Thursday, October 20, 2005

Scam or not?

I frequently visit a site dealing with work at home issues and trying to help people avoid scams. I am constantly amazed! I know everyone in the world wants to win the lottery and I know everyone would love to make easy money but working at home isn't like winning the lottery.
I am very active on that board, my own message board and a couple of others and what always gets me is that no matter how many times I post a message about NOT paying for a list of surveys etc, someone comes along and asks "Is a scam?" Yesterday I just really wanted to bang my head against a wall or door over this question. If you are researching a work at home opportunity take a few minutes to do a search and see if that question has been answered! One person in particular who I took under my wing on one of these message boards came up with a million reasons everyday why he couldn't make any money working at home. I found two or three different things he could do even within limitations and then I see a post that he is looking at investing his money in one of the pyramid schemes going on! This was the same person who couldn't invest $10 in products to start selling on ebay.
I have come to the conclusion that some people are just not willing to accept that they have to actually WORK from home if that is where they want to be. There are no easy ways to make a living unless you do happen to get lucky and win the lottery.
Here are a few basic work at home jobs: low and sell higher
Start a website and make money from advertising
Come up with a product and sell it
Direct sales (You won't make money from a downline, you MUST actively sell)

Extra cash:
Take surveys and only cash out once a month
Mystery shop (this could possibly be done full time too)
Yard sales
Ebay again :)

Good luck and please don't pay for a job!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Mystery Shopping

I was just reading a magazine article where the author alluded to the fact that mystery shopping is a scam. Mystery shopping is not a scam. Someone selling a list of mystery shopping companies is a scam. I have even been hearing advertising on the radio from so called legitimate companies trying to get you to pay them for a list so you too can be a mystery shopper! I couldn't believe that the market had gotten so large they could afford radio advertising in the middle of the day.
You can make money mystery shopping in fact one lady even wrote a book about her experiences and she was making really good money. It is like any other job, the more experience you have the more money you will make. As a mystery shopper just starting out you will probably get jobs paying $5-$10 or jobs that just reimburse you for a meal etc. As your experience grows and you prove yourself to be an excellent shopper you will see the better jobs come along.
The mystery shopping industry prides itself on having great shoppers. You will need to be able to follow through on all aspects of the job if you are going to accept it. Don't take a job thinking I might be able to get to the store on this date if I can find a babysitter. If you can't make the deadline the company is probably not going to continue to use your services again. Same thing with the paperwork, if you can't follow the instructions or if you do a sloppy job you are going to get a bad reputation as a shopper and you won't get jobs.
I suggest signing up with a few companies at first and getting some experience under your belt. Then apply with other companies showing that you have experience so you can start getting higher paying jobs. Before applying for an actual job read all the qualifications, instructions etc. Some companies have online training that you must complete before you can apply for jobs, show you are serious by completing all the available training.
You can also become certified. The certification costs a few dollars, less than $20 to become silver level I believe, but isn't required to become a mystery shopper. I am not certified because I only shop occassionally. If I start shopping on a fairly regular basis I will take the time to become certified.
There is a free list of mystery shopping companies at and anyone is free to use it. There are a ton of companies out there but my favorites are listed here. You can also join the message board to talk with other shoppers and find out if this is for you.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Why work from home?

The answer really depends on you. It might be that you can't work outside your home for whatever reason and need to make money. It might be that you want to stay home with your kids and still make money. It might be that you are just sick of corporate America and want to stay home and make money. It might be that you just like the challenge and want to see if you can do it.
No matter what your reasons you can find it to be either very rewarding or very frustrating. If you are among the thousands of people who just want to make a quick buck you will probably fall for most of the work at home scams and find yourself pulling your hair out.
If you realize that working from home means just that "working" you can have a great time.
Working from home can give you a lot of freedom to do other things. You don't have to get dressed all day if you don't want to. You can take breaks whenever the mood hits. You can work a few hours and spend the rest of the day on the golf course. You can work at your own pace with little pressure.
Working at home can be the best job you ever had if you find the right "job" or business for you. If this is what you want to do, don't give up!


Friday, October 07, 2005

The truth behind paid surveys.

You've seen the ad's, "Make $75 an hr taking surveys from home!". You have thought to yourself, "I can do that!".
The truth is, you can make $75 an hr taking surveys, but you won't have the chance to take surveys 8 hrs a day 5 days a week! Now doesn't that make more sense?
First you have to sign up with all the research companies themselves. Second you have to wait for an invitation to a survey and then you have to qualify for the study based on your demographics.
Surveys can be a LOT of fun and you can get a lot of cool free stuff when you qualify for a product trial. I am currently in four different product trials this month. You get really great stuff and you usually get to keep what they send you. I heard of one trial recently that gave their participants a product worth $1200.00! That is a rarity but I wish I had gotten in!
A lot of the companies will first send you a survey to see if you qualify for the study, quite often this first survey will offer you a chance to win in a drawing. The great thing here is that most of the people taking surveys will delete these chances. Take these surveys! These are generally the ones that will ask in the end if you would like to participate in a product test and sometimes these product tests also include payment!
Don't pay for a list of survey sites. These lists can be found for free all over the place. I have a list at and I have made sure that all the companies are legit. They won't ask you to purchase anything, they won't ask you to sign up for free offers, etc. In fact if you are using a different list and run into places that ask if you are interested in insurance etc, back out and don't finish signing up. You will just get a bunch of junk mail. Now there is one that does not require you to complete an offer but they always give you the opportunity at the end of their surveys and this particular one is the same one that had the $1200.00 product test. I now take all their surveys, but when I get to the end I just close out once the offer page comes up. When you are signing up for this site though they do NOT ask you tons of irrelevant questions like the others do.
A lot of the companies will also only offer you points for taking surveys. I personally don't mind most of these. Some will let you cash in for money, and others for gifts. If they only let you cash in your points for gifts I always take a look at the gift list to make sure there is something I actually would want before I spend a lot of time on surveys.
You can make more money by getting into focus groups. These generally pay $100-$250 for a couple hours of your time. You will want to sign up with as many research companies as possible to get into these. Same goes for the surveys, the more companies you are signed up with the better your chances of getting invitations.
If you want to take surveys and stay up to date with what is going on in the survey world take some time to join our message board at Everyone is very honest and helpful!

Thursday, October 06, 2005


I was reading a post from a lady asking if other moms who work at home have husbands who make them feel bad for getting out of the house and doing something for themselves. I was surprised that out of 35 responses only two of us had husbands who are supportive and encourage us to get out and do something other than housework, taking care of the kids and our businesses.
I had to wonder this morning why all the rest married the men that they did. Were they different before marriage? I doubt it. Is it because they love them? Well of course but is that enough? Shouldn't two people be in a marriage together in every way?
I just wanted to put something out here that lets women know that they have to make choices before marrying. What exactly does that mean? It means look at your potential mate as a whole. It might be flattering right now when he tells his mom to go jump in the lake he is going out on a date with you and doesn't care what she thinks. How will you feel in ten years though when it is YOU that he is telling to go jump in the lake, he is going out with his friends and doesn't care if you need help with the kids? It might be endearing now that he takes you out to fancy restaurants and spends all his money within two days of payday but how will you fill when you are married and have rent and car payments and he is still out spending all the money in two days?
The point is, you have a choice when you decide to marry someone but you must look at the whole picture. You make the choice to marry someone who is a spendthrift and never saves, you make a choice to marry someone who doesn't treat others with respect, you make a choice to marry someone who wants to spend every waking moment with you and needs to know where you are and who you are with at all times.
Instead of listening only to your heart make sure you listen to your head as well and make a choice to be with someone who respects you, who is responsible, who is caring and kind and wants only the best for you and your life together.