Maybe you’ve seen the ads. Wild promises of earning huge salaries each month while staying at home and doing simple work. The old advice, “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is” could not be more appropriate. Here’s a rundown of scams to watch out for, as well as legitimate work-from-home setups …and how to tell the difference.
Multi Level Marketing
If you’ve been “recruited” by someone you know who wants to show you an amazing new business opportunity that involves selling herbal supplements or cleaning products, beware. Pyramid schemes involve selling products to your network of family and friends and if you encourage them to buy and sell themselves, you earn a commission from those sales.
While it’s true that some people manage to make money this way, the overwhelming majority of people cough up for products that never get sold, or else they alienate their social group. With a background in marketing, lots of money to throw away/invest and some time to dabble in something like this, you may enjoy it. If you’re looking for a real job that you won’t mind having on your CV in the years to come, avoid it.
Online Money Making Schemes
You’ve likely seen how flooded the internet is with ads for huge amounts of money you can make doing surveys, ad campaigns etc. If you’ve ever been tempted to enough to click them, you’ll see that at some point, you’re probably asked to buy some ebook, product or subscription. Legitimate positions are never advertised this way and if it was so easy to make that much money, why would they need to advertise?
Selling Make Up or Beauty Products
There are several companies in South Africa who encourage women to market and sell their beauty products, make up or jewelry. In all honesty, it is possible to make money this way provided you know of plenty of people who would buy from you and don’t mind making sales pitches to all your friends. Even still, something like this is best thought of as supplemental income. Don’t be lured by stories of people making millions and the glamorous lifestyle they can now afford – people who make it big this way are rare and had to invest a lot of money to be successful.
So, Are There Any Real Ways to Make Money Online?
The answer is yes, but with caveats. If you have a reliable internet connection and don’t mind marketing your skills, you can make money online with freelance writing, programming, design work or even teaching English if you are a native speaker. Some people open online shops to sell crafts or other goods and Amazon’s Kindle publishing platform allows anyone to make money from books they’ve written.
The truth is, though, that all of these jobs take as much if not more work than a “normal” job. If you’ve seen something promising that has you excited, keep your eyes peeled and be realistic – there’s no such thing as a free lunch.