When you are considering mail order jobs at home, it's important to research the company you are interested in working with thoroughly and be alert for possible scams. You also have the option of creating your own job by starting your own work from home business.
Mail Order Industry
Mail order refers to buying products that will be delivered by mail. Consumers can order from a print catalogue, online catalogue, or web site. These orders may be placed by phone or electronically, and delivery takes place after payment has been processed. In some cases, an order can be shipped as a gift item and delivered directly to the intended recipient.
History of the Mail Order Industry
The idea of ordering goods from a catalogue is not a new one. Ben Franklin has been credited with producing the first mail-order catalog in 1744, which he used to sell academic and scientific books. He also offered his customers the first mail-order guarantee when he stated, "Those persons who live remote, by sending their orders and money to B. Franklin may depend on the same justice as if present."
Aaron Montgomery Ward produced a very basic catalogue for his mail-order business in 1872. This first version was a piece of paper measuring 8 inches x 12 inches, and it was directed at farmers in the Midwest region of the United States. Within 20 years, that page had grown into a catalog with more than 20,000 items for sale listed on 540 pages.
Mail order has now moved into the digital age, and includes products of all kinds being bought online. This form of getting goods to consumers is usually referred to as e-commerce or online shopping. Many companies that traditionally offered their customers a print catalogue now sell merchandise online as well.
Mail Order Jobs at Home: Spotting Scams
When you are looking for mail order jobs at home, it's important to be able to separate the legitimate opportunities from the scams. A big red flag is when someone asks you to pay money for the privilege of working from home. If you are asked to pay for job leads or to pay a fee of any kind, look elsewhere for work.
You may also find job listings that offer to pay you to "process e-mails." Again, proceed with extreme caution. Most, if not all, of these opportunities are not legitimate.
Another red flag when it comes to finding mail order jobs at home is when you see an ad that promises to pay large amounts of money to people who have little or no related work experience. A company is not going to hire people to do work from home unless it makes good economic sense for them to do so, and working with contractors who are not trained (or who can't be brought up to speed quickly) doesn't make good business sense.
Legitimate Mail Order Jobs at Home
If you are interested in working for a mail order company from your home, then you may want to look at remote customer service opportunities. More companies are hiring people to work off site to take calls from customers who would like to place orders or get questions answered.
You can find these kinds of opportunities by checking out Internet job boards, such as Indeed.com, Monster.com, or Flipdog.com. If there is a particular company you are interested in working for, another option to find work is to visit their web site and go to the "Careers" page to see available positions. If no customer service jobs are listed, submit an application anyway. There may be a lag time between a position becoming available and the web site being updated.
Another option if you would like to work in the mail order or e-commerce business is to find a product or group of products you would like to sell and start your own business. Once you have a web site set up, you can promote your wares to potential customers and reap the benefits of being self-employed.