Working From Home in 2013: New Opportunities Old Scams

Many people have a romanticized idea of what it means to work from home. Some people believe they will work short hours from the comfort of their couch, take long vacations, and earn even more money than they would at a traditional office job.

The truth about working from home online is that most of the available earnings opportunities – online surveys, crowdsourcing, pay-per-click rewards – will only help you supplement your income, but will not pay you a livable wage. If you are looking to completely replace your day job, you will be looking at one of two options: telecommuting or an independent business opportunity.


Most people who are looking for work at home jobs are hoping to be employed by a legitimate company working regular hours at a traditional job – they just want to be it doing from home rather than an office.

These jobs are not impossible to find, but they are not easy to find either. Most companies that provide telecommuting opportunities can only offer jobs which can be done from home and easily tracked. These include call center representatives, data entry, and similar positions. For some leads on companies that offer these types of positions, check out the Reviewopedia Legitimate Work from Home Jobs page.

Affiliate Marketing

This is the most well-known type of independent online business opportunity. The simplest explanation of affiliate marketing is that you partner with other companies to market their goods or services online. If your marketing efforts result in a sale, that company will pay you a commission.

This can be done in many ways, and none of them are as simple as people would have you believe. The most popular form of affiliate marketing is often described as “link posting” and is one of most perpetrated scams online. Just in the last few weeks, all of these questionable opportunities have appeared online:

Instant Income from Home
Online Salary Solution
Home Income Kit
Profit From Home
Web Fortune Masters

If you take a look at these opportunities, you will see they are nearly identical – besides a few name changes and perhaps a small difference in price, every opportunity is the same, almost word-for-word.

Independent Business Opportunities

There are many different independent online business opportunities, but they all market themselves in the same way. They claim they’re simple opportunities that require no special skills, not much time, and little money to establish. They’re all lying.

Granted, starting an online business may be cheaper and less time consuming than beginning a traditional brick-and-mortar business, but saying that these opportunities are “cheap” and “easy” is simply not fair, especially since many people who are interested in these opportunities are struggling with money to begin with.

If you are willing to invest the hard work, energy, and start up capital, however, then there are independent online business opportunities that can and do make money.

Online Store

If you have something to sell, selling it on the internet is not a bad way to go about it. Paying for a domain name, hosting, and a secure e-commerce shopping cart is much cheaper than paying for an actual storefront. But this is a limited access opportunity, since you’ll need to provide, store, and ship inventory, and not everyone has this capability.

There are companies, sometimes called “dropship” companies, which provide an all purpose warehouse of goods that they will allow you to sell online as long as you pay for a membership and can cover the wholesale cost of the retail. These companies are not bad partners, but if you choose to go this route you want to make sure that you are not using a company that provides you with a website – you’ll want to create your own online store.

If an opportunity is offering the merchandise and the website, this is actually a bad deal. This means that all your competitors will not only have your same merchandise, but your same virtual storefront. If you can’t differentiate yourself from your competition, it will be very difficult to make money.

Auction Listing

This is a really popular opportunity. It consists of partnering with a dropship company to sell items on auction websites like eBay. The concept is similar to the online store, except you won’t need to maintain a website – between eBay and the dropship company, the only thing you have to do is actually list items for auction.

Some people have been very successful in this business, but success is not guaranteed. People who shop on auction sites are looking for the best possible deal – their goal is to spend the least money necessary. This means that in order to sell the most items, you’ll have to be willing to make less in profits on each individual sale. Or you can try to make more profit on individual sales and be willing to sell fewer items. You’ll have to find the strategy that works best for you.

A Simple Truth About Work at Home Scams

Almost all of the unethical, scam companies offering independent online businesses are actually offering training courses. They claim to give you step-by-step instructions, one-on-one coaching, and anything else they can think of.

But the truth is that all of these business opportunities are so well known at this point that the internet is full of free information about them. Sites like Wikipedia can give you a basic breakdown of the opportunity, and then there are many different websites, forums, and reference sources where people already working in the industry discuss tips, strategies, and advice.

Even if you believe that you are interested in purchasing a training program, it is still best to do your own research online first so you can evaluate the best training course for you.

The bottom line when it comes to independent online business opportunities is that they do exist, and the chance to make money is there. But people starting any independent business must be ready to put in long hours and lots of effort, whether it the business is online or not. That’s the only way to success.

If you're at because you are looking for a way to make money online then check out our article "7 Ways to Make Money Online" - methods that anyone can use to earn an income from home.

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