. He goes on to say that although you can eventually make a lot of money with a mail order business, this type of business takes time to grow.

Find your niche. If you are an expert in a particular area, you may have insight to your potential customers that your competitors do not have.

Access your knowledge of your product. How successful can you really be if you don’t know your product? “How can you sell fishing items, when you yourself don’t fish? What knowledge will you base your decisions on?” says Schulte, author of the book Direct Marketing Toolkit for Starting a Small or Home based Mail Order Business.

Determine other products you can sell that will complement your main product or service. It is common for mail order companies to collect information about their customers and rent this list to other companies for a fee.

Increase your knowledge about online mail order by joining networking groups. Schulte states, “You must associate with people who know the business well, and gain by their experience. And you must keep yourself up to date on the latest concerns to mail order marketers.”


  • Test sales with a free website first before investing in a professional site.

About the Author

Pamela Pender has a Bachelor degree in business management from Hofstra University. She enjoys writing about self-improvement, natural remedies, women's health over 40, home & gardens, and health & beauty.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article