If the ads about making a lot of money from simply stuffing envelopes seems too good to be true; it probably is. The proliferation of envelope stuffing ads is already so dense, and the promises of easy riches are so grand, that it is a wonder that no one yet has ever heard of a truly substantial, living and breathing person making a killing in this market. Yes, it is true that there are testimonials from people who claim to make thousands of dollars off this kind of “job” – and these can be quite convincing and enticing at the same time. However, you should remember that these so called testimonials can never be verified; it is not as if people would actually take the time and effort to check up on the name of the person, look him or her up and ask that person directly.
Admittedly enough, envelope stuffing used to be practiced among companies who wished to sell products or services via direct mail. It was considered back then as a legitimate form of advertising. But these were the days when the radio was an immovable box on the fireplace den, TV sets had wooden casings and the term Web meant an arachnid’s undoing. Advertising had evolved to such a degree that this practice is almost (but not quite) obsolete. There are individuals and companies who still do this, of course, but not as much as before. These days, the by-product of most envelope stuffing companies is what we now call as junk mail; and this practice of envelope stuffing itself is what we now call as get-rich-quick scam. Amazingly, there are some hapless victims who are still lured to this kind of scam, and you really cannot blame them. First of all, the idea alone that you can make thousand of dollars sitting pretty at home – no need to get up early, or commute to work, or even dress up – is enough to raise anyone’s expectations. This seems like an ideal type of “job” for individuals who are stuck at home: mothers with very young kids in tow, the elderly, and basically anyone who cannot get a conventional 9 to 5 job for one reason or the other. Secondly, the “job” seems simple enough. In other words, you do not need to have a Ph.D. attached to your name or even an impressive resume to get you started. Envelope stuffing is, simply put, just that: you stuff envelopes with letters or pamphlets. Supposedly, you get paid per envelope you complete. So the equation goes: one simple task + a bit of effort = money. That simple equation alone gets to a lot of people already. Lastly, there is minimum sacrifice on the part of the “job applicant.” To be more precise, all the “applicant” has to do is send a completed application form and pay a certain amount (something in the vicinity of $25 to $35.) Now, if you consider the conventional ways of getting a job like: having your photo taken, printing your resume, commuting within and outside town, spending money on a suit, going to job interviews, etc. – and getting your feet all tired out too – paying $25 to $35 doesn’t seem that much at all. Unfortunately, envelope stuffing is indeed a scam: a get-rich-quick, work-at-home, direct- mail scam.
Larger companies who can afford to advertise will not spend money on junk mail which no one reads anyway. They can get better results by doing the conventional tri-media advertising (TV, radio and newspaper ads) and Internet marketing, of course. There are some legitimate smaller companies and micro-entrepreneurs that still perform direct mail advertising, but they can probably get cheaper, faster and more professional looking results if they seek the services of a printing company or even a small print shop.
Look at this way: this envelope stuffing company is promising to pay you (up to) $4 per envelope that you must successfully complete. A printing company or print shop will afford its client about less than 50 cents per envelope. If you were a legitimate business owner doing direct mail advertising, which one would you most likely pay for: $4 per piece or the 50 cents (or less) per piece, also keeping in mind that the cheaper one is being done by the professionals? Envelope stuffing is now seen as a way for a perpetrator to extort money from his or her victims. You do have to remember that many of these “jobs” would require you to put money down first before you can actually start working. Remember the $25 to $35 fee? It is usually called a processing fee that is supposed to cover the company’s expenses; as to what these so called expenses are, is a guess that is as good as any.
Other classic signs that the envelope stuffing company is scamming you are:
- One: aside from the processing fee, applicants are also asked to pay for a starter kit and good faith agreement. After promising the “applicant” that they are to have no other expenses to worry about except the processing fee, these two are laid out unceremoniously. Firstly: the contents of this starter kit are not specified. Basically, you are paying for something that you have no knowledge of and it may contain only several pieces of paper not worth its price. Secondly: the envelope stuffing company asks you for a good faith payment. It is as good as saying that they do not trust you to continue the work (and with good reasons too.) Legitimate companies will most likely give you full disclosure on the onset of the work and will certainly not ask their potential candidates to pay for them. According to the FTC or Federal Trade Commission, under conventional circumstances, no job applicant should be forced to pay for any kind of fee in order to land a job.
- Two: the circulars or pamphlets you are stuffing into the envelopes are all about enticing people into joining the envelope stuffing business. If you find yourself staring at the same thing you have actually read that made you want to join this “business,” then chances are you are contributing to the continued proliferation of this scam. There is actually no other company in need of your envelope stuffing business, except the promoter(s) of the scam.
- Three: all their promises of letting you make hundreds and even thousands of dollars in envelope stuffing, actually boils down to you finding someone else to do the same work. Basically, you need to find someone else to entice about the envelope stuffing business or else, you won’t get a dime.
In order to protect yourself from scammers like this, all you really need to do is to keep a level head. There really is no easy way to get rich (unless you are very lucky), and any company that promises you just that, in a short amount of time, is a sham. If you are reading advertisements about “jobs” like these, its quite all right to get interested and inquire; but when they start asking for money, (and pestering you about it when you balk) it would be best to drop the subject and look elsewhere. You are supposed to earn money, not give it away, and remember? Never be trusting of a prospective employer who would not leave a direct contact address, e-mail or phone. This alone is a sure fire red flag that says something is not right. A legitimate business entity would have all these in case clients, suppliers and other job applicants want to get in touch with them.