Although few would like to admit this (namely, my friend Paula), being a stay at home mom can be kind of boring sometimes. Everyone will tell you to take advantage of your child’s nap time with some rest of your own, but, really, how many catnaps can you take per day? Most women at least end up wondering about work from home opportunities, and when they do, some of these otherwise savvy ladies turn to the absolute worst kind of multi-level schemes. If these ladies aren’t trying to sell something, they’re trying to save money by essentially providing free marketing to lousy companies. Since the mommy boards are overwhelmed with affiliate links and coupon mythology, I decided to share some of my favorite scams with you. Spoiler alert: some of these don’t even earn you real money.
1. Diamond Candles
Basically, you troll the Internet with affiliate links. When people click the link, all the purchases made get credited toward the original poster. Diamond Candles does not have a “consultant” or “sales rep” program; instead, Diamond Candles has a referral program. If someone clicks your link, they get $5 off their purchase and you get $5 credited to your account. No matter how you phrase it, all you get out of this deal is candles. And, from the YouTube reviews, Diamond Candles aren’t really worth the money – and, yes, you have to make a purchase before you can have access to their super duper referral program. Lame.
2. Jewelry Candles
Wait, what? Didn’t we just go over this scam? No, no we went over Diamond Candles. This is Jewelry Candles. Totally different. Jewelry Candles consultants receive $5 per candle sold, and a personal discount of $2.50 off per candle. So, in comparison to Diamond Candles, Jewelry Candles actually gives you the opportunity to make real cash. Don’t go counting your chickens before they hatch – it costs $10 to sign up as a consultant, and since you can buy Jewelry Candles (and regular candles) directly from the web, it’s not a get rich quick guarantee. Be honest: when’s the last time you had a candle party? Oh, right: never.
3. Scentsy Fragrance
In case you didn’t get enough wax from the candle wicks, Scentsy Fragrance wants to recruit you to sell wax. Without a wick. With a warmer. Also, room sprays, car air fresheners, beanie babies, laundry detergent, and soap. Because together, those things make awesome catalogs. And, since women love to be infantilized, we need stuffed animals with our wax warmers – lest the smell of a clean home becomes a little too grown up for us.
4. It Works! Body Wraps
These winners are a special kind of evil. Marketing directly to vulnerable, insecure women who just had babies, It Works! lures sales reps in with the promise of a smaller tighter tummy and extra money. The It Works! slogan is, “This is as close to magic as it gets.” Which couldn’t be more true for the It Works! owners, who are essentially distributing a large ace bandage and collecting “start up fees” from women who desperately need the money and and, in many cases, are trying to find a way to afford becoming a full-time stay at home mom. The deal is this: It Works! takes your money, makes you host parties for fat ladies, and you stay chubby and broke. It Works! for the company’s founders and no one else. Also, have you seen co-founder Cindy Pentecost? She looks like the Queen of the Frumps. No, thanks.
5. Tastefully Simple
When you type “Tastefully Simple” into Google, the second search result reads “Tastefully Simple Scam Exposed”. With a “business blastoff kit” costing nearly $200, Tastefully Simple is one of the priciest gimmicks on the market. Women who buy into Tastefully Simple simply don’t do the math. To the right is a graph provided by the company.
In order to earn $1,920/month, you have to host 4 parties per week and average $400 in sales per party. 16 hours per week x 4 weeks per month is 64 hours per month. Divide $1,920 by 64 hours; you’ll walk away with approximately $30/hour. That sounds appealing, right? Of course. But do you know 16 new people who are going to buy your shit and host a party every month? Probably not.
6. Paparazzi Jewelry
The start up fees for this jewelry consultant company range from $300 – $2,750. With the same “host a party” theme as the rest of the “consultant” jobs, Paparazzi makes a large profit from those interested in joining and a marginal income from party sales. With so many costume jewelry stores and department stores stocking jewelry sections, there’s really no need to get fashion jewelry from a Paparazzi consultant. Also, it’s so outdated: people want products now – not three weeks after an order is placed.
7. La Bella Baskets
At $24.95 a month for your custom shop website, becoming a consultant for La Bella Baskets seems like a bargain (remind me, again, why anyone thinks it’s a good idea to pay for work?). However, $24.95 x 12 = $299.20/year. Suddenly, La Bella baskets seems less affordable. With La Bella Baskets, the idea is that you promote your site to friends and family, and they buy gift baskets online. You don’t stock anything. You don’t ship anything. You don’t do anything but share the link and pay the monthly fee. La Bella Baskets manipulates moms with the Basket of Hope program, which provides single moms with a free spa and beauty basket (how exactly they find these needy single moms is a mystery). The idea is that prospective consultants will be moved by the philanthropic gesture and gladly hand over their credit card to the mercy of La Bella Baskets. Don’t get it twisted: no one has reported earning a livable income from La Bella Baskets (except, of course, for its founders).
These “work at home” options are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many scams specifically targeting stay at home moms that it’s difficult to keep up with the companies. You might be wondering, if these things don’t work, is there a way to work from home? I wrote an article about working from home, and I must warn you the outlook is bleak. If you’re looking for a get rich quick scheme, the fact is that these programs are too good to be true. Stay away from anything you have to “invest” in to make money – unless, of course, you’re building your own website or unique brand. And, even if that is your plan, beware: without a solid business plan, intense grasp of Internet marketing strategies, and patience, the odds are you will never see a return on your investment.