Q:

Can you really make money by stuffing envelopes?

A:

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the majority of envelope-stuffing jobs are schemes that do not earn money and should be avoided. Many envelope-stuffing opportunities require an up-front fee for "materials," which is how these unethical companies generate income.

When an individual responds to an envelope-stuffing scam with a payment for materials, they are typically sent a box of envelopes and a form letter that must be photocopied. The form letter is a solicitation letter, advertising the envelope-stuffing opportunity. The envelope stuffer only makes money if his mailings generate additional responses.

While many envelope-stuffing opportunities tend to be scams, there are also legitimate situations in which small businesses are looking to hire envelope stuffers for mass mailings and promotional projects. It is not always easy to determine if these opportunities are legitimate by simply reading an ad, so it is always a good idea to conduct additional research before providing the company with personal information.

Businesses that are legitimately seeking individuals to stuff envelopes do not charge a "materials fee" and are comfortable answering questions regarding pay and job expectations. Legitimate businesses typically require a face-to face interview to discuss the project and provide the temporary employee with the proper tax paperwork.

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