For about a few months now I’ve been receiving notices in my inbox from Assembly-Jobs.com. When I first signed up to receive their newsletters, I was desperate for cash, having just quit my job. It sounded like a good idea too: legitimate work from home opportunities. Working with my hands. Seems simple. Anyone can do it. So I decided to go for it. Later on, reading the I’ve Tried That blog, I was reminded of something: IF YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT, IT IS NOT A JOB.
We must always go back to this fundamental truth. It is the one truth that is both consistent and honest, and always will be. As the Internet continues to expand, and work at home schemes are becoming harder and harder to decipher, this rule is the foundation that we must fall back on.
Assembly-Jobs.com. Go ahead, visit the site. It’s very well put together, isn’t it? Oh, I know. Very professional. They’ve even got a free starter-guide! *le gasp* “Kinya, you’re not serious!” Yes, yes indeed I am serious. It’s absolutely free, no strings attached. Go ahead, sign up for it. Invite them into your inbox, because that’s all you’ll be doing. They will send you beautiful emails encouraging you to buy their product. You’ll get them about once every couple of weeks or so. My last one had ten or twelve testimonials in them. They’re good for a laugh, but not much else. None of them are believable, and really, why should they be?
The Free Start-Up “Guide”
The free start-up guide is nothing more than a list of jobs that you could get, if you buy their actual guide, priced at $39.99 (a $149 value). It’s like a teaser: Wolfgang Puck gives you a forkful of the dinner he’ll be cooking you tonight. It whets your appetite. Gets you excited. Makes you giddy. Makes you want more. Makes you feel like you need it. Except, really, you don’t.
“All testimonials are verifiable, on file, and REAL!” Verifiable by whom? Can I contact Kayla James and ask her if she actually submitted that testimonial? How about Emma Barker? Or Emily Hills? Oh, I’m sorry, am I being a wet blanket? While I realize that it is important not to put your customers contact information on your website, I would like to point out that just because you say its verifiable, doesn’t mean it is. I could submit fake testimonials and say they’re verifiable too. Reading them, they sound absolutely believable. But they’re supposed to. I’ve verified them.
Put Me to Work Already
Just below the very first testimonial box on the page, you will notice something: they use the phrases “stuffing envelopes” and “mailing circulars.” People, if this isn’t reason enough to say this company is a scam, I don’t know what is. Stuffing envelopes is one of the oldest work-at-home scams in the book. It’s practically the cornerstone of all work-at-home scams. Please, don’t be so gullible.
Scroll down. You’ll notice that they’re telling you the usual: you can make a nice, modest income putting together simple things like slippers, duffle bags and baby items. But you need their guide to point you in the direction of companies who will hire you to do this service for you.
You’ll see testimonials as you scroll down. All fake. Go down a little further.
Now you’re getting to the good stuff. They’re going to give you bonuses with your $40 purchase. The first one is get paid to shop and eat. I guess in between all of the $1500 a week that I’ll be making, I’ll want to also get paid to do this as well. The second is get paid to read email. Never works. The third is get paid to drive. Actually, there are companies out there who will pay you to drive cars for them, but I’m just wondering how signing up as a cab or a limo driver is necessary when I’m making $1500 a week?
Get paid to pass out free samples. You can find these same job listings on craigslist. Really. Just click on “events.” Distributorship opportunities are probably just companies that you’ll have to fork over more money to in order to profit, and Assembly-Jobs.com is just getting an affiliate commission for referring you. And as you scroll down you’ll start seeing some things that have nothing to do with anything, like “How to Find a Job FAST” and “Credit Secrets 2001.” Um…it’s 2009. You’re eight years off. And why would I need to find a job fast if I’m going to be making $1500 a week?
Check out options number eight and nine. I get free plane tickets and a free vacation. I guess I’ll need to escape the madness of making $1500 a week by sewing together duffle bags, so sure, why not?
Once again, mere mortal logic wins this battle. You just have to know what to look for.
If you try to close out the window, you will get a little pop-up telling you to click cancel on the next page, because they’ve got something so incredibly special for you. They’ll let you download their quick-start guide directly from the site, without signing up for anything. Ooh yay, goody. The cycle begins again.
They also tell you they’ll take orders by fax, check or money order. If you click on that link, it’ll just take you to a page that will list all of the dozens of freebies they’ll give you if you sign up for their ultimate package, which is $60. The $20 jump made me want to say something very sarcastic, when I noticed the links at the bottom of the page: they have an affiliate program. And a BLOG.
Now I’m in shock.
The blog does nothing but list jobs that you could be doing. Example:
Type of Work: Assemble Dollhouse
Payment Description: Contact the company for additional information
This company makes beautiful and realistic dollhouse miniature accessories. There is a large variety of items to make for this company.
At the bottom of every post like this is a link that says “click here to contact the company.” It just takes you back to the original site, assembly-jobs.com, so that you can purchase their guide.
To be honest, this site probably sucks in more than a few people a day, just because everything on here looks and sounds so legitimate. But, just like any other clever scheme, you must learn to read between the lines. I am not saying that you can’t make a living doing craft assembly jobs from home. What I am saying is beware. There’s too much wrong and not so much right with this site.
In the FAQ section, they answer the question “Why do you charge a fee?” The company replies:
We charge a small one time fee for the service we provide because we do not get compensated by any companies for this service. To keep the company list fresh, we need to invest our time and money in a research by finding and verifying all the companies regularly. We are charged a fee for website hosting, marketing, web development and maintenance. Therefore we cannot deduct members fee associated with providing this wonderful service to people around the world.
Does this answer make any sense to you? Think about it. You do not get compensated by any of the companies you list for listing them in your book? What kind of company are you? The first thing I would do is charge a fee, even if it’s a small one. Even if it’s $1 per listing per month, that’s still $12 a year from over 1500 companies. That’s at least $18,000 a year. That was my salary last year and I worked full-time. So you mean to tell me that with $1500+ coming in every month, you can’t maintain a website with hosting, marketing, web development and maintenance? Does that make any kind of sense to anyone reading this article? They don’t get any kind of compensation for the service they provide?
And why do you need to find and verify all the companies regularly? I can understand checking and making sure that the listing is still accurate, but they make it sound like the companies move around all the time and they have to keep finding them. Huh? You don’t know where your clients are? Did you ever try tagging them before you release them back into the wild?
One more thing you should know: most of the companies listed in their guide require you to send a self-addressed stamped envelope. Some of them don’t reply back. A good number of them require you to send cash with the SASE for their information. And some of them just don’t exist anymore. The ones that do reply back require that you give them an additional fee for their startup kit, to cover the costs of the items that you need. In other words you’re paying for a guide that will point you to companies that you must pay in order to receive information from them. After they send you said information, you must pay them again for your kit so that you can start working for them. Then they’ll pay you. And that’s not guaranteed either. In my experience, most assembly companies will find something wrong with your items, tell you that they’re not paying you, and then sell them anyway.
Again, don’t purchase it. You’ll be out of more money than you initially thought, and you’ll never turn a profit – you’ll just suffer more loss.
This article was written by guest poster Kinya. Kinya hails from Chicago, IL and has almost fifteen years of internet experience. In her spare time, she’s a creative writer. Her goals include someday becoming a published author and travelling around the world. Her inspiration comes from her family. Her motto is “I’m not sure how I feel about that.”