Work from home as virtual assistant

I woke up one day and realised that my son was nearly 16 and I almost didn’t know how he got to that age. Hold on a minute – I thought – it was only yesterday that my Thomas was going to nursery, and then was in primary school. That time, that much more time that I could have spent with him, I realised I had spent working incessantly for corporate firms or for public bodies. I have been a working mother for the whole of my son’s life – but that does not mean that I have not missed spending more and better time with my son.Time for changes

That day, I realised things had to change before it was too late. And that is how – and I have said this many times, I know – I started thinking of exploring ways to make a realistic income from home.

So, if you are having a wake up call like mine, but don’t know where to start from, maybe you should look at your skill set and work from there. You have always worked in admin environments, have excellent organisational skills – those transferable skills which make you so desirable by so many different businesses. But you no longer want a 9-5 office based job. Well, have you ever considered working as virtual assistant?

Working from home as virtual assistant


In order to get this type of business going, you must have a sound background within the personal assistant or secretarial role working for corporate firms. This is because in order to get started working from home as virtual assistant, you will have to market your skill by sending out curricula vitae (or CV) showing evidence of your past experience.Having a stint at working from home as VA

In order to get your home based business going as a virtual assistant, initially you may want to use the help of specialised employment agencies (normally online based too) to circulate your CV to as many of their client as the agency feels you may match the requirements.

Once a potential employer has expressed interest, you may be invited to sit a phone interview – the potential employer must be given the opportunity to assess the validity of your claims to be professional, organised, excelling in multi-tasking and conversant with an array of word document softwares.

However, once the employer decides to hire your services, the contract of employment is between yourself and the employer directly, where the employer pays you directly.

All you need to do this type of work is a good computer or laptop and an excellent wi-fi signal. Otherwise, and like with many other home based jobs, your home with all its comforts become your castle, but it also becomes your ‘office’.

Who is suited to work as virtual assistant


I believe the biggest requirement to be a successful virtual assistant is the fact that you may have build experience in a previous corporate environment.

For this reason this job, I feel, is perfectly suited for newly parents, who have been successful personal assistants before having children, but now struggle to go back to work due to lack of child care or simply as they actually enjoy being at home with their babies. My biggest regret in life is not to have been brave enough to choose this career path with my son was little!Having a stint at working from home as VA

The one I outline just now is the perfect avenue to pursue this alternative career working from home. However, you may need to work from home as you may have to care for somebody, or purely as you want a change of scenery from the old office based employment. Whichever your motivation may be is irrelevant. What is paramount, however, is for you to have built some experience of personal assistant skills on the field, so to speak – working from home you are very much left to your own devices, and if you have not yet learnt how to cope with organisational skills or with self-discipline or even with the more technical Microsoft Office packages, there will be nobody else teaching you, as in fact you would have in an office. Working from home, and particularly in this role, you must have feet firmly on the ground!

Pros and cons of working as virtual assistant


Pros:

The pros are all around the same as working from home in any capacity. Organisational freedom is the main one that I can see.

But be careful on this point. You will still have a contract of employment with somebody – which means you will still have a boss of sort. The contract of employment may be short term, or renewable every so many months, but you will still have to receive instructions from the boss or manager that employs you.

The difference between working for a boss in an office environment and working from home as virtual assistant is however more detailed than this, if you look at it with business oriented eyes.

The arrangement between yourself and a boss has to be profitable for both. The boss may save in office expenses or in additional employment related expenses. For you the difference stands in the fact that you can work for more than one person at the same time. And because you charge your employer per hour, you can charge far more than the equivalent of a permanent salary. I believe the ongoing rate for professional VAs is in the region of the £40-50 per hour. That is far more than you would ever get paid by any firm for a permanent contract.Pros and cons of working as VA

At the same time, you benefit from the flexibility of going through your email inbox at 6am in the morning (which sometimes is required when dealing with other continents, where the time difference may affect the speed of a virtual conversation) and to organised the rest of your working day as you please.

Cons:

The only disadvantage of working as a virtual assistant, as mentioned above, may be in the fact that you work on short term contracts, and as such you miss out on the perks you may benefit from when working for a firm on a permanent basis.

Firms often do not pay you as well when employing permanent staff – and that is certainly the case of personal assistants, where the rate of pay is never even close to the £50 per hour! But they tend to compensate by giving you perk – these may include discounted membership at the local gym, or free entry to heritage sites, or meal vouchers at chains of restaurants. You get the gist.

The choice ultimately is yours. Personally, as I don’t go to the gym, nor do I like to dine out, I’d sooner get paid better and do without perks which I would use or enjoy.

Likewise, many employers offer competitive pension schemes. However, once you are paid a competitive rate as a virtual assistant, you can equally find competitive private pension deals, which will pay off substantial salaries later in life.

Virtual assistant, but not only


Working as a virtual assistant is one of the many forms of freelancing. As such, its applications are endless. Imagine how many different roles fall under the enormous umbrella of admin duties. From data entry clerk to customer adviser, to travel agent – the list is endless.

If you think carefully of how much can be done from home via internet, there is virtually hardly any job that could not be done from home.

Reduced costs of a VA

And if you look around enough, you will be able to find many virtual vacancies, from the most skilled project managerial or executive roles to the most straightforward clerical data entry.

There are many websites advertising virtual admin positions. As with all online based ventures, you must be careful and wise enough not to fall trap of scams. But there are also a lot of genuine opportunities which it’s a shame to miss out on, when they could change your quality of life.

My verdict


Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to test this method of home based opportunity yet. I am myself still working on a part-time basis as customer adviser and, although I have worked as personal assistant for many years in the past, customer advisory is where I would like to remain. But, whilst working part-time in an office, and the remaining of my time dedicating to my affiliate marketing business, I haven’t managed to actively seek virtual opportunities yet.

The question is: would I want to try it one day? And, do I think it is good business and good money?Working as VA is a Yes from me

YES, definitely YES to both questions!

And yes, I have mentioned the word ‘marketing’. Because of course, and like with all job opportunities, you need to sell your skills and your experience. Ideally you would want to put together a really strong CV, and initially you need to persevere in advertising your abilities on multiple online platforms. But once you start building your reputation through positive employer’s feedback, there is no limit to virtual job offers you will receive. The ball will be in your court as to how many hours you want to work on such avenue per week. And that’s where we can see the true benefit of working from home: you become your own boss.


If you have already had experience of working from home as virtual assistant, and can suggest a trustworthy online employment platform where to find good deals, please leave your comment below. Share with me and with my readers what your thoughts are below.


Do you want to work as a virtual assistant but do not know how to market your services?  A website is what you need

Learn how to build your own website and create a thriving virtual business with WEALTHY AFFILIATE.  Join for FREE today!

 

Can you make money drop shipping

Drop shipping, profitable but risky retail model

 

A few months ago, when starting establishing my home based business, I came across the concept of drop shipping as an alternative way to sell merchandise in the more original formats, such as from a retailing shop or a retailing website.  It took me a little while to get the gist of it, as it meant virtual business pushed to the limit as far as old fashion me was concerned.  But once I got the hang of it, my next question was: can you really make money drop shipping?

 


Drop shipping, how it works

The difference between running a retailing business and a drop shipping one is in the fact that the retailer does not hold stock, but order the merchandise directly from the wholesaler or manufacturers to be delivered directly to the customer or purchaser.  There are tons of advantages to this form of retailing.  The first that may spring to mind is reduced costs.  But I shall cross that bridge a little later.

When worded like this, drop shipping will sound ideal for those of us that want to specialise their home based business in buying and selling goods online.  And particularly if you trade through auction based platforms such as eBay.  Nevertheless, it is deemed that drop shipping is also used by smaller businesses or retailer who only have room in their retail units for one or two samples to display – the customer can view the item and appreciate its quality, but when the retailer has enough orders, he will place a buying order directly from the wholesaler or from the manufacturer at a discount rate, for the goods to be delivered directly to the customer (credit of Wikipedia).

When you think of it, the applications of the drop shipping business model can be truly endless!

 


Advantages of drop shipping

As mentioned at the beginning, the most resounding advantage to drop shipping is in the fact that the retailer saves money by not having to purchase stock that may not sell, nor to have to find (and sometimes rent) room to store the stock of merchandise.

Going back to the online auction platforms, the seller here often advertise the item with a reserve price which will include or surplus the buying price from the wholesaler as well as the selling fees, in order to ensure that, when the item is shipped from the wholesaler to the highest bidder, a profit is guaranteed .  In principle a lot of auctioning platforms do not recommend drop shipping.  In the case of eBay, their policy is based on the principle that the merchandise should have been owned by the seller before being sold over.  However, it appears that drop shipping is tolerated by eBay, so long as the seller keeps receiving positive feedback.

One of the dangers of drop shipping online is that your customer may realise they have been overcharged when receiving delivery of the merchandise directly from the wholesaler.  In that case, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the goods are shipped from the wholesaler with a ‘private label’ which may show only the retailer’s details as seller and as potential return address.

Some time ago, I wrote a short article on drop shipping.  Click on the below picture to find out here my personal take:Drop shipping pros and cons

 


Disadvantages of drop shipping

Drop shipping may sound very appealing when it comes to the possibility to reduce costs and increase profits.  Nevertheless the biggest disadvantage of drop shipping is in the fact that, as a retailer, you remain responsible for the faulty or malfunctioning merchandise.

If you benefit from added profits, as a drop shipper you are the one who ultimately will have to deal with the complaint part of the business transaction as well.  If you went and bought a radio from a shop or from the local supermarket and you went home to find out the radio is not working, you would take the radio back to the shop where you purchased it in first instance, and you would ask for a replacement or for a refund.  And if not satisfied with the service, as a customer you would be more than entitled to post a negative review on one of the many feedback sites online!

As a seller, you represent to the customer the same as what a red scarf represents to a wound up bull: you are liable for all the troubles they have endured since purchasing the item from you!

The difference is that, if as a shop retailer you may have been able to see the merchandise before selling it, or you may witness to the fact that it is malfunctioning once the customer returns it to you, as a drop shipper you never get to see the merchandise.

As the merchandise gets shipped directly from the wholesaler, you cannot ensure it is in working order.  Likewise, and unless arranged for the returns to come to you with a private label, you may not be able to verify whether the goods are truly malfunctioning.  In other words, you may be prey of SCAMS from both the wholesaler and from the customer alike.  You are the middle person, and this makes you double vulnerable.

Scam Alert!!

As a buyer from wholesaler, you may become victim of some wholesalers who advertise a product from their catalogue or online catalogue as brand new, when in fact the product is a knock off or imitation of an original brand.  And likewise, you may be lead to believe you are buying from a wholesaler when in fact you are buying from another middle person, who charges you over-priced figures, hence leaving you with very little or no room whatsoever for profit.

Finally, you may want to watch out for those primarily online based companies who yes give you access to a marketplace of wholesalers who deal in drop shipping, but demand that you pay a monthly membership fee.  Most of these companies will be genuine and legit: you pay for the privilege of being introduced to a vast plethora of legit drop shipping wholesalers.  Nevertheless, before you commit to paying monthly fees, you want to ensure that you your profits will cover the expense.

 


 

My verdict

Hands up: have I tried drop shipping yet?  No, not yet.  And that is for two reasons.

The first reason is that, as mentioned, I only sell the odd second-hand items online whenever I do not need something anymore or if I come across an old unwanted Christmas present, or if I find old and quirky goods at the local booth sale.  But the second reason – and call me a coward if you wish – is in the fact that I do not like unnecessary risks.  And, as far as I am concerned, drop shipping is too risky for someone as naive and still relatively inexperienced as me.

The truth of the matter is that I find affiliate marketing much more profitable and definitely less risky.  And that is the direction I have take for my home based online business.

As an affiliate marketer, I can review merchandise, goods or services positively or negatively, but the purchase is still made directly from the selling company.  If things do not go to plan therefore, the customer will contact the seller directly for complaints and for liability.  I will get my commission when goods are shipped to the customer, or my commission will be cancelled if the customer decides to return the malfunctioning merchandise.  But nothing more will come of it as far as I am concerned.

Not only that, but with affiliate marketing, you do not need necessarily to have a retail website or to advertise specific items.  A website blogger or the owner of any other form of website content can benefit from joining affiliate programs, as often programs will pay you a commission for the sale of goods or for generating leads to their site.

 


==>  I learned all about affiliate marketing from Wealthy Affiliate.  Do you want to know how?  Find out from Wealthy Affiliate University.


 

Have you sold merchandise on a drop shipping arrangement with your wholesaler?  And have you ever experienced a negative outcome?  Share your thoughts with us, leave your comment below.  Your advice and recommendations are valuable to us!

Is Swagbucks legit or scam?

Website:  www.swagbucks.com

Price:   FREE

Owner:  subsidiary brand of Prodege Llc

My rating:  80 out of 100

 

When discussing different ways to make an income from home using the powerful online tools available on the market nowadays, I mentioned Swagbucks as one of the most successful and most popular sites.  But what is Swagbucks sll about?  And is Swagbucks legit or scam?  Let’s find out below.

 


What is Swagbucks all about?

Swagbucks is another PPC website working on the same lenghtwave as InboxPounds, or very similarly.

The principle behind Swagbucks, much like with InboxPounds, is that you get awarded SB points for activities you already perform daily online without realising.

Therefore, you will be awarded points for searching on the web when using Swagbucks as your search engine, or you will be awarded SB points when shopping with specific retailers that are in partnership with Swagbucks.  Equally, you are going to be awarded points when playing games available on the Swagbucks platform, or when you watch short videos, which can include trailers to new movies about to be launched.

Finally, you can earn points by answering the usual surveys – activity, this one, which seems to raise to common denominator to most of these PPC platforms.

The points you accrues will be converted to free gift cards which you can redeem with major retailers, such as Amazon or Walmart shops.

But when answering email inviting to shop with specific brands, you can equally be rewarded with cash back.  And the cash back can be paid into your PayPal account.

 


How does Swagbucks make money

If you check out the About Us page on Swagbucks website, you will find that Swagbucks was created as a subsidiary of Prodege Llc, an American company specialised in online marketing of leading brands and retailing companies.

Now, on researching for Prodege, it became clear to me that they specialise in e-commerce and e-marketing, but they also specialise in market research and consumer auditing – all activities aimed to discover the market latest tastes and trends when it comes to spending money on any categories of goods.

It makes quite sense to relay the activities you get rewarded for on Swagbucks with the type of business Prodege runs, as it is through surveys, as well as web browsing, and of course through the actual consumer shopping, that Swagbucks collects market flavoured data to work with to put together an action plan for their clients, the retailers themselves.

Retailing companies therefore, pay Prodege and Swagbucks for participate in the rewarding scheme offered by Swagbucks.

 


Is this form of PPC legit?

But of course it is.  Swagbucks, like all other PPC based platforms, is only the reflection of how market research companies work nowadays.

And if you are still stuck to the idea of employees stopping you when you come out of the train station, asking you to judge between two different brands of yogurt, you could not be further from the truth.

Doing market research online using a reward scheme for its participants is in fact more effective, as it encourages us to take part whilst we feel rewarded for giving our time to answer questions.

In fact, moving one step further, Swagbucks’ principle is that they reward us for doing daily online activities without us even realising that – they are activities we perform every day, such as web browsing, but with the additional perk that Swagbucks pays us for the bother.

Furthermore, any online activity you may be encouraged in participating, is of legal nature, and does not include content of racist, harassing, or sexual nature.

 


Who can take part in Swagbucks

One of the ways to redeem SB points is through its sweepstake.  This has elements of gambling attached to it, as it essentially asks you to use the points you have earned to purchase lottery numerical combinations or to attempt to win additional points or additional Amazon gift cards.

Due to the gambling nature of this type of rewards, age and geographical restrictions may apply in specific areas, where the local law will be applied.

Otherwise, with the exception of the above limitations, literally everybody can join and claim their earned points back.  All you need is access to a wi-fi connection, and a computer or phone to perform your daily online activities.

I use Swagbucks browser, alternating it to InboxPounds, for instance to do a lot of web searching.  It is normal browsing of websites I would perform anyway every day, but with the added bonus that I get rewarded for it.  But, when I have a minute to spare, I also like to go through their videos, which do not last longer than up a a couple of minutes.

And if you are into apps, you can easily download the Swagbucks one, and access it from your mobile when you are on the move.

 


User friendly Swagbucks platform

Finally, let me go through the Swagbucks platform with you.

It is a platform that I find most user friendly – and on this point, Swagbucks in my opinion beats InboxPounds.  Not only it allows you to navigate easily between one activity and the other, but it notifies you promptly about new offers and surveys which you may be interested in.

You also get notifications for online offers by a lot of high street brands.  And if you are into cash back rewards, that is an easy way to build up a bit of easy cash.

But the one element that I like is that, although the company was born in the States, and is based in Los Angeles, the platform converts everything to your own currency, from participating companies to the actual way of paying back on pound sterling rather than US dollards.

And likewise, when presented with retailers’ offers, it is the UK brands that are displayed to me as a UK resident, rather than the American ones, which I would make very little use of otherwise.

In this again, Swagbucks differst from InboxPounds, where you log and sign up for different websites, depending on whether you deal in pounds or dollars.  Swagbucks proves to be more user friendly in this respect too.

 


The affiliate program

A good PPC website would not be as such if it did not incentivise its promotions through an affiliate program.  And as it is custom, Swagbucks has its own too.

The initial button at the top of Swagbucks bar leads us to believe that we will earn 500 SB points for every referral – and that unfortunately is misleading.

But you still earn 10% in SB points on any earnings your referral may get for as long as they keep using the Swagbucks platform.  And when comparing the 10% commission scheme to other popular ones, such as Amazon, Swagbucks starts faring rather generously.

Swagbucks allows you to refer by direct emails, but you can equally use a selection of banners to add to your reviews.  Such as this one for instance:

Or Swagbucks gives you your unique link for you to use when promoting Swagbucks on your social media accounts.

 


My verdict

Do I like Swagbucks?  Yes, I most definitely do.  So, why am I only rating this platform with an 80 out of 100?

Negatives

Firstly let me remind you that with PPC websites you do not make huge earnings.  And in this Swagbucks is no different from any other platform.  And it will take you time to build up to a decent number of SB points to be able to redeem them.  If you look at the reward page, the minimum required to claim a £5 Amazon gift card is 700 SB points.  Bearing in mind that it is unlikely that you will perform a lot of activities on SB every day, again it may take you up to a few months to qualify for a substantial reward.

Positives

Nevertheless, I rank Swagbucks slightly higher than InboxPounds for the fact that its platform is definitely more user friendly.

Also, and unless I am mistaken, I feel that Swagbucks offers a wider variety of activities to perform, hence enabling us to earn on a wider scale.  You may feel differently, in which case do let me know – share your experience below in the comment area.

And again, call me gullible, but with the point system, I do not feel like I am paid pittance for opening an email or watching a video.  Possibly it may be true that if you convert points into pennies, you will end up being rewarded for even less.  But the monetary aspect becomes secondary to the fact that you are accumulating points.  And that’s what matters when ‘messing around’ with Swagbucks.

Swagbucks also breaks down your achievements in daily goals, incentivising them by offering an additional 3 SB points when the daily target is met.

In such way you can ‘budget’ your activities or start working harder, based on how quickly you want to reach your target.

Yes, Swagbucks is what it is when it comes to monetising out of it.  But it is a relatively good contributor to ensuring that a small part of your earning is kept in the PPC basket (see one of my past articles ‘Keep Your Eggs In Many Baskets‘).

 


Website:  www.swagbucks.com

Price:   FREE

Owner:  subsidiary brand of Prodege Llc

My rating:  80 out of 100

Telecommuting could be the answer

 

On a site that is dedicated to finding different ways to earn working from home, I could not omit touching on the concept of telecommuting as potentially one of the best ways to make an income from home.  Let me take you through the actual definition of telecommuting, what telecommuting home jobs are, and why there is still much skepticism around the validity of telecommuting roles.

 

What is telecommuting


When you telecommute, you are employed by a company or organisation that enables you to work from home, or the local library or coffee shop, at least once a week.  So, instead of commuting from your home to an office based position, you actually ‘commute’ with other colleagues and with your team using telecommunication tools, such as phone, emails and internet based platforms.

This new solution has been adopted by more and more employers in the last few decades as a new way of offering additional flexibility to employees, in an effort help them strike a better balance between work and private or family life.

Telecommuting is more widely spread within certain types of business, such as sales environment, online software management companies and internet industries, customer services where firms are prepared to outsource, in creative roles, such as writing environments and designing, and any other business that can avail of the benefits offered by the internet where management systems are web based.

 

Benefits of telecommuting


The benefits of telecommuting are immeasurable for those people who struggle to keep up with the obligations of a family whilst having to sustain daily bills with a regular income.  If you wish, telecommuting is in fact the ideal situation for an employee, as unlike self employment, you have a regular salary and a contract of employment, but you can benefit from being home based.

I often mention the freedom that working from home gives you.  Unfairly and incorrectly working from home is often seen by many as a way to ‘skive off’, a way to pretend to work whilst you spend the day watching day telly or running around doing your errands.  This could not be further from the truth.  As a part time home worker myself – although I do not telecommute, as I work independently – I see the benefits of telecommuting in the fact that you could wake up at crack o’ down and start tackling your work load whilst the kids are still in bed; this would enable you fit in both your work related activities with the school run.

In fact, if you think about it, the day of a home worker are much longer and jam-packed than the ones of people working from an office, as home workers tend to family and home duties every day as well as working for their employer.

 

The drawbacks of telecommuting


These are similar to the disadvantages posed by working from home more generally.  You are part of a team, but will work mostly on your own.  If you like the comradery of working closely with colleagues, then telecommuting is definitely not for you, as you may end up feeling isolated and detached from the rest of the team.

You also must be very well organised and self disciplined in order not to fall pray of the temptations offered by day tv programs, or by catching up with your house chores, or by whichever other excuse you may

Generally speaking, as you are still employed by and work for a company, you need to remain accountable to your boss.  You will be asked to attend meetings in the office – although nowadays more and more organisations do take advantage of phone conferencing through Skype or FaceTime technologies.  Which means, some industries require your presence in their offices, periodically or more regularly and frequently – and this, in turn, may unsettle your daily routine when it comes to having to arrange additional child care, or nursing care.

And ultimately, when you telecommute, you are still part of an organisation, which means you have a boss and are not your own boss.  When working on a self employed basis, you may have to put pressure on yourself in meeting earning targets, but you have only yourself to respond to.  Equally, you may take a number of different approaches to your work ethics – so long as they are legal, of course.  As an employee, you need to adhere to targets set up for you by your boss, and you still represent your company, hence must adhere to your company policies.  In other words, although your role and service delivery is made more flexible, you never have the freedom to operate as when working for yourself.

Then again, as mentioned, it is expected that you will have a secure salary.

 

Who is telecommuting for


Ideally, this type of arrangement is offered more willingly to newly mothers struggling with child care arrangements, or to parents more generally.

But companies are not strangers to consider this additional type of flexibility for those employees who can present a valid argument in favour of working from home.  I could ask my employer to work from home as I have caring obligations towards an older parent, or I could have started retraining with a college or university course, and may need the additional flexibility to fit in lectures.

The possibilities are infinite as to why your boss, and the company you work for, may surprise you by accepting your proposal to work from home.  Because the advantages to employees working from home extend to your employers too!

 

All around winning combination


For an organisation, and more so for a smaller company, there are too benefits to having your workforce practicing from home.

When an employee works from home, you save in office space and in running costs.  The office becomes more paper free, as communication is primarily via internet.  Less desks and working station are required, as it is often the case that when workers come into the office alternatively, they will do desk share.

But the greatest advantage to a company allowing telecommuting will be in increased productivity.

It has been proven that, as workers strike a happier balance between working and personal life, they will be happier in their working role, and will approach their work more proactively – to the point that sickness rates amongst home based workers are noticeably reduced.  And again, as workers are given the choice of when to work within the 24 hour day cycle, they may take advantage of their more productive hours in the day to make the most of their energy levels to give more in brain storming and in creativity.

 

Skepticism surrounding telecommuting


Given all these positive premises, it is still quite evident that some work environment are still looking at telecommuting with doubting eyes.  The figures for telecommuting are far higher in the States, for instance, than in UK.  And they go further down in Southern Europe.  But why?  Is the reluctance to offer telecommuting as a regular opportunity for workers dictated by cultural limitation?  Or are the higher figures of specific countries determined to by geographic requirements?

When relating to geographical factors, it is easily understandable why telecommuting (or remote working, as some address it) may be more widely employed by companies due to wider distances.  It would make it impractical and expensive, and sometimes physically impossible, for workers to commute as fast as in smaller countries, or within smaller district towns, where distances are noticeably reduced.

UK is renowned for its commuting culture, especially with workers living in suburbs of bigger cities.  And commuting is not only ingrained amongst the higher ranks of salaried positions.  Those on lower wages do not mind commuting either, in spite of the high train fares in this country.

The most recent figures I found for home working in UK relate to a survey taken by the Office for National Statistics and covering the period January-March 2015, where it appears that only 13.7% of workforce resulted as working from home.  But the figures do not clarify whether that percentage related to all home workers or solely telecommuting.  See the below picture:

Older, but more precise, figures are reported by BBC News in an article from 2011, where it was reported that in 2008 teleworking rose to 46% of employed workforce (BBC News 2011: ‘Home Working: Why can’t everyone telework?’).

But the same article outlines also why in certain specific sectors employers may see telecommuting with reticence.  Whilst for instance not all businesses can be adapted to telecommuting, my direct experience is that not all employers feel safe in entrusting the running of a business, and the working ethics of an organisation, to an employee working from home without supervision.

Some companies feel they would need to invest heavily in stronger firewall protecting softwares and in more powerful IT systems to enable safe exchange of data between home based internet connections and big head office servers.  But other employers still feel there must be a ‘hands on’ approach when supervising the productivity of their teams.  In other words, the mistrust that ‘when the mice are away, the cats will play’ is still at the core of the problem why telecommuting is not offered to employees to make their life, in one word, better.

Personally, if offered a telecommuting opportunity, I would grab it with both hands.  Provided I monitored myself and set standards and feasible targets as if I were at work, I am more than certain, Mr Boss, I would be well far off from skiving off!  But, the question is: would anyone else?  And, would you?

Leave your comment below, to share your telecommuting experience or how you feel about the possibility of working from home for your boss.

 

What is InboxPounds

 



Name:  InboxPounds

Website:  www.inboxpounds.co.uk

Price:  FREE

Owner:  Daren Cotter

Rank:   70 out of 100


When browsing on the internet for ways to earn with an online business, we all seem to be bombarded with ads of free and easy money spinning ideas. One of the websites that hits the first pages of the most affirmed search engines is InboxPounds, or its American counterpart InboxDollars.  But what is InboxPounds?  And is InboxPounds a scam? Or is InboxPounds legit?  Read on to find out, so that you can make up your mind for yourselves.

 

What is InboxPounds


In my page Internet Is Your Oyster I have briefly touched on ways to earn with an online business through PPC, or pay per click website – although its team likes to refer to it as ‘online reward club’.  InboxPounds is exactly that: a website with a variety of online based activities which earn you a few pence per action.  In other words, and mostly, you get paid per every click you action on InboxPounds dashboard activities.

From the onset, it appears quite clear that you will not make a lucrative income, not a basic revenue, by using InboxPounds.  But, as mentioned in my latest post Keep your Eggs in Many Baskets, the overall money you may cash out every so often can contribute to enrich your pocket money stash.

 

How InboxPounds works


As you get on to InboxPounds website, you will be invited to register, setting up a username and password.  Once you have done so, InboxPounds opens the doors for you to a variety of different activities, including:

  • ​completing surveys,
  • opening emails redirecting you to other websites,
  • searching on the internet by using InboxPounds browser,
  • playing online games,
  • referring friends, and many others.

My favourite PPC is opening emails I receive every day on my email inbox, clicking on the website I am prompted to enter, and getting paid the 1p (yes, unfortunately only one penny!) for the time invested.



Which admittedly is not much of my precious time.  And this may explain why the pay scale is so low.​

 

How much does it cost


Joining InboxPounds is completely free of charge.  And that is another reason which may explain how low pay the scheme is.

InboxPound is not unique, mind you, in paying the so called pittance.  Many of these PPC programs pay as little.  However this does not make them scam.  Certainly it does not make InboxPounds scam.  I can assure you that InboxPounds is legit!

The reason why I know is because I did get paid, legitimately and promptly.  So, definitely no scam there.

And whilst we are talking money, the payout is £20.  Which, considering the low rate of payments for each online activity, you may think it will take an enormous length of time to put together.  If you thought along those lines, you would not be far off from the truth.  But ultimately, it depends by how much or little you decide to participate to the InboxPounds online activities.

Alternatively, you can opt to be paid in Amazon vouchers, which, if you are an Amazon shopaholic like me, can turn quite handy.

 

The concept


InboxPounds was founded by university student Daren Cotter back in 2000.  Whilst reading Computer and Information System, Daren saw the potential of rewarding customers for online activities, and has maintained that concept since then.

He first created the older sister InboxDollars, as he is American and based in the States after all.  He only launched the UK version of InboxPounds in 2012, so relatively recently.  But in the process he managed to bag accolade after accolade, reaching a company revenue of $10 million after only seven years.

It’s amazing how successful and, let’s admit, wealthy you can become from the simplest of ideas!!



InboxPounds referrals


Let me, for a minute, talk a little more in details about InboxPound referral scheme.  The payout is, again, rather low – again, we are talking pence rather that the solid pound coins (or USA dollars) the website prides of paying as per their name.  But, you know how strongly I feel  about referral schemes.

And that is because it is a sound form of passive income.  And in the case of InboxPound, it does not require any further maintenance or input.  Provided the friend you refer completes the signing in process by registering, you will earn 10% of your referrals for most of his or her activities.  So, when compared to other affiliate programs, such as Amazon, whose commission rate is never beyond the 7-8%, you will find that InboxPounds stands on a slightly more generous position.  So, over regular payouts of £25, each and every of your referrals could earn you some £2.50.

As mentioned above, it is not the £2.50 that is going to make you rich or that is going to pay your monthly bills.  But when you think that you might get some 10 referrals a month, you can potentially earn a regular £25 without doing anything – and that money could easily add up to your regular activities on InboxPounds.  Not bad for passive income!

 

Available support


Where InboxPounds, unlike some other PPC websites, does not fail is in providing good customer services and good support.  When you log on to InboxPounds, you have a Support link on the right hand corner, just next to your Sign In link.  The Support link takes you to a self help separate screen where you find explanation to how to use the website, and answers to other users’ questions.

At the same time, if you scrolls to the bottom of the site, you will find available a Tour of the Site, and a link to F.A.Q. which again contribute to assist with using the site, as well as answering questions about the pay scheme and about referrals.

InboxPounds is obviously most supporting of its referral scheme.  And proof of this is in the fact that it has many tools available for you to promote the site and its referral scheme.  InboxPounds offers a fairly generous array of banners, as well as your unique URL link to ensure future commissions from your referrals are allocated and paid to you.  And it has direct links to Twitter and to Pinterest for direct link promotions.

Yes, this is my account at present with InboxPounds - and the Jules is my username
Yes, this is my account at present with InboxPounds – and the Jules is my username

My verdict


So, why am I only rating InboxPounds with 70 out of 100?

Positives

This site has many positives.  For starters, it is FREE.  And this point must not be disregarded.  Many websites ask for an initial deposit, which may be reimbursed at a later stage.  To join InboxPounds you don’t need any of that.

And InboxPounds is definitely a legit business.  On my first payout, they actually sent me a cheque mispelling my name – no surprise there, as I do have a rather unusual combination of letters (but that’s a story for another day).  The point I am making is that, I contacted their customer services by email, and they sent me a new cheque within a week, with the correct spelling, and at no extra charge.  Which to me proves that, not only the company truly pays out, but they also have an extremely good and fast responding customer services team.

Negatives

But, there are a couple of issues which I feel I cannot disregard.

Starting with the online activities. not all of them are easy and quick to execute.  For instance, the surveys.

It is with surveys, more than with opening emails and accessing the ad link you are sent, that you can earn higher money.  Personally though, I have even stopped trying to do surveys.  No matter what time of the day or night you access surveys, you are always told that either they have already reached their audience target, or that you do not qualify as not fulfilling the age group or demographic required – and that is after you have already spent possibly five minutes answering questions.  That to me is pretty low.  You waste your precious time and you come out empty handed.

The second issue which I find pretty poor is the low pay rate.  In this time and age paying a penny (or cent) per opened email is only typical of scam websites.  Or maybe it is not, but then that is why scams are scams: they promise you a lot, and deliver nothing.

No matter how you see it, however, surely you can imagine that it takes you a little while to reach the minimum payout figure of £20!

Do I recommend InboxPounds?  YES!!!

In spite of its drawbacks, I would definitely recommend at least giving it a try.  Because, however little you get, it is definitely easy money.  My main activity is opening their emails – which takes me no extra effort nor time, as I can easily do so whilst going through my inbox every day.  And, when I remember, I search their internet through InboxPounds browser – and again, no major effort there, as their browser has a wide scope as much as the more renowned search engines.

The main thing, when signing up for InboxPounds, is to remember that you are not there to make big money, but solely to get a big of extra pocket money with fun activities.




Click on the below link if you want to join today!  Or share your thoughts about it, leave your comment below.

 

Name:  InboxPounds

Website:  www.inboxpounds.co.uk

Price:  FREE

Owner:  Daren Cotter

Rank:   70 out of 100

 

 

 

Keep your eggs in many baskets

No, I am not referring to ways to store your weekly supply of eggs in your kitchen. What I am referring to is to make a success of working from home.  Excuse my wacky attitude, but allow me today to suggest a flexible approach to help becoming an entrepreneur right and proper.

 

Keep your eggs in many baskets


A couple of years ago in my line of work (my ‘day’ job, that is) I came across a young lady who told me she was an actress.  I asked what she was working on at the moment, and she answered me she was freelancing.  This meant her keeping her eggs in many baskets, so to speak.  She was registered with different acting agencies, she was doing some teaching, she was doing some online work, and of course she worked with her agent for potential auditions and gigs.

My concern was: how could she make a living based on such uncertain terms?  The way she put it to me though was equally eye opening.

She explained, if my employer went burst, or less dramatically decided to reduced its workforce and I was given redundancy, I would be left with no income at all, given that my sole source of income was my day job.  Equally, if I were to fall sick of some form of ailment that prevented me to carry on working (such as particular cancers, which could potentially affect my current day job), my employer would pay me reduced sickness salary for up to six months, but after that and if still not fit for work, I would be asked to leave.  And some employers do not even have such more generous sickness packages, but pay the bare statutory basic sickness.  In other words, working for an employer is only marginally more secure than working on a self-employed freelance basis – that is what the freelance actress was trying to point out to me.

When you juggle many balls at the same time, she explained there is always something going which will generate an income.  She was primarily referring to various and different ways for her to advertise her acting skills and to reach out to potential gigs and opportunities.

But her take on ‘keeping your eggs in many baskets’ got me thinking.

 

Diversity is key to run a successful home business


And there is nothing more true than this approach when working from home.  Especially at the beginning, when you are barely monetising from your ventures, and you are far from matching a full time average salary if not more, it is advisable not to focus on one business only.  If one venture earns you a quarter of your monetary target, four entrepreneurial activities will make up the full salary that you are aiming to and that you need to sustain household and living bills – exactly as if you were working for an employer.

 

Diversifying versus specialisation


But how does diversifying translate in practice?  At the end of the day we cannot all be good at every type of home based business, surely!

If for instance my speciality were teaching maths, and I were to plan to do freelance teaching, how can I branch out into other areas of expertise?

Well, that is where you need to appeal to your most entrepreneurial vein.  When working from home, you need to become most creative.  And specialisms can walk hand in hand with diversification.

So, if teaching, you may want to advertise your freelance lessons actively, both on local papers, on shop windows of local newsagents, in the local community notice board.  But you may want to also approach local school, to see if they may be happy to refer students to you that may need additional tuition.  Or you may want to enrol with specialised recruitment agencies.

And you may also start learning how to leverage social media to advertise your enterprise.  Or you could learn how to build a website and attract further teaching business leveraging on your website outreach.


When sitting down and start brain storming, possibilities are endless.

 

Retain your identity


As mentioned above, diversification doesn’t have to stretch as far as doing a variety of different things to earn a bit of extra cash.  You can retain your identity as specialised entrepreneur in a specific business enterprise.

If for argument sake you were setting up an online selling point on eBay, and your speciality were to buy and sell antique items, nothing stops you from keeping a small ongoing stock of electronic gadgets, as you see fit pending the demand on the market for the latest trend.

Likewise, as I am specialising in blog writing, I could consider stretching my efforts into writing an e-book, and market it on Amazon Kindle with the aim to make a bit of cash and to create an ideal form of passive recurring income.

In other words, and like with the example of the maths teacher, you can still retain your identity as a teacher, trader or writer, but employ your skills and expertise in a more proactive and interactive way.

The main thing, I believe, is that, whichever business activity you embrace, you never loose focus in believing in what you are doing, and in wanting to share your findings with others and for the benefit of others.  If the sole motivation for what you are doing is making money, believe you me, it will not work.  Potential customers and clients will smell your thirst for money, and that will work as a deterrent instead as an incentive for people to trust you and your business.

 

Think outside the box with online business


Online business possibly lends itself better than other ventures to diversification, possibly due to its nature where you can find wide ranging and endless opportunities.

Let me introduce you to a short tutorial put in place by one of my dear friends at Wealthy Affiliate, Robert aka boomergp08, on diversification as a writer.  The tutorial, How to Earn Money Writing Online, goes through the various revenue possibilities as an online writer.  Click the blue link to find out Robert’s take – I can assure you, it is inspirational!

With an online business, and with a website, you can easily monetise on your blog, but it will take time for you to become visible to online browsers in order to attract clicks that will convert in purchases.  As mentioned in my page on creating good website content, the revenue generating process does take its time.  But whilst we produce content for our website, we all become better and better at it.  So, why not put our newly found expertise to use to others and produce writing for others?

And again, whilst putting together a website for ourselves, why not getting paid by acquaintances and friends for designing their website, based on their requirements and needs?

As Robert mentions in his tutorial, think outside the box, and use your skills to the benefit of others.

 

 Diversify your skills with telecommuting


Naturally, diversification is not solely limited to home based business enterprises.  You may well be working for an employer, part time or full time, and have additional ways of making extra money on the side.  The general approach, as far as employers are concerned, is that so long as the employee’s additional income attempts do not interfere or clash with the employer’s line of business – in other words, so long as there are no conflicts of interest – employers welcome the proactive attitude of employees, so long as your additional revenue activity is not run whilst you are working for your employer.

In the home based business opportunities examined so far, I can easily work on my 9-5 job, whilst trying to sell some items on eBay, and whilst doing some online marketing job, and whilst chancing my luck at binary option trading.  Or you could make a monetary investment for additional source of revenue in the shape of passive income.

But diversification is not solely about making money, or making additional money.  It is very much about expanding your areas of expertise.  So, whilst working for an employer, you might want to approach your HR or line manager with a view to be put forward for courses or workshops to gain additional skills.

Because it is through the initiative, a proactive and creative attitude and a variety of acquired skills that we can broaden our horizon and become a 360 degree entrepreneur.  We are all born naturally gifted with the mind set of an entrepreneur – I most certainly am not!  But we can all reach success if we work hard at it.

 


Please share your story about how you established your entrepreneurial business venture successfully.  Or tell how you diversify your business.  Leave your comment below. 

AWin best affiliate network program in UK

In my discovery journey to find out new ways to make an income from home (or well established ways, but new to me), I have come across affiliate network programs and CPA based programs.  One of them, and in my opinion the best CPA affiliate network program in UK and Europe, is AWin.

 




Name:  AWin (formerly Affiliate Window)

Website:  awin.com

Price:  Initial deposit of £5 refundable

Owner:  Merge of Xanox and Affiliate Window

Rank:   85 out of 100

 


What is an affiliate network program

The likes of Amazon, or eBay or even Wealthy Affiliate are corporate companies big enough to be able to afford to run their own affiliate program.  Such companies will also prefer to manage their program in-house so that they can keep better track of selling or click trends.

However there are smaller companies, or big companies which do not want to branch into the self-management of their own affiliate programs, but want to benefit from being part of an affiliate program.  Affiliate programs, and we affiliate marketers, are an asset to such companies, as through our reviews do attract customers, who will generate sales and revenues to their business.  Just like a salesman, but with the added bonus for corporate advertising companies that we affiliate marketers are passionate for the niche we promote.

And that is where the concept of affiliate network comes in the game.  An affiliate network program will manage the affiliate program of different companies – which are referred to as advertisers – charging them a fee for the privilege.  What the affiliate network program does then is recruit an array of affiliate marketers like you and me – they call us publishers – so that we can apply to join a number of different affiliate programs from a wider range available on the network.

 


Why AWin?

AWin (formerly known as Affiliate Windows) is one of the best CPA – or Cost per Action – affiliate network programs in UK and Europe.

AWin is in other words, the European answer to American CJ (Commission Junction), offering a range of over 6,000 advertisers for affiliate marketers to choose from.

I have found a recent video published by AWin on YouTube, which explains how Affiliate Window has recently become AWin, and what its strengths are:

 

So, not only AWin is, dare I say, the most extensive platform of affiliate programs under one hat that UK and Europe has to offer, but it also offers the advantage of paying publishers on a CPA basis, depending on the agreement with its advertisers.

How this translate on most affiliate programs offered by AWin is that the publisher is not only paid if the visitor to their website ends up making a purchase, but for any other action the viewer takes on your website, whether that is a click on a banner or link, or form filling.  For each of these actions, the affiliate program you promote will pay you via AWin.

 


AWin is for all

Absolutely anyone with a website can join AWin.  Awin has as many as 6,000 advertisers, who use the network to promote their business. Registering with AWin as a publisher is easy enough.  You can then browse to check the many advertisers available on the program, which can meet the requirements of your niche.

To put it more visually clear to you, let me give you an example of how I landed on AWin.

As you may know, I have another website, where my aim is to share my love affair with Border Terriers  – just in the same way as I want to share my learning experience here of finding ways to make an income from home.  My canine website is a blog where I share and exchange information particularly related to Borders, but to other breeds too, and including breed related medical conditions.  In the process, I like to review products that I have been using for my border Indy.  If, for instance, I wanted to discuss the benefits of pet insurance, I would want to recommend an insurance that covered ailments on older dogs too.

On AWin I registered to advertise my intent with my blog website as an affiliate marketer, and then I started browsing for dog related businesses, whilst at the same time advertisers also started contacting me promoting what they had to offer me in terms of merchandise as well as commissions for my referrals that would fit with my canine niche.



The game could not be easier, as what I did at that point was select which programs I found more suitable to my niche, and joined the affiliate programs of those companies.  AWin has provided me with advertising tools, such as links and banners for me to use on my website when reviewing individual products and businesses.  And AWin pays my commission on a CPA basis, not the company whose merchandise or service I am reviewing.

 


Any costs involved?

Virtually not.  AWin charges an initial £5 deposit, which they then refund you along with the first payment they make you.  In other words, eventually joining as a publisher becomes free.

 


Advertising material and tools

For each advertising program you join within AWin, AWin will provide you an extensive array of banners in different sizes and interactive level.  But they will also provide you with unique links in HTMS or URL version, which will contain your unique publisher ID code.  Like with all affiliate programs, having your code showing on the links, or on the banner HTMLs, is important as it will be the determining tracking device for AWin and for you as publisher to keep records of your commissions and payments.

 


Why my rating

AWin is the first affiliate network I have ever joined, along with the American CJ (which I reserve to discuss at a later date).  And I still find AWin the best network I have worked with so far.

But there are a couple of negative issues that I struggled with, at least initially.

  • Layout and terminology – remember that when I first joined AWin, my sole experience of joining an affiliate program was with Amazon.  Coming from Amazon’s fairly straightforward online environment, I had to learn my way around the AWin platform, to find out where banners are, and to find out how to create URL or HTML link with my unique identifier.

On a positive, AWin have an absolutely brilliant support centre where, no matter how many tickets you raise, and however menial or futile the question may sound, is there to promptly answer you and to guide you through the motions step by step.

  • Payments – AWin is very good at making payments to you.  However they will not pay you until the advertising company you make referrals to have approved your commission and have paid your fee to AWin.  And a lot of advertisers have long payment terms.

Advertisers of retail merchandise will have shorter terms, as your commission will be approved as soon as a sales is confirmed.  However if you refer to financial services, such as pet insurance for instance, or to a membership entry, the advertiser will want to ensure that the person I am referring will remain in the scheme for a period of time.  Therefore their payment terms are much longer, before enabling AWin to pay you.

However each advertiser clearly states their repayment terms, leaving to you the choice as to whether to join them or not, not only based on the product they offer you to review, but also on their terms and conditions.

Against these two couple of issues, there are many positives to joining AWin.  To me, the main ones are:

  • All under one hut – what I mean by that is that you do not have to have so many different accounts spread all over the net with so many different advertisers.  Your account is with AWin, which means you do not have to disclose your personal information to many different providers, but only to AWin – data protection of your personal information is secured more tightly.
  • Low payment threshold – again, a most advantageous condition.  Whereas if you were an affiliate of individual programs, you would have to meet their different threshold for each advertiser, AWin has a very low threshold of £20 only, which you can easily reach through referring to a combination of programs rather to an individual one.

In other words, if I am publisher to Nike brand, and to Zooplus, and to Body Shop, I don’t have to wait till I have reached the £20 threshold of each of the three programs to get paid.  AWin will pay me as soon as I have reached that minimum threshold from a combination of referrals to the three different advertisers.

 


My verdict

So, all the above said, would I recommend AWin as a multiple affiliate program platform as one of the most effective ways to make an income from home?  Without a shadow of a doubt.

AWin is not only the biggest affiliate network program for UK and Europe, but is fast expanding in the States, where it has recently purchased ShareASale, and in South America and Brazil.  The potentials for you to meet a wider reach with your website and with your website, hence the possibilities to convert to sales with your reviews and to earn on referral commissions, are really high.

And the fact that AWin pays on low threshold from the combination of sales from different advertisers’ programs is an advantage that not many other networks offer, hence enabling you to have a regular source of income coming your way frequently enough.

Don’t wait a minute longer, if you have a website join AWin today!!!

 


Name:  AWin (formerly Affiliate Window)

Website:  awin.com

Price:  Initial deposit of £5 refundable

Owner:  Merge of Xanox and Affiliate Window

Rank:   85 out of 100



 

 

Is binary option trading safe?

I have held back from writing about binary options trading as one of the ways to earn an income at home until I found out more about it.  I have not chanced trading in binary options as yet, and that is why I needed to research more about this alternative way to earn working from home, but before talking to you more about it, my aim was to establish this: is binary options trading a good idea, and can you make money online by trading binary options?

 


What is binary options trading?

The name in itself gives it away.  Binary is referred to the fact that you are asked to choose on one of two options.  In the world of binary options you put a bet as to whether the value of certain assets, such as gold, or stocks or markets, will go up or down within a certain time frame.  If your prediction is correct, you will win the bet and will earn a pre-set commission.  However if you loose the bet, or rather your prediction is incorrect, you will loose the money you have invested in the bet.

Put in such terms, binary trading sounds no more no less than a pure and simple betting system – nothing brainy, more so made easier as the choice is only between one of two options, as opposed to the many chances put to you by a more sophisticated probability system.  But at the end of the day, it founds its concept on a gambling system, and as such may have no security attached to it when it comes to guaranteed earnings.  For this reason, many do not trust, or will even consider binary trading as a legit way of earning from home.

Have a look at a training video from IQ Options, one of the leading and most reputable brokerage platforms world wide:

 


Who can trade in binary options

Binary trading is done mostly online nowadays.  Therefore, provided you have a computer or laptop or even a tablet and a wi-fi connection, no matter where you are, you can trade in binary options.  Everybody is deemed suitable to trade.

However, you must have a minimum capital available to invest immediately.

Also, it is deemed that in order to be successful at trading in binary options, you must have done research on the ongoing trade in the value of the asset you are betting for.  So, if for instance you would like to predict which direction the value of gold is going to take within the next 24 hours, you may have done your research beforehand, also looking at recent political events in the main countries that produce and export gold and which may affect economic trends in those countries that import and resell gold for retail.  In other words, for you to become a successful binary options trader, you must have good nose for a hunch.


So, is binary options trading a scam?

Given the risky nature of this business, not many of us take lightly to such a way of earning.  In first instance, and unlike many other ways to earn whilst home based, this type of business requires an initial capital to invest.

You will be saying the same applies when you purchase stock to resell, or when you purchase a domain to build a website.  However the risk with binary options trading is seen as much higher as you do not handle physical goods, nor do you receive an immediate service in return for your investment.

However the ill reputation binary options trading has gained is due to the many fake broker companies readily available on the market.

 


What gives bad reputation to binary options trading

Unfortunately in the past binary trading was primarily available through broker companies that were not legit or did not pay commissions as per original agreement.  These companies were pure and utter scam – cowboys who chanced their luck on beginners to make themselves rich at the expenses of the many of us who were trying to invest their hard earned money for a chance of an extra income.

Thankfully the binary trading market has been regulated much more tightly all over the world in recent years.  Nowadays there are many reputable brokers out there, who not only offer you the opportunity to trade free of charge initially for you to get used to the system and to make yourself comfortable and learn how trading works. But many brokers these days also allow you to put your prediction with a reduced investment, unlike in the past where you could only trade, and risk to loose, higher amounts of money.

 


A couple of tricks up your sleeve, or three…

Now, I am no expert in this field at all.  In fact, as mentioned, I have always been sceptical about the whole affair, nor have I felt comfortable talking about binary options trading as a good way to earn from home until I have satisfied my doubts by researching.  And in the course of my research, I have come across a couple of tips or three from the expert as to how to make binary options trading less risky for you.

#1.  Do not bid more than you can afford

There is no denying that brokerage platforms are in the business to make a profit, not certainly to play even.  Another aspect of this business therefore is to bear in mind that, at the end of the day, you are dealing with a sales business where it will be in their interest to ‘encourage’ to place your bid for as high money as they can possibly squeeze from you.

Like in gambling, you must be absolutely level headed about binary options trading.  Never trade for more than you can afford.  In fact, best secret is always to go for less than for more.  Yes, admittedly by bidding for less you may miss out on the highest earnings.  But you will also miss out on the highest loss, should your prediction not be accurate on the day.

#2.  Play safe

Again, and as mentioned before, find a platform that will allow you to bid for little amounts of money.  Commissions on binary options platforms are really appealing, with winning in the region of 70-80% increase over your bet.  So, to put it plainly, if you started bidding for as little as a tenner and got your prediction right, you could see your winning nearly double up at as much as £17-18.  But remember that if you loose, you will loose a much higher percentage of 100%!  For this reason…

#3  Know when to stop!!!

It is vital that, like when gambling for fun in a casino, you know when it is a good time to stop.  So, if you are on a relatively healthy winning, just stop – do not chance your luck one too many times.  Or again, if you are really tempted, just keep bidding that one more time for a small figure.

A lot of brokers put a payout limit to your withdrawal of funds from the trading platform.  Try looking for a relatively high one, but never leave too much deposit on your platform’s account.  The more money you leave there, the more tempting it may be for you to keep bidding.  And also, it is your money at the end of the day, and by leaving it in the pockets of your broker, you will enable them to earn in interest rather than if your money sat in your bank account!!

#4.  Research, research, research

And this last tip is applicable yes, to current news of political and financial nature that could possibly have an impact on the value of the commodity you are about to bid on.  But it also apply to the platform you choose to use for your trading.  Try to go for what appears to be a reputable one.  Before you commit your money to them, however small a figure it may be, google reviews on that company and find as much information as possible about how reputable and reliable in their payments they are.

 


My verdict

Do not go for binary options trading if you do not feel absolutely comfortable with the idea of ‘gambling’ however little amount of money, whether that may be for ethical or religious believes, or simply due to financial hardship.

However, if you are ready to chance your luck, go for a platform that will allow you to be as cautious as you wish – for a platform where you are in control of the game, not them!

Truth be told, have I ever tried trading in binary options?  Never!  In fact, I have never traded in stock and shares markets either.  Would I ever do it?  Now I have come across IQ Options, yes I shall, given the fact that you can start trading for as small as £10!

I shall discuss the merits of IQ Options more in details in my separate review.  Rest to say that IQ Options is one of the reputable platforms I was referring to, giving you the options to trade in real time with no deposit, for you to familiarise with the system.  They use commodities with high commission percentage, therefore making your taking the risk on your deposit worthwhile.  Unfortunately they have a payout threshold of £1000, but this practice is not uncommon in financially related industries, and if you start making a substantial profit, and are prepared to bid higher figures, you can reach that payout fairly quickly.

 


Another chance for affiliate marketing

Admittedly, my field of expertise when it comes to making an income from home, is through affiliate marketing.  And that is the other reason why I like IQ Options.

If you believe IQ Options is a true way to make money online through binary options trading, and if you would like to give others the opportunity to earn as much as you have just done, click on the above banner and find out the high earning potentials through promoting IQ Options as the place to be when it comes to legit binary options trading!

 


I am sure there are many of you out there who have had a go at binary options trading and lost money, and many others who in fact are still trading successfully.  As I am still very much a newbie in the subject, I would like to find out more.  Please leave your comment below and let me know what you think of it. 

Make money selling with Amazon

 

So far we have discussed ways to earn extra income from home with the Amazon associate program.  In other words, provided you have a website, you can join one of the many Amazon geo-sites, register as their affiliate (or associate, as Amazon likes to call you) and then promote any of Amazon merchandise on your website, provided it fits and goes alongside your website niche, or subject so to speak.  Amazon will give you a small percentage of their profit on the product sold (and it is very small, generally no more than 6-7%) whilst the customer will not get charged any more.  It’s the good old principle of affiliate marketing.

But is there a way to make money selling with Amazon, just as you would do on eBay?  And how to sell stuff online with Amazon?

 

Selling on Amazon as a professional

Amazon offers you two main schemes, depending on whether you are a professional in the art of selling merchandise, or if you sell items only every so often as an individual

If you sell as a professional, Amazon offer the Fulfilment By Amazon scheme (or FBA) which makes your job much easier.  What they propose is that, for a fee, you send them your merchandise, and they will take care of the rest.  Amazon will store the item, pack it and deliver it for you, hence reducing you the hassle of all the logistics part of the business.  It couldn’t be easier!

  • Advantages:  The advantage of this scheme is that not only Amazon handles the logistics of it all, but ensures that the items is sold at a profit for you by pricing the item.  And, should a dispute rise with the customer, Amazon will handle that as well.  Under this scheme you can sell absolutely any merchandise that Amazon usually advertises on its website, but the stock you propose and then send to Amazon can include items of different nature.
  • Disadvantages:  As you can see, unlike eBay, with Amazon the element of risk given by the auction format is removed, as Amazon will ensure that the item is sold at a profit for you.  However, and on the negative side, Amazon does not do all this for free.  Currently on Amazon.co.uk you are charged some £30 per month with the plan to sell at least 35 items per month, plus referral fees which varies depending on which category your merchandise fulfils.  For this fee, however, you can promote your merchandise on as many as the five European countries Amazon has websites on.

How does it work

No matter which geo-site you work from, Amazon is very good at guiding you through the motions step by step.

All you have to do is click on the Sell tab on Amazon header to be guided to the next steps, which include:

  1. Registering your details as a seller – this will create a separate selling account
  2. Specifying whether you are a business or acting as an individual
  3. Uploading your listings, and select Fulfilment By Amazon to let Amazon pick, pack and ship your products to the customer.

The next thing you will know is that the customer will see your merchandise listed on Amazon pages, will proceed to the purchase and Amazon will pay you the net figure after deducting Seller fees.  It couldn’t be easier.

 

Selling on Amazon as an individual

This is arguably a much easier option for those of us that do not sell regularly, nor do they keep a wealthy stock of merchandise.  The process is much similar to the one of listing item under the Pro Selling Plan, but the difference is that Amazon does not charge a monthly fee.

The main features of this program are the followings:

  1. Registration is free of charge – you do not have to pay the monthly fee
  2. You can avail of FBA or decide to handle the logistics – this means that Amazon will take care of the storage, packing and delivery, or you can do it all by yourself, but you will also handle customer services, should a query be raised by the purchaser
  3. Amazon charges only once the item is sold.

As individual sellers, what we must be careful of is the actual fees.  Amazon will only charge some £0.75p per item, but it also deducts the referral fee like with the Pro Plan, depending on which category the item you have just sold falls into.  In addition, Amazon also charges a variable closing fee, which again fluctuates depending on category and country of destination.

Amazon gives an example of fees you may be charged when selling using the Individual Plan, which I am showing below:

 

Who can take part

Like with eBay, absolutely anybody wanting to sell some items, or a stock of merchandise, can take part.  You do not need to be a regular customer of Amazon purchasing its items regularly.  Nor do you need to be an Amazon associate and promote items on your own website.

So long as the items you are selling can be listed under one of the many available categories Amazon makes available, you can sell new or second-hand merchandise across as many as 5 European countries, i.e. UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

 

What’s the difference with eBay

The most shouting feature here is that, unlike with eBay, the risk by selling on Amazon is reduced as you are not at the mercy of a winning bid through the online auction system.  It appears that the whole selling process is more controlled, as the item will be sold for a profit.

However, prices and fees are higher than on eBay.  So yes, Amazon will assist you with the logistics, the storage and the customer services side of things, but at a price.  And if you do not pay the monthly fee, then the perks are not applicable.

Also, it is to be noticed that with the Individual Selling Plan you may not have to pay the monthly fee, but you still seem to be charged the additional referral and variable fees.

On a positive, unlike with most affiliate marketing programs, and with Amazon associate program, where you have to reach a threshold before receiving payment, both Amazon and eBay will ‘pay as you go’, or rather transfer your payment into your bank account as soon as the item has been sold.

Finally, there is the reputation of the two websites to consider.  With Amazon, your items will be listed in up to 5 European countries, as per your listing instructions.  However with eBay you are bound to reach a wider marketing platform, as my understanding is that your listings reach a worldwide potential customer base.  This may mean that you will possibly sell your items more quickly, albeit at a lower price.

 

My verdict

I must admit, I have not yet venture in using Amazon for selling items yet – for purchase, oh yes, aplenty, but not yet for selling.  But that, I suppose, is possibly due to the fact that I do not sell large amounts of stock altogether, and for this type of infrequent selling, I think eBay may be more user-friendly, once you’ve got used to it.

When wanting to embrace this avenue as a source of income whilst working from home, you need to weigh up pros and cons on both websites.

For both selling methods, you do not need to have your own website, but you certainly need to have access to a computer and to wi-fi connection.  Also, and like with all selling enterprises, you need to have storage available and regular intake of stock.

This said, I still believe in the validity of Amazon selling marketplace as a good way to make money working from home.  I do believe however that Amazon is more suited if you have a larger stock of merchandise to sell.  For professional sellers, it will be worth paying the monthly fee, to the benefit of having Amazon taking care of the handling of the sale.

Ultimately the choice is yours and it very much depends on what experience you are looking for from selling online.  Nothing or nobody in fact will prevent you from being able to use both platforms to sell different items.  The more platforms you use,  the bigger exposure you gain in proposing your merchandise to buyers worldwide.

The one thing I would recommend, should you decide to use both Amazon and eBay at the same time, is that you refrain from advertising the same item on both sites at the same time – that is, unless you have multiple stock!!

 


Are you already using Amazon to sell your items, or have you ever done so?  I would like to hear from you, to find out whether you have had a successful experience, and whether you consider Amazon a viable solution to earn a realistic income.  Share your experience with us, feel free to leave your comment below!

 

How to sell on eBay and make money

Name:  eBay

Website:  eBay.co.uk

Price:  Advertising FREE for first 20 ads per month.  Selling fee is 10% of final transaction

Owner:  Pierre Omidyad

Rank:   90 out of 100

 

There have already been tons of training and reviews posted on how to use eBay, and to whether eBay is a valid selling tool. With this article today I’d like to offer you tips on how to sell on eBay and make money. I mean real money!

 

Overview

We have talked about old ways to make money.  Selling is the oldest of all trading arts, and possibly the most straightforward – there is no messing around there with digitally based invisible things there, but a concrete stock of products which you aim to sell for a profit.

eBay does just that for you.  On eBay you sell and buy a variety of different products at auction.  Since it was founded in 1965, eBay has also introduced different buying options other than auction, hence increasing the chances for you to sell your product more quickly and for a higher profit.

 

How it works

Simply put, you create a log in account on eBay.  This account will allow you both to purchase and to sell.  You click on the ‘Sell’ tag up the top of the home page, go through the user friendly steps to list your product, click the button and your item is listed down, ready to buyers to put their bid on by the deadline by you selected – or to purchase there and then, if you again have chosen this option.

One of the good aspects of eBay is that it proposes to you so many different preferences of how you would like to advertise your stock, that it makes it extremely versatile and feasible for you to set up a successful selling business by simply listing your items consistently.

Naturally, in order to do so you must ensure to have a regular stock of items available to sell.  Which begs the following question.

 

What can you sell on eBay

Primarily on eBay you will want to sell new stock of products.  eBay is ideal as it enables you to sell items that you feel passionate about.  However, there are categories of products that sell particularly well on eBay.  Where Amazon excels and in a way over time has specialised on electronics, I would say eBay’s customer base goes well beyond that and uses this website for absolutely everything.  You can expect to find listed here from fashion items to home-ware, from furniture to even cars!!

I believe however, the strength of eBay remains in the possibility it offers to sell second hand items – which in a way is the ethos the company was originally founded on, along with the idea of creating an online auction market.  For this reason, eBay remains successful with sellers of collectables.  I particularly find it unbearable in prices and deals when it comes to antiques.

 

So how to sell on eBay for a profit

The secret is in where you get your stock from.  Buying from a retailer, albeit an online one, with the aim to make a profit, is never the ideal solution.

Let’s not forget that the strength of eBay is in selling items at a bargain.  Your buying price therefore must be competitive enough for you to promote your merchandise at an equally competitive price, but in such a way that you can still make a margin from the sale.

Ideally you should find a reliable wholesaler that offers you the most competitive rates on the range of items you want to sell.  Initially you may want to test the online market by trying selling different items.  Eventually you may want to specialise in a particular category of items, so that over time and with the build up of hopefully positive feedback, you can build a reputable image of reliable seller, which will attract more buyers.

Especially when it comes to collectables, however, many sellers on eBay find their stock at boot sales and local seasonal fairs, where with patience and a keen eye for a deal, you can find a bargain yourself.  At the end of the day, selling is all about that: you have to be a buyer yourself in first instance!

 

Who can succeed on eBay

Surely you’ve got to acknowledge that these days setting up a stall in your town market is not the only way of selling. Selling online has become much diffused, as it reaches a wider range of potential customers, and because it helps you sell more quickly.  So, who is eBay for?

eBay is most suitable for those of us that enjoy selling merchandise as opposed to virtual services.  It is suitable for those of us that also enjoy the thrill of the auction.  For this reason, you must be prepared, especially at first, to bear some losses as much as well as to see your earnings grow slowly.

!! Click here to start selling on eBay !!

I do believe you can make an actual living from selling on eBay, but like with all businesses, it will take you a little while to establish yourself as a reputable seller.  But, the beauty of eBay is that it does not have to be your sole full time business.  I have been using eBay whenever I find some item in the house that I no longer want to use and I do believe can find a buyer.  I also like antiques, and when I have the time to go to some local fairs, if I find an object that catches my attention and which I can get at a reasonable price, I will then chance my luck by listing it on eBay and see how profitable the online auction will turn for me.

And that is the beauty of eBay: the fact that is most suitable for everybody that has something to sell, whether you are student, unemployed, full time worker or retired.

 

Tools and training

Again, the key in learning how to list your items is to follow eBay selling page step by step, which you find when you click on the ‘Sell’ tab on the top left hand side.  There you are taken through the process of listing your items, with easy to understand options, from inserting pictures, to adding the description of your item, to pricing it and whether you only want to put it up to auction or whether you also want to add the ‘Buy It Now’ option, and of course how much the whole thing is going to cost you – more of what eBay charges you later on.

Most importantly, eBay also guide you wisely through the method of payments you can propose to your potential buyers and how you can post the items.

In other words, eBay ‘holds your hand’ safely.  It is up to you which direction you want to take.  And if at the beginning you may think that the whole process is far too long and not worth the effort, it is like with all things, the more items you list, the more conversant you become – till in the end you find the formula that best suits your selling modes, and the listing process becomes second nature!

 

The price

The price structure of eBay is again very easy, and particularly advantageous if you are only a newbie at this.  eBay will not charge you for the first 20 ads you place in a month.  After the first 20 ads, it will charge a small fee of 35p per listing.

eBay will then also charge 10% of the selling fee, with a maximum cap of no more than £250 per item sold.

Once you are aware of this, and you are also aware that if you opt for payment via PayPal, PayPal will charge you an additional minimum 2.9%, you will know what mark up to apply to your item when pricing it.  You want to ensure that your costs are fully covered, and that the buyers also pays for postage and delivery.

Finally, remember that eBay will charge you additionally if you opt to sell now the item at a fixed price with the ‘Buy Now’ option.  This is an option preferred by many, as it avoid the risk of the item remaining unsold or to be sold at a far too low price to cover all the costs.  In such cases, like with ‘real’ auction in auction houses, you can list your merchandise applying a reserve, which again will ensure if the bidding price is below the margin you want to apply, you do not have to honour the winning bid.

All the above pricing options, in other words, are to illustrate to you how flexible eBay makes it for sellers to go for the pricing and listing method that best and most conveniently suits their needs and wants.

 

The downsides of eBay

If I may start with the cons,I have to say that I struggle to find any.  I stirred right clear of eBay for a number of years, for fear to be conned myself.  There have been rumours – but sometimes more factual than tale-telling – about buyers paying for items which they never received.  And at the same time it was reported that sellers never got paid at times after an auction reached its deadline.

I believe those days are truly been and gone.  eBay has ironed out such problems by putting in place extra safety tools, such as advising sellers to choose the PayPal method of payment.  Yes, this may mean that you end up paying a fee to PayPal at the end of the month.  But, provided you take this extra cost into account when pricing your merchandise, this additional security is worth the additional fee.

Finally, there is the risk element of the auction, and the fact that your item may not find a purchaser.  Or that your purchaser may bid for far too low a price, which would make it unprofitable for you.  There are many items sold for pittance, admittedly.  It the item you have listed is an unwanted present, however small a figure the auction is won at will still make it a profit for you.  But if you have actually bought the item with a view to reselling it at auction, you want to ensure that you make a margin on it.

On the pro side, well where to start!  As mentioned, eBay makes it so easy for everyone to try and sell absolutely anything.  All it asks is that you have access to the internet and the necessary equipment to work online, it asks that you take a few pictures of your item, it asks for storage space if you decide to grow your selling business to such a level to require a regular stock, and it wants you to have an account (preferably PayPal) for you to receive payment.  The game is on!

 

In conclusion

eBay is equally ideal if you want to get rid of single items every so often, and for those of us that aim at a little higher in terms of profitable avenue.  If you approach eBay with a view to make a regular income out of it, especially at the beginning however, you need to be prepared to allow time for your business to steadily grow.  In this, eBay is none the different from any other online businesses: you can aim high, just with time.

Name:  eBay

Website:  eBay.co.uk

Price:  Advertising FREE for first 20 ads per month.  Selling fee is 10% of final transaction

Owner:  Pierre Omidyad

Rank:   90 out of 100

My verdict

It is my opinion that, with time, eBay will enable you to make a steady income from selling online at auction.  And you can do it all from the comfort of your home.  I recommend eBay, therefore as an extremely feasible way of making money working from home legally and stress free!!

If you are still not sure about the advantages to selling online through eBay and would like to find out more, or if you have already had a go with eBay, or indeed if you are one of eBay Power Sellers, and would like to share your experience with us, by all means leave a comment below!!