Recent Posts

What to Expect on a Virtual Job Interview

Dear WAHFAQ, After applying to several companies for work at home jobs, I finally got my first virtual interview! Is there anything special I should plan for? What should I expect? Virtual interviews are not that different from regular in-person interviews, other than they’re conducted remotely via phone, Facetime, or Skype. Because you won’t have in-person interaction with your potential employer there are a few things to keep in mind for a successful virtual interview: Set aside time in a quiet environment. It should go without saying that you should make sure your dogs and cats and kids and other…

The problem with sponsoring dreamers

Dear WAHFAQ, I am having the worst luck with my network marketing company. I love the products, and I have a steady stream of customers, but I’m having a hard time finding people to sponsor. The purpose of me doing this business in the first place is to create some residual income from other people’s sales…but most of them flake out! What can I do? In various businesses, I have encountered many people who say that they are committed, who say that they want to make a change in their lives, but never really follow through. These people amaze me,…

Mystery Shopping on Vacation

Dear WAHFAQ, Our family is taking a vacation this summer, going to the East-Coast to check out all the historical sites and all…you mentioned in class that you can shop while you travel.  How does that work? Shopping on vacation can be a fun way to earn some money to defray the cost of travel!  Here are the basic things you need to keep in mind: 1) Who will you shop for? Do the companies you currently work with have shops in the area that you’re going to?  If so, contact your scheduler, and let them know that you’ll be…

The three most evil work at home scams ever

Dear WAHFAQ, There are so many scams out there. Are there any ones that are worse, or more evil than others? Granted, I consider most scams to be some kind of “evil” but there are a few in particular that have their own special brand of sinister wretchedness. That is because in these scams, you will actually be paid, but unbeknownst to you, you’re scamming someone else! Keep in mind that these are pretty sophisticated scams, so you may only be one part of the larger puzzle: Version One: The Payment Processing Clerk As a “payment processing clerk”, you may…

Is this Mystery Shopping assignment worth my time?

Dear WAHFAQ, I recently received an email from a company for this assignment: Mystery Shoppers are needed in the NEW YORK cities listed below for BANK SHOPS. Payment is  $20 and requires an inquiry for a new checking or savings account. Shops may NOT be done on Saturday, or after 5pm.  Assignments are due before June 26. An online 2-page report will need to be completed with detailed comments regarding your experience. Manhattan              Binghamton             Westfield            Rochester         Albany Do you think it’s worth the fee they’re giving? Thanks! There are many factors to consider whether the assignment is worth…

Identifying rental scams

Dear WAHFAQ, I thought I did everything right. I’ve been looking for a place to live, and found this listing. I drove by the home and it actually existed and was listed for sale! But it turned out to be a scam and I lost $2100. I’m working with the bank to try and get my money back, but it doesn’t look good. How could I have known? What did I miss? The rental property you are interested in is 1 Standard Bedroom 1 full bathroom apartment, located at (Address redacted) Seattle, WA 98116 of which the fixed monthly rental fee…

What is an Apartment Shop?

Dear WAHFAQ, I heard that apartment buildings get shopped.  Is that true?  Would I actually have to rent an apartment?  That just seems weird, plus I don’t have the best credit, so I would probably be denied anyway.  I don’t really understand how they would work.   Apartment shops are actually my favorite shops to do!  You do NOT need to rent an apartment, fill out an application, or leave a deposit to do an apartment shop.  It’s pretty simple: You call up the apartment building and talk to a leasing agent over the phone, setting an appointment to view…

Should kids pay taxes on a lemonade stand?

Each summer, entrepreneurial kids will hit the driveways of America selling cookies and lemonade to passersby. Little thought is given to the legalities and regulations of this rite of passage because, after all, they’re just kids, right? At the 2011 US Open in Bethesa, Maryland, a group of kids decided to have a lemonade stand in hopes of earning some money.  They were shut down because they didn’t pay the $500 vendor fee. Meanwhile, other (older) entrepreneurs who paid $300 for land use permits continued collecting $60 parking fees so that they could have cars parked on their lawns. After…

Is Rexair (Rainbow) a Scam?

Dear WAHFAQ, Someone told me that you used to sell Rainbow Vacuums.  I’ve been thinking about doing it. Is Rexair a scam?  Is it legitimate?  What was your experience?   Yes, it’s true, I used to sell Rainbows.  Well, OK, I sold a Rainbow. And no, they’re not a scam.  Rexair is the company that manufactures the Rainbow vacuum and they’ve been around since the 60’s or so.  They’re a Direct Sales company, which means you’ll be selling the Rainbow directly to customers, not retail outlets. Because of this, Rainbows are hella expensive.  When I was working there, they were about $2000….

Is Shadow Shopper a Scam?

Dear WAHFAQ, I found a company called Shadow Shopper and they said that they could get me started in mystery shopping, but they charge a fee.  I remember that you said that you should never pay to shop, so I just wanted to know if they’re legit or not.  Help me out? Shadow Shopper is not a mystery shopping company.  No legitimate mystery shopping company would ever charge you the joy and privilege of working for them.  Shadow Shopper is an assignment service for mystery shopping companies.  How it works is that mystery shopping companies will post their jobs on Shadow…

Don’t pay cash for a high-end return shop

  I had an interesting experience the other day when doing a purchase and return mystery shop at a high-end shoe store. My job was to go in and purchase shoes around $200, and then return them the next day.  Because I try to stay away from credit cards as much as possible, I paid cash. This particular store prides itself on customer service, and had me fill out customer paperwork when I made the purchase.  I gave my real first name, but a fake last name, as I’m always paranoid that people will Google me and discover I’m a…

The Difference Between Work at Home Opportunities and Work at Home Jobs

Dear WAHFAQ, I’ve been looking online for work at home jobs, and it seems like every one wants me to pay money. Are they all just scams? While you’re surfing online for “work at home” jobs, you’ll see many ads from companies that require fees to get started. Keep in mind that these types of offers aren’t necessarily scams. The company wants you to buy into an opportunity, as opposed to get hired for a job.  Granted, the company may be advertising in the wrong section…they should be under “Business Opportunities” instead of “Help Wanted” but they chose to post…

Should I let a bad company go?

Dear WAHFAQ, I have a dilemma.  I really don’t like one mystery shopping company I have been working for.  They’re realllllllly picky about the assignments, they send them back to me all the time for re-writes, they don’t pay that great, and my scheduler constantly calls and emails me to remind me of shops.  I work for a bunch of other companies, and I don’t have that problem with them so I don’t think it’s my work.  I don’t want to burn bridges, but I don’t think I can work for this company anymore.  What do you suggest? The wonderful…

Work at home without going insane

Dear WAHFAQ, I just started working from home, and frankly, I kinda suck at it. I sleep in too late and get so easily distracted by regular “home” stuff…not to mention my family and friends keep bugging me during the day. How in earth have you been able to do this for so long? I feel like I need a babysitter…for ME! Ah the joy of working from home. Waking up when ever you want, going to bed whenever you want, working whenever you want…That’s what most of us think of right? Well, in actuality, just because you work from home,…

Mystery shopping dilemma: What if an employee hits on you?

I love mystery shopping, but I swear, sometimes the weirdest things happen on assignments which leave me scratching my head and thinking, “Ok, how am I going to write this one up?” In one apartment shop, my cover story was that I was single, and looking for a one-bedroom apartment. The leasing agent was a young man who had just moved to the area and had been working at the building for only a few weeks. I doubt that he had much experience within rentals, as we spent a lot of time talking about me. He did a fair job…

The ridiculous Craigslist furniture scam

Dear WAHFAQ, I’ve been selling items online, and keep getting emails like this one. What is the deal with these people? They can’t actually think that I’m going to fall for this? Hello,   I was just drafting this.Thank you for getting in touch with me,i’m fine with your price as listed and looking to buy your furniture but the only way I can is through a Check which I will mail to you through UPS I am willing to wait for the check to clear before the pickup is done. I will be responsible for the pickup and it…

Seven ways to make $50 quickly

Dear WAHFAQ, I need to make money NOW. Not necessarily a lot, just enough to tide me over until the end of the month. What can I do? If you need to make money quickly, there are many things you can do to bring in extra income. While there is no need to limit yourself to $50, it’s enough to make a difference when you’re strapped for cash. Fifty-dollars can: …get enough food for a single person for a week, or a family for a few days. …be enough of a down-payment on a past-due bill to keep utilities from…

Can I tell my friends that I’m a Mystery Shopper?

Dear WAHFAQ, I loved your mystery shopper book and class and have been shopping for a little over a month now.  The checks are just now starting to come in and I’m so happy!  I’ve been wanting to tell my sister and my friends about mystery shopping, but I know that companies are really strict about their confidentially rules.  Can I actually tell people that I’m a shopper? Or do I have to keep this a secret forever? Thanks!   You absolutely can tell people you’re a mystery shopper. Heck, if we couldn’t do that, I’d be in BIIIIIGGGGG trouble! …

I know it’s a scam, now what?

Dear WAHFAQ, I just found your website, and I’m writing because I’m a little bit scared. Through Craigslist, I tried to become a mystery shopper, and after a volley of poorly written emails from a guy named “Paul”, I just received a check on my doorstep for $3501.00 and instructions to email this HOTMAIL account for more information on the next step. Obviously, I don’t want to touch this check with a ten foot pole. But, what do I do now? Can I safely shred it and forget the whole thing? Am I liable for anything? I really want to…

Make extra money with Print on Demand (POD) companies

Dear WAHFAQ, Can you explain how those t-shirt printing websites work? I’m an artist and have some designs but I’m not sure how that all works. Thanks! Sometime around 2003, my brother-in-law told me about a company, Cafepress, that would allow him to create his own t-shirts. He runs a political commentary website, and was looking for ways to earn revenue. My sister would help create designs and they would upload the images to the Cafepress site. They chose where they wanted to “sell” the image: t-shirts, bags, or bumper stickers. Cafepress had a base price for the item, and my…