I'm always happy when I see junk mail in my mailbox. Now that’s a strange reaction to most folks. I’m happy because the "junk mail" gets me free postage stamps every month! I earn these stamps by being a mail decoy agent for a mail diversion club.
Many companies use mail decoy services to ensure the publications they send to customers are timely. Companies also use mail decoy agents to test if their mailing list has been stolen.
Here’s how it works:
- Each week I receive 15 to 30 pieces of decoy mail, including magazines, catalogs and flyers. Monday is the heaviest. Other days I get nothing. Generally, I find decoy mail in my box three days a week.
- All the mailings are marked with a special seven digit code in the address bar. The code identifies them as decoys.
- I call the service’s toll-free number, input my identification number, and punch in the codes from the decoy mail pieces. It is automated and easy. The process takes about two minutes each day (10 minutes a week). In return for my services, I receive 10 free postage stamps every month from the company.
That may not sound like a lot of remuneration for the work. But there are several advantages:
- I earn free stamps by simply picking up my mail.
- Sometimes I get free magazines, product samples and catalogs at my home address. Some of these items are worth $5 or more.
Here are the disadvantages:
- I receive a LOT of junk mail on a weekly basis.
- I must keep track of my mail and report it daily (or at the very latest, the next day).
- When I travel, I must report my break to the service or make other arrangements.
However, if you can patiently go through your mail and report the decoy pieces you receive on a daily basis, then working as a mail decoy agent may be right for you. Here’s how to get started:
- Send an email to the service (just Google it) and request to join the mail decoy program. Include your name, address (especially zip code) and phone number.
- Wait a few days to find out if there is a need for mail decoy agents in your geographic area. If so, the company will contact you via email with more information. They’ll send a four digit ID number.
- Decoy mail will arrive in a week or two.
- Call and report the mailings on the same or following day.
- Maintain at least an 85 percent reporting rate or you may get disqualified.
- A month later, expect a newsletter from the service and 10 free postage stamps.
There are many mail decoy companies to which you can apply, including The Hauser Group, U.S. Monitor and SBKC. Some of these companies will even pay you to report and/or send back your decoy mail. Those programs can pay up to $50-$100 per month.
This has been a guest post by Halina from Madison, WI
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