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Money Making Opportunities - What Not To Do

Updated on October 24, 2018

Things to Avoid when Looking to Make Money

We all want to make money and, in times like these, many of us are looking to supplement our income or are looking for an easier way to make a living, and hopefully more profitably as well. Or, some of us may be looking for a better paying job or easier work. This is fine, but there are things to watch out for and avoid.

One of the things to avoid is the scam. I remember when I was a recent high school grad, seeing one of these papers on a bulletin board for envelope stuffers, who would be paid $300 a week. I noticed the instructions said to send a self addressed stamped envelope to this address to get started. I thought it was a great opportunity, so I sent the envelope. All I got back was a small letter opener and a note asking for money for further details? My mom said that it was a scam and to never pay for a job. Excellent advice.

Since then, I've seen all kinds of ads, in magazines, and online. Some that I found in a magazine were really outlandish in their claims, one claiming that you could make $165,000 weekly! I noticed the envelope stuffing ads have gotten much rarer, as people now realize that these were scams, but lots of others have replaced them.

MLM, or Multi-Level Marketing is one. Generally, it's advertised as selling some product, with the 'opportunity' of making more money by getting others to join. These people are placed 'under' you, and you get a percentage of every sale they make. Problem is, the emphasis is often on recruiting, which usually involves a fee to join. The product is rarely itself sold, and people soon realise that it's a scam, and leave the organization. Only those at the very top make any money. This is similar to a pyramid scheme. And there are more of them around than ever before, and it's easier to fall for them than ever before.

The scammers have gotten smarter over time. Many no longer claim that you'll make outlandish sums, because if any ever paid that kind of money, like one I once saw that said they would pay $9,000 weekly for stuffing envelopes, everyone and his and her aunt and uncle would be leaving their jobs en masse to sign up and everyone now knows this! Here's a typical scammer's ad that you'll see today:

Great Opportunity To Make $$$!

A great opportunity awaits you! Not MLM, no selling involved, not a get rich scheme! Pays $300 weekly to introduce our new product and it sells itself!

Call ### ###-#### for recorded message and testimonials!

What this ad doesn't tell you is that you probably have to sign up for a membership of some kind, and you probably will have to try to sell something as well. Notice that the ad says that it's not any of the things currently associated with scams today! And the income claim is not outlandish compared to most jobs.

Some ads will make claims of higher income, such as $5,000 monthly, which is still not so far out there, but these usually don't give too much detail, and ask you to call or e-mail for more info.

As for testimonials, just remember, for anything legit or not , testimonials are always made up, given by those involved in the scam, or, if for a legitimate product or service, from satisfied customers! You'll never see complaints among the testimonials.

In any event, they all claim that you will make easy money, at least as much as you would make doing most 40 hour jobs, with much less work. SO far, I've never met anyone that I know I could trust who has ever profited in the slightest from one of these 'income opportunities'.

Don't be lured by the job that's not for you! This can apply to any field, but most notably sales.

Now, take note: If selling is your game and you're good at it, the world is yours and for you, as long as you like selling and are good at it, you'll always have a job and more power to you so long as you're honest!

As for the rest of us, when you look at the want ads, or any job bank, you'll notice that sales jobs are usually the most numerous. This is because, sales forces have one of the highest turnover rates. Every company I've worked for that had a sales force had the problem of trying to retain sales reps. And it's understandable. Sales reps have the job of convincing people to buy or join, they often are paid only on commission, which means they could work like crazy and still end up with nothing! Then, they often have to deal with various customer attitudes, and overbearing managers. Sales is a tough job for most. And often the easiest job to get. I've applied to jobs where, the interviewer tried to steer me from the position I was applying for to a sales position, claiming that I'd make more money in sales.

And this is what to watch out for if you don't want a sales position. Many income opportunities are really recruitment efforts for salespeople. And sometimes you will have to even pay a fee if you go along, for licensing purposes, if you'll be selling insurance for instance.

Yes, they will tell you that you'll make good to great money, and it's true - If! you actually perform tremendously well, which means people will see you and say, "Ill buy it!", that customers will be very plentiful and will always come to you and seek you out, that everyone who comes to you will not have been approached by any other salespeople, that everyone will not only want to buy what you're selling, but will be such that they'll always qualify, their credit will be excellent, and the paperwork will be as easy as possible to fill out, and the winds of fate will always be at your back! How many people do you know where this is the case? And is it this way with you now? If you tried to sell something in the past, was it this way for you? I'd bet that it wasn't. It certainly wasn't for me. In otherwords, the figures they give you for how much you can make are usually what you would make only if you were the absolute top performer.

Oftentimes, if you do accept, the reality is that you won't be making that kind of money, unless you are sales inclined, good at it, and love being in sales.

Sales is the one field where you may find yourself being pressured to take the position rather than you begging or hoping to be accepted for the position.

Also, some multi level marketing companies that do pay if you actually sell their product are like this also. They may be legit, but you still have to sign up for a memebrship and it often is tough to sell enough to make a good profit.

Be careful when working as a subcontractor in certain situations! The situation can vary, but, to illustrate what happened with me, let me tell you my story.

I answered an ad to distribute flyers for a contractor, who was advertising for a large communications company. The contractor was a good, scrupulous person. He sent me the flyer from the company, with my code on it. I made copies of the flyer and distributed them. The idea was that someone who responds to the flyer would be asked for my code from the flyer by the company's customer service department. If the customer bought the product, I would make a good percentage, as would the contractor. I was told that the average was one sale per 100 flyers. I distributed about 5,400 flyers. Other subcontractors distributed more than this. The contractor contacted us and told us to stop distribution, as it turned out that the company took the money from the sales and kept it, claiming they received no inquiries from the flyers, when over 20,000 flyers had gone out. The contractor found another company, also a large name brand company, where we could do the same thing with the flyers. The new comapany assured the contractor that the 1 sale per 100 flyers was true and that they would not cheat us as the other company had. Well, I distributed over 2,000 flyers, and others had as well. Then this company claimed to have only two responses! When the contractor questioned them, they said, "We don't know what to tell you." Needless to say, I was done with this. To his credit, the contractor himself was not the bad guy. He never asked for money from me, and he was up front with all that was happening. Unfortunately, the two companies had conned him, too. So, the lesson is, be careful if you work as a subcontractor in this kind of situation.

I learned here that the best thing to do, is to 'build it myself'. I started my own flyer distribution business. I've had several clients now and, while I haven't made nearly the money I would have made if the companies mentioned above had paid off, I am actually making real money rather than holding onto false hopes.

I'm sure that there are other things to avoid as well, but these stick out most for me.

I'd love to hear from you about your experiences, and your successes, so please feel free to comment on this hub! Thanks, and good luck!

Alan S.

Poll Question # 1

Have you ever made money from MLM or other "easy money" offers?

See results

Poll Question # 2

Have would be employers tried to "sell you" a sales position you didn't want?

See results


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    • myway720 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Gresham, Oregon

      Hi Vlad! A lot of people fall for these scams for a couple of reasons. One is that the scammers have learned to present themselves better, and, especially in tough times, people are looking for ways to make money and will often convince themselves that "This one is true". I' too, had a friend who fell for a scam, convinced that, because a well known actor was the spokesperson, that it was legit. But it was not and my friend ended up regretting getting involved.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It's amazing how people fall for these scams without bothering to research them. After all, the scam pitch usually comes through the same medium one can easily use to research and debunk it - the Internet. Google is your friend.

      You have hit the nail on the head with this statement:

      "SO far, I've never met anyone that I know I could trust who has ever profited in the slightest from one of these 'income opportunities'."

      Whenever I'm approached with a scam pitch by someone I know and care about I ask them: "Do you personally know anyone who is involved in this scheme and is satisfied?". That question stopped many a pitch dead in it's tracks. Unfortunately, there are people that will lie about their accomplishments because they are too embarrassed to admit they have been scammed.

    • myway720 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Gresham, Oregon

      Thanks for your comments! I hope this helps people avoid some of the mistakes that I made and I've seen others make.

      Again, thanks for your comments!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Good read! I couldn't have said it better myself.

    • profile image


      10 years ago



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