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By Norris Chambers






By Norris Chambers

Glancing through the classifieds again, we see one that goes something like this: "Make big money at home by assembling

products!" This sounds like a good way to work at home and make some money. What could be nicer than assembling something at home and getting paid for it. There are several schemes that have an ad similar to this, and they work in different ways. When you write for details, you might get a letter that says: "Congratulations! You have made the first step toward independence. Anyone can learn to do simple assembly work at home for big profits. We show you step by step how to cash in on this lucrative and wide-open method of making money at home." Eventually, you come to the part of the letter that informs you that you should send a few dollars for complete information and plans and a starting inventory of material that, when completed, will provide you with a net profit of two hundred dollars, or more.

If you send the money, you might receive in the mail a poorly copied document explaining the process of buying in bulk and breaking the product into smaller packages for sale to stores - or maybe distributors. For your initial job you might have a package of small envelopes, printed with a picture of a flower or vegetable, and labeled "seeds."

You are told to go to a garden store and buy the seed by the pound, then put an ounce in each envelope, and sell them to home gardeners or flower enthusiasts. Or better yet, to stores or distributors.

They mentioned a guaranteed market. They will buy the packages for two or three cents each. After you pay for your seed and pay the postage for sending them your finished product, you will find that there is practically no profit left, and you have done the work for nothing.

As for selling them to stores or distributors, that is not too easy to do. Many centers sell seeds for five to ten cents per package, even though the price on the envelope says sixty or seventy cents. The seed they are selling may be several seasons old, and it may be a clearance. But to get them to buy your unknown brand, you would have to sell them so cheap you still would not make much money.

Of course there are many products that are bought in bulk and sold in small packages. Can you imagine taking a pound of nails and putting about ten nails to the package. You pay about as much for a small package as you could buy a pound for, if bought in bulk. The same thing applies to screws, door fasteners and most hardware. In the food line, there is sugar, flour, salt and many others. There are companies that make big money by dividing and packaging these things. Almost everything you buy is packaged on a card or in a bag. This is work that an individual can do, with the proper equipment. You could buy a vacuum packing machine for plastic wrapping on cards. You could have food products packaged at the mill in your bags or boxes. But there is the problem of selling them.

Most stores now have their allied sources for grocery products. The larger stores have their own private brands boxed and bagged at the mill. The little neighborhood stores that would have been a good target for your products are disappearing rapidly, leaving only the large supermarkets who do their buying through their chains.

There are other things you could assemble at home. Burglar alarms are a popular product. Many electronic gadgets can be completed from kits. But there is the marketing problem that keeps coming up to haunt you.

Perhaps the simplest of these schemes is the one that offers to send you information for a sum, and when it comes, you make your money by doing the same thing they did. Advertise the same information, then duplicate it and send it to your respondents. This plan doesn't work. It night have made a little money for the one who started it, but before long most of the people who are interested have already ordered. Of course a new crop will be along eventually, so you might hold your advertising until then and be one of the first.

There are about as many schemes to assemble things at home as there are operators in the business. Probably not one in a hundred is a legitimate way to make money. I did know one couple who answered an ad similar to this, and were told that they would make their money by lacing leather goods that had been machine punched, and needed only the finishing touches to be added by hand. They paid the workers a certain amount for each item they completed, and were generous enough to allow a decent profit. But before starting this job, they were required to attend a training session where their work was evaluated and they were thoroughly instructed in all phases of the job.

This type of operation was useful to the manufacturer because he did not have to pay all usual employee expenses for his labor. He saved on insurance, social security and state employment, as well as on utilities and housing for a factory work group. But these situations are not too plentiful.

Generally speaking, it is best to not get involved with any scheme that requires money in advance. For every dollar you have, there is someone willing to take it. The classifieds are full of companies that will tell you how to bid on government surplus and save big bucks. You can get the same information FREE from the government agencies involved. They advertise Government Jobs, and you pay for the information. This information is readily available from the library, and the exam aids they offer are also in books at your library or book store.

In conclusion, if you want to assemble something at home, pick out what you want to make, and do it on your own. Buy your own nails and put them in your own packages. Print your own instructions and sell them to others who want to make money at home.