Stay at home mailing jobs

Stay-at-home mailing jobs have been popular for years. Many of these jobs are scams, however, and the legitimate ones are few and far between. Realistically, income from mailing jobs is £3 to £4 an hour. There are some things you need to know about stay-at-home mailing opportunities.

Envelope Stuffing

Envelope stuffing scams have been around since the 1970s when many mothers began looking for ways to earn extra income for their families. The typical opportunity goes something like this: you send the company £18 as a "processing fee" and you are sent all of the postage and supplies you need to stuff envelopes. You are then paid a rate based upon the number of replies the company receives from the envelopes you have stuffed. Some companies make you find customers yourself, while others send you preprinted labels to affix to the envelopes. And what you are mailing out is usually nothing more than "junk mail" that gets tossed without being read. So your income is usually nil.

Chain Letters

Chain letters are another scheme that has been around since the dark ages but this one has definitely evolved with the times. The typical chain letter requires you to send a small amount of money to a list of people, and then continue the "chain" by sending out letters of your own with your name on this list of money recipients. And then your recipients are required to do the same, on and on until you are wealthy. While this sounds easy, first and foremost it is illegal, it is considered to be mail fraud. Second, the number of letters you would be required to send in order to make this worth your while would be more costly than the amount of money that you would receive in the end.

Reshipping Merchandise

This stay-at-home mailing job requires you to receive, repackage and reship merchandise, usually overseas, for a fee. Sometimes this scheme is used in conjunction with online auctions while sometime it is used independently. The merchandise is usually stolen goods, purchased with stolen credit cards and the fees for the shipping are paid with fake checks or with the stolen cards. The criminals are usually based in a foreign country and hard for U.S. officials to track down, making you their easy-to-catch accomplice and liable for the entire scheme.

Legitimate Work

Legitimate stay-at-home mailing jobs include stuffing and addressing envelopes (for a mailing company), operating a mail order business or handwriting cards. Many of these types of jobs are found locally and are seasonal. Your newspaper's classifieds would be a good place to look for them. Occasionally, non-profit groups need envelope stuffers for a mailing campaign and hire through staffing agencies. Direct mail companies can be found in the Yellow Pages. Many of these jobs pay piece rate rather than hourly so if you can stuff and write quickly and neatly, you will earn more money.

Paid to Get Junk Mail

Another sort of stay-at-home mailing job is to be a mail decoy. Mail decoys are paid to receive pieces of junk mail at their home. Decoys will sign up to receive various catalogues and mailings and then place these items in an envelope and mail them to the mail decoy company. The company tracks how junk mail is received and how often items are mailed among other things. The decoy is paid per piece of mail that is sent to the company. Pay rate is generally not more than a few dollars a month so it is not something that anyone can make a living at.