Stuffing Envelopes = Big $? Not Quite.

Perhaps our readers haven’t heard of this one, but we receive calls at the Tri-State BBB more often than you would think from consumers inquiring about this kind of work-at-home opportunity. It’s a classic case of getting something for nothing and in this case promises participants high return for very little work. 

It’s the envelope stuffing employment opportunity, and in many cases, a company offers to pay fantastic wages to “stuff envelopes and submit them according to instructions”. 

The hitch is participants are required to pay for these instructions, and often later learn they must also buy, for instance, the company’s books on “money-making” plans, and must place advertisements at their own expense in newspapers, magazines or on bulletin boards. 

Here’s how it works: the advertising mentioned above invites persons to send the participant a S.A.S.E. for information on earning money at home.

Each envelope received in this manner is then stuffed by the participant with the company’s circular.  Once a required number of letters is accumulated, they are sent to the company for payment.  Earning by participants is based entirely on the number of responses they receive to the ads.

In practically all businesses, envelope stuffing has become a highly mechanized operation using sophisticated mass mailing techniques and equipment which eliminates any profit for an individual doing this type of work at home.

Your BBB warns against paying up front fees for work-at-home opportunities, which are often described as voice mail retrieval, reading email, stuffing or mailing of envelopes, processing mail, being a home mailer, updating mailing lists, typing labels, home secretarial work, e-commerce at home, or home computer work.

The BBB’s experience is that these are often a variation on a chain letter. Those schemes are regularly shut down by the United States Postal Inspectors.

If you would like to file a complaint regarding a similar experience, and the complaint involves one of the opportunities just described, please file your complaint instead with the Postal Inspectors by calling 800-372-8347.

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Written by

Beth was Director of BBB Services and wrote for the consumer education blog from 2008 to 2011. Beth also managed projects of the Tri-State Better Business Bureau Foundation, including the Student of Integrity Scholarship and senior citizen education programs, and she worked with local charities as a part of our charity reporting service.

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