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Finding Work to Do at Home

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Working & Careers > Finding Work to Do at Home


See also the Federal Trade Commission's page "Work at Home Schemes" here: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/invest/homewrk.htm
  • Stuffing Envelopes?
  • Looking for Extra Income
  • Positive experiences with home-base companies?
  • How to find legitimate secretarial work at home?

    Stuffing Envelopes?

    Jan 2004

    Ok, I'm finally gonna ask the question. Has anyone ever tried one of these ''work-at-home'' stuffing envelopes (or other such scheme) jobs? My brain tells me it's always a scam but they always make it sound so *tempting*! I mean, all I have to do is pay them a paltry fee of $29.95 or some such amount and I could be rolling in dough in a month? My dad always told me ''if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is'' but the thought of some way to make some extra cash so I can quit my miserable job and stay home with my baby is clouding my judgement....or is it? Anyone want to (anonymously, of course!) contribute their experience and either set me straight or encourage me?

    Not afraid of paper cuts


    Please don't even respond to the offer. Your dad was right. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    I wrote for Action Line, a consumer column at the San Jose Mercury News, for eight years. And this was a common scam we ran across. Around Christmas this past year, the federal trade commission was on most of the TV and radio news shows with specific warnings against participating in the envelope stuffing offers. I suspect they're popping up more frequently as more of us are scrambling for jobs.

    The bottom line is that you should never have to pay money to gain employment. If you do pay the money and receive anything at all, it will be envelopes and a list of people to send the same phony ''offer'' to. Gwynne


    I haven't tried it but this is a well-known scam. Basically, for your $30 what you get is a brochure or letter advising you to place similar ads to their own (become rich by stuffing envelopes), charging $30 for photocopies of the letter you get. A classic pyramid scheme. Do a search for ''envelope stuffing scams'' and you can read all about it. anon
    Check out Ariel Gore's story in her book, The Hip Mama's Guide to Survival'', about a work-at-home scheme that ripped her off. Essentially, she sent in her money and got a letter back that said ''I just made $30 off of you. If you want to make $30 off a bunch of people, advertise an opportunity for people to work out of their homes and have them send you $30 each to get started.'' I hope that makes sense.... Basic rule of thumb is, if the business wants you to give them money before you can work for them, it's probably not a trustworthy scheme. Good luck. Anne
    Personally I don't think people can still ''get rich by stuffing envelopes'' with today's automation technology. Years ago I taught an on-site ESL class at a mass mailing company in SF and learned a lot about the mass mailing process, which included envelope stuffing. The rate for envelope stuffing was generally very low, ranging from a few cents to about a dollar a piece depending on volume because it's all done by machines. Just about everything (printing, folding, stuffing, sealing, address labeling, etc.) can be done by machines. If it's a job requiring manual stuffing due to odd size and/or material, there are usually workers (mostly foreign-born and receiving minimum wages, unfortunately) in the company getting it done, which allows the company to charge just a little more than machine stuffing. You may wish to call a mass mailing company or two, and ask them if they subcontract out envelope stuffing jobs and what the rate is like if they do (or did before.) Chris
    Sorry, this is a really old scam. I actually got suckered into it when I was a broke college student. You send money to the person whose ad you saw. In return, you receive instructions to place an ad to scam others. Pretty sad, huh?
    Stuffing envelopes at home is sort of a scam. Actually, there is an article that came out in Maxim about it. The author said they basically expect you to put out flyers like the one you see and then when people respond with inquiries, you send them the packet for money. You could probably google and find that article. It was very interesting as it tackled other home based opportunities as well

    Looking for Extra Income

    April 2003

    My husband and I are trying to become home owners and need some extra cash for paying off debt and for closing/down. Any advice on how to earn extra money without investing a lot of our own money. Thanks! Tiffany


    I posted a similar response last week for a stay-at-home mom looking for part-time work to generate some extra income. The direct-to-the-consumer (also known as direct sales or network marketing) industry is a great way to generate extra income, whether it\222s to help with a car payment, pay down debt, or just have a little extra spending money. Working for a direct sales company typically requires very little initial out- of-pocket investment, allows for a very flexible work schedule so you can accommodate family needs and/or existing work commitments, and can have significant financial benefits. Examples of direct-sales companies that you may have heard of are Creative Memories, Discovery Toys, Pampered Chef, Longeberger Baskets, Tupperware and Partylite to name a few. I am a Creative Memories Consultant and work my business along side another business that I started. As a CM Consultant, I help people organize their photographs and create meaningful photo albums by offering information, materials and hands-on instruction at home classes, shows and workshops. There are plenty of Creative Memories consultants who make a full time income but only work the equivalent of part-time, others who are really just hobbyists (they want their album-making supplies at cost) and plenty of in- between consultants who just want to help out with a few household expenses. I am more than happy to talk to you in more detail about Creative Memories, or the direct sales industry in general. Karen
    FOR THE PARENT LOOKING FOR IDEAS TO EARN EXTRA INCOME AS A SAHM: I realize this is an older post, but I recently had an idea. It involves -- Nursing Bras. I had a terrible time finding a decent nursing bra, and discovered that the selection of nursing bras available in our local stores, compared to what is available and what is needed, esp. by those with bigger busts, is terrible. There is a whole world of nursing bras out there, ladies, but you would never know it from shopping at Baby World or similar places. I found a website with a great selection, and when I ordered one, they sent this form indicating that they pay SAHM's a commission when they refer someone to buy a bra. Maybe you could periodically have something like a tupperware party, but for nursing bras. It would have been a great help to me. Anyway, email me if you want the name of the company. Kim

    Positive experiences with home-base companies?

    May 2002

    Does anyone have positive experiences with home-base companies? My family and I will be moving to southern California next month and I will be at home with our 1 year old son. I would like to supplement our income by working from home, however I have not found anything that doesn't require selling something. I would love to hear people's experience/advice on this subject. sp


    The Work at Home Mom site seems designed to help moms find legitimate jobs they can do at home. Take a look: http://www.wahm.com/ (Note: I don't work at home and I haven't actually used this site, but it looks like a decent place to start your research. Offers bulletin boards where you can talk to other WAHMoms, e-mail newsletters, etc. Seems to be run by a mom.) Dana
    I have no personal experience with this, but I do have a couple of friends who have worked at home as Medical Transcriptionists. It requires some training (community colleges seem to give the necessary courses) and you may have to buy your own transcribing equipment (basically a fancy tape recorder), so there's investment involved, and you have to scare up doctors to work for (the job basically involves making a written copy of the taped recorded messages doctors make about patients so that the paperwork can be put in the doctor's file.) The people I've known who've done it said it was reasonably profitable for them once they got started, and did let them work at home. Again, I have no personal experience, so I can't really vouch for this one way or another, but it could be worth looking in to. I think you could find info by googling on the term ''medical transcription.'' elise
    Boy, I have been in the same boat as you! My mom told be about Dr. Laura's web site. As controversial as she may be, she has a whole section devoted to work-at-home parents full of ideas and contacts, not scams, and ways of figuring out what would be the best job for you. I will soon begin the process of publishing the first edition of ''Moms Inc. Business Directory of Work-at-Home Parents'' for the east bay, due out this fall. It is a great way to get the word out about your at-home business and looking at it could give you some new ideas such as, flower arranging, language instruction, accounting, bookkeeping, legal work, massage etc. etc. You might want to check out if there is one like that in the area in which you will be living, or you could start one! Liza
    If you are organized and good on the computer, you might want to look into becoming a virtual assistant. This is a growing field of folks who provide support staff services from their homes(primarily for small business people who need a little bit of help but don't need a body in the office fulltime). All tasks are assigned and accomplished via a combo of computer, fax, telephone and snail mail. I think there is a national organization of virtual assistants; you could probably find more info by doing a little search on google or something. Janet
    I have been working part time as an online reader to grade the essays of California High School students exit exams. If you have previous teaching experience this might be an option since you can do this at home. ETS will open applications for CAHSEE readers this fall (see the ETS website for details-the same website for GRE and GMAT exams). Alice

    How to find legitimate secretarial work at home?

    October 2001

    I am very interested in working from home but there are so many scams out there.I got burned before so I would appreciate any advice on how to find legitimate classifieds from legitimate companies wanting people willing to work from home (telecommute) in the field of secretarial work-data entry,word processing,spreadsheets etc.Thank you for any help! kristina


    Hi, this is in response to the person who wants to work at home: I haven't used this website to find work, but found it to be a good resource. On it are listings of "legitimate" businesses for moms who want to work from home. It is called WAHM (Work at Home Moms). Here's the address: http://www.wahm.com/ Good luck. Michelle
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