Top 50 Mail Order Business Ideas

Today, I want to share my top 50 mail order business ideas. I’ve been doing direct mail and mail order for about 10-years now. Even though I have a large online presence with my two blogs, I enjoy mail order 100 times more.

Why? There’s just something about getting something in the mail. I love getting my mail every day and I know many others feel the same way too. I buy stuff through the mail. So do many other folks.

Compare that to email. Do you actually read ALL of your emails? I doubt it. Chances are, if you are like most people, you get hundreds of emails every single day. Many of them hit your spam box or inbox and get deleted without even getting read.

On the other hand, I can almost 100% guarantee you at least LOOK at your mail before you decide to keep it or toss it. Mail order works. It’s been around for a long time. I don’t see it going way any time soon either. In the past few weeks, I’ve received mail from Amazon, eBay and Vistaprint, three popular online companies. If they’re selling by the mail, shouldn’t you at least consider it?

mail order business ideas

Top 50 Mail Order Business Ideas

What you see below are my top mail order business ideas, listed in no particular order. You could make money or lose money with any of these ideas. Individual results will vary.

# 1: Sell Leads

Just about every small business owner needs more leads. If you can find a good lead provider, you can buy and resell leads at a nice profit. You could also sell your own lead generation service where the business pays you for each lead you generate for them.

# 2: Sell Consulting

If you have specialized knowledge you can offer to a small business owner, you could sell your services as a business consultant.

# 3: Sell Coaching

Similar to consulting, you could sell business coaching through mail order. This might include health coach services, business coach services, marketing coach services, or anything else.

# 4: Network Marketing

This is something I do myself. You can promote your network marketing business through mail order. It does work. I mail postcards, newsletters and flyers all the time. You can also offer other income opportunities.

# 5: Sell Books

You could sell textbooks, used books, antique books, comic books or even write your own books that you self-publish.

# 6: Sell Jewelry

You could sell used costume jewelry, fine jewelry, or jewelry that you manufacture yourself. You could even sell jewelry supplies, such as string, gemstones, clasps, and beads.

# 7: Adult Toys

This is a multi-BILLION-dollar business. Adult toys such as dildos, vibrators and other sex toys can bring in big profits.

# 8: Clothing

You could sell used clothing, vintage clothing, custom clothing, or clothing that you make yourself.

# 9: Car Parts

This mail order idea could be big business. You could sell used car parts. You could team up with a local salvage shop or even find hard to find car parts online and resell them through mail order.

# 10: Magazines

Magazine subscriptions are big business. You could start your own magazine or reach out to several magazines looking to expand their customer base, and work out a deal.

# 11: Newsletters

You could create your own custom newsletter and sell it through direct mail. You could also reach out to an established newsletter and see if they would pay you for each person you refer.

# 12: Music

You could sell hard to find music, music recording services, custom CDs and many other similar services through mail order.

# 13: Shipping Supplies

You could sell shipping supplies through mail order. This might include boxes, tape, bubble wrap, peanuts, etc.

# 14: Personal Care Items

You could sell shampoo, conditioners, gels and other hair care products through the mail. You could even private label or manufacture your own products.

# 15: Vitamins

You could manufacture or private label your own vitamins and supplements. Or, you could find a vitamin company with a good affiliate program and promote their products.

mail postcards and make money

# 16: Pet Toys and Supplies

The pet supply business is huge! You could purchase from a wholesaler and sell at retail and make a good profit.

# 17: Tools

Be it woodworking, construction or even auto maintenance tools, mail order is a great way to sell various tools.

# 18: Services

Here is where your education, skills and knowledge can work to your favor. Use your creativity to sell services based on your experiences.

# 19: T-Shirts

Do you have some cool ideas for T-Shirts? You could purchase blank shirts and have them imprinted or you could contract a wholesaler to do all the work… You just sell and make royalties.

# 20: Memberships

Start a club, news delivery or something that would require a membership. Many people will be happy to pay a monthly membership fee to be a part of.

# 21: Advertising

If you have a “knack” for advertising, you can sell ad placements on websites or in fliers.

# 22: Crafts

Many people are making good money selling homemade crafts such as jewelry, candles, and many other unique, one-of-a-kind crafts.

# 23: Beads

It goes right along with the previous idea; people will purchase beads to craft their own jewelry.

# 24: Cleaning Supplies

Many people are sick and tired of the chemical laden cleaning supplies. Your fully organic and “green” cleaning supplies could go viral in mail order.

# 25: Real Estate

Here is another big money maker! You could partner with a real estate agent or company to market and sell various properties and make monstrous commissions.

# 26: Coins

Collector coins are quite profitable. If you visit auctions and sales where you can purchase coins at a reasonable cost, package them and sell them at nice profits, mail order can be a great method.

# 27: Cell Phone Services

Just become a reseller and make good money selling cell phones and services.

# 28: Housewares

Marketing to housewives everywhere, housewares are actually easy to sell with the right approach.

# 29: Decorations

You have such a wide range in decorations… Art, flowers and holiday related.

# 30: Computers

Do you know, or are you competent in fixing used computers? You could invest a little time and money to make great profits.

# 31: Christmas Gifts

People are shopping for Christmas gifts all year long.

# 32: Gift Cards

You could sell gift cards through direct mail.

# 33: Custom Awards

You could reach out to businesses, schools, government offices and other organizations and sell customized plaques and awards.

# 34: Family Crests

This is a cool idea… Just customize Family Crests with research and make great profits.

# 35: Genealogy

You could sell a genealogy service.

# 36: Coat of Arms

You could sell custom coat of arms on a plaque.  People love this stuff.

# 37: Challenge Coins

If you wanted to focus on military personnel and law enforcement, you could make money selling challenge coins via direct mail.

# 38: Pool Supplies

You could sell pool supplies such as vacuums, filters, nets, etc.

# 39: Personalized Signs

Personalized signs for small businesses could be a great business idea.

# 40: Fragrances

Colognes and perfumes are big business.  You could sell rare and hard to find perfumes and colognes or manufacture your own.

# 41: Cosmetics

Cosmetics are a MEGA industry.  You could private label your own line of cosmetics and sell them through mail order.

# 42: Hair Products

Just about everyone has hair. You could private label your own hair care line and sell it through mail order.

# 43: Car Accessories

Car Accessories such as rims, air fresheners, cleaners and custom parts offer a huge opportunity.

# 44: Website Design

If you are good at designing blogs and websites, you could start a mail order business reaching out to small business owners who need to create or update their blog or website.

# 45: Self-Protection

You could sell stun guns, mace, knives and other self-protection items. Just make sure you follow laws in each State or country.

# 46: Cars

Similar to real estate, you could partner with used or new car sellers and sell via direct mail.

# 47: Weight Loss

This is a huge industry. You may consider a private label weight loss supplement or system.

make money with mail order

# 48: CBD

Of course, you would need to check local laws, but CDB oil and other marijuana related products have become huge. They’re also very profitable.

# 49: Insurance

If you get insurance selling certified, you could sell insurance through the mail and create a passive income.

# 50: SEO Services

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Helping small business owners get their website and or blog on the first page of search engines can generate huge profits.

Tips for Success

  • You are only limited to your imagination.
  • Pick an audience before you pick a product.
  • Make sure there is a mailing list available of people in your target market.
  • Find a product or service with high margins so it is worth your time.
  • Be sure to build up your own customer list as you make sales.
  • Come up with a sound business plan.
  • Start your business part-time while you keep your day job.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks. These are my top 50 mail order business ideas. Which idea on this list is your favorite? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any other ideas that are not listed, tell us. Have a fantastic day!

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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18 thoughts on “Top 50 Mail Order Business Ideas”

  1. It is great learning from a professional. The truth is I have never heard of mail order before and I have a huge online presence. I had to do a little research to understand how mail order works . I am considering selling my products by mail too, I mean if big companies are using this technique, why can’t I? Your article is detailed and I love the 50 mail order business ideas you shared. Thanks for making things easier for people like me who has been trying to figure out a new way of making huge sales. I definitely gained a lot from this write up.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Even with a huge online presence, mail order should not be neglected. It will simply add value to your online business.

      While anyone can be reached online, their attention span is short and sometimes it’s hard to get your message noticed in email and in the search engines. On the other hand, when you send someone a piece of mail, there is a high likelihood they will at least “look at” your message. To me, that is more tan 90% of the challenge. That’s why I send mail. It works for me and it works for many small, medium, and large businesses.

  2. I really like your idea of selling t-shirts or website services. I think both of those would work great. Obviously, the t-shirts don’t have as much of a profit margin as the website services do, but if you could build a list and have some backend products, you could do well with it.

    1. T-Shirts have potential, but it could be tough to be profitable if you are only making $8 to $12 profit per shirt. That doesn’t leave you much of a marketing budget to make that happen.

      Website services offer huge markups, so if I had to choose between the two, I would go with that one, because one client may be worth several thousand dollars to you, if not more.

  3. I think anything pet related would be a great mail order business idea. Perhaps you could target a certain breed of dog or cat and focus on people who own those breeds. People spend a ton of money on their pets and if you could find some unique products, this could potentially be a gold mine.

    1. Yes, pet products are great. Even though Chewy and Amazon have a large part of that market share, there is still plenty of space available. You just want to find unique, ideally personalized or customized products that offer high margins and aren’t available anywhere else for purchase.

    1. Conrad,

      Surely, some people will do that. It’s no different than someone deleting an email without reading it. The major upside is (1) you know the person got it, and (2) in most cases they at least looked at your marketing message before they decided to throw it away.

      To me, that’s more than half the battle, just getting prospects to see your marketing message.


  4. This really sounds like a great strategy for someone who doesn’t want an online business. Or, for someone who has an online business but wants to diversify what and how they sell. I think any of these 50 mail order ideas have potential, both online or offline, with a good marketing plan and good marketing budget.

    1. Yes, while an online business sounds sexy and exciting, I really love the offline approach. It’s established and proven. Mail order has been around more than 100 years now. It’s not going away anytime soon. Plus, more and more of these big online companies are venturing into mail order.

  5. I’ve seen a few things online about different mail order type businesses. What’s really weird is, a lot of “mail order businesses” promote their business online. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having a mail order business?

    1. Yes, in the home-business industry that is quite common.

      Lots of people selling “offline money making opportunities” create websites and YouTube videos to promote their business.


      Because people who receive something in the mail normally go online to do their research. It just makes sense to have an online presence to help promote your online business.

  6. Thanks for these amazing mail order ideas. Most of these, I have never even considered. Since everyone is focused online, I like the idea of building a business through the mail.

    1. Yes, mail order is great. There are so many things you can promote offline, through the mail, plus it isn’t anywhere near as expensive as people think it can be. My costs per click for online or offline advertising is about the same. Something to think about.

  7. I really like the idea of selling insurance via mail order. I’m not sure what the laws say about that, but it sounds great. I don’t know of anyone doing that right now.

    1. I think I’ve gotten a few pieces of mail selling life insurance over the past 10+ years. Plus, my insurance company, ALL STATE, they send me a lot of stuff through the mail, so I know it works.

      Another good thing about the insurance is the high profits and residuals.

    1. It’s legal here in the USA in all 50 states. I can’t speak for any other country though.

      Plus, a lot of people don’t know much about CBD yet, so if you can educate them in the process, you could gain a bunch of new customers. And selling a consumable product can also lead to reorders, which results in residual income.

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