At some point in our lives, we’ve all come across an ad for an envelope stuffing job from home: in our mailboxes, email inboxes, and ads on our online search results.
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It’s advertised as “envelope stuffing,” which supposedly can help you earn up to $1,200 per week, as long as you can meet the quota.
Sounds great, right?
Every single one is a scam.
Now before you hit the back button and try to find a legit envelope stuffing job, hear me out.
I’ve been warning my readers to stay away from envelope stuffing jobs from home since I founded this site back in 2007. It wasn’t a legitimate gig then, and it will never be legit. Ever. Period. End of discussion.
In the past, companies really did pay people to stuff envelopes for them. But envelope stuffing as a job has retired once technological advancements paved the way for machines to complete the job 10 times faster than humans did.
So how do companies pull off envelope-stuffing scams?
3 Ways Envelope Stuffing Jobs Scam People
Stuffing envelopes sounds super easy to do.
You just have to fill an envelope, lick it closed, and move on to the next one. Anybody can do it, even if you don’t have special skills, a college degree, or past experience.
Unfortunately, this makes it a prime target for insane get-rich-quick schemes and has scammers placing ads left and right to trick people.
Here is how they get you:
1. Upfront Fees
The scammers will encourage you to pay a fee upfront to get a list of assignments or apply to companies looking for envelope stuffers.
When you hand over your hard-earned money (usually around $30), you’ll discover that there are no assignments to complete, and no companies looking to hire you.
And you also just gave your personal and banking information over to a scammer. Not good.
With this kind of scam, you’ll also be required to pay a fee for either a starter kit or job details.
Unfortunately, the guide you’ll receive doesn’t teach you how to stuff envelopes.
Instead, it shows you how to advertise these envelope stuffing jobs online and offline in exchange for a commission.
So you’ll be roping in other people to do the same using the exact same ad that pulled you in the first place.
Worse, the guide teaches you to recruit your friends and relatives to do the same.
In the end, none of you get to stuff envelopes and earn from that; you earn commissions for placing ads for an envelope stuffing job from home that doesn’t exist.
This vicious cycle goes on until the referrals try to get back their money.
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3. Real Work, No Income
In some cases, some companies do provide envelopes to work on, but once you’ve sent it back, the job you do will never be up to their standards.
They’ll use their ridiculous standards to avoid paying you. If that doesn’t work, they’ll find other excuses to not pay you.
Both the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and the BBB (Better Business Bureau) have mentioned envelope-stuffing scams in their respective articles detailing job scams (Read more: “Job Scams” by the FTC and “Job Scams Study” by the BBB).
If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to the FTC and report it to the BBB as well for good measure.
Envelope Stuffing Job Scam Warning Signs
Envelope stuffing scams have been around for years and have evolved continuously, with no signs of stopping. Here are some of the signs that an envelope stuffing job is a scam.
You received the offer through an unsolicited email. When someone you don’t know emails you out of the blue about an “exciting business opportunity,” just hit Delete. There’s a 99% chance this is a scam.
Googling the company offering the envelope stuffing job turns up negative reviews. In case you chance upon an offer that seems interesting but you’re doubting it, search for the company online. If the results are mostly negative reviews from TrustPilot, or worse, the BBB website, it’s best to ignore the opportunity.
You make more money when you recruit more envelope stuffers. When the income of a business depends more on signing up more people than actually selling a product or service, it’s a pyramid scheme. Stay away.
There are fantastic claims of outrageous earnings. Any legitimate business would acknowledge the inherent risks of starting one. If someone claims that a business is guaranteed to produce unlimited income is at best too optimistic and at worst, lying through their teeth.
As you’ll see below, there are hundreds of legitimate work at home opportunities for you to try and there’s absolutely no reason for you to believe empty promises and get scammed out of your hard-earned money.
Legit Work-from-Home Alternatives to Envelope Stuffing
The good news is there are plenty of legitimate work-from-home opportunities to try instead of envelope stuffing.
Legit Work from Home Jobs
Before we get too deep down the rabbit hole, check out which of these legitimate work-from-home jobs match your skills, interests, and experience perfectly.
Nearly any job that you’ve performed in a traditional setting will have a virtual version available.
For example, if you have a background in accounting, you can help people prepare tax returns, get an online bookkeeping job, and even find an employer looking for a home-based CPA accountant so you could at least keep your current rate.
The CLOSEST thing to an envelope stuffing job might be a virtual assistant job where just one tiny aspect of the job MAY include stuffing envelopes.
Other jobs worth pursuing that don’t have high barriers to entry are online transcription jobs, online customer service jobs, and data entry jobs. Although, that last one is not without its own headaches.
Sell Stuff Online
Selling stuff online was probably one of the earliest ways of earning side cash through the internet.
Remember the days when Craigslist used to be a go-to buy and sell site, before eBay, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace came into the picture?
Well, today, there are basically thousands of websites catering to various niches. For example, Etsy is a marketplace that promotes handmade items of its creative community, so you can sell various crafts here.
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If you’re not very crafty, you can always sell digital products instead, such as stock photos, digital graphics, fonts, and more.
Earn Quick Cash The Right Way
You can say goodbye to fake envelope stuffing jobs from home and data entry scams.
You don’t even have to commit to a full-time job. You can still earn from multiple sources with quick side cash hustles.
Check out these resources for earning extra cash:
- 100 Different Side Hustles
- Get Paid to Watch TV
- Make Money Listening to Music
- Get Paid to Do Nothing
- Get Paid to Test Products
Can’t live without your phone?
You can even work from home without using your computer these days. Yes, your smartphone is enough to collect side cash from a bunch of gigs.
Don’t believe me?
Here are a few ways to make money with your phone.
You can get paid to download apps, answer questions, or receive texts while never having to get up off the couch.
Tap Into Your Creativity
If you are the artistic type, I have good news for you: you can exercise your creativity from home and earn income from it!
Here are some of the jobs that turn your creative projects into money-making jobs or even lucrative home businesses:
- 28 Online Jobs for Artists
- How to Get Paid to Draw
- How to Get Paid to Design and Sell T-shirts
- How to Make Money Online with Your Cartoons
- How to Start a Greeting Card Business
- How To Start An Embroidery Business
- How to Start a Home-Based Floral Business
In the past, people thought about blogging as just a modern-day diary for bored teens.
Today, blogs are used as a way to disseminate information, endorse products, promote services, and many more.
The cool thing about blogging is that you are in total control of your business. You can earn from blogs directly by selling products or services, and passively by placing ads all over your blog, or affiliate links with your blog posts.
Turn Social Media into a Powerful Tool
If you’re on social media, you know how powerful these tools can be.
But did you know that you can incorporate these platforms as part of your money-making machine? If not, learn more about Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and how you could use them to earn money:
- 5 Legit Ways to Make Money on Twitter
- How to Earn Money on Instagram
- Proven Ways to Make Money on Pinterest
- Follow these steps to become a Brand Ambassador
Earn Passive Income with Affiliate Marketing
If you’re not in need of regular income anytime soon, passive income will be the savior of your future finances.
It has given me the freedom to take my business wherever I want, and you can do it too.
As long as you’re willing to work hard and be dedicated for the first few months or years of your affiliate marketing campaign, you’ll be on the right track. Not sure what I’m talking about? This is how you start and succeed in building an affiliate marketing business with profitable niches like these.
This list is in no way complete – these were just off the top of my head.
This entire blog is dedicated to giving you free resources for home-based jobs, so I recommend you stick around and check out more posts.
The Bottom Line
Many people have fallen hard for these scams (I’m one of them and this is actually the reason why I built IveTriedThat.com). But we’ve survived and shared the stories to warn others for years, so you wouldn’t have to be victimized as well.
I understand that working from home is a dream that many of us would like to turn into reality, but I recommend you be careful with the online jobs you plan to work on.
There are plenty of income-generating gigs online, both for those who just need side cash and those who prefer to leave their desk jobs for a more flexible home-based job. You don’t have to subject yourself to something as mind-numbing as envelope stuffing jobs from home.
The key to your online job hunting success is to do your due diligence: research, review, and if something seems too good to be true, steer clear because it probably is.