Norris Chambers Old Timer's Tales

Making Money At Home - For Fun

Stuffing Envelopes

by Norris Chambers

  You have probably seen an ad in some classified section that reads something like this: "Make big money at home by stuffing envelopes. Details, $2.00." It might have been worded a little differently, but the message was the same. You send the money and get the details. It sounds like a good deal, so you mail your two dollars and wait for information on how to get started. In a few days the full story arrives and you pull several sheets of paper out of the envelope and begin your money-making journey.

  There are several versions of this venture. In this case, your letter tells you that the first way to make money is to advertise in classifieds the same way the sender did, forwarding a copy of the same information you received to each respondent. You keep all the money collected in this manner.

  But there is more. Circulars, or flyers, are available at moderate cost to stuff into envelopes, which you furnish. You mail these using your own name, or the name of your business. Then when the orders come in for the advertised merchandise, you keep about 40% of the money and forward the order to a certain address for shipment of the item under your shipping label, or name. If the advertised item sold well, you could make considerable money by stuffing envelopes.

  However, it begins to dawn on you, at this stage of the game, that you will have to buy the envelopes and circulars and pay postage on what you mail. The envelopes will cost you about a penny each and the flyers will be about 5 cents each. You will probably pay first class postage, as recommended, which will be 37 cents. (at the time of this story)

  It will cost you well over $400.00 to mail 1000 envelopes that you have painstakingly stuffed.

  How has the original planner profited? He has received pay for sending the information, been compensated for the cost of his flyers and has not invested in any inventory until his orders arrive. You have borne all the cost of distribution, paid for printing his flyers and are sending him the orders to fill. He either re-orders from a supplier who will drop ship or buys the merchandise wholesale and mails it, making a nice profit.

  The item that is being advertised and the type of people that the circular is sent to determine whether anyone will make any money. Usually the advertised merchandise will not bring in enough orders to pay your expenses, but the few that do arrive make a profit for the supplier. Since there are many, many who are stuffing and mailing envelopes, he will do quite well - but normally all who do the mailing will lose money.

  Most people who participate in this plan do not know who to address the envelopes to. They are told that they should purchase a mailing list of people who are interested in the type of merchandise being sold, or mail to friends. How many people have 1000 friends? If they did, how many will they have after all these mailings? The telephone directory is the next source. Mailing to a list from the directory is a waste of postage. Mailing lists are relatively expensive, and may not insure an adequate response.

  Can you make money stuffing envelopes? With a plan like this, it is doubtful. You would have to have the right item at the right time and offer it to the right people. I have had a good response advertising rubber stamps, and sending my brochure and order form to small businesses. These names are readily available from the telephone directory, or just from driving down the street and writing down the addresses. Since I made my own rubber stamps, I could offer them at a lower price than regular suppliers.

  In mail order, it is ordinarily better to offer your item at alower price than is locally available. This type of mail order is not confined to one area, in fact, it usually does better in a town where no local rubber stamp suppliers are located. Those selling stamps as agents for a stamp manufacturer get a much higher price than you can offer.

  After telling you how I did all right stuffing envelopes, I will tell you a better way of doing the same thing. Instead of sending your flyer or brochure by mail, go to small shopping centers and building material stores and put one of your advertising pieces under the windshield wiper of the cars in the area. You will waste many flyers this way, but you will get to the owners of the stores and small contractors who are shopping for building material. Flyers are much cheaper than postage. You can waste several of them for the cost of mailing one envelope.

  Now, I will tell you of an even better way of doing what the two preceding paragraphs described. Instead of putting the flyers on the store owner's car, go in and give him one and ask him if he needs a rubber stamp. You will be surprised how many will tell you that they have been intending to order one, but just haven't done it. They will give you the order and you can either mail it to them or deliver it in person.

  This tale is not about the sale of rubber stamps. I only used that as an example. The point is that you must offer something that the recipient of the flyer needs or wants. When you start stuffing envelopes, try to mail them to people who will be receptive to your offer. For example, an item for the care of a baby might sell to a new mother. Lists of new mothers are readily available from list brokers or even from the BIRTHS column in the newspaper. The buyer of a house might be interested in items for the home. A Senior Citizen is a good prospect for many health related items. Newly-weds need almost everything to start housekeeping.

  Stuffing envelopes for making money at home is not a method that will work for the average person. If the item sells for a small amount, you would have to sell too many to pay for your mailing expense. An expensive item might do better, since you would not have to get as much response. But if you should ever try it, be sure you send the right flyers to the right people.

  There is one other thing - if you don't think it would be fun to try, don't do it. Always have fun when making money at home!

  Click on the Making Money At Home - For Fun story of your choice:

Assembling Products At Home

Making And Selling Rubber Stamps

The Remailing Business

Stuffing Envelopes

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