Well, six years later, I am finally making it. I hated all the people who knew the ‘secrets’ and wouldn’t share them unless you paid them tons of money. I vowed to never be like them, which is why I am so excited to be writing this article, for the world to read for free! I now have two children, and I am a stay at home Mom. I have one online job, am about to start training for a second one, and I also make things at home and do very well on eBay (just this week I reached the qualifications to be a Power Seller)! So, please, keep reading for 100% real at home job opportunities. Or, if you are not really looking for a job, I will be including opportunities that require little to no commitment. I will also let you know what you should stay away from.
First, don’t even try searching for ‘at home jobs’ on the internet. You will find hundreds, if not thousands of scams before you finally find a real job. So many people lose money by paying scam artists, and then never get anything in return. First, I will start with some online jobs that are real.
Alpine Access: With Alpine Access you will be an employee. You will have a real job which requires schedules. You will be a Customer Care Professional, in other words you will be taking calls from customers of whichever company you are assigned to. The requirements for this job are high speed internet, a corded telephone with a headset, and a noise free work environment. There are computer requirements as well, which can be viewed on their site (I will post link at the end of this step). Some advantages of Alpine Access is that you are an employee, your taxes get taken out of your pay, you have guaranteed hourly pay, you have paid training, and you get full benefits if you work full-time. The only disadvantage I could possibly see with this company is that the shifts are like real shifts, and you must have a noise free environment for hours at a time, during your shifts. This is why I didn’t apply, as I have a 1 year old and it is nearly impossible for me to do this. I would recommend this for Moms with older kids, retired individuals, college students, etc… You can read many more details on this job here: http://www.alpineaccess.com/external/careers/become_an_agent.html
West At Home: West At Home used to be an independent contractor business model but has recently switched to an employee model. This company is about like Alpine, but with more flexibility. You can schedule yourself for 30 minute shifts or shifts in larger increments. You will also be a customer service representative who handles customer calls. West At Home offers schedules based on either per minute rate, per call OR guaranteed hourly rate. If total earnings (whether via per minute, per call or guaranteed hourly rate) are less than minimum wage, employee compensation will be trued up to meet their local minimum wage requirements (our employees will always earn the greater of the two pay scales). West At Home pays you for your training and offers benefits as well. They also offer seasonal work if you are looking for something temporary. The requirements for West At Home are about the same as Alpine, but check out the link at the end of this step to learn more. I honestly can think of no disadvantages of working with this company, unless you are not good at talking with people over the phone. Honestly, I cannot see myself dealing with unhappy customers, so I probably will not work for them any time soon. Learn more here: http://apply.westathome.com/
ChaCha: First of all, let me say ChaCha is not currently hiring, but bookmark their page and check back often to see when they are again. Ok, I work for ChaCha. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I 100% love it. You are probably wondering what it is. ChaCha is an SMS Text Messaging service. You can ask ChaCha anything. It is a human powered search engine. You can text your question to ChaCha (242242) or you can call 1-800-2ChaCha and ask your question. And, it is free to use! Give it a try! Ok, enough promoting (though I wasn’t trying to)! ChaCha has 3 at home positions: SMS Guide, Expediter, or Voice Transcriber. This is how it works: you text your question to ChaCha. The question will first go to an Expediter, who cleans it up and categorizes it. Then it is off to the SMS Guide, who researches an answer and sends that answer to you. OR, if you call in your question, the Voice Transcriber types it out, send it to an Expediter, who categorizes it and sends it to the SMS Guide. Pretty cool. As a ChaCha Guide to have total flexibility. You can work whenever you want. You can get on, answer one question, and then get off again. It is so awesome. As a ChaCha Guide, you are not an employee, but an independent contractor. You have to file your taxes at the end of each year. But that tiny drawback is nothing compared to the awesomeness of this company. You get paid for each question, no matter what position you hold. You can choose to either get paid once a month, or open an online bank account and press a button whenever you want your money, and have it within minutes! Be sure to save this link and check back often: http://becomeaguide.chacha.com/
Avon: Why not become an Avon representative? Especially if you have lots of friends, this could be a great opportunity! I have never sold for Avon, but I do have an ‘Avon Lady’ and she makes great money doing this! She works at Wal Mart and most of her co-workers buy Avon from her on a weekly basis. Avon has great products, and not just make up! They offer jewelry, home items, toys, clothes, and more! Learn more here: http://www.youravon.com/REPSuite/static/BAR/living_life_avon.html
BabyToBee: Babytobee.com is a company that offers new parents and parents-to-be coupons, samples, and discounts from their sponsor companies. New parents or their friends or relatives sign the new parents up to receive the offers. As an independent contractor, your job will be to call these parents and run through the offers with them. Since people are signing up for this information, there is no cold calling. To learn more or to apply, visit: http://www.babytobee.net/jobform.asp
Blogging: Do you like to write? Do you often recommend products to your friends, family, or co-workers? If so, why not get paid for the things you already do? There are a lot of companies willing to pay for your opinion, and yes, this is real. As a paid blogger, you will write articles on your (already established) personal blog for the world to see. Here is one link to get you started, but there are many others (just beware to NEVER pay anyone money to start, this is a sign of a scam): http://payperpost.com/
eBay: I have been a member of eBay for 6 years now. I have tried everything, desperately trying to make even a tiny profit. And until just recently, I have failed. I tried buying wholesale off eBay and selling it at flea markets. I have tried buying wholesale elsewhere (which I will talk more about later) and selling it on eBay. I only started to succeed when I started making home made products and selling them. Now, let me tell you, I am not creative at all. I never thought things I made would ever matter to anyone else. But they do. So, if you are interested, sit down and think about what you like to do. Do you like to knit? Sew? Make pillows? Bake? Write? Whatever it is, there is a place for it on eBay. Also, when you finally do decide what to do, don’t try it and give up when it fails. Keep trying. I have been trying for about 2 years now, on what I am finally doing good on. My thing is baby shower items. I make diaper cakes, and baby shower favors. I also sell my how-to guides on eBay. I know, I know, I said I hated the people who sold how-to guides, but I sell my guides all for under $3, just to make a little extra, not to be greedy. So, like I said, I tried for nearly two year before things finally took off. Now, I am the best seller of the items I offer (I check out the competition regularly) and I have just qualified to be a Power Seller. So, give it a try! Go to http://www.ebay.com/ and create an account. Also, if you would like to see my success, check out my items and purchase history on each item. http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/sassy8722_W0QQ_nkwZQQ_armrsZ1QQ_fromZQQ_mdoZ I only have about 9 items listed, and that is all I need.
Now for something to avoid. SMC. I saw the commercials all the time, and for so long I wanted to do it. Finally one day I did. What a mistake. SMC is a wholesale club. It costs a lot of money to join (I think it cost me $500). You get all items at 1/3 the selling price, but their selling prices are outrageously high. I am still a member, as I am not giving up my status after paying all that money, but I have no plans in the near future of using it. The items are high quality, I will give them that, but like I said, the prices are a little high. If you have A LOT of money to put into it, I think it would be worth it, otherwise, do not bother. And if you do try it, don’t bother trying to sell the items on eBay, there are TONS of sellers who have these items on there (which is why you see none of my listings are of SMC merchandise). These items would probably do best in upscale gift shops. I tried flea markets and eBay, and got nowhere. Go here if you are interested: http://smcorp.com/
kgbkgb: This is another SMS (text) messaging service. You ask, and a real person answers your questions. They pay slightly less than ChaCha, but they did just start their at home model and are recruiting. I don’t know too terribly much about this company, but I do know it is real and it is legit. Go here to learn more or apply: http://www.kgbkgb.com/
Now, for fun way to maybe earn some extra cash. Instant Cash Sweepstakes. With this site, you can play 5 times per every 6 hours. Each ‘play’ is a survey of 3 easy questions. Sometimes you win money, but even if you don’t win money, you win ‘lottery’ tickets used in weekly drawings for $250. I have won $5 so far, just for taking fun surveys. It is really cool, but don’t count on it being a career lol. They pay by PayPal, it is free to join, and they do not require personal information. Go here to sign up: http://instantcashsweepstakes.com/invitations/ref_link/3127
Remember, as this is VERY important, NEVER pay any money to join anything. You will never have to pay money to get a real job, or even be an independent contractor. One exception is fees for things like background checks. While some companies may use this as an excuse to take your money and you should always be cautious, Alpine Access does require a $45 fee for a background check, but ONLY if you are offered a position with them.