The Promise: Earn $15 (or some other arbitrary amount) for every rebate you process while working entirely out of your home. Make hundreds of dollars per day, thousands per week, etc. Fortune awaits.
The Reality: You'll fork over anywhere from tens to hundreds of dollars up front for a "membership" and "training materials" meant to get you on the path to easy money. These materials (assuming they even arrive) will either be worthless, or be instructions telling how to place ads (at cost to you) to sell items that have rebates associated with them, which you would then theoretically process after making a sale. So-called "satisfaction guarantees" or "money-back guarantees" are about as reliable as the shady websites that tout them. Some victims say that their credit cards have been hit by recurring charges after signing up.
The Scoop: Perhaps, once upon a time, someone, somewhere actually earned money processing rebates at home. The present-day reality is this: that person probably won't be you, and you're more likely to lose money than make any. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau are very clear: at-home "rebate processing" schemes are to be avoided.
Websites touting guaranteed payback for at-home rebate processing bend over backwards to make you believe that they're on the level. The sad truth is, these people just want your money, so they go out of their way to make it seem like they're only trying to help you. Your best bet is to simply run in the opposite direction at the first mention of "rebate processing," but if you find yourself wandering around these sites, here's what you'll usually find.
A bogus pitchman. Attaching a name to the sales pitch personalizes it and might make the seller seem more trustworthy to some. The reality is that the details coming "from the desk of Jessica Allen" at RebateProcessorJobs.com (which gets a resounding "F" from the better Business Bureau), is probably bunk. Especially when the exact same story -- and we mean verbatim -- is coming "from the desk of Debbie Teague" at OnlineIncome234.com. (We were sent there from a site called WorkFromHome4Dollars.com). The seller's names mean nothing. They're just part of the ploy.
A really lengthy sales pitch. When perusing these rebate-processing sites, you're liable to wear out your mouse's scroll wheel reading the pitch. It goes on and on, and despite all the copy you're reading, there's little to no explicit detail on how the program they're trying to sell you actually works. Think of this as the equivalent of the rapid-fire sales pitch you'd get from a door-to-door salesman. Those guys talk a lot without saying much, and never let you get a word in edgewise. This is the same deal. Slam the proverbial door.
There are limited spots available. Not true. Work-from-home rebate processing sites want you to feel pressure to pull the trigger, so they claim that there are only a few open slots left for you to get in on the deal. They'll probably throw some random number out there (we saw "7" used) to make the opportunity seem more fleeting. It's not.
You're running out of time. Another falsehood. One site we visited said that the rebate processing offer was only good through the day we visited it. So, we looked at the page's source code and found a script that simply inserts the current date automatically every time someone visits. A different site said we had 48 minutes before the current signup price expired got a lot more expensive. We let it run down to zero and refreshed the page. Presto: the timer just resets, along with the same initial offer price. Incidentally, leaving the page triggered a last-ditch offer to have us sign up for even less money then the original pitch. These guys will do whatever it takes to make you take the bait.
Glowing testimonials. In addition to the bogus seller we describe above, you'll see testimonials from people who are (supposedly) extremely satisfied customers. These are easily faked and and utterly meaningless. You're better off going to third-party sites like the Better Business Bureau or My3Cents.com to find out more about the company's trustworthiness.
Useless contact info. Clicking on "Contact Us" will usually give you a link that just opens a regular email message box on your computer. No phone numbers. No specific contact names, either. Don't hold your breath waiting for a reply. Even if you see a physical mailing address, be very skeptical. The Better Business Bureau has documented examples of rebate processing scammers listing fake mailing addresses on their websites.
We also found a so-called "review" website, Reviewopedia.com, which is slick in that it specializes in "exposing" the real details behind questionable websites like RebateProcessorJobs.com. If it were doing so in the interest of consumer advocacy, that would be admirable, but it appears to be little more than a funnel to yet another work-at-home affiliate marketing scheme that costs you money every month.
Another strategy, which we saw employed at RebateProcessing.net, made the pitch come from some so-called "expert" who acts as if he were once skeptical, but was so pleased with his experience processing rebates, he simply has to share the link to the site he recommends (Rebate-Processor.com). Once you get there, however, it's just like other rebate processing sites.
Our Advice: Don't waste your time, and especially your money, on work-from-home rebate processing sites like RebateProcessingJobs.com, Rebate-Processor.com, OnlineIncome234.com, and any others like them. Period.
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