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It's in the Mail

How to land your product on the pages of a catalog

This story appears in the February 2005 issue of Start Up.

Catalogs fill the mailboxes of consumers everywhere, retailing every product under the sun--from household items to gifts to food. You name it, and there's probably a catalog that specializes in it. If you're aching to see your product on the pages of one of those fancy catalogs, the good news is that it's definitely possible. "Merchants are always looking for great products," says George Hague, senior marketing strategist with J. Schmid & Associates, a catalog consulting company in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

The key is to research the catalog that best suits your product with the right niche and price point. One mistake new entrepreneurs often make is not understanding catalogs' margins and price points. "Catalogers like to operate on a more than 50 percent margin," says Hague. "If the retail price is $10, then catalogers will [likely] ask you to sell it to them for $3.50 or $4."

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