When I posted on the Families.com forums and asked about what people wanted to know about employment, one of the requests was for information on all of those “get rich quick” opportunities seem to be all over the internet. There are also tons of “work from home and make $5000/month” sorts of ads everywhere too. I want to discover the truth about these job opportunities. Are they legitimate or simply scams? This will be one in a series of posts about these advertisements.
To start out with, there are a lot of posts on the Families.com forums about business opportunities. A lot of you want to know, are they real? Do they work? I have been visiting the website links that are on all of those “Become a Millionaire – Only $1 Startup Fee!” types of posts. What I have found is that almost all of them are sales based businesses. Each one has a product to sell and some of them actually look like decent products. Most of them seemed to be nutritional supplements or health insurance plans. If you join the company, your job will be to solicit your friends and neighbors and others to try to get them to purchase the product you sell. When you sell one of the items, then you will receive a portion of the profits.
Basically, if you like to sell things and you don’t mind selling to your friends and family, then this may be a good option for you. Certainly, the right type of person can be very successful in this business. However, there are drawbacks. Most of us are just not comfortable asking our friends to buy from us. Also, there is usually an upfront fee. You may have to purchase catalogs or product inventory or pay a start up fee of some kind.
The other kind of advertisement I see a lot are of the “Stuff envelopes and make $500/week” variety. I often see these in my local newspapers and I’ve also seen them online. I have not contacted these people personally, but I have done some research on how they work. Most of these advertisements are not actual jobs. Instead, they will sell you a book or a tape series on how to find jobs like the one they are offering. The problem is that there are no checks and balances. You don’t know if what they are selling you is legitimate.
What it comes down to with “opportunities” like stuffing envelopes is the age-old phrase “if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is”. Ask yourself, would you pay someone $500 a week to stuff envelopes? Probably not. Neither would any other legitimate businessperson. If a business has someone stuffing envelopes then they are probably being paid minimum wage and they likely work in an office setting. You are not going to find a job where you can sit on the couch and do repetitive labor like this and still make a wage that will care for your family.
Please don’t let this post discourage you from working at home. There are many people who do work from home successfully. It’s just important to realize that these individuals are not taking the easy road. They work hard and they often work more hours in a week than most full-time, nine-to-five employees. If it’s worth it to you to work hard in order to stay at home, then by all means do it. Just realize that it will not be as simple as these advertisements would like you to think.