"Work from home, no experience necessary" Scam or legitimate opportunity?

I’m talking about those classified ads soliciting people to stuff envelopes or put kits together. Anybody have any experience with this kind of thing? I called on a couple of these yesterday and basically it was just a recording where you would leave your address and they will mail the info.

[Jerry Seinfeld] So what’s the deal with that?[Jerry Seinfeld]

Are they just trying to get addresses to sell to other lists? Could I possibly make any money from participating in something like this? When I say “money” I’m talking about supplementing my full time job. I know I won’t get rich, but I’m desperate to make extra money.

Also, if anyone has any other creative ideas how to make extra $$, I’m open to suggestions(I have checked into many part time jobs, but the hours don’t fit with my current job).

Wook the Poor

All of them I’ve heard about are scams. For the “envelope stuffing”: you pay them for the “materials” upfront, and they send you all the stuff you need to get other people to pay you upfront, lather, rinse, repeat. For the “make crafts from home and we’ll pay you”, you have to buy the kits from them, at which point they theoretically buy them back at a profit, but all of them I’ve ever heard of will refuse to pay you for your work on the grounds that it is sub-par or some such crap. So, they make money, you don’t.

This is not to say that there are no legitimate “work from home” jobs. I do ebay. I don’t make a bunch of money, but I do okay. I have a friend who makes about $1,000.00 a month doing transcription of court hearings from home. But pretty much all of the stuff you’re talking about are scams. One that a friend of mine fell victim to not so long ago was a place advertising for people to service pay phone routes. You had to wire them something like $150.00 and they would send you XXX number of pay phones to collect coins from, report if they’re not in working order, etc. She thought it was legit because there was a phone number, and she actually got to talk to a guy who claimed to be one such rep. She sent her money, and never got anything in return. When she tried to call the original number, she got voice mail. After being repeatedly ignored, the number was eventually disconnected.

As a general rule of thumb, if they ask for money upfront it’s a scam.

Thanks for the quick responses! I was afraid it was too good to be true :rolleyes:

BTW, here’s what Cecil has to say:


Back in the old days, there were a few legitimate businesses like this. For instance, the ‘greeting card’ sales ones were legit, as far as I know. I actually did it. Sent them the cash up front, got a case of a greeting cards at a discount, sold them door-to-door at retail, and made the profit they said I’d make. It wasn’t much, but for a 12 year old kid it wasn’t bad at all. I recall that I made around a buck a box, back in the 1970’s. I recall that I even ordered a second batch after selling out the first and making 20 bucks. Essentially, this is like selling ‘Avon’ or other door-to-door sales. There was also the ‘Grit’ newspaper, which I think was legit, although I never sold it. There were a few variations on this, including one variant of the ‘stuff envelopes at home!’ deal which was not a pyramid scheme like Cecil described, but still misleading. I believe this one was for selling something like magazine subscriptions - what you stuffed in the envelope was a filled out order for a magazine subscription. Needless to say, the actual stuffing of the envelope was the easy part.

Basic economics will tell you that if a company is resorting to advertising by mail for unknown strangers to do work for them, the pay they are offering is so low that they can’t find local help to do the work, OR they are a scam, OR they are trying to build some kind of nationwide distribution network. Anything that just involves manual labor in your home is going to pay you a lot less than minimum wage, or they’d just hire locals they can monitor.

So if you really want to do the self-employment at home thing, your best bet is to look into something like Avon or some other home sales business. I know lots of women who sold Avon, including my mom. The really dedicated ones can make a reasonable amount of pocket money. You won’t get rich, but you can help stretch the family budget.

There are also job scams that promise $$$ for “Data Entry” at home. The email I got said that I could get started for only $20!! (“Just a small fee to cover software and training materials.”)

It didn’t take too much research to find out what kind of scam it was: The job consisted of posting ads and getting OTHER PEOPLE to pay $20 for software and training materials.