18

The Ideal Mail-Order Product

The ideal mail-order product should be fairly small, lightweight (posting an elephant is expensive), not too fragile, and not available in local stores. Most importantly, the product must have a high perceived value and offered at 100 percent markup or more. In most cases, the typical markup will be 500 percent.

Let's look at that pricing.

A lesson I learned very quickly is that selling your product too cheaply is always worse than selling it for too much. It's a mistake most new businesses make. They think because they are new in business, they should work on small margins. This is not the case.

Let me ask you a question. If you needed a heart operation, and could choose either a U.S. $250 doctor or a U.S. $15,000 doctor, who would you trust? I would go for the most expensive one. Price and quality have a psychological connection. Many people believe that if it's cheap, it must be rubbish.

I'm not saying you should sell a paper clip for $500, and you need to make sure your customers are happy and believe they have received excellent value for money. However, you can always go down in price. It's much harder to increase a price that's too low, than decrease a price that's too high.

Let's pretend I'm selling a new home-study course. You inquire, and I send you my sales letter, which offers the course at $697.77. Now let's say you don't respond to the offer. I can then write or e-mail with a new sales letter, offering a special last chance price of ...

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