I’ve wondered about this ad for a long time. How could I make $1,500 a week stuffing envelopes? Would I become a pieceworker, paid for the number of envelopes I could stuff? Was there more to it? Is this ad legitimate? After all, it’s in the Opportunities section of the Classifieds in both newspapers in Barrie…
So, as I was teaching a class in November, we were looking at business opportunities and talking about the character traits needed for self employment. The subject of the Stuffing Envelopes ad came up as a potential business opportunity, along with the associated “I’ll bet it’s a scam!” responses. We decided as a class to find out.
Here’s the story… I’ll let you decide.
A similar ad is placed in both classified sections of The Advance and The Examiner.
It reads like this: $5000 per week income stuffing envelopes at home. Free supplies. FT/PT. No experience required. Everything mailed to your home. Free information. Send self addressed stamped long envelope to: Future Success International, 6021 Yonge St., Suite #233-ST, Toronto, Ontario, M2M 3W2.
So, off went our envelope, with my name and home address on it.
Within days came a one page notice highlighted with dollar bill signs and asking me if I would stuff envelopes for thousands of dollars weekly… simple, pleasant work I can do at home.
If I didn’t love what I already do, I might be interested enough to respond. In the interest of doing this column, I did respond.
“Now, it’s all up to you. Only you can take that all important step that separates achievers from dreamers. Order now!” it admonished. All I had to do was send a money order or cash (can you believe that?) to an address in Newmarket, DLJ Enterprises, 16655 Yonge St, B710030 and include my name, address, city, province, postal code, phone number and the amount of money I’d like to earn each week. I bought the $19.95 money order (courtesy of a collection by my curious entrepreneur class of $1 each) for $22.45 and mailed off my package.
Six weeks later I received a plain, large manilla envelope with six pages (double sided) of information, telling me how to get started in my mail order business.
“If you follow the instructions contained in this program you’ll make a very good income in your spare time just answering mail,” said the booklet. And then it told me how to become a mail order millionaire by starting out on a shoestring budget.
Lest I continued to think someone was going to pay good money to have me sit at my dining room table stuffing something into envelopes, the guide continued, “there are no companies that will send you 100 addressed and stamped envelopes and $100 for you to mail them. Forget it, if that’s what you’re looking for, because there is no such thing.”
No. This opportunity involves me placing ads in newspapers like the one I responded to. And then when I received people’s self addressed, stamped envelope, I’d return it with the same or similar one page circular (only with my address) inviting an investment of $19.95. And then, as the letters from hopeful people came back with their money orders, or cash enclosed, I’d simply photocopy thousands of copies of this six page (double sided) manual and send it out, pocketing the $19.95 for myself.
“The business is hard to start because of the patience needed but once you reach a plateau (three or four months) it will start mushrooming and may get out of control.”
The package said it’s very important to insist that people send their own self addressed, stamped envelope for the initial pamphlet so that I have no costs, and make money simply by stuffing envelopes already stamped and addressed. For every 100 circulars that I would mail, I will get at least 10 orders, probably closer to 20 orders (people like myself who are interested in making money doing this to people like myself, I suppose). “Suppose you mail 500 of these salesletters to your prospects, you will receive in return 50 to 100 orders of $750 to $1500. Sounds unbelievable, right?”
The package told me how to develop my ad and which newspapers to place it in, warning me not to place it in a daily newspaper unless it’s one of the tabloids that we see in the grocery store: SOPHIA LOREN GIVES BIRTH TO FIVE-HEADED BABY! That type. It also told me how to key my ad so I know which publication gives me the most response. Then it warned me not to spend my money but to re-iunvest it with more ads, quadrupling my assets in no time to secure major coverage of the market.
Then I should set up a business and keep track of my expenses and keep accurate records so I can benefit from taxes. It said the best months to advertise are September, October, January, February and March, with November, the best month. It gave me a list of American magazines and newspapers to advertise in, among them Field and Stream, Muscle and Fitness, Ladies Birthday Almanac and Classified Inc. Every publication was American as was every printer supplier and mailing list company.
I was told not to procrastinate and then challenged this way: “since you are probably too busy earning a living to make any money, it means that obviously you are doing something wrong. You have to change your life style, your thinking and your actions in order to acquire wealth.
“The company phone number is not being revealed simply because there isn’t enough time to devote to all the calls and inquiries [and maybe threats] that would come in from people all over the country.”
The pamphlet tells me I have the right to re-sell it, and that I’m starting from scratch and on an equal footing with other people who want to get into this type of business. My only mistake is my failure to try, it read.
The final page deals with the “money back guarantee” part of my new potential business. There is none. “The old phrase MONEY BACK GUARANTEE does not apply to this concept. Positive thinkers will proceed and make money and get their share. You were never offered a money back guarantee. This program is yours to keep.”
So… here I am with this program that I can use to make others send in money and make me rich.
I do have another option, of course. I can choose to continue with the work I do, loving it, connecting with people, watching people make good things happen out of the bad things that occur in their lives. Or, I could make millions stuffing envelopes at home.
I think I’ll go back to the next entrepreneur class.